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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:58 pm
Posts: 57
My daughter will be starting kindergarten Sept 2014. I contacted the school today to find out what the process is. They were very friendly and helpful. There are orientation and info sessions throughout the year. The first one will be in November.

But I'm just not sure what to do about DD allergies. She's ana to eggs and allergic to milk. They do not have a cafeteria so the children eat at their desks. They have a milk program (I'm not sure what that means. When I was a kid, I remember we used to get milk for a snack just before recess but I'm not sure what they do now) and a hot lunch program with I'm sure DD will never use - unless I get involved in it and help make the food.

Obviously, I can't ask for no food in the classrooms so how do I make sure that my child stays safe? I also hesitate to ask for a ban on her allergens as they are so common.

The person I spoke with said that they are very allergy aware (whatever that means). They keep info sheets on all children that require special attention - allergies, diabetes, asthma, etc. - with their pictures on the wall in the office. I think she also said that they keep the epipens in the office. Should I look at getting DD a pouch for her epi? I'm not sure at 5 years old that she would be able to inject herself. And I'm not sure if they would allow the pouch.

So many questions! I really want to approach this the right way. I want to advocate for my DD and educate the staff without alienating anyone. Hopefully, I'm starting this process early enough that it'll work out best for my DD.

Any advice from those of you that have been there would be greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 797
Location: Vancouver, BC
I think it's great you are being proactive and making inquiries long before she starts school. I did this as well, and am really happy with what came out of my meetings. I started going to PAC meetings when my daughter was still in preschool so I could get to know the principal and the PAC parents, and get a vibe for what accommodations they might be willing to make.

Hmmm, eating in the classroom can make things more tricky, but I would make sure there is some policy in place for kids to wash their hands before and after eating, and maybe clean off their desks with a wet wipe afterwards? And your child would of course also wash hands and clean off her desk? This should help with food traces left on desks.

There should also policies about no food sharing, your child only eating what's been approved by you, and you should check with the teachers about cooking/crafts in the class involving food, any parties with food etc, so you can check ingredients and bring an alternate product if necessary. I keep a treat box for each child, so if someone brings cupcakes then they take a treat from their box.

Out of 8 kids with epipens at our school, mine are the only ones who carry their epipens in a pouch. I also have a spare each in the office in case they lose their pouch. All the other kids have one in the office and one in their backpack. I like the waist packs because there will never be an issue of having to look for it in the event of a reaction.

I would check to see if the staff are trained on symptoms and autoinjector usage, and if not, talk to your public health unit about possibly a nurse, or getting someone trained from Anaphylaxis Canada to train the school staff.

I also provide the school with the Epipen posters that list the symptoms and show how to use the epipen in simple steps http://epipen.ca/en/my_epipen_resources ... _material/. These are given to all the teachers. There is also an Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan that you attach your child's photo, and fill in, then get signed by your doctor. This would be good for the office file, plus given to the classroom teacher so all subs etc would have access to it.

We don't have a hot lunch program, but I would contact the company to make inquiries, and just send my own lunch if she can't have the food. Or, getting involved to suggest / make the lunches is a great idea if you have time.

Our school has a fruit and veggie program that includes milk every 2 weeks for the K-2s. My son is allergic to milk, but it's not that serious, so I think I will ask the kids to wash their hands after having the milk, and clean up any spills with a wet wipe.

When we have subs, the principal or school secretary give them a briefing on epipen and symptoms, and I usually talk to them during drop off to make sure they're comfortable with everything, and ensure they know where the epipens are kept.

There are some great resources here: http://allergysafecommunities.ca/ including sample letters, sample Anaphylaxis Management Plans, Emergency Plan etc.

_________________
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 Sep 25, 2013 6:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Ask the school to clarify those statements that you are unclear on. You have a right to know! Ensure that the children are encouraged to wash before eating and supervised for hand washing after eating their lunch. Ensure that children are taught how to open and drink their milk to contain the allergen.

Make sure that your daughter knows:
-if she ever feels unsafe, she can leave the classroom, go to the office and tell them she doesn't feel safe. No permission is needed.
-even adults forget things, especially when there is a lot going on or they are excited about a party. She might have to help the teacher remember the family rule about not accepting treats unless mommy or daddy have checked it. (this is easier than saying no to a teacher who is 3 times your size)

I have found that at this age, children are very sweet and caring. They will help keep her safe! :)

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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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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:58 pm
Posts: 57
Thanks Alison's mom and Susan. You've given me a lot of info to consider and I'll start making my plan with it. I'm going to wait for the first meeting in November and then hopefully I'll have a better understanding of they're processes and policies.

Alison's Mom - is PAC the parent association? I was thinking about joining ours this year but I wasn't sure if I could, since I don't have a child in school yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 797
Location: Vancouver, BC
Yes, PAC is our parent advisory committee. I attended the first meeting and because I was a preschool parent, got asked to be the preschool liaison, which led to becoming the preschool board president the next year, but that's another story!

I would check with them about attending, although you might not be able to vote, etc. Good luck!

_________________
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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