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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
One last thing ... I'm not sure if you work full-time or not ....my ds' 1st anaphylaxis was right before he started kindergarten (strangley, his rxns have only gotten worse over the years as we strictely avoided all dairy from the time he was diagnosed at 11 weeks of age!). I was working full-time. I knew right then that I had to quit my job and be available when he started going to school. Luckily for me, I have a profession where I can work nights / weekends.

It wasn't really that tough a decision. I had a younger child as well, and giving up full-time work meant that I wouldn't have to pay dayhome fees any longer, and my part-time hours meant I could still bring in some $$$. My dh and I felt really strongly that I needed to be available to the school if necessary. And there were many times in those 1st few years where the teacher would call me when he had the slightest tummy ache, so I could run to the school and reassure him that he was OK.

They were a tough few years in the beginning, but I love it now! It's been a wonderful balance. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
http://allergicliving.com/index.php/201 ... -policies/
Quote:
Nova Scotia guidelines – schools follow Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings Handbook


Momtobunches---
Quote:
Similar to you, I did not want to ban the foods. I also didn't want to "rattle" too many chains early on in case they labelled my son as that kid from the problem parent.
:rofl I too did this....and then found out how things really got handled here. (locked up epi's and NO training??) The Alberta government and education system apparently just seem to figure that yearly training does not have to be required and that to me is just unacceptable...and they have proven (by the paperwork) to wait until a child dies in this province before they make change. Since my child is graduating this year....I don't care if I am labelled a problem parent. & my DS who is still in school is a "disturber of things" like his mother so.....whatever. This needs to change and I am more than willing to stick my neck out now. I do not fault anyone who doesn't though. This is such a hard place to be as a parent with a child with a known life threatening allergy....rock and hard place.

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Vancouver, BC
I'm appalled that the VP is making these suggestions to you. Providing extras like snacks/wipes to other children, or bringing your child home for lunch should be a parental choice, not something you are basically forced into so your child can be safe in the classroom.

I'm glad to hear you are having better luck working with someone at the board level. I am keeping fingers crossed that it will be resolved to your satisfaction and that the VP doesn't get offended over you taking it higher up. Hugs to you for dealing with such a stressful situation.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Soory to add another problem instead of an answer.....

but.....

what about cupcakes? You know, parents sending in cupcakes for their kids birthday. personaly, I prefer a school not allow that at all, but if they do allow it, how do they make sure your child doesn't eat one?

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
AnnaMarie wrote:
what about cupcakes? You know, parents sending in cupcakes for their kids birthday.


Most early years teachers that I know would gladly have a no cupcake policy as the things are so darned messy! Especially the parents that bring the ones loaded in sprinkles and crumbly yet they don't stay to serve them and clean up the mess.

If my daughter with food allergies was starting Kindergarten now I would lobby for no-food parties --- kids could bring a book for the class and a book for the library. Want to spend more money then buy a series of books! Or a game for the classroom or recess equipment. Make it something meaningful. I think it would be amazing for schools to teach children how to host a party without food!!!

Or train them for adulthood - don't even mention their birthday :rofl

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
It has been a problem in my school, but what I've done is sent some home-approved treats to school for the teacher to keep in her desk, and she brings them out for my ds on cupcake days (rice krispie treats, skittles, etc). Thankfully, by Grade 6 the cupcake thing has seemed to fall away...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Vancouver, BC
I asked about a school wide policy to not send cupcakes and they didn't go for it, but at least a few teachers ask parents not to do so at the beginning of the year due to allergies as well as mess, other dietary restrictions, obesity, etc.

So while it's rare that parents bring cake, I also keep a treat bag in my kids' classrooms with non perishable treats they can have in lieu of the cupcakes people might bring.

I like the idea of buying a book or game for the classroom. With all the budget cuts, the teachers are often spending their own hard earned money for classroom 'extras', you know, like books and craft supplies!

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
Quote:
I like the idea of buying a book or game for the classroom. With all the budget cuts, the teachers are often spending their own hard earned money for classroom 'extras', you know, like books and craft supplies!


I like that idea as well. I really don't see the need for cupcakes and other food coming in to celebrate bdays. Some parents cannot afford to bring in something for everyone and have a bday party with all the trimmings. I find it makes other parents feel they have to do it to keep up.

I find kids expect food rewards when they do a good job. Almost everyday a student asks me if they will get a bag of skittles, m&ms or something similar for finishing their work. My reply is always "I don't believe in food rewards and your reward is knowing you did your best". I do carry a "treasure box" for good behaviour and give students a prize at the end of the day but it is reserved for those classes that really need encouragement. The prizes include pencils, pens, erasers, silly bands, etc. You'd be surprised how excited they are to get these things and they last a lot longer than a food reward.

