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 Post subject: Back-to-school Steps
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
Now that we've hit August, parents start thinking about back-to-school. What steps will you be taking this year to make sure your allergic child and the school /teachers are ready?

Any favourite websites with tips to share?

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
I have already been to the local Wal-Mart for photos for an anaphylaxis posters (4) for the school - I print them on my own computer at home and then laminate them at Staples. I don't like the form the school uses - it doesn't highlight "what to do" effectively enough in my opinion. I have called the pharmacy to order my son's epipens (3) so I will have the most up to date expiry. I have also taken the last week of August off work so I can meet with the new teacher, go over some protocols, plus ask if she would like me to write a letter about allergies and allergy awareness to the other students and parents in his class and take his posters & epipen to the school. Almost routine now...

Hope it's helpful to others,
Cheers,
Buzimom
mother of 4 boys ages 14, 12, 11 no allergies, youngest age 6 allergic to peanuts, shellfish, eggs, bee stings, environmental


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Wow - you are on top of things, Buzimom!

I have the paperwork to be signed at an allergist appointment before the start of school, two new epi pens that expire in Dec 08, and an appointment with the principal also before school starts, with hopes to meet the new teacher.

We are changing schools so I admit at being a bit stressed. . . but truly all indications point to us having a much more understanding principal than the last four years so we remain hopeful. It also helps that we have a lot of experience doing this and know what to ask for, expect, and lobby for without feeling that we are being too demanding! And probably the biggest change is that every year my son gets a greater understanding himself on how his allergy is something that we can manage together, even if it is not easy every single day.

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
Wow - you both are already really on the case.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
The principal does a refresher with all staff regarding the use of an epi-pen duirng the last week of vacation.

Previously I tried to go to talk to my son's teacher during that week, but I was told it was against the teacher's collective agreement. :shock: So, the first day of school, I bring an epi-trainer with me to the crowded school yard and ask his new teacher to either show me or in detail tell me how to use it. I explain that he is allergic to insects -- NOT PEANUTS -- and that SO FAR his reactions have not been anaphylactic. In the event of a bite/sting that seems *normal* or just a bit more swollen then normal, he carries benedryl. Any sign of anaphylaxis, and use the epi and call 9-1-1, then call me. I also make sure they know who my son is, and that he wears an e-belt. Then, I head to the office to drop off a spare epi-pen. It is in a plastic zipper bag with two benedryl. It also has his picture, name, and what he is allergic to written on it.

Within a few weeks I will book a meeting with the teacher. At that, I will discuss field trips. The rule is that on all field trips my son is either with me or with a teacher that is aware of his allergy. He cannot be in a group with another parent because they cannot be relied on to know if he needs the epi-pen, and they may not be willing to administer it.

**********

I have discovered over time that it is very important to stress the fact that he is NOT ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS. His teachers always assume that anyone with an epi-pen is allergic to peanuts. Even after I say he's allergic to insects, they still assume peanuts.

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Our school re-opens after a month's vacation tomorrow, so I have to call to set up a meeting with the principal and my youngest's teacher and in-school daycare teacher, and perhaps the oldest's teacher as well. (My older son's allergies are less complicated, and he is older, but I will see if we can meet the teacher ahead of time.)

I do up a little "kit" for each teacher and each daycare teacher, plus a copy for the office. Each kit has:
- Anaphylaxis Emergency Form with child's photo, list of allergies, and who to contact
- List of Signs & Symptoms
- How to Administer an Epi-Pen poster (courtesy of the folks at King Pharma)
- information about asthma for my youngest's teacher, and list of what to do in case of a reaction (the info was provided by our allergist)

I also create a small card with the same info as the Anaphylaxis Emergency Form - and my guys keep that in their backpack in a little plastic holder that also contains their MedicAlert card and their health care card.

For my son's first year of school last year (kindergarten), I also had a strongly-worded 3-page letter from our allergist about his allergies, how serious they were, risk reduction measures that should be taken, and what to do in case of a reaction (long list of "if this happens, do this"). It pretty much scared them all into taking things very seriously, so it had the desired effect. :)

I also make up treat boxes for both the classrooms and the daycare rooms, with treats that the kids have chosen. I explain to the teachers / daycare teachers that while I would like warning about any food events, so that I can make sure that things are safe and/or my child has a good substitute, I know that food sometimes "slips in" and I do not want my kids left out, and that they are to get something from their treat box in those instances.

I think we may also give each teacher a bottle of wine in advance. In the past we have waited until Christmas to do that, with a thank you Christmas card, but I have found that everyone is always very friendly once the wine is passed out, so I think this year we might do it up front - to show that we know they have to make an extra effort and appreciate it.

Last year I also wrote a book from my youngest to the class, to explain his allergies and how he need their help to stay safe. I will try to post it as a download somewhere. We made it available as an in-class library book, and I think we will do the same again this year.

I also double-check the expiry date of the EpiPens and asthma puffer:
- one asthma puffer and spacer in my youngest's classroom (hanging on wall)
- one EpiPen in each kid's EBelt
- one EpiPen in each classroom (hanging on wall)
- one EpiPen with each daycare teacher

(That's 6 EpiPens... Thank God for my DH's insurance!)

And we got special permission for my youngest to have Benadryl at school, so I make sure his teacher is supplied with Triaminic Thin Strips, which have the same medication as Benadryl in them. (Normally teachers are not allowed to dispense non-emergency meds like Benadryl at our board's schools.)

I think that's it... Now I actually have to go and update all that stuff!!!

K.

