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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:41 pm
Posts: 3
MY daugther started in a new school last week and my husband and I spent quite a bit of time this summer lobbying the school - successfully :) - to implement new policies to minimize the risk of exposure. At parents' orientation last week, I met the mother of another child in my daughter's class who informed me that her child is also allergic to peanuts. Unlike us, she did absolutely nothing other than informing the school of the allergy before school started. I have no problem with the fact that she and her famiily are benefitting from our work, but the more she talked the more I realized there is a serious disconnect on how our families manage allergy risks. She said she takes her daughter to Chik-fil-A (a chain restaurant that cooks everything in peanut oil!) even though if her daughter "eats there 2 days in a row it causes her eczema to flare really badly"!! She also said that her daughter has had 2 serious reactions involving vomiting following "accidental" consumption of peanut butter at her prior preschool.

We try to maintain consistent and easy-to-follow rules (no shades of grey!) so my daugther can stay safe. How do we explain to her why we don't go to Chik-fil-A but her peanut-allergic classmate does? I'm sure there are many other examples that will present themselves this year. I had hoped that having another allergic child in the class would provide both families with mutual support, but I'm afraid that's not the case.

Any advice from those who have had similar issues?

_________________
Beth Reeves - mother of 4 1/2 year old with severe allergies to peanuts and all tree nuts, 8 month old allergic to dairy and beef


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I think that some people are either are less informed about allergies or will have to witness their child in anaphylaxis to scare them into taking proper precautions.

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Ohio
I think this is a perfect time to explain denile of the truth to your child. Perhaps this mother just has not excepted the fact that her child has a food allergy. The mother has not learned to live again as I put it. She hasn't gone through the greeving process that will help her cope with this allergy so she sluffs it off. As her childs allergy gets worse from the exposer to peanut oil :roll: and trace amounts she hopfully will see a connection.

_________________
Karen in Ohio mom of 7
Allergic to tons and tons of food as well as perfumes, scented air sprays and cleaners. Hubby to Fish, ds #2 Shellfish, youngest to Eggplant, potato, Caesin, Raw Tomato & spinach.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
I think that it's important when speaking to the school that you point out how different families have different attitudes toward what is acceptable and that you child is not to be given anything to consume (eat, drink etc,) unless it comes from home.
I have heard of teachers assuming that because it came from one food allergic students household that it is automatically safe.

_________________
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: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
_Susan_ wrote:
I think that it's important when speaking to the school that you point out how different families have different attitudes toward what is acceptable and that you child is not to be given anything to consume (eat, drink etc,) unless it comes from home.
I have heard of teachers assuming that because it came from one food allergic students household that it is automatically safe.


Absolutely. You really need to stress your rules with the teacher so that she doesn't get confused by the other parents lax attitude.

And that other parent may just be getting lousy medical advice. We were told that our sons' allergies were NOT potentially life threatening, that they did NOT need epipens, and that we could avoid their allergens "if we wanted to" even though they had both experienced reactions with symptoms like hives, vomiting and swelling, had contact reactions and both have asthma :!: Luckily we did enough reading/ research on our own to keep them away from eggs, peanuts and legumes, but we were lulled into a false sense of security by that "not life threatening" pronouncement, and were more lax than we are now. It wasn't until my son was five, accidentally ingested eggs and had full blown anaphylaxis, that we got good information, epipen prescriptions etc. So the parent may have gotten bad advice...

Maybe you could find a friendly, non-judgemental way to pass along some resources, like this web address? It might not do any good because of the denial factor...but you never know...

_________________
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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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Beth Reeves wrote:
We try to maintain consistent and easy-to-follow rules (no shades of grey!) so my daugther can stay safe. How do we explain to her why we don't go to Chik-fil-A but her peanut-allergic classmate does?

I think parents have struggled with the "why can my friend have / do this, and I can't" question forever and not just in relation to allergies. I will just reinforce our family's rules and explain why we take the precautions we do. I'll also explain that different families have different rules and that we follow the rules of our family.

I totally agree with you about the "no shades of grey" -- I've been spending a lot of time with my son this summer preparing him for JK. It was great that he participated in an organized sport over the summer because it brought up some great teaching opportunities (things I hadn't thought of or realized) that could be extrapolated to his JK class. I learned that while he was great at telling people about his food allergies, great about asking if a food item is "peanut and nut free", and great about not accepting food from just anyone, I realized that he did trust adult figures in his direct environment (like his coach) to determine a food's safety for him. (Cue the "no food from ANYONE (not even your teacher) except mommy and daddy discussion again). Through another parent's bringing cut up watermelon, we were able to discuss the "no label for mommy or daddy to read, no eating the food" as well as as an age appropriate discussion on the concept of cross-contamination. I think what I'm trying to say is that I think sometimes we don't give our kids enough credit for understanding their lives with allergies and knowledge of self-protecting -- it's important to remember that they've been living and learning from us from day one and differing attitudes about how to handle allergies will hopefully roll off their backs as just being different like anything else another family does differently...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Does anyone have the link to "anaphylaxis in schools..."? I think it would be wise to inform your school via materials produced by allergists as to how to properly handle this situation. Then it's there...from the professionals and it doesn't turn into "this parent said this...and that one said that" confusion.

My oldest daughters best friend is also PA (and asthmastic, mine is not, and had a RAST score WAY higher than my daughter) who does LOTS of things I would NEVER let my child do. My daughter is only 6, but she understands that her friend is being "stupid" (my daughters words). My daughter also understands that some kids do dangerous things (like ride a bike with no helmet), but that doesn't mean we have to.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
The Allergy Safe Communities website is at www.allergysafecommunities.ca . The content on the website is taken from the document Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings.

I totally agree that you have to be very clear to the school that you want them to follow YOUR rules for YOUR child, and that you need to stress to your child that YOUR rules are for her or him to follow. No one else's rules are to be followed when it comes to life-threatening allergies.

Over the years (because of other families with more relaxed rules), I have found that it is very important to stress these two things.

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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