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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 649
Location: AB, Canada
I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, I couldn't seem to find a thread dealing with this specific question.

The public school district that my son attends has absolutely no food restrictions in place. It seems that SO MANY OTHERS, near & far do and claim to be 'peanut/tree nut free'. I just read about a school in the US where kids aren't allowed any baked goods for recess (cookies, muffins etc..) for fear of cross contamination. And yet my school allows all kinds of granola bars and PB&J sandwiches.

It kind of makes me want to scream, and I feel like more should be done (I realize this doesn't help kids with other life threatening allergies). But then part of me thinks 'are these schools REALLY peanut/tree nut free?' 'Is it giving parents, teachers & kids a false sense of security?'. A cheese sandwich on white can be SO DANGEROUS to a child who is PA, if the bread was from a small bakery that makes tons of desserts, or if the cutting board it was made on at home had been used for something with nuts.

Without making my son paranoid, I want him to know that he CAN ONLY EAT FOOD FROM HOME.

Knowing that there wouldn't be PB&J on the playground equipment, or other areas in the school would be helpful though. DS is never hungry at recess and comes home for lunch. I send his own cupcake for birthday celebrations.


The principal is reasonable about it, and says 'we won't say the school is peanut free when we can't enforce it, and so it may not be' which I agree with, and the decision is with the schoolboard anyhow.

I am very interested to hear other peoples thoughts on the matter.

_________________
DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 805
Location: Vancouver, BC
I feel the same as you, even though others will argue against restricting foods for different reasons. I agree that it can give a false sense of security, and also in cases where there are many severe allergens, it would be impossible to restrict all of those foods. At our school, there are about 4 kids in total with nut or peanut allergies (and no other serious allergies), but my DD is the only who wears a bracelet and carries her epipens on her body. The other parents seem more relaxed, which I figure - to each their own. I did help create an anaphylaxis management plan that advises each child wear a bracelet and also carry their own epipen, but if the staff don't want to enforce this with other parents, I'm not too bothered by it (as long as I'm doing what I should to keep my own child safe).

I requested that we make the school 'allergy aware' and ask people kindly not to send nut or peanut products to school because of severe allergies. Both my kids have reacted on contact, so I am particularly worried about door knobs, lunch tables, tap handles, playground equipment, etc. DD knows not to eat other people's food, but it's the unintentional smears on public surfaces that worry me, so knowing that even though there is no guarantee, and chances are, someone is going to forget one day, the risks are greatly reduced.

I have asked them not to restrict 'may contain traces of nuts', etc because as we all know, that label is completely voluntary and I feel therefore it's too confusing even for us as allergy parents to know which food is actually a may contain even if it's not labelled as such, let alone regular parents. My rationale is that the risk of a reaction from residue of a may contain is much less than from residue of an actual peanut butter sandwich, and DD has been told to wash hands before eating, she eats on a placemat, etc, so the chances are very minimal. Add to the fact she is wearing two epipens and the entire staff is trained, and I feel safe.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 129
hi-we dont have any food bans at school-we have 'no food sharing' policies and 'wash hands after eating' rules and sitting down and eating food areas. Younger children are supervised at eating times.
For us this works great-especially when we are dealing with non 'top 8' allergies-it would be pointless for me to have peanut and sesame banned without having sunflower and barley also banned-where would you draw the line?? (for us sunflower produces a more severe and sudden reaction than peanut, and the barley allergy is severe in only small amounts and it is litererally in so many foods that it would be very difficult to police-the other kids would have nothing to eat!
Food bans give people a very false sense of security. I think in very young age groups (eg 3-4yos) its probably reasonable to ask for no peanut butter on sandwhiches (given the stickiness and potential to transfer to playground equipment)..but essentially its about supervision, strict rules on no sharing food, only eating what has been provided to you, and washing hands....and of course having carers that can immediately recognise and treat any allergic reactions that occurs.
cheers-caz

_________________
twin boys-
c-eosinophilic oesophagitis
j-avoids peanut, sunflower, pineapple all ana-sensitised to maccadaemia.pecan.Passed barley (previous ana) last year...out grew egg ana and peanut at 3 years..became re sensitised with ana at 6 years to peanut.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
The school board we WERE in had a classroom by classroom approach. The only classrooms which had a peanut/nut ban were those with an allergic child. BUT this also meant our daughter was in a class where kids were eating PB&J etc., her books mixed in with theirs, you get the picture...it was a nightmare even though she has no allergies. There was no hand washing whatsoever and classrooms were interchanged for activities, special presentations, certain subjects. That meant trace was getting smeared all over the school. Another huge pet peeve of mine even health wise was that food treats were brought into the classroom every other day, special events all revolved around food.

