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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
Do it here!


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 Post subject: I live in Vancouver
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
I live in Vancouver and I would like legislation passed here in BC and in the rest of Canada, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
That's great! What are the first steps that need to be taken? What can be learned from the process as it went on in Ontario?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 64
I'm in, I'm in!!! I have asked several people to write to the Minister of Health,

For British Columbia, the Minister of Health is:

Honourable George Abbott

Contact Information
Phone:
250 953-3547
Fax:
250 356-9587


PO Box 9050
STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC
V8W 9E2


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 Post subject: Sabrina's Law in BC
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
Is there another contact address for the Honourable George Abbott? I have noted down the PO Box in Victoria, BC. Is there an e-mail address or another mail address we can send our letters to? I have a letter in the works to go to him. Does anyone have an address for the Minister of Education of BC also? Anyone else sending letters?

_________________
Son-anaphylaxis to peanuts, allergic to soy, peas, beans, tree nuts, cats, trees, grass & mold. Asthmatic due to colds & allergies.

Daughter-anaphylactic to kiwi fruit, allergic to soy, dairy, trees, grass, cats & dust


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I got the minister of education for saskatchewans address by contacting my local MP. Your MP would probably have the info you need.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
I have writtten to the Vancouver Sun, the Premier, and the Minister of Education today, as I am so saddened by this newest tragedy - I want them to be aware of it as soon as possible. Please also write. We have to get serious about this legislation and rasing awareness - these are preventable deaths!!!!!

I will write to the other MLA's tomorrow. I have asked the Minister of Ed. for a meeting. Anyone else want to come?

Pam


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 Post subject: Stats on BC
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
Some facts for my letter...does anyone know how many school kids in BC are affected by anaphylaxic reactions to peanuts? ...to dairy? ...to soy? ...to wheat? I know in Alberta, it is about 12000 school kids who are affected.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
Finally, after days of labouring over this letter, this is the letter I sent to all of the above. I shall update you all as to replies.

RE: SABRINA’S LAW IN BC

I am writing to you because I am concerned for my son (five years old next month) who will be entering Kindergarten in September of 2006. He was tested positive to being allergic to peanuts, peanut protein and peanut products when he was three years old. Our allergy/asthma physician said that the results of his tests indicate that if he were to accidentally ingest some of the allergen, he would have a very serious anaphylactic reaction.

Just the thought of sending him to Kindergarten next year with his MedicAlert bracelet, epi-pen and rules about not sharing or eating food other than what I have packed for him, I know is not enough. I’ve educated him as much as possible. You can only educate just so much to a four year old - but how about the others. The teachers, staff, peer, etc. Is my son supposed to tell a friend or peer to wash his hands and brush his teeth after eating that peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch before playing with him outside? Can I trust that if my son can’t administer the epi-pen on himself that a teacher, staff or friend can? If the teachers, staff, etc. were educated in administering the epi-pen and recognizing the signs of an anaphylactic reaction, this wouldn’t be quite such an issue with me.

I’ve been able to monitor and watch over him during his two years of preschool. His preschool is a “peanut free” preschool. Employed there is an ECE who is fully trained and licenced to administer the epi-pen. I’ve been able to keep my concerns at bay so far but he will be going into Kindergarten next September.

Can BC, and hopefully the other provinces implement Sabrina’s Law? Sabrina’s Law has taken effect in Ontario on January 1, 2006. This law was named after a young girl, Sabrina, who lived in Ontario and, sadly enough, died from an anaphylactic reaction from cross contamination with poutine (she was allergic to dairy) after eating fries she bought from her school cafeteria. Can we have this law implemented as legislation and law in all our Provinces? It would be so much safer for our children who have anaphylactic reactions to allergens like peanuts, soy, dairy, wheat, etc. to have this law implemented. Alberta is looking into implementing a law similar to Sabrina’s Law. Can BC look into this also? Maybe if BC has Sabrina’s Law implemented; other Provinces will automatically implement this law also.

