A SILVER LINING

Posted on: Fri, 03/26/1999 - 11:21am
Coco's picture
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Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

Some good news regarding public school. (can you believe it?) One of the ladies, Nora, from our local support group has a brand new principal this year. She has been trying very patiently but persistently to educate the school, in whole, regarding peanuts and anaphylaxis. Today and Monday a special task force of students (one from each class, none who are allergic, under the guidance of a gutsy student teacher) are presenting to each class "What anaphylaxis is and How can we (the school body as a whole) keep these students safe". It gets better! Next week at this public school is Anaphylaxis Awareness Week!!! There are special activities planned for each class to take part in each day. There will be graphing of lunch products each day in each class. There will be poster making by students and many attempts by students to raise awareness around this issue. What more could you ask? There will also be media coverage. (All that we can find!) Congratulations Nora!

Posted on: Sat, 03/27/1999 - 12:31am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Wow! What wonderful news and in a school so close to my own child's school. We are in the neighbouring school board area. I will certainly watch for news coverage and will suggest this approach for Troy's school. Nora, I know how much education and work such a project entails and all of us who are involved in that education are appreciative, very appreciative. Thanks.
I would like to know the name of the school/ principal so that I can have my school contact them if necessary.
Finally, I want to pass on a story about a local school principal's response to a mother who complained about a ban on peanuts/tree nuts that the principal had instigated because he had learned that there were 2 peanut/tree nut allergic children in his elementary school. [The principal is a family friend and is knowledgeable about nut allergies because of my son's allergies.] This principal wrote a considered response to the mother suggesting that he could accommodate her children and allow them to bring/eat nut products if nothing else was suitable but that they would have to eat in isolation, in a separate room, away from the rest of the children. He wrote that before they could rejoin the other children they would have to thoroughly wash their hands and brush their teeth and be supervised while so doing. The letter was masterfully worded and included some information from the public health department with healthy lunch suggestions and information on anaphalaxis. The mother responded by declining to have her children accommodated and they do not bring nut products to school.
Nice response, don't you think?
Take care.

Posted on: Sat, 03/27/1999 - 1:01am
dhumphries's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

My day care just went pnt free last week, and a detailed letter, info on the allergy and cross contamination, and a how to read labels doc was sent home to parents on Friday. I am now wondering how all the parents are going to handle this. The letter stated that children would not be allowed to come to the center eating, and many parents are in a rush and send their children with pastries, etc. for breakfast. I can see these parents being resentful because they will have to feed their children breakfast at home, which will cut into their sleep time. My only hope is that none of the parents resentment will be transferred to my son via the children. Such a tough life sometimes with this allergy.
Stay Safe, Debbie

Posted on: Sat, 03/27/1999 - 2:06am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Debbie, in my son's class there are children with parents who still complain occaisionally, although it is months since the ban was initiated, but their children, Troy's classmates and friends, are friendly and aware and will ask that their packaged products be checked for nut ingredients because they don't want to hurt Troy. One boy whose mother accidentally sent a snack with nuts was worried about the contents of his snacks for weeks afterwards and wanted his mother to see the elephant video and read the books that Troy had for the class. If a snack appears as if it might have nuts a substitute is offered from the teacher's supply of safe foods and a note is sent home with the suspect snack asking that ingredients be checked. The kids are great about this, the parents sometimes get "snarky" to use Troy's teachers word. I shared your worry about parental resentment but our experience has been that the kids do not seem to take this on.
Hope this helps.

Posted on: Thu, 04/01/1999 - 11:40am
dhumphries's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Well, sadly I must report that the first repercussion to going pnt free at my sons day care happened today. Easter parties were going on, and some parents brought pbj sandwiches and other pnt items, despite the letter that went around banning pnt items. When told that these items could not be eaten, they reacted by threatening to pull their kids out, saying that they did not want to liable if this allergy was that severe. Thank God,these children were not in my son's class (parents in his class have been wonderful), but it really hurts that people react in this manner. Any comforting words here?

Posted on: Fri, 04/02/1999 - 12:01pm
Coco's picture
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Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

Where I live there are trained speakers (have taken a 1 day speakers' training workshop) through the Anaphylaxis Network of Canada. If there is a group like this in your area (Does FAN have something similar?) you could ask them if a speaker could come to the daycare and speak with parents who were interested (at a pre-arranged date and time suitable for the facility). If parents are somewhat aware of the situation you may have a much easier time of it. Sometimes notices that go home have been set aside with good intentions to read them later. Everybody may not be aware of this new policy yet. It is helpful to send a notice of reminder home before each occassion. Good-luck!

Posted on: Wed, 06/02/1999 - 9:33am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Although this is an old thread, I want to tell you how Nora's work with the students affected our family positively this past weekend. It turns out that one of the students who made anaphylaxis presentations was the daughter of my son Troy's godparents!
Although, these family friends are and always have been very aware of and supportive of Troy's need for peanut and tree nut-free food, the three children in the family now have an even better level of understanding--real understanding generated because of the work the students did with Nora and the student teacher.
I was impressed with this project when I first read about it and now that I have talked to some of the children who participated I am even more impressed and delighted with the positive learning outcomes.

Posted on: Tue, 06/08/1999 - 5:24am
Candice Gracias's picture
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Joined: 02/23/1999 - 09:00

Hi Coco,
I am myself am from Toronto, Canada, so I really appreciate the names you mentioned of companies that use nut-free products.
My biggest worry as a parent is when I have to send my son to school next year. We intend to protect him as much as possible by sending him to a school that has an awareness of the peanut allergy already in place. Any suggestions as to what we should look out for?

Posted on: Tue, 06/08/1999 - 12:26pm
Coco's picture
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Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

If you are concerned about beginning school and what to look for, the best place to start is on the home page (click top left of green strip above, where it says Home Page).
Once there click on the box entitled "Issues of Concern", next click on "Schools", there you will see an article entitled Anaphylaxis in Schools and Child Care Settings.
This is a very well written article that should give you an idea what you are looking for.

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