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 Post subject: gingerbread activity
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:24 pm
Posts: 62
Location: NB
The teacher called me at home last night because she forgot to tell me that they were decorating gingerbread men with other classes today. The gingerbread men were from a bakery (not nut safe) and the teacher assistants were bagging candy for each child. (which meant she wouldn't have a label to check) She asked if he could just decorate it and leave it with her, or take it in the bag.

I already had safe candy packed in his bag for the gingerbread houses they are making later in the week. I said if he didn't eat the gingerbread man and used his own candy he would be ok if he didn't eat it. After she hung up, I started having second thoughts. What if he rubbed his eyes or put his fingers in his mouth ? You can't tell which gingerbread men have trace amounts by looking at them? Should he handle something that isn't safe to eat ?
I kept him home today, next year I will be prepared with our own safe gingerbread men. I find this stuff hard to sort out on the spot. And I want to make things as smooth as possible.
I will be so glad when Christmas is done. I wonder how many kids have stayed home from school to avoid food events this season ?

Now we have a new rule : we don't work with what we can't eat
Jomatt

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Son - Anaphylaxis to peanuts, treenuts, allergic to cats, dogs, grass & trees


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 Post subject: Re: gingerbread activity
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Jomatt, I'm not sure if you have a formal plan with your school but you might want to use this as an opportunity to request that you be given sufficient (whatever that means to you) notice of food activities in the classroom.

It's frustrating when we get this notice. We are often caught off guard and are asked to make a decision on the spot. If you are rushed and not able to focus on the conversation, it is completely appropriate to tell the teacher that you need some time to think about this and call them back. Rather than accepting the situation at face value and solving the delema for the teacher, how about pointing out to the teacher how it is not safe and asking him/her to come up with a solution? Walking them through the issue and having them find the solution helps them remember for the next time. This is a learning curve for them as well.

As this situation has passed, perhaps you can inform the principal about why he was not at school and discuss what should happen next time you aren't given enough notice. Is it fair that your child miss an entire day of learning because someone forgot to advise you in time? Is it fair that he be excluded from the lesson plan (if it is so integral to the curriculum)? I would rather that the teacher forgo the activity until you have time to arrange that your son be able to safely participate.

That puts the onus squarely on the shoulders of the person who has the control. It helps them to remember for next time.

(I haven't done this in the past myself, but I am planning to in the future.)

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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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 Post subject: Re: gingerbread activity
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:08 am
Posts: 78
Location: Halifax
Jomatt..

I agree with Susan. Actually, that is what we did when our little girl was attending daycare. I want to add something though. It does not happen in every case, but be prepared for rejection. When our daughter was in daycare, we requested that they inform us if any activities involved food. They initially agreed, but then later on, instead of making the activity safe, they asked us NOT to bring our child to daycare that day. Her teacher spoke to us about Christmas and decided it would be best if she was excluded and stayed home the day of the Christmas Party. She also said that they had to change the date of the Easter Party to a day that my daughter was not going to daycare, because they "cannot take care of her with her severe allergies and the other kids too". I guess not everyone is open minded about allergies, and some people think that it is your responsibility to ultimately keep your child safe; that it's not their job to "cater to one child with special needs", and so they don't see anything wrong with keeping your child home that day and any other day they have unsafe activities.

It's a combination of discrimination and lack of awareness if you ask me...

Noha

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Daughter: ana to milk, eggs, peanuts, allergy to pet dander, asthma, eczema
Husband: ana to aspartame, shellfish, allergy to pet dander, eczema
Myself: asthma
http://www.allergymom.ca


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 Post subject: Re: gingerbread activity
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
I honestly see this as discrimination pure and simple. :verymad

The daycare accepts your money as just as good as anyone elses and then turns around and tells you that you should keep your child home because, although the environment is normally safe, we just want to allow everyone to do something that makes it unsafe for your child. So um...how about giving me back my money? Presumably, you have your child there because you are at work or something. Now, you have to pay again for daycare elsewhere (and hope you can find a safe one with very little notice) or take a day off work. Some people have to use a vacation day for that, others get paid by the houw and lose pay. Either way you pay 2x for the service which is available but in the sprit of the season, they choose to not make safe.

Public education is a right in this country, is it not? So what part of the curriculum is it that we are teaching when we teach exclusion or segregation?

It's hard to compare the treatment of those with food allergies to the treatment of those with other disabilities because for those, the actions of others does not put your life in danger.

It is precisely those who choose to continue to create the unsafe environment that we would expect to recognize the risk and respond appropriately. If they could recognize the risk, the appropriate response would be to minimize the exposure, not purposely creating an environment of danger. :banghead

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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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 Post subject: Re: gingerbread activity
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I received that same phone call, on what was supposed to be the night before the activity. Lucky for me it was snowing very heavily and the schools were closed the next day. That was long enough for me to be able to make safe gingerbread people for my son to decorate with safe candies and icing that I supplied.
My son is severely allergic to eggs, and has many other food allergies which cause him discomfort in the form of hives and eczema.

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Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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