I hope you are able to get the VP to understand your situation. I'm really curious to see how other allergies have been handled in the past...

_________________
Sarah
Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:08 am
Posts: 78
Location: Halifax
Thank you all for responding. I don't know what I would do without you all. I keep telling other allergy parents that allergic living forum is one of the best support groups out there.

An update on our situation:

The turn around for the whole thing was super fast and completely unexpected on my part and I'm sure for the school too. Upon the VP's suggestion for me to call organizations and look for donations I called the dept of education to see if there was funding available for children with food allergies. The person took my info and the school info and said they would get back to me. The next day, he called to inform me that no such thing exists and that in fact the school is completely unreasonable for asking me to provide wipes/food. There are policies set in place for children with food allergies and he said he is still looking into the situation. Two days later I got a call from Halifax Regional School Board explaining that they had been notified and that they have contacted the acting principal and explained what the protocols are that are expected of the school. Additionally, the person at HRSB had contacted a nurse from the allergy clinic here as well as someone from student services at dept of education :freak She explained that the VP is new and is not aware of the policies in place and has not been a VP before so is still learning how to be one. She also said that there will be a meeting involving all the parties mentioned above, including my husband and I and we will all be discussing the details of how to keep our daughter safe at school and that does not include providing wipes or food for the entire class because this is unacceptable and unreasonable.

On the same day, I got a call from the acting principal reiterating the same thing though he was totally non committal on the no-food in the classroom policy. He said he would still involve the VP in setting up a document containing the protocols & procedures for children with food allergies in the school, as the school does not have one yet (contrary to what the VP told us initially :frightened ) He said they definitely would need my help and we would address each issue individually to ensure the safety of my daughter and that this document will be their reference for other children with food allergies. I asked if the school had anyone else with food allergies. He did not know. In any case, he was very polite and sounded quite nervous even.

This is not the way I wanted things to go and I had no intention of pulling out the big guns now, but it seemed like the person at dept of education was quite upset on my behalf and took the whole thing upstairs, which is a very good thing for us. I think the VP was not being malicious, rather she was looking for the easiest way for the school. Her suggestions to us to look for private schools or smaller schools, and also homeschooling indicated that she might not be an out of the box thinker. Her suggestions were all about what I as a parent should do as opposed to how the school can help. I am sure she thought she was helping (trying to give the benefit of the doubt here...) At least now the school has an idea of how serious this is. I'm so relieved that this turned in our favor although I'm a bit apprehensive still. I hope the VP doesn't hate us. The whole thing snowballed but was completely unintentional.

Susan.. you mentioned Ruth Roberts. I know her and see her in our monthly support group meetings. She was present in the second meeting we had with the VP. She's a great resource and has been helping me deal with this.

I have not heard anything since I spoke to the principal, but I will update on the situation as things progress. Fingers (and toes) crossed!

_________________
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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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6471
Location: Ottawa
Wow! I'm so glad that you got the attention of the school board and they inturn spoke to the school!

It can be intimidating to stand up to authority figures and if the VP had not been so completely unreasonable, one might have gone along with her... In the end, you will be helping not only your child but all children who come after.

I do think it is good that the VP is involved in the creating of a document for your chool as the principal is not going to be permanent. You might find the VP will become a big ally in the future. It's hard to fathom that someone so new and inexperienced has no training on food allergies. That is another issue :roll:

Think long and hard about what you want in your document. Maybe discuss it with your local support group to get feedback as to what other parents have on theirs and what they wished they had. Try to make it as all incompassing as possible, include fieldtrips, fundraisers, extracurricular activities, snow days, substitute teachers, volunteers etc. Don't feel you need to carve everything in stone on the first meeting.

This is a wonderful opportuity for you! :happydance

_________________
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: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Fabulous support from the school board! And dept of Ed!!

I think you can set the tone for your relationship with the VP by continuing to give "benefit of the doubt" and being professional.

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:08 am
Posts: 78
Location: Halifax
Thank you everyone for responding and for all the helpful comments. I just wanted to give a brief update. We had a meeting with the school staff, vice principal and the school board as well as a nurse from the local hospital here. The main issues have been resolved. The intervention of the school board and the severity of the condition explained by the nurse helped out greatly. The vice principal and the teachers now get it. They understand how much work is involved and that we all have to work together. I no longer have to provide food for the entire classroom or wipes for everyone. We have found different ways to work around that. Mainly, we've eliminated food from the classroom and instead use other things to help kids learn. And no more yogurt activities in the classroom!!

I feel much better about this. I am so glad that Allergic Living exists. It's what keeps me from going off the deep end.

_________________
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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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Excellent to hear of compromises that worked!

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6471
Location: Ottawa
Yeah! :banana

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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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