You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:31 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:23 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Ontario
I'm hoping you all will give me some advice ...

My son Alexander (peanut/treenut allergy) will be starting JK this coming September and I have to start making some decisions:

Wear a medicalert braclet - yes/no
Where to keep the epipen - on him in pouch or with teacher
Lunch time - at school or bring home

These may seem like "no brainer" :oops: type questions, but this is my first son going off to school and he has the allergy we must deal with as well. I want to collect as much information as I can before I start making final decisions.

On top of that, our school is new to dealing with food allergies - we are the guinea pig! The school seemed so warm and welcoming when I went in to regiester him. That quickly changed once they found out he had a life threatning food allegy. (Litterally the face went from big smile to frown).

Please give me advice, tips, secrets you have on sending your young child to school.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
I can understand how that "frown" isn't very reassuring.

MedicAlert bracelet: absolutely. My son used to have the bracelet chain but it kept breaking. I got the velcro one now.

Epipen: At my son's school, it is kept in the classroom in a pouch on a hook by the emergency equipment (by the door). Now that's he's older (he's 8 ), he also carries one in his backpack.

Lunch: There is no school lunch at my son's school. The children bring their own lunches and eat in their classrooms at their desk. I quite like that because the Epipen is always in the room. There are signs posted outside each classroom warning about specific allergies and listing them. The signs say not to bring any of those allergens into the classroom. In your case, I'd recommend packing his own lunch...and teach him not to share his food.

Don't get discouraged. Your child has the right to be in a safe ennvironment and the school must provide that. The best way is to have a talk with your child's teacher, as he/she will be the adult closest to him all day. Make sure the teacher understands the allergy and tell him/her to call you if there are any questions. For school treats, supply your own. When there is a special occasion at school and food is brought in, never have the teacher give it to him. Instead, provide a supply of treats you know your child likes and can eat... so he doesn't feel left out during the special occasions. My son's teacher keeps his treats separately in the cupboard.

Also, make sure your child's teacher is properly trained on how to use the Epipen.


Last edited by Storm on Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Medicalert bracelet - definitely yes

My son has been wearing an e-belt since he was in kindergarten and an extra epi-pen is kept in the school office for him.

If I had the choice my son would come home for lunch. (Nothing to do with allergies, I just think it's healthy for kids to go home at lunch time. :) ) However, his school only has about 50 minutes for lunch and that is not enough time to get him home, feed him a healthy lunch, and bring him back.

Adding to Storm's advice - find out if the kindergarten classes are ever left with a different teacher. (Due to contract provisions, teacher's have to have a certain amount of time not with their class -prep time???? - and another teacher will take over the class. This could be done during library, gym, or in my son's kindy class it was snack time.) Make sure all teachers your son could be left with are trained on the epi.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
My oldest daughter will be starting kindergarten this year. Her preschool years taught me a lot of do's and don'ts.

Do wear medic alert...in the case of substitute teachers or any emergancy they are wonderful.

Do ONLY allow food from home. Encourage food in class room as teaching tools to be limited. Encourage teachers to not use food as "prizes" and use non food items for typical food related activities. Gingerbread houses can be made of cardboard, constriction paper, glue, stickers and pom poms. Everyone benefits from not being exposed to "junk food is fun" anyways. Volunteer to be in charge of those hopefully rare occassions involving food. I plan on putting it in writing at her new school this fall "NO FOOD THAT HAS NOT COME FROM HOME". The school should appreciate that you are not putting them in the position to make decisions about what foods are safe for your son.

Attend a school where kids ALL bring their own snacks. Community "everyone shares" snacks make a child who brings their own feel left out. I sent her to preschool who did this...I did not know I had other options...BIG mistake.

My daughters teacher was in charge of her epipen. I felt that my daughter was too young to be ultimately responsible for her allergy. Keeping the teacher in charge of her epipen promoted the idea that "yes, the teacher needs to be responsible here, she is 4." At the point that she goes out for recess with recess supervisors she should carry it herself.

Do volunteer to come on field trips, or any event away from the school. The teacher will appreciate it, and you will be responsible in these circumstances outside the classroom.

Do attend an already allergy aware (hopefully peanut/nut free ) school..."that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling", if possible.
Is your school willing to go peanut/nut free ?

Encourage your school to have children wash their hands when arriving to school (with soap and water ), and before and after snack. Dry wash gels DO NOT remove allergens, and are not good allergy management ways of hand washing.

Do bring home for lunch if possible.

Do watch each day for substitute teachers, parent volunteers, student interns, and make sure they are aware of your "NO FOOD NOT FROM HOME" rule. (Student teacher broke my rule at preschool this year, and fed her a jelly bean that a parent brought from home that was left over from christmas, that had been in a bowl surrounded by nut filled goodies...we spent half a day in the emergancy room after giving benadryll and waited out any further reaction ).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I'm not a parent, but it seems like the real burden of educating the schools and managing the allergy is on the parents and that isn't fair. realistically, you are probably going to be responsible for this, but i would probably attempt to focus attention on the responsibilities of the *school*. i.e. I would mention something about Sabrina's Law and ask the school what their plan is to protect allergic children. You could make an appointment with your allergist and pass on what he/she suggests. I would offer them additional information to help them understand the issues and decide what needs to be done--see http://csaci.medical.org/schools.html. Hopefully they will ask *you* what you are comfortable with. If not, you'll have to tell them anyways!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
saskmommyof2 wrote:

Encourage your school to have children wash their hands when arriving to school (with soap and water ), and before and after snack. Dry wash gels DO NOT remove allergens, and are not good allergy management ways of hand washing.


