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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Wow, back to school is right around the corner. It seems like I blinked and the weks have gone by.

I am almost ready, I just have to get our Dr to sign the medication release and deliver it to the school.

We are changing daycares, again. The first day is the say as the first day of school so I have taken that day off work and will shadow my daughter. I plan to introduce myself to all who are involved (with my Epi-Pen trainer in hand).

Is everyone ready? Has anyone started back yet?

I would love to create a topic about school and what worked so that we could have a referrence for those who haven't started yet or for those who are looking for solutions to what isn't working for them.

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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: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
I go back on Tuesday, but our kids start late and get another week off :)

Our school is pretty small, so they are good at accommodating individual requests e.g. if they want the kids to wear a belt with the epi-pen or something. We are in general peanut/tree nut free (we have one teacher with allergies and a handful of kids, none of whom have parents that have made a thing about it) but we share space with a church and we cannot guarantee that the environment is 100% perfect. We would never tell a parent we could guarantee! But they don't post pictures of the kids (I worked at another school which did this) and the information they do have is pretty much reliant on the parents to provide. For example, last year there was a child with a metabolic condition where there was some sort of emergency medication she was supposed to take if she got injured. The parents sent a letter about this, which WAS posted, but it only said the medication 'would be provided to the school' and did not specify where it was being stored. Nobody thought to add this information. Fortunately, I don't recall any emergencies involving this child, but if there was one, I certainly would not have known what to do simply based on the information which was posted.

I also worked at a school once which had a severely diabetic child. His emergency plan was basically 'find his teacher, who knows what to do.' I had one lunch duty a week in that child's classroom and it was the terror or my week, I was so worried something would happen while I was there and I wouldn't know what to do!

In contract, the camp I worked at this summer had a great policy, every counsellor got full information on any issues in their group. They also had laminated signs at every cabin's assigned table reminding those sitting there about any issues e.g. 'Child X, no dairy.' The kids all had to wear epi-pens if they carried them and an extra one was stored with the nurse. I remember one day there was a big drama because a child was supposed to go off-site for something, forgot the epi-pen at home and the mother had not yet provided the spare. She wanted to 'borrow' her sister's epi-pen (which would lleave her sister without one) and the director said no. She wound up staying with her sister's cabin for the morning and missing the trip. The mother was angry when she found out and tried to blame the counsellors, but they stuck to their guns and told her that it was her job to abide by the camp policy on epi-pens and provide the nurse with a spare for just these types of situations. If she had done that, her child could have gone ont the trip. And they did not appreciate being blamed for it!

So basically, at our school, we have a generic 'sure, no nuts allowed' policy. But the degree to which plans are enforced re epi-pens, non-nut allergies, posting of info about it etc. depends on the individual child and how pushy/vocal the parents are about it.

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Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
One thing I would encourage parents to do is to ask what the plan is when there is a supply teacher. DD's school board has a very good allergy policy and I feel very comfortable with it. Her photo and information is posted in the class, office and staff room. All staff is trained in anaphylaxis and there is a clear board -wide policy on steps to take if a reaction occurs.

However, supply teachers are not trained. When I asked about what the plan was if there was a supply teacher I was told all about the policy etc. My response was " but the supply teacher is not trained in the policy". Luckily the staff at DD's school said " good point!". Together, we decided that in case of a supply teacher, the supply would call the closest staff member ( say the teacher across the hall) first to come administer the epipen and then call the office immediately.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Great idea Susan. There's a lot of good "official" information, such as http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca

But it would be great to hear at the personal experience level some of the tactics, approaches that have been most effective for our members.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6462
Location: Ottawa
We've cycled through so many principals that it seems each August I meet a new one. This year I am placing our daughter in a new before and after school program and I am shadowing her the first day with Epi-Pen trainer in hand.

I will make a point to quietly and quickly (busy day for all I'm sure!) introduce myself and review the auto-injector.

