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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
AnnaMarie,

I agree with everything you said. The principal in our school has basically come out and admitted that he refuses to work with parents that over demand. I'm not trying to brag but more has been done this year in regards to allergies than any other school year. I honestly think it is because everything that I have asked for is within reason and in most cases protects all the children not just mine.
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drummond,

Now in regards to the parties. I understand that there are a bit too many through out the year and yes 50 is a lot of students. But I always try to see the other side and see if I can get where they are coming from. Perhaps these parties are to "up" the school moral to teach the children different social skills. I don't know about your school but ours is dual stream meaning we have two of each grade level one in English and one in French this would be a great chance to interact. Perhaps ask why this is done. Maybe you could also collect so much $ at the beginning of every year as a party fund so that you could purchase your safe treats and each time have a different parent work with you so that each parent gets to know you and will possibly learn to understand more about what it is like to have a child with allergies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
We are dealing with these isuues as well right now. We have sent packages of treats for our daughter to eat when treats are given out and they seem to have gone missing (even though they were cearly labeled).
We insist that our daughter only be given treats that we have approved. I do not feel comfortable with other peope reading the ingredient label uness I know that they have been given an inservice on what to look for. Current Canadian label laws are too ax and ingredients are omitted. We don;t want her eating foods prepared in other peoples homes as there is too great a chance of cross contamination assuming they are reading lebels and using the exact ingredients specified. We don't feel comfortable ith providing lists of acceptable treats as ingredients can change if the manufacturer decides to substitute ingredients or 'improve' the formua.
Today we went to the dollar store and bought 2 containers one for English cass and one for French class. Our daughter decorated the containers and they are labelled Treats 4 R--. We will fill them from home and she can bring them home for refilling.
We are finding that it isn't just celebrations that the class is incorporating junk food in. It is also rewards for fire drills, use as space holder during cass BINGO and in games such as Duck, Duck Goose.


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 Post subject: I wish it was that easy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 29
Location: Newmarket
The agreement we had with the principal at the beginning of the year was healthly snacks only fruits and vegs. I shouldn't be asked by the teacher now at the end of the year over my lunch hour 60min to come up with a list with brands and items that are safe for our daughter. So she can send a list out at the end of the day for the parents to bring to the next class. It put me in a very stressful situation.

Last year we did have specific brands for parents to bring in and the parents didn't follow it.Even though we said Kellogs(sp) Rice Krispies were okay. Parents brought in cheaper brands and one parent even made home made ones knowing they weren't on the list. Eggs are in some brands of marshmellows. The teacher last year allowed these items into the classroom.

This is why the principal agreed to make it simple for everyone this year (very clear) and just allow fruits and vegs.. That way our daughter would be safe. Parents are very good about peanut free snacks but many have no idea that eggs are in so many things.

Over this past year we have seen at least one food product we normally bought in the past change its label to include" may contain egg". This is why I do not want to supply a list as it can be outdated fast.


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 Post subject: Party fund idea
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 29
Location: Newmarket
I like this idea. I think that is is a great idea. Collect money from the parents and then I could ask some of them to come and shop with me. That is a good idea. This would lower my stress level drastically. This could really help educating the other parents about how severe an egg allergy can be.

Next year we won't have the combined classroom settings so it will only be 25 kids.

It is really hard in JK & SK where they seem to celebrate everything and they have so many toys that the kids go and play with all over the classroom. Grade 1 can't come soon enough for us.

Only 3 more parties to go.[/quote][/u]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
drummond,

Believe me I know where you are coming from and the frustration at times is unbearable.

Quote:
I shouldn't be asked by the teacher now at the end of the year over my lunch hour 60min to come up with a list with brands and items that are safe for our daughter.


Maybe you need to look at this as maybe a "lightbulb moment" (Quoting Oprah) for the teacher. (I know it took me a long time for my sons allergies to sink in.) Even if it's the last day of school it's better than not getting it at all.
I also just yesterday had a conversation with a mother from my daughters dance class. She is a teacher and said that she mistakenly brought a bag of peanut butter baking chips to school for some sort of project. she opened them in the back of the class room and a PA student was at the front of the classroom he started reacting as soon as the bag was opened. She said she freaked and finally understood the severity. The boy was fine. It wasn't the type of lesson she wanted but it sure hit her. From that moment on she has been extra careful when it comes to peanuts/nuts and very understanding. Yes it was totally an unnecessary situation but mistakes do happen and 20 + students, a teacher and I'm sure that all their friends and family learnt about allergies after that day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Drummond,

A while ago in texas, parents concerned with the cupcakes and junk in their classrooms persued legal intervention. If you search "texas, cupcakes, schools" you can find numerous articles about it. It was parents of allergic kids, diabetic kids, nutrition advocates, parents with religious beliefs vs those who like cupcakes in class. Unfortunately, the cupcakes won!!!

http://ap.lancasteronline.com/4/cupcakes_ok


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 29
Location: Newmarket
Personally I don't know why any school would want to take on the risk of a child having an allergic reaction anyways. If every family just feed their own child the risk would be drastically reduced.

They seem to take the peanut allergy seriously but don't think a egg allergy is serious. I also don't think schools take the dairy allergy very seriously either.

It is interesting after Sabrina's law came into place and the York Region School Board has made changes to the policy, they still are pointing out the peanut allergy . Yet Sabrina didn't die of a peanut allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Our school policy states the school staff be given anaphylaxic awareness and EpiPen training at the start of the school year.
That is a busy time for teachers. I would like them to recieve a mid term refresher with more emphasis on allergens by another name (scientific) and where allergns can hide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Sil, I think you are on to something big. :idea: The fund collection at the beginning of the year is brilliant. This way the parents of the allergic child don't always have to pay and they are in control of the food. Perfect solution! It means a bit of work but it is well worth the effort! And taking along a different parent every time is one way of educating one more person each time, one on one.