Our school now (different board) has a no peanuts/no nut..and no scent... ban on the entire school including any ingredient in a product. Teachers do enforce this and teachers also supervise meals. :banana There are no food treats allowed for birthdays or halloween etc.. We all still know an accident is possible to happen and that nothing is 100% but knowing a child isn't eating certain foods then touching gym equipment is a huge relief. Our son will be in Jr. K next year so I really am paying attention.
ALL staff have a very intense anaphylaxis/health issue training day before school opens in Sept. and they keep updated all year. The school has an inclusive approach meaning any activity etc. needs to be in any way possible as inclusive as they can manage it for all children.
As far as allergens above and beyond peanuts/tree nuts that is deal with where needed. I think a no nut/peanut aware approach is great. It takes the chances of a reaction to those allergens down immensly, that is a great step towards keeping allergic kids safe. The AMAZING attitude of our school towards allergies is probably why out of 300 or so kids there are 21 anaphylactic students!!!!
Our school uses phone messages for parents and they even sent one last year about 2 min. long explaining anaphylaxis, explaining that allergic kids can't eat any food unless sent by a parent due to their allergies / it was a reminder not to send birthday treats but that pencils or non food treats were welcome. :happydance
I even had one of our daughter's teachers check with me last year (on her own initiative) to see if a craft they were going to do with eggs at easter (no egg allergic kids at the school at that time) would have any impact on our son ...who is not even of school age! If there was any chance the smell/trace would cause a reaction they would do the craft in a different manner so our daughter would have fun and not worry about coming home afterwards. Our son had outgrown egg allergy but this was just amazing they even thought of him.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Here is an excerpt from Allergy Safe Communities regarding restrictions & lists:
Quote:
It is important to note that food restrictions alone do not take the place of effective risk reduction strategies. The emphasis should be on preventing an allergic emergency through education, awareness, training and being prepared to respond during an emergency.

http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/pa ... atsubid=66

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
Hi Becky!

What do you mean by
Quote:
and the decision is with the schoolboard anyhow.


Michele

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
A peanut/nut ban really puts one's mind at ease. That was a huge part of our decision to change school boards. Nothing is full proof, people eat before coming to school and don't wash hands BUT eliminating to the best of their ability the trace at school is huge. The other huge issue really is with all the food in general. If schools would stop centering so much of the day, crafts, special events around food, there wouldn't be so much food about to cause so much worry. As Susan mentioned in a different post many events are shared, for example pizza day and pajama day are on the same day so if our kids stay home it really means they would miss out double whammy.

Now if we could just feed all kids astronaut food at school in pill form there wouldn't be any trace left to worry about! :?

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
Grrrr - I just typed out a nice response, and it logged me out. On the work computer ... will try and re-post it later. Don't have time to type it out again now. :damnedcomputer


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 649
Location: AB, Canada
alberta advocate wrote:
Hi Becky!

What do you mean by
Quote:
and the decision is with the schoolboard anyhow.


Michele


I am under the impression that a Principal has to more or less follow the anaphalaxis plan set by the school board for all schools in the district. So if our principal want a ban it isn't as easy as making the decision & announcing it to everyone. I assume Principals can carry a lot of weight regarding this and other policies, but at least in our cases, the schools within a board do not have independant policies.

_________________
DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
I would be interested to know what school division you are in Becky, since there are so many different one across the province.

Across the street, across town or political regions, you will have different requirements. As my DD is not allergic to peanuts, I have not asked for a ban, but would absolutely willingly comply if asked to refrain from peaunts or anything else.

My focus has been on the annual training, identification, and storage & admininistration of medications. All of which I've had issues. Having these things left up to the principal with no one checking to see what's been done or hasn't just doesn't cut it with me. I've seen too much ignorance out there to ignore the lack of education in the education system when it comes to this particular area.

Michele

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
:oops I edited that last reply, but then realized that doesn't bring it to the top again. I wonder if I did that elsewhere? I'm learning.

Becky, please come read what is in the advocacy and accommodation section. I know the reporting stuff is really dry, it was hard to learn too, but very interesting once I got going and I have lots more to share. Since you are in Alberta you may be more interested that most. I'm so glad to have met you here.

Michele

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:51 pm
Posts: 1
My sons school thankfully is nut and peanut free. He is allergic to peanuts. The school takes all measures to ensure a nut and peanut free school, including raising awareness about allergies; this is really helpful as when his classmate ordered a birthday cake for his party he did so from a bakery that ensures peanut and nut free cakes and facility:

The French Oven:
http://www.thefrenchoven.on.ca/

Thus the nut ban in school really helped in both the school and outside of it by alerting others about the problem.


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