P.S. A cheaper and faster alternative to plastifying your stuff is to buy those plastic sheet protectors for binder paper!

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Here's a link for free posters - mostly peanut/nut, but some others too!

http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/peanutallergy/posters.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
KarenOASG wrote:
And we got special permission for my youngest to have Benadryl at school, (Normally teachers are not allowed to dispense non-emergency meds like Benadryl at our board's schools.)


Because it is written on the medical form and signed by a doctor, my son's school is willing to give benedryl. His medical forms are written regarding the insect allergy, but this past school year he was given the benedryl due to (probably) grass allergy.

Also, regarding the *how to administer* posters, there are several posted in his school.

I'm very fortunate because a lot of what other parents have to do is done by the principal every year.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
We do most of the things everyone has already listed...set up a meeting with the teachers beforehand, give out our anaphylaxis action plan, review epipen training, check expiration dates on meds etc.

We switched schools in January of last year, and my sons new school has excellent anaphylaxis policies, which are carefully implemented, but I still go over everything personally with the teachers at the beginning of the year, and usually again before major holidays, field trips etc

One issue we did have last year, was me being called to the school a lot. Not that I mind at all. I would much rather be consulted if the teacher is concerned. One of my sons has been getting mystery hives and has developed a patch of eczema on his chin which really flares up with stress and temperature changes. The allergist isn't quite sure what it is, but feels that it isn't an indication of anything life threatening. So the poor teacher was really worried about being able to tell the difference between this, and a serious reaction, and during the spring when his allergies were at their worst he was being sent to the office to call home 2 or 3 times a week. So that's the new thing on my to do for this school year, making up some sort of a spread sheet to help the teacher differentiate between mild and more severe reactions with confidence.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:11 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
Some excellent ideas here.

Karen, first, I just about fell over laughing about the wine - but what a good idea! And winning them over with a little Merlot upfront rather than waiting for Xmas makes a lot of sense.

Once you're not overwhelmed with the move, do post your son's book. That sounds great!

And I really liked this approach, too.
I
Quote:
also make up treat boxes for both the classrooms and the daycare rooms, with treats that the kids have chosen. I explain to the teachers / daycare teachers that while I would like warning about any food events, so that I can make sure that things are safe and/or my child has a good substitute, I know that food sometimes "slips in" and I do not want my kids left out, and that they are to get something from their treat box in those instances.


I think I'll point people to this thread in a future e-letter. Really useful everybody. Thanks to all who contributed, and if anybody thinks of anything else to add, please do. I ask because we're already getting a number of letters at Allergic Living from parents of kindergarten, Grade 1 kids who are nervous, unsure and thinking ahead to September.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I love your idea about the wine Karen! As a teacher, it can enormously stressful having an allergic child in your class. Just think of how stressful it can be as a parent, then imagine if you had 25 other children to look after as well! I think it is wonderful that you acknowledge your appreciation right from the start. Establishing a positive relationship with your child's teacher is so important.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:03 pm
Posts: 41
Location: montreal, quebec
Are there any good anaphylaxis emergency forms for schools that I can print out or buy
.
Some that I have seen seem so complicated, I am looking for a simple looking but complete form with room for a photo for my DD's school.

Do most of you make your own or use one from the internet?

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
You can print out the one at Allergy Safe Communities:

English: http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/as ... an_eng.pdf

French: http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/as ... an_fre.pdf

I will be honest: because I make so many copies and want to be able to easily update the plan, I prefer to use my own in Word, which I created from an AQAA form that they sent out a few years ago. If you want a copy, send me a PM with your email address and I will send it to you. I have both a French and English copy.

I really have to get all my forms and posters on the OASG website as downloads... but just don't have the time right now.

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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
My son's school board has specific forms they provide to get filled out by parents and doctors. His school wants him to carry one epi-pen and leave one in the office. The first year I dropped it at the office and went back around Christmas to check it -- I knew it wasn't expired, but I just like to make sure it is still there and hasn't discoloured or anything. They pulled open the drawer (not locked) and rummaged through all the epi-pens, puffers, and other medical stuff. Although it didn't take long to find, I felt it took to long in an emergency. That's when I decided to put my son's meds in a zip-lock baggy with his personal information and picture on it. The secretary showed it to the principal who thought it was a great idea and sent a request to other parents asking that they do that as well. Most don't.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
AnnaMarie wrote:
That's when I decided to put my son's meds in a zip-lock baggy with his personal information and picture on it. The secretary showed it to the principal who thought it was a great idea and sent a request to other parents asking that they do that as well. Most don't.


"Most don't ." :? We've found that a lot too. Even though we're not the only parents of anaphylactic kids in the school/ on the team, we're often the only ones asking questions, handing out information, going over the emergency plans, epipen training etc. Our old school had no fixed anaphylaxis policies, it was up to each parent to negotiate it with the principal/ teacher, and there were only us and 1 other set of parents (even though there were 9 anaphylactic kids in the school) who were in there making a plan to keep our kids safe. The other parents just kind of sent the children off with their epipens, and trusted that the school would figure it out! :shock:

Anyway, I'm off topic. I wanted to post this link to the Anaphylaxis Australia's emergency action plan. My husband and I like it better, because it's more colorful and eye-catching, it has the epipen instructions right on there as a reminder, and it's all on one page. We changed the information to match with the Canadian guidelines. For example if my child is having facial swelling and vomiting, I do NOT want him observed for awhile, I want the epipen given right away! So we took the Australian layout, and changed it to the more conservative Anaphylaxis Canada instructions.

http://www.allergyfacts.org.au/actionplans.html

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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