As for the cupcakes, they don't ever go away! At my PA daughter school, who is in grade 9 in Halton, where they have one of the best anaphylaxis protocol in place, kids were going around the school before Easter selling cupcakes for fundraising. The teacher let the students in my daughter's class buy cupcakes and everybody around my daughter was eating them, even though she knew that my daughter had an allergy. I don't know where the cupcakes came from, if they were baked in home ec, with or without peanut-free products, etc. Needless to say, I phoned the principal, who was more than sympathetic and apologetic and told me this should never have happened, especially since they had recently applied an important awareness program for anaphylaxis.

Drummond, I hope your little one will be one of the lucky ones who outgrows her egg allergy. My friend's daughter did :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
drummond wrote:
It is interesting after Sabrina's law came into place and the York Region School Board has made changes to the policy, they still are pointing out the peanut allergy . Yet Sabrina didn't die of a peanut allergy.


I often think of that too - the irony.

At my son's school most staff seems to think since it's not a peanut allergy, it's nothing to worry about. Every time I ask a question the first answer is "we have a peanut ban". Well, that's all fine and good - but my son isn't allergic to peanuts.

********

drummond, thank you for answering my concern without sounding offended. :) It makes more sense to me now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
One of the things our school has done for bake sales is:

Everything must be packaged or wrapped.
Every package must have an ingredients list.
We label peanut/nut free items. (It is the only allergen that is currently dealt with in our school)

We really don't have bake sales etc. because we pay fundraising fees but from time to time they like the kids to fundraise for charity. I personally don't purchase any of the baking but it makes many of the other allergy parents happy.

_________________
Sil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 1:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Here is a ray of hope for all of you: In BC there is a lot of pressure to get us all looking like Olympians for the 2010 Olympics. No couch potatoes will be allowed to live west of the Rockies!! With the rise in childhood obesity and lowered fitness levels in kids, there is giong to be a huge push in schools to produce heatlhier children. Already the pop has been removed from vending machines and been replaced with friut juices and water. The Ministry of Education has just created a new directorship: Director of Healthy Schools. They will start focussing on getting all the junk out of class rooms and have a lot more emphasis on fruit and vegetables. That will help us, I think.

I am sure there are similar things happening in other provinces, if not, you could phone your Ministry and ask them to.

Kindergarten is the very worst for food and parties. This is totally off subject, but have you all noticed how bad little kids teeth are now?

the other thing I can suggest for the parties is to ask the Parent Council to cough up a little fundage to help you provide allergen safe treats. I know a school where they gave the person $100 a year. She would buy all types of resources (treats, books, etc) to deal with LTA's. She formed a committee with all the parents with kids with LTA's, that way she was not the only one and the school became much more aware.


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 29
Location: Newmarket
This is why I am enjoying this forum so much. I just wish I had a more outgoing personality to help me stand up for my daughter. Don't get me wrong I do stand up for her but just the thought of trying to start up a committee makes me so nervous. I am not very good at speaking in front of others.

I do have the time and the energy to start something up at our school as I am a stay at home mom. I am really going to have to consider starting something up at the school. My son is the public speaker in the family not myself nor my husband. We are still trying to figure out where he got the trait.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 1:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
drummond,

I have now started a Allergy comittee at our school. Thankfully I have not had to deal with the public speaking aspect as of yet. Probably next year.
However Don't let unknowns stop you from doing what you believe needs to be done.
I am currently working with the principal to put little things in place such as putting up allergy alert signs, Walkie talkies during supervision, policy notes. etc. You can always find a solution whan the need arises. such as brining in a speaker or a power point show etc. Believe me it will all work out in the end.

_________________
Sil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
When I started speaking to groups (usually childcare providers) re: LTA's I was REALLY shy and REALLY awful! I made a big long 15 page paper up, but I was too scared to stand and I was to scared to look at the people, so I sat and hid behind the paper and I read it!! For about an hour, those poor people had to sit and listen to me mumble behind my paper, but they were all very nice and encouraging and gave me good evaluations anyway, and that gave me courage to give the next talk, where I stood, but I still read, and that gave me courage to just try to do it without reading. After about the 7th time, I drove away and I felt so POWERFUL and OPHRAH-esce and now I enjoy it. What I like best is that people have taken the time to phone and tell me that my talk helped them realize the kids they were looking after had LTA's, and that the workshop gave them the knowledge to help that kid. That has made dealing with the allergy easier, somehow. It also helped me not to feel so isolated and defensive, which I definitely was the first couple of years.

Don't be afraid and think you're not good enough to make a difference - if you try you will be amazed at the difference you can make!!!

What happened to me was a school administrator told me they had nothing in place re: LTA's - no training, no policy (this was 5 years before my kid was going to go to school), nothing; and I know there was no way I was going to homeschool him, if I survived his preschooler years I knew I would be doing well :lol: :lol: , so I knew I had to have the schools prepared and so I said that I maybe talk to teachers about LTA's and the administrator said "Can you talk to 2000 people?" and I got off the phone and I felt so hopeless and small and like my son did not matter to them. I felt like that for 2 days and then I thought, well, I can't talk to 2000, but I could talk to 10. So I made my little talk and I talked to little groups, and now I am going to talk to teachers on their PRO-D day in October, and I wish I had written down that administrators name so I could phone her and thank her for challenging me, even though she really sucked and was a total jerk, she ended up doing me a big favor.

I am really shy in many situations and I do not have good self-esteem so if I can do it, truly anyone can. The message is much more important than I am.


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