Children and parents in Canada trust that they are safe in the public school system. There are about 12000 school kids at risk in Ontario. I can’t even begin to imagine how many there are in BC. Our children, then, are not really safe in BC’s schools. Although inconvenient and bothersome to many, Sabrina’s Law would ultimately save many precious lives. We cannot afford to continue taking such a great risk with our children. How many more deaths or near deaths will it take for BC and the rest of Canada to take action? Why wouldn’t such a law be welcomed into BC? Shouldn’t every single child who goes to school believe that they would be safe there? Shouldn’t every single child who attends school believe that if anything happened to them there, there would be someone trained and experienced to help them out of the situation? Having Sabrina’s Law implemented would provide the necessary training, knowledge and communication of what to do and not to do in such situations. Under this law, it would also provide other pupils with the knowledge of just how serious it is to have a friend who could have an anaphylactic reaction to something they wouldn’t ordinarily think was dangerous. As concerned parents, we can only educate our children but it may be stepping on toes to try and educate the teachers, staff, etc., without the implemented legislation. I truly believe and I also believe thousands of other British Columbians feel very strongly that there is a need for legislation, standard policies and laws to keep our children safe while they are in school. Sabrina’s Law is the first step to many others. Please consider taking action on this very important problem soon, before any more lives suffer.

Sincerely,
G. and N. Wong
Victoria, BC


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:42 pm
Posts: 1
Just a heads-up: I attended a World Juniors hockey game at the Pacific Coliseum and was shocked to see them selling shell-on peanuts. With no convienent recepticles, by the end of the game, the floors and stairways were covered in shells.

I'm the father of an alergic toddler. Thankfully, we opted for a babysitter that night. We've been to many public & sporting events in the city and never seen anything nearly as dangerous as that.

I wrote to their PR people, but no response.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:09 pm
Posts: 2
Hi And Happy New year.

I have an eleven year old who is anaphyllactic to peanutbutter/peanuts and all tree nuts. From Kindergarden to her present grade,and including day care, I have found that it is important to remeber that there is never , nor can anyone at any time ever promise to attain 100% "peanut /nut free". Education is the best defense. It is a very frustrating process at times.
With or with out laws, it is always the parents/leagal guardians responsibility to stay on top of things. The information available has greatly improved. When I lived in Manitoba, there is the URIS report which deals with care plans of childern with any type of medical conditon.
In New Brunswick, District 17 has a care plan also. The parents, school, and the child with the allergy all have responsibilites. ( pending the age of the child.)
Laws are a good thing. People are what require information .Change is a challenge at the best of times


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
You know it is a good long term thing to try and get Sabrina's Law here in BC. But what about now? My son will be entering kindergarten in the Fall of this year and I would really, on the recommendation of a few people, that I try and get the school to be "peanut free". I know this would be a huge undertaking and a lot of stepping on toes, affecting people's bounderies on the right of what to eat but this is life and death here! Has anyone tried? What have you done? Any pointers? I need help now!

Every waking moment for me is worrying about my son at school with his epi pen attached to his waist and him being scared that he is going to come into contact with peanuts! So far, my fear has made him aware but not yet scared to death of stepping into the school. But I really need some guidance.

I've written to all the BC MPs, my MLA, the Min of Ed. and Min of Health and the School Board and have talked to the principal on the need have Sabrina's Law here BC. I've written to all my friends and family on the need for them to support me by writing to them also to project their opinion on the needs of having Sabrina's Law here in BC. Once I get more guidance, I know the other people I need to get on board is my GPs, the kindergarten teacher and the school nurse.

Any more suggestions?

Desperate...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
BC Mom,
I know what you are going through. My oldest daughter will be 5 in march, and will start kinderten in the fall, and she is allergic to peanuts and nuts. I was really hoping to make some progress on sabrinas law in saskatchewan, prior to fall of this year, but it does not look very likely.