That's interesting. I assumed those hand sanitizers did remove allergens if you rubbed your hands properly. I did a little research on the 'net and found this:

http://www.medaus.com/p/299,1299,,20.html

I still use soap and water whenever possible but I also carry antibacterial wipes and a little bottle of Purell in case there's no soap and water around.

Thanks for the heads up, saskmommyof2.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:01 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6489
Location: Ottawa
All good advise already.
One thing that I did was to start dd socialising with her friends with 'treats' involved. We had a routine on Saturday mornings where we went to a library for storytime. We gathered with other moms and chidren for coffee (me) and juice (her). She got to see how to eat off her 'plate' (coffee lid) and all of her friends also got a lesson on cross-contamination.
It was so sweet to see 3 year olds asking if they could bring a safe treat for their friend.
The Alexander the Elephant series has a story about an allergic elephant going to school and how he and his friends kept him safe. You can order it from Food Allergies and Anaphylaxic Network, probably also from Anaphylaxis Canada but I borrowed it from the local library so you might try your library first.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I figured the hand sanitizers just add to what is already on your hands. I know someone who used them after changing her babies poopy diapers...I figured if you got poop on your hands, added a hand sanitizer...all you did was sanitize the poop...it is still there.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
The sanitizers kill germs. Protein is not a germ.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
If your child goes to a public school in Ontario, then as of Jan. 1, 2006 the public school is required by law (Sabrina's Law) to work with you to help keep your child safe.

See http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/bills/381/3381.htm and read the Third reading version of the bill (available in PDF and HTML).

The principal must have a plan in place to help keep anaphylactic children safe, to communicate to the rest of the school about anaphylaxis, and to ensure that his/her staff are properly trained to deal with an allergic emergency. Parents and allergic kids must also do their part. Parents must inform the school if their child has severe allergies, provide emergency medication (i.e. epinephrine auto-injectors), and teach their kids to self-protect (e.g. not share food, wear their MedicAlert bracelet, etc.). Everyone must do their part to keep these kids safe. It is a shared responsibilty.

Tools and resources are being developed to help Ontario public schools understand and implement Sabrina's Law and they will be available soon. These tools and resources will also be availble to the general public in the near future. Stay tuned for details....

Karen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Tezzi wrote:

Wear a medicalert braclet - yes/no
Where to keep the epipen - on him in pouch or with teacher
Lunch time - at school or bring home


I also meant to add - if it were me:
1. MedicAlert bracelet - YES (my guys started wearing theirs when they were 2 yrs).

2. EpiPen - ON HIM if he is mature enough not to play with it (my kids are 5 and 7 and have been wearing it since they were 4 yrs). Kids should be able to wear it by age 6 or 7 if not sooner - I feel much better knowing that the EpiPens are with my child at all times. A teacher might forget to hand it off to another teacher or daycare teacher or music teacher or... you get the picture.

See http://www.ebelt.ca/ for one option for an EpiPen "belt". Both my guys wear one and don't mind it a bit. They even use them for play - sometimes hanging their lightsabres from it. :D

3. Lunch time - at school or bring home... this is tricky; it depends on your own availability and the allergies. For peanut/nut, if they are having these items restricted at school or in the class, it should be fine for him to eat there.

For my youngest, who is starting kindergarten (Quebec - no or JK or SK) next Sept., we'll be dealing with peanut/milk/egg (ana to all) so I am still debating what to do... On the one hand, I want him to be safe, but on the other hand, I need to make a living as well. And he will likely want to eat at school since most kids do now in our neighbourhood. But we will see. I may end up having him (and his big brother) come home for lunch.

It's not easy, I know. But if you're in Ontario, you do have Sabrina's Law on your side now.

Karen

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:23 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Ontario
I was not expecting such a great response. Thank-you everyone !! :D

You have brought to my attention so many other issues I did not even think about. I need to absorb all this, but at least I feel like I have direction.

Tezzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
Hi Tezzi,

I know how you feel not really knowing what direction your going in.
Fortunately for me. I had two daughters attending the school already so I knew most of the moms and teachers.

My advice: Always listen to your inner voice!!! They don't call it mothers instinct for nothing.

Remember: There is no such thing as dumb questions or No brainers.

Now these are just my opinions.

Medical bracelet ~Yes
Epi-pen ~ Have him carry it, If he is mature enough. (You may want to have him carry it around on little trips before he starts school.)
Lunch time ~ I prefer at school (I know sounds odd) I feel that this is a wonderful learning experience. I have taught my boys to never ever try someone elses food. (in fact their Aunt asked the boys if they wanted to stay for lunch the other day. My boys said no thank you and came home.) However, I do allow them to share their food with others only if they ask the parent or adult in charge first.
Field trips ~ If you are unable to attend make sure that he is in the teachers vehicle or with a parent that knows he is anaphylactic, what signs to look for and how to use an epi-pen. Don't forget the vehicle needs to be cleaned and free of his allergens as well.

I'm not sure how your school feels about this but you may want to ask the teacher if you can attend some of the classes this year. (Ask which days would be better.)
So that you and your son can see what is expected of him and you can point out to the teacher some of your concerns before Sept. comes around. I was able to do this with my first daughter and everything ran smoothly because we were all prepared and knew what was expected from each of us.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
Sorry I forgot something.

I have also provided the teacher with a bottle of benadryl.

If it is someones birthday and treats are distributed I have purchased a box of wagon wheels to keep in the classroom. He loves these and I never give them to him. So they are a special treat for him.

Sil


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Sil -- I really like the idea of keeping something ultra-special for those school birthdays. The idea that he only gets the wagon wheel at school birthday parties helps to let him feel as excited and special as the others. I wondered if a "regular" treat (one they have all the time) would work as well at not having them feel "left out" or different.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group