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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
My son's future elementary school is *very* kind and good with food allergies. I gave them a list of requests and they gave me back a more condensed version of an allergy accomodation plan that includes most of my main requests, but not all of my requests. They asked me to go through it and give them feedback and any additional requests and then we will meet and discuss it and come up with a final plan. They *want* my input. :) I'm trying to put as much into this so that DS will be as safe as he can be. So, I would love to hear what any of you would request in addition to what the school is already proposing to do. If you have any feedback at all I would really appreciate it.

Here is the school's proposed plan. I'm in the USA, just by the way.

1. Student’s ASSIGNED CLASSROOM WILL BE FREE OF THE FOLLOWING ALLERGENS: PEANUTS; TREE NUTS; DAIRY PRODUCTS; SESAME, AND EGG PRODUCTS.

2. Parents/Guardians of kindergarten students in the affected classroom will be notified by letter twice: that foods brought in containing peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, sesame, and eggs for snack and lunch may only be eaten in the cafeteria, and must not be taken out to eat in the classroom.

a. Mother will provide child with his own snacks and lunch.
b. Staff and Children will wash hands after snack and lunch when returning to classroom.
c. Posted sign outside classroom for people entering classroom to wash hands if they will be staying.

3. Classroom: Inside:

a. A labeled container will store student’s water, juice, snacks, plates, napkins, and utensils, used exclusively for him.
b. Any foods containing allergens brought in for snack and lunch must be kept in lunchboxes until class enters cafeteria for snack and lunch.
c. Student will sit at an assigned seat, at a designated allergy-free table.
d. Students and staff will wash hands, and paper towels will be provided.
e. Special occasions involving food will be allergen-free; any exception must be conducted in the cafeteria.
f. Any food products used in class activities/lessons should be allergen-free. Any questionable food should be discussed with Ms. X.
g. Spills in the classroom will be cleaned immediately and the area will be disinfected.
h. Ms. X will be provided with a list of birthdates of students in student’s class (no names of students, just birthdates).
i. No “goody bags” involving food will be given out to students.
j. Specialist teachers should disinfect tables used by students if food has been on them.
k. Disinfectant wipes will be provided by the School Nurse as needed.
l. Ms. X will be informed of all class parties with at least one week notice.
m. Ms. X will be allowed to stay with student for the first two days of Kindergarten in order to address any safety concerns.

4. Cafeteria:

a. Student will eat at an assigned seat at one of two allergen-free tables (first two) in cafeteria.
b. Teacher will encourage other students to eat snack and lunch with student.
c. One-half of each table will be completely free of all student’s allergens.
d. The other one-half will allow dairy products only; entire table will be peanut, tree nut, sesame and egg-free.
e. All tables and stools will be washed before and after lunch waves; using disposable cloths and water for allergen-free tables.
f. Teachers/aides will be made aware of child’s symptoms of allergic reaction.
g. Kitchen staff will be aware of child’s allergies by a posted “Allergy Alert” Poster.
h. After lunch, student will place his lunchbox in a plastic shopping bag provided by his mother and placed into the lunch basket. The classroom teacher will remove the bag from the basket and place it in student’s backpack.

5. Bus to and from school: Identify Bus Driver.

a. Bus company will be notified by School Nurse of allergic child.
b. Bus driver will post and Allergy Alert poster in front of bus.
c. Child will sit in front seat on opposite side of driver.
d. If child has a reaction; bus driver must stop bus; pull to side of road; call 911 and the school. No Epi-Pen can be given by bus driver.

6. Field Trips and Earth Day:

a. Supervised washing of hands and segregated tables.
b. A responsible adult (preferably a parent) will accompany student; be aware of symptoms of allergic reaction and carry an Epi-Pen Jr.
c. A field trip “risk assessment” will be done well in advance of each field trip. This information will be provided to Ms. X

7. General Precautions:

a. Entire staff will be taught symptoms of allergic reaction and use of Epi-Pen by the School Nurse; to be reviewed annually.
b. Epi-Pens will be kept in: Student’s Medical Kit; Nurse’s Office in desk drawer; classroom teacher’s desk drawer; and Recess First Aid Kit.
c. Parent will provide Epi-Pen plus other needed medications to School Nurse.
d. A medical kit for student will be provided by his mother that will travel with him to lunch, recess, specials, etc. It will be handed off from one supervising staff to the next. Another kit will be provided for the clinic, and a third will stay in his classroom.
e. Substitute teachers in child’s classroom will be taught use of Epi-Pen and made aware of other precautions.
f. Parents will be kept informed of how plan is working.
g. Whenever possible, a parent/guardian should accompany child on school trips.
h. Children in affected child’s class will be instructed about food allergies. This program will be conducted at the beginning of the school year by the School Nurse, Teacher, and/or parent.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Vancouver, BC
Clearly, the bus driver should not be prohibited from administering the Epipen if she/he wants to. Would the bus driver not be allowed to perform CPR or help a choking child or staunch bleeding?