Phone around. Even if a school is not in your immediate district, some schools take kids from out of district if there is a good reason why the child would be better off at their school, rather than just attending their closest school. There are some good schools already, and it would be much easier, and safer to find a school that is peanut free already, rather than trying to educate a new school from scratch, and change all their current policies

Talk to pricipals, and see what kind of a response you get. You can request a meeting for now, regarding your childs enrollment for fall to discuss in person your concerns, and get a feel for the situation. I found a school for fall that is peanut/nut free, has other kids with allergies, including allergies in addition to nuts. I spoke with one of these kids parents, and asked her questions about how the school handles her daughters allergies. I spoke with the secretary and all staff is trained, including recess supervisors, and substitutes. I told them that I plan on having a "DO NOT FEED MY DAUGHTER ANYTHING THAT HAS NOT BEEN SENT FROM HOME" policy and they said that they would comply, no problem. Finding this school has really eased my mind. If you find a good school now, you can avoid having to transfer them later. If the situation is not good once they have started and made friends, it may be upsetting for them to have to change schools.

I am stiil working towards having sabrinas law in sask., but I needed a plan NOW, so I can ease my mind and not think about it 24/7.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:35 pm
Posts: 12
Dear B.C. Mom:

We feel for you, truly. I would like to say this issue can be manageable. It will take however, quite a bit of advocating and time dedication on your behalf with the school staff and parents. At least until a law like Sabrina's law is passed in B.C. You will always come across others who do not "understand" this situation is "life and death". How can anyone equate inconvenience to the potential loss of another's life. Most people when they are aware and educated, in our experience, become supporters. I am sure you will find some. Remember, there are others like your child and the statistics show the percentages are continually rising - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Last year our son (anaphylactic to peanuts and nuts) while in Kindergarten had an anaphylactic allergic reaction to peanuts. The great news is he is alive and well. These are some suggestions:

Arrange to meet with the school principal before the beginning of the school year. When you meet with the principal advise him/her of your child's severe life threatening allergies and the signs/symptoms. Ask if there are any other children in the school who are severely allergic. If so, what have they done. Advise him/her that although your child will be wearing their Epi-Pen, this should not provide staff with a "false sense of security". Should your child suffer an anaphylactic reaction he/she may loose all sense of awareness and someoone must be monitoring, be ready, able and know how to administer the Epi-Pen. These are jsut some ideas of what you are well within your rights to ask:

1) Before September ask the principal to send home a letter to all parents that the following year a student with severe life threatening allergies to whatever it may be will be coming to school. Ask that he request all parents cooperation for the safety of this child and should their be any concerns parents may contact him directly.

2) Ask that the first and all newsletters remind parents of the child with anaphylaxis. In addition, request that for any new students coming into the school be provided with information both verbally and in writing of your child's allergies.

3) Anaphylaxis Canada has excellent materials which may be purchased that passes information on. For example, there is a poster with a stop sign on it that should be posted for each entrance of the school (eg. STOP NO NUTS OR PEANUTS PLEASE). They also have "THINK FAST" posters which describes in a simple way signs of anaphylaxis - EXCELLENT. Could be posted in your child's classroom and whereever food is eaten.

4) Be ready and prepared to do an "Inservice" to all school staff on the how to's of administering an Epi-Pen (an Epi-Pen trainer can be purchased from Anaphylaxis Canada). Advise the staff of your child's signs and symptoms. Be ready and open to answer any questions staff may have. Follow up to do an additional inservice at least one more time perhaps in January.

5) Ask that lunch room monitors check lunches where your child will be eating.

6) Have students in your child's class hand wash before entering your child's class (eg. in the morning before classes begin, after recesses, after lunch). The bonus of this is not only does it reduce the spread of viruses but also washes any traces of the allergen if it is on a child's hands.

7) Ask that no food or drink be brought into your child's class but left int he hallway on a shelf. If a snack is to be consumed in the classroom ask how the principal will ensure that the allergen will not be in the food items that any child will be bringing in (eg. before kids eat who will be checking each and everyone of the snacks?)

8) Provide your child with their own water bottle to drink from.

9) Outside your child's classroom have it clearly and visibly posted that there is a child with severe life threatening allergies and stating what those allergies are to.

10) Be sure to attend all parent advisory meetings. This is your way to stay on top of what is going on in the school (fundraising with food, etc.). This also provides a forum to education of others if questions arise.

