I have just met with the Middle school team for next year. My kids will have a 504 plan with all the basic PA issues covered. Issues that need to be addressed are - 1) PB cookies are baked in cafeteria and in Home Ec on a regular basis and smell permeates through building. My kids are severely allergic and I am unsure if this smell could cause them to react. The school receives pb frequently when it is surplused. Should I be asking them not to bake with it? 2) In grade school we always had the teacher explain PA and it was known that my kids were the allergic students - the middle school wants to tell the "lunch" class my kids will be in the cafeteria with. I am torn as my kids prefer not to sit right next to someone eating pb at lunch and also will be exempted from cleaning lunch tables but I also feel it may lead to my kids being ostracized or intentionally picked on with pb. At this age my kids just want to blend and fit in. 3)school feels that since there may be the pb smell from baking cookies in the area that my kids have to walk through to get to lunch that my kids should be responsible for bringing their epis etc outside for gym class in case they would react from the smell on the way to gym. I think it's a big responsibility and again may ostracize my kids to ask them to do this. Also with all the horseplay at PE who knows what could happen to this medication. I think the school should keep the meds where they keep the PE teachers first aid kit. 4) It's always unnerving entering a new situation where your kids lives may be at stake and I truly want to have a good relationship with the teachers and administrators - any other advice or things that have happened to you that I haven't thought of.
On May 24, 2002
When my son started Jr. High last year we asked for him not to have to share a locker so we wouldn't have to worry about other foods (he's also milk and egg allergic in addition to pa) directly exposed to his personal belongings. Regarding PE: my son kept his epi and other meds in his backpack with him all day - instead of locking his backpack in the PE locker room like everybody else, he just kept it on the floor of the gym so it was accessible if needed. Regarding the cafeteria: my son says not as many Jr. Highers eat PB so it hasn't been a real problem - he just moves away if he notices some and it bothers him (but this, I'm sure is a comfort zone issue that some would find too lax but works for us). Good luck
On May 29, 2002
My daughter is only in 3rd grade but has been responsible for carrying her epi pen at school since first grade. She has a "purse" with all her things in it she needs. At PE she has an epi in an epimate which then goes in their waistpack. The waistpack is very thin( not like a fanny pack at all). She is very active and it never gets in the way. She even wore it when she used to run in races.