_________________
8 year old: dairy, seafood, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, cats, dust; asthma
4 year old: dairy, eggs, soy, peas, lentils, cats
4 year old: dairy, eggs


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
I agree but it is actually a bus company rule, not a school rule. I am going to contact the bus company, educate them about the dangers of anaphylaxis and how quickly it can happen and also talk to them about a state law we have here that protects people who give the epi. I bet if they realize how quickly somone can have anaphylaxis and that an ambulance may not arrive in time and that their divers are already legally protected from liability they will change their policy. And if not I will go higher. But that is a longer-term project than the other things in the plan. I can tell the district would really like it if I could get a change made in this area.[/i]


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
Rules can change, perhaps you can show the bus company a copy of the Amrrican Acadamy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology's position statement:
http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/ac ... s/ps34.asp
Quote:
All individuals entrusted with the care of children need to have familiarity with basic first-aid and resuscitative techniques. This should include additional formal training on how to use epinephrine devices. Training programs may be through health departments or physicians’ groups to ensure that all individuals in schools and other areas of child care (eg, school bus drivers, coaches, camp counselors, and lifeguards) are qualified in these techniques. A school-wide food allergy awareness program for the staff, including an allergy emergency drill, should be developed to ensure that everyone will know what to do if a reaction occurs.


I don't think two reminders to parents are enough. I think that the policy for foods in the classroom and the rationel for the policy needs t be sent to the parents in advance of the start of the school year. In this way the parents can get on board with the ideas and not create an image in their minds of what their school year will be like only to have that dream dashed.
I think that this initial corespondence shoud give suggestions for suitable snacks and identify what will happen if the student arrives with a contraband snack. Will the chid go hungry? Wi they be forced to eat in the principals office? Will the parent be reminded in writing or with a telephone call? Will alternative snacks be made available through donations or a breakfast program? Would that be subject to abuse from some parents?
Our school decided that fruits and vegetables woud be the only snacks allowed in the cassroom and there is plenty of evidence to support the need to increase healthy eating amongst our children.
Promoting your requests for handwashing by inluding topics from the department of public health on hygiene and the prevention of colds and flu's helps your school to 'sell' these concepts to other parents.
Ensure the school encourages your child to wash his hands before eating and request he has adequate time to do so.
Ensure that all school personel are able to identify your son by sight. I'm not sure if your posters contained his picture.
I think you've done an amazing job compiling your list!

_________________
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: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
Hi Susan,

That was a good link and quote. I printed that off for the future when I contact the bus company.

As for the letter to parents, I made a list of additional things I would like to be included in the letter. I'm not sure if it was clear from the list I posted but there won't be any of DS's allergens allowed in the classroom. Snack and lunch and birthdays will take place in the cafeteria. Class holiday parties will have be in the classroom and so will be free of DS's allergens. We need to talk about how this will work but I added to my list that a letter should go home with a reminder before any in-the-classroom party. I am going to request that either I purchase all the food for such events or that people purchase things off a list (Oreos, Ritz, etc) and that I get to read all labels and check the food before it is served to the class for such parties.

The idea of talking about handwashing's benefits to all is a good one and having all the staff be able to identify my son by sight is also very important. Thanks! I am pretty sure everyone will know my son and that many already do. It is a very, very small school. I think there are only about 230 students!

I'm curiosu about the 'adequate time' to wash hands. Has that been an issue for some? I have added that to my list.

And just by the way, I initially gave them a list of requests and this list above is their reponse so it is the school's list. :) They asked me to give feedback and tell them anything I want to change or add! :)

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
Oh, and to explain just a bit more--since snack and lunch will be in the cafeteria, other students may bring in anything for snack and lunch. DS will sit at an allergy-free table. I will provide a list of snack and lunch ideas free of my son's allergens so that if any of his friends want to eat with him their parents can more easily pack an allergy-free lunch. All students will wash hands after lunch/recess and after snack. I like this more because it is less hassle for the other parents and so I think it will keep more support from them. I would have worried if we relied on other parents making sure their children's snacks were free of DS's allergens. I know there would occasionally or even frequently be mistakes and so allergens would get in the classroom and they would have to have cleaning procedures, etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
It sounds like the school is really striving to work with you to keep your child safe, which is awesome. I would try to find a way to recognize them in some way. I don't know if FAAN provides some kind of certificate of merit or not - but you could even do up one yourself. You can always post the name of the school in our Hall of Fame forum if you like. :)

They really deserve a huge thank you. Not all schools are like this (one can only dream), and you are really lucky! (But you know that. ;) )

You also deserve a huge pat on the back. I know how much work it is to get everything lined up ahead of time and to be so thorough, so "well done" to you too!

K.

_________________
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


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I mentioned having adequate time to wash hands because our daughter has come home telling me that she didn't have enough time to wash her hands, get her snack, open the container and eat it.
It seems she only has 3 minutes to do all some days and if she needs to wait to use the washroom first...she may not get to eat her snack.
I have started sending wet wipes in her backpack s that she can quickly wash her hands.
There was a box in the classroom but the lid was not properly closed and they all dried out.
Here is a book that you may want to read to your son. It deals with eating safey at school. Your local library may have a copy.
A Special Day at School by Munoz-Furlong, Anne

_________________
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: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
Thank you all for your replies.

Susan, I am going to look for that book.

Karen, I agree. I do feel very, very grateful. The school is soooooo very nice. And there were others before me who helped pave the way and I'm adding a bit for future families, too. :)

Yes, I think I might nominate the nurse or others or the school later next year when FAAN has that type of thing. :) I'll have to check out the hall of fame here, too.


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