11) Finally, what I believe is most important. Start preparing your child. I advised my son never to take any food or drink from others! If there was a social situation, I always sent food from home and advised him to eat nothing else. Sometimes we need to remember we live with this. Teachers often do not know the "hidden ingredients" in food.

I hope that some of these ideas will be helpful. My husband and I advocated and succeeded in getting this for our son at his school. You can too. I also prepared an information package for the principal and the school staff. The response was appreciative. I would be happy to send you what I prepared. Please contact Gwen the editor and she will put you in touch with me.

Regards,
Ana and Bryan Wigger
Alberta lobbyists


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
Thank you so much to all of you for your suggestions and personal stories. It truly lets me know that we are not alone. This comforts me somewhat but not a whole lot because we all shouldn't be in this situation.

Just recently I've talked to a Capital Regional District nurse in our area and asked about "peanut free" schools in my area to as far as an hour's drive from our home and she told me there are no "peanut free" schools in the area or even on Vancouver Island. Apparently, their nurses don't even support "peanut free" schools. "It gives people a false sense of security". I then asked "But, wouldn't that discourage people from bringing peanut butter sandwiches, and anything that contained peanuts into the school?". She replied, "yes, but we still don't support it". It's very controversial because some can argue that it infringes upon their child's right to eat whatever they want. She tried to discourage me in letting my son carry his own epi pen at his age. She told me there was an incident not long ago, where a child who had his epi pen on him, brought it out to show his friend and in turn administered it on his friend. I can tell you that with proper education and knowledge that incident probably would never have happened. But true enough, because when they are in kindergarten, and the teacher is with them all the time, it may be an idea while he is in kindergarten, to have the kindergarten teacher carry his epi pen in a fanny pack around her waist. I don't like the idea of all the epi pens put away in an unlocked cupboard in the nurse's office or in the office when my child's classroom is at the other end of the school. Time is crucial! Life and Death! What was the epi pen solution in your son's kindergarten class?

I will be getting together with two other moms whose children will also be in my son's kindergarten class this Fall who are also anaphylactic. One to peanuts and the other to raw egg (butter, margarine, etc.)

We are meeting with my son's gp and asthma/allergist specialist to discuss a personal plan of action in case we cannot talk them into a "peanut free" classroom or school. I will try and get written recommendations from both doctors on my son's behalf and submit to the principal when the four of us meet after kindergarten registration. The other moms are going to get written letters also from their doctors. We will be speaking with the school nurse sometime next week. She is not always at the school. About once a week.

So far the replies I have gotten from the politicians I have written to have been sympathetic to my situation and have suggested I write to Shirley Bond, MIn. of Ed., which I have done, but in reply to them, I have asked that because they understand my situation, to please forward my letter to them, together with a letter from their political office to Shirley Bond, suggesting that Sabrina's Law be implemented here in BC.

The letters to the parents in our kindergarten class is actually part of our school board policies to do but their template doesn't discourage them from sending peanut products with their child to school but to request that the parents tell their children to tell the teacher they have brought peanut products to the school. The letter does advise all the parents about the seriousness of the situation but also says that while they cannot "guarantee a peanut free" environment, they are promoting a "peanut aware" environment. Underneath the template it states that the wordings cannot be changed unless the school board okays it. So, I guess what we need to do is talk to the principal and submit our cases and if she agrees and supports us, I guess she would then contact the school board to okay the "peanut free" environment thus allowing us to change the wording in the letter? Is that how we would go about it? The directive comes from the school board? Is that how you had it done?

The link to the letter template is below:

http://www.sd61.bc.ca/super/polreg/pdf/reg5141.21.pdf

We are also in an unavoidable situation where our current kindergarten teacher will not be returning in September and we do not have a replacement thus we cannot include the teacher in our discussions now.

Everything is so up in the air right now. There are so many people to talk to, but knowing who first and what to say without offending anyone, is an art. Fortunately, I have been in touch with these two other moms and they are definitely going to join me in a united front to get the classroom "peanut free".

I would really appreciate a copy of the information package you gave to your principal and the school staff. I will get in touch with Gwen shortly about how to contact you.

I'm sure we are all interested in an update as to what is happening in Alberta as far as Sabrina's Law is concerned. Are you able to update us?


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