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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Recently, a few parents of other kids in my daughters preschool have really been interested in asking me questions about allergies. They know that my daughter brings her own snack, but did not realize that other kids eating allergic foods could cause her to have an allergic reaction. At the beginning of the year I asked her school to post in the news letter that allergens can be passed from unwashed hands or mouths to allergic kids, or from unwashed hands or mouths to toys to allergic kids. This was new to a lot of them.

I told some of the other parents that my kids have had reactions to food, and once we have known what they are allergic to, they have luckily never injested it since. Unfortunately, they have both had contact reactions with other kids, and other items that other kids have touched. I hope to have some control over what food my kids put in their mouths, but I'm most concerned with my kids getting their allergen on them somehow, and putting their hands in their mouth.

Without even asking, a lot of other parents don't give PB for breakfast anymore. And are making an effort to wash hands before coming to school. They have been reading all labels of food being brought for snack...even though they know she doesn't eat it...they understand why she shouldn't be around it, and how easily it can be spread to her.

With just a little info on my day to day struggles, a lot of other parents have become more cautious. Sometimes casually explaining the ins and outs of how allergens can be spread can make people more aware and careful. This gives me hope, since a lot of these kids will be in my daughters kindergarten class as well.


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 Post subject: saskmommyof2
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:53 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario
Perhaps if you have the time, you could consider becoming a 'Volunteer' at your daughters school.that may help elivate the issue of 'peanut allergic' children. Very simple explanation to youngsters at such a young age. Your presence can make a huge difference in her school.You will be instrumental in bringing awareness to this allergy.Good Luck to You , Mama.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I have the "alexander, the elephant who couldn't eat peanuts" dvd, and a few books. The teachers at her school showed the dvd to her class, and read "Alexander, a special day at school" to the kids as well. My daughter came home excited saying "now the other kids better understand about my food allergy and why I bring my own snack."

Last year on a bus trip, the girl sitting next to her pulled out her "caramel almond" granola bar. I was along as a volunteer, and made her trade seats. This year the girls mother is one of my biggest supporters of making sure all treats in the school are safe because other kids can cause a reaction, even if my daughter doesn't eat it. I don't think that she understood this last year. The mom told me that she read all ingredients for her daughters snack day and made sure that there was not even a "may contain" warning. The mom is even upset that the preschool did not volunteer to go milk free next year for my other daughter.

She said "its only 3 snacks a week...the other kids could just bring fruit. Thats not fair that your milk-allergic daughter doesn't get to go here for preschool because other kids can't give up milk 3 snacks a week. Promoting fruit would be better for all kids anyways! Most kids get enough milk, its in everything...its the fruit and veggies that the little ones need more of anyways. Most of the milky food they eat at school isn't that good for them anyways (cookies, cupcakes etc.) Thats too bad that your daughters safety isn't more important than the snacks!"


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6491
Location: Ottawa
It has been my experience that children are much better at grasping the situation and understanding what needs to be done to keep their friends safe. It is the parents who kick their heels and say they can't possibly live without their PB&J.
Children depend on others to keep them safe and are wiling to work at keeping each other safe. It gives them a sense of power or control. It seems to some adults as though they are giving up power r control when they alter their menus.
I find this fascinating! Sad, but fascinating.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
_Susan_ wrote:
Children depend on others to keep them safe and are wiling to work at keeping each other safe. It gives them a sense of power or control. It seems to some adults as though they are giving up power r control when they alter their menus.


An interesting observation--I think you're right on this! I know someone who used to be a teacher and who asked the children not to bring anything with nuts or peanuts---the parents were fine with it, but one day one of the parents forgot and sent the child to school with a peanut butter sandwich. Somehow the kids found out about this before lunch time and they were upset and told her right away. This teacher had to do some damage control because the class was quite stressed about this and the little boy who brought the sandwich felt badly about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Susan,

What you say about kids is quite true. While doing research for AL magazine, I've spoken to a number of teachers and principals who say that when it comes to allergies, most non-allergic kids really try to help, and will be on the lookout for an allergic buddy.

A terrific principal in London, Ont. told me this: "Young children like know what's going on and they like to know what they can do to make a situation better."

Adults and their egos become more complex to deal with, I guess.

Gwen


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