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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
Hi all!

I apologize for not keeping in touch! The summer has just flown by!

Just to update you on what we have been doing in our elementary school in terms of having some guidelines and policies in place for my son when he starts kindergarten on Tuesday.

Two moms, the principal, the school nurse, the kindergarten teacher and secretary all met for one and a half hours in June to discuss the preventative measures, what to do in an emergency and what guidelines and policies should be or are in place for him starting in September. I tell you when I walked out of that meeting, I was pretty relieved.

Yes, a letter will be going out to all the families on the first day or week of Kindergarten. Interviews with each family are being held this week to discuss any concerns, etc. with the teacher or children. One of the things that our kindergarten teacher is going to relay at these interviews is that there will be a few children in our class who have very severe life threatening allergies. In our kindergarten handbook back in May, it stated under "snacks" that no one is to bring any item that may contain peanuts into the kindergarten classroom. I was happy they put that in there.

To get back to the point about the meeting...it was discussed and confirmed that my son would have the epi pen on himself during kindergarten and it was assured that my son would be trained on giving himself the epi pen but that the kindergarten teacher was also made aware of what the first signs of an anaphylaxis reaction is on my son. The hives and welts on his face. It was mutually agreed upon that although he would be trained on using the epi pen on himself, because of his age, and how the reaction would be affecting him, the kindergarten teacher would be trained on using the epi pen before September. The school had us fill out forms that outlined an emergency anaphylaxis plan to be followed in case he had a reaction. There was also an "in service" education time booked for the students in his class on the first or second full day of kindergarten to educate the kids on his allergies and also what to expect and how to help him out.

I provided the school with the epi pen trainer, the signs which I got from Anaphylaxis Canada on how to notice a reaction starting and taking place, signs that had stop signs to be posted in his classroom on not to be bringing peanut related items into the classroom, etc. A picture of my son would be adhered to his emergency anaphylaxis plan and posted in the nurses' room, etc.

You can see how I can be a bit more relieved because of the extra precautions being taken starting in September in his classroom.

On another note that is sort of off topic is that we had my son retested with the RAST test on his peanut allergy. The antibody count more than doubled since last year's result which left us flabbergasted because we have and continue to be so very careful in avoiding all peanuts, peanut protein, peanut related products and "may contain traces of..."

At the suggestion of our allergist/asthma doctor, we are retesting him for peanuts and also other items of the legume family. He had been tested on peas and soybeans two years ago, and the results came back that he was not allergic to them but since then he might be and that is why it is showing up in the peanut test results. But, what baffles us is then why can we not see any outward reaction from him when he comes in contact with peanuts or may contain traces of...?

We have been advised to continue to be as diligent as we have been and also to take extra precautions in regards to playdates at a friend's house, etc. The scent may also have something to do with it. For him in the past, it has not, but then again, allergies do change in symptoms...

So, any way that is the long and short of things coming from our way.

We will keep you all abreast when my son starts kindergarten on Tuesday...

Thanks for listening...

_________________
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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 Post subject: sabrina law etc...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:26 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Erin, Ontario
Hi there,

I was very happy for you to read your post regarding your son/s classroom and dealing with his allergy(s)? I can tell you that I am not having the same results in my daughter's JK class to begin next week!

My daughter was recently diagnosed with her peanut/ possible nut allergy. She is to be tested to all other tree nuts this fall!

What I have discovered is that this Separate school she is to attend does not have a nut aware environment unless they have a alergic child. So they are doing some similar things that are being done at your son's school but just in her classroom and a 4/5 and grade 6 classroom that also has peanut allergic kids!

What I can not understand is why not just try ro make the whole school as nut free as possible givein the fact that you have 4 or 5 kids that have this severe allergy????
The answers that I have received in the past and again when I met with the Principal are just not acceptable to me. Maybe because it is my child but we are not talking a minor allegy, we are taling LIFE THREATENING!!!

He felt that if they tried to make it as nut free as possible, then people might get careless.
That is not even a thought that would ever cross my mind. I will never relax when it comes to my daughters allergy, not even in a peanut free enviornment. It also seems as thought he was concerned about the other parents and what some might feel ie. inconvienened, not told what is ok just what is not ok, freedom of choice...

I feel so helpless and frustrated and alone about this. We will be sending her to her Nursery School that she attended for the past two years for her JK. They have a peanut/nut aware/ free policy that they strictly try to enforce.


I wonder even if this school will ever change? All the other public schools in our area are peanut aware/free !!!

How can I make a difference or changes?? What are my next steps??

Sorry about the long post but I am not sure where to turn.

Thanks,

Lori :( :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Lori - my limited experience has shown me that there are principals with BACKBONES and there are principals with NO BACKBONES. And the ones with NO BACKBONES are the ones like yours... Instead of taking the "all our students are precious and we want to keep them safe" they take the approach that yours is taking.

I've had both - for 3 years we had a NO BACKBONE principal who pretty much put her fingers in her ears and sang LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU to whatever problem came along (allergies, learning disabilities, you name it - it was just our family that was frustrated). Now we have someone new who seems to actually care enough to do the right thing and try to help kids that need his help. It's refreshing.

But it really does seem to depend on the person. And I do understand your frustration (rage even) because I've been there.

As for what to do... unless you can find another school, you will have to work with what you have and make the best of it and be a constant presence. Do your best to educate and perhaps you will see some changes.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
I have no experience with the public school system yet, (next year will be my turn), so I apologize if I am speaking from a position of ignorance.
Also I am not in Ontario, but, I thought Sabrina's Law means that principals have to do everything possible to ensure the safety of allergic students?
I would suggest the principal be required to review the new law a little more closely.
And also review allergysafecommunities.ca

Even if a principal is ignorant to our kids' needs, maybe if they see it from a position of "I could be held liable or negligent"...maybe that's what some people need. Would the principal of that school really want a reaction on his/her turf??