I will offer myself to them as a resource should they have any questions or require any information in the future. I'll make sure that the nformation they have is accurate, complete and visible.

What has worked for us in the past:
-Treats container to be left in the classroom but the teacher needs to be instructed to tell our daughter to go and get something from it-she waits for that permission.
-Changing the rule from don't eat anything unless mommy or daddy say it OK to the family rule is that she isn't allowed to ...taking the onus off the child allows them to recite a rule and not contradict authority.
-sending wipes with her lunch (eww-their so dirty!) allows her to sit down and eat with her classmates without being singled out and gives her the full length of time to eat. It also doesn't asume that the classroom is fully stocked with supplies.
-fun lunches! Who said restricted diets can't be fun?
-Being on the PTA. This allows me an oportunity to dicuss planned school activities from conception. No surprises! It also strengthens my presence within the school administration.
-Volunteering-We do as much as we can so that we keep good relations with the school - we are all working together to give these kids a safe quality education.
-Talking to our daughter-being interested in her perspective and encouraging her to be part of the solution. This is her life and we are teaching her how to identify issues and come up with solutions. I think this is important now so that when she is older and not joined at my hip, she will have the tools to keep herself safe.

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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: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:47 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 1:47 pm
Posts: 7
My 4 y old daughter has a nut and peanut allergy. She starts school in a week. We met with her teacher and educator this week, and reviewed the allergy issue with them. I had filled out the forms, and provided pictures.....and was able to dicuss with them my daughter's experiences and reactions to date.

I need to provide 3 Epipens to the school...one for the teacher's classroom, one for the educators classroom and one for the office. At 4 y old, they do not want the child having the Epipen on themselves, which I am okay with, because I don't feel that my daughter is mature enough yet. (we tried it once, and caught her playing with it). Anyway, I had to point out that this was okay with me...what what about the bus. She is on the school bus for 45 minutes, and needs one available then. So she will have to wear one in a belt for the bus ride.

Alll this to say that I need 3 Epi's for the school, one for the bus, one for daycare, and one for home. We always like to have two available.

I am more than a little nervous...but am comforted because the the teacher has a child with a nut allergy, and understands where we are coming from...

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Melanie
Mom to 4 year old girl, allergic to peanuts and almonds and Mom to 1 year old girl with no known allergies yet


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Susan, good ideas. I particularly think this is wise:
Quote:

-Changing the rule from don't eat anything unless mommy or daddy say it OK to the family rule is that she isn't allowed to ...taking the onus off the child allows them to recite a rule and not contradict authority.


Kids at that age respect that if that's your rule, that's what you've got to do.

Mathcote, it's good to hear that you've got a teacher who will get it. That should ease your mind somewhat.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6462
Location: Ottawa
Thanks Gwen. I realized that we needed to change that rule after our daughter willingly took a homemade cookie from her teacher and ate it knowing full well that she could suffer a life threatening reaction.

It seemed that it was scarier to her at 4 1/2 year of age to stand up to authority. This is a child who seems obsessed with the fact that she "could die" (her words) if she ate an allergen. I reasure her that I would give her a shot withthe Epi-Pen instead but she's very dramatic. :roll:

_________________
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 Sep 03, 2008 1:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Thornhill
I've been absent - time of stress (we just moved from ONT to BC AND both allergic kids are starting in new programs...)

UGH - I have been so terrified (approaching complacent - well for me...), am completely ou of my comfort zone and now (because, like Susan's daughter I can be dramatic) am having nightmares of a stupid earthquake and what would happen?! Son, 20 months doesn't wear medic-alert; daughter 4.5 so sensitive that we are still in "adapting" mode. Is it really too much to want to strap on 8 epis and a lunch pack for them to wear to bed? LOL (sort of...)

So, back to school is crazy stressful, with Halloween around the corner with my real and imagined stresses haunting me.

Trying to remember, as we I am sure many of us need to: breathe, vigilence, respect, love, patience etc. And we all have amazing, beautiful children :)

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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