_________________
6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
You're right, Catherine - I forgot that separate schools are part of the public school system in Ontario. (Right?) The principal does have to adhere to Sabrina's Law.

Lori - It's obviously not the easiest thing if he feels that he is doing all that is necessary and you disagree.

If you are not happy with what is going on in your school, you might have to move it up the food chain. There was a good article in a recent Anaphylaxis Canada newsletter (Spring 2006??) that offered suggestions from Dave Levac, the MPP who introduced Sabrina's Law, about what to do if you are not satisfied with how things are going at your school.

Do you have that newsletter? If not I'll try to find it and post the pertinent parts.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:58 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Yup, separate schools are publicly funded schools and part of Sabrina's Law. Lori, if you're not familiar with the law, see http://www.allergicliving.com/feature.asp?feature=41 and click on the legislation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I also suggest looking at the eWorkshop called Prevention First.

http://www.eworkshop.on.ca/cfmx/edu/anaphylaxis/

It says:

Quote:
This website has been developed to assist school boards, principals, teachers, staff and others who play an important role in helping to create safer environments for pupils with anaphylaxis.


It's very helpful at understanding Sabrina's Law and what is required of school boards and schools.

The Allergy Safe Communities website also provides a link to this eWorkshop from its Tools & Resources section: http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/de ... p?catid=35


K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:52 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Thanks Karen - I was trying to remember that e-workshop link as well. Like you read my mind. :)


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 Post subject: schools: anaphyaxis lawa
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:26 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Erin, Ontario
Hello and thanks you all who made comments regarding my issue with this school in ONTARIO!
I am familar with Sabrina's Law and did review again. As well as the e-course .

I am still abit stuck on do schools have to try to be as nut /peanut free as possible or do they need to try to just protect these individuals that are allergic ie. training on epipen, picture posted etc...

i guess what I feel is the issue with this school / Principal is why don't they have to make the school as Nut Free as possible or is it ok to try to do this in particular classrooms?? To me this is not enough and I am not at all comfortable.

I am not sure what should be my next steps!!

Thanks

Lori
Mother of 4 year to start JK September 12, 2006. ( daughter )


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 Post subject: To Newpeanutkid
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Victoria, BC
Thank you for your reply.

I have to admit that although I have had successes as I have, it is also just for his classroom...not the whole school. His classroom is made "allergy aware", not "allergy free" or "allergy safe". If we had Sabrina's Law here, it would be the whole school and all the schools in BC. But it is a start...they've put up the "No peanuts please" signs on the doors of the kindergarten classroom. I was actually surprised they agreed to it but I guess if it is just for the classroom, they will go along with it. Sad part is when he goes to Grade 1, I have start all over again, the discussions with the principal, the teacher, letting the families of the kids in that classroom know, etc.

Hope your obstacles will be overcome. It just has to...it's life and death!

Just to let all of you know, the RAST scores came back on Thursday for my son's test on soy and peas and they are positive...The last time we had him tested for that was three years ago and the results were negative...

Not only do I have to find peanut free food items, I also have to look out for soy! I won't tell you how long I was at the grocery store after I found out the results!

As a side note, does anyone know of a chocolate chip I can buy that is not only peanut free but soy free?

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:56 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Even though you don't have Sabrina's Law in BC (yet, let's hope it's coming!), you can take ideas from it.

Strategies that reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in classrooms and common school areas.

Regular training on dealing with life-threatening allergies for all employees and others who are in direct contact with pupils on a regular basis.

A communication plan for the dissemination of information on life-threatening allergies to parents, pupils and employees.

These requests are not overly demanding.

_________________
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: Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
newpeanutkid wrote:
I am still abit stuck on do schools have to try to be as nut /peanut free as possible or do they need to try to just protect these individuals that are allergic ie. training on epipen, picture posted etc...

i guess what I feel is the issue with this school / Principal is why don't they have to make the school as Nut Free as possible or is it ok to try to do this in particular classrooms?? To me this is not enough and I am not at all comfortable.


Sabrina's Law does not require a ban at all. Not even within a classroom. It is suggested as one of the choices a principal has, but that's it.

The entire law is written to protect All students -- and some have allergies other than peanut. If the law insisted on a ban, can you imagine a school with a peanut and fish and milk allergy? Add into that something like a soy allergy and basically it means no food would be allowed in the school at all.

A ban is a tool -- but it is not the only tool available.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
I think it's stupid that peanuts (or other allergens) are only limited in a kid's classroom - it would only make sense if the kids were not allowed to intereact with other classes and if they were not allowed out of that particular classroom all day.

Limiting allergens in the classroom was suggested as one strategy in "Anaphylaxis: A Handbook for School Boards", and it seems as though that's the only paragraph that was read by a lot of principals and administrators.

Schools need to look at where the food in a school is consumed and then try to reduce the allergen at that point. In my kid's class no food is consumed - the school asks EVERYONE (700 kids plus staff) not to bring overt amounts of peanuts or peanut butter, because most kids eat at recess on the playground and they eat in the lunchroom. They do not try to limit stuff that says "may contain...", as I feel I would be pushing people too hard and would create a backlash, and I feel that unless my kid ate it, my kid is safe around stuff that is "may contain...".

I wish all the kids had such a great Principal. It makes such a difference.


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