Boston Globe Article

Posted on: Wed, 06/21/2000 - 5:44am
Heather's picture
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Unfortunately I had to delete the article since I found out I'm not supposed to post it without permission. I have left enough information so that if anyone wants to look up the article, s/he can. It's a very good article.

Here is an article from the Boston Globe.

The Boston Globe
June 9, 2000, Friday ,THIRD EDITION

SECTION: LIVING; Pg. D16

HEADLINE: Readers' Forum< Karen Dillon lives in Arlington.;
ALLERGY MAKES FAMILY AWARE OF BLESSINGS

BYLINE: By Karen A. Dillon,

[This message has been edited by Heather (edited August 28, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Heather (edited August 28, 2000).]

Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2000 - 5:21am
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Thanks for info. Unfortunately, we already brought our Thursday paper to the dump. I'll have to try to track down this article.

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2000 - 12:44am
Heather's picture
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Well, now I'm actaully glad that we missed the trash pick up last week because I was able to fish the paper out of the recycling bin. I think the article is very good! The part about sitting in traffic and getting that panic feeling and thinking "what is my child doing/eating?" I know that feeling. I could certainly related to everything the mom said!

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2000 - 11:58am
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My parents still had the paper so I was able to read the article. I thought the article was great. If anyone's interested, I wouldn't mind typing it in sometime. Let me know.

Posted on: Thu, 11/30/2000 - 12:12am
Linda-Jo's picture
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I'm glad some of you were able to find the article. It is well written and we all can relate. I gave a copy to my daughter's teachers, just so they don't think I'm a 'looney' when it comes to her safety, with all the precautions and questions I ask them! I have typed the article in 'word', so if anyone would like a copy, let me know (by email) and I will email it to you!
[This message has been edited by Linda-Jo (edited November 30, 2000).]

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 11:51pm
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This is for Julie -- I sent the article to you with the address you gave me, but it got returned saying 'undeliverable'. I clicked on your email to enusre no error if I typed it. I'm not sure what happened, so email me and I'll try again. Thanks.
[This message has been edited by Linda-Jo (edited December 02, 2000).]

Posted on: Thu, 06/22/2000 - 12:21am
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pThank you for sharing. I have never seen an article such as that one in my home newspapers. An article like that sure raises everybody's awareness about PA./p

Posted on: Mon, 11/10/2003 - 1:58am
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allergies changing school customs
Parents, educators navigate a world with new dangers
By Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff, 11/10/2003
BELMONT -- There were two birthdays last Wednesday in Mrs. Anderson's fourth-grade class, one boy and one girl, both celebrating their first day in the double-digit years.
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After their classmates finished laboring over a list of math problems, they sang a few verses of Happy Birthday. But there was no slicing of a sheet cake, no huffing to blow out candles.
Instead, the newly minted 10-year-olds pulled out wrapped packages and ripped them open, as friends gasped with excitement, to reveal their birthday gifts to the class: a biography of Paul Revere, a book about vampires, and a 2004 almanac.
As the number of children diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies has ballooned in recent years, more schools are starting to look like Belmont's Mary Lee Burbank School, which bans birthday cupcakes and other treats that could trigger allergic reactions. Across the state, educators and parents are learning to navigate a new world, where candy can be deadly and townspeople clash over whether their schools should allow peanut butter sandwiches.
"We want people to understand that this is not just sneezing and a running nose," said Theresa Normile, a registered nurse and the parent of a Belmont second-grader severely allergic to peanuts and nuts. "Children can die."
Last year, the Massachusetts Department of Education became the first in the country to release suggested guidelines -- not requirements, so schools can adopt their own policies based on the number and severity of student allergies -- for protecting children with life-threatening allergies in schools. The 76-page guide alerts schools to the need to accommodate students, some with allergies so severe that eating 1/5,000 of a teaspoon of an offending substance could cause death.
It was the allergy deaths of three young people in Massachusetts within two years that spurred Michele Abu Carrick, the Reading mother of a high school sophomore with food allergies, to take action. "When the last child died, I just thought this is so unacceptable because these [deaths] are so preventable," she said.
The first death came in the summer of 1999, when a lacrosse player from Winchester and recent high school graduate died after eating nuts. In 2000, an Acton cheerleader, 13, was stricken after eating a snack containing cream.
And in May 2001, an Amesbury middle school student died after eating nuts in a home economics class. In February, the parents of the boy, William J. Gallagher, filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city and school district.
Carrick, well aware from her own experiences that schools vary in their approach to food allergies, argued that a statewide effort was necessary to prevent more children from dying. She eventually served on the Department of Education task force that released the guidelines last year.
No one knows exactly why severe allergies are increasing in children -- some researchers speculate that pregnant women are eating more peanuts -- but the numbers have soared. Nationally, the number of children with known food allergies jumped 55 percent between 1995 and 2000.
Now, an estimated 6 to 8 percent of school-age children have food allergies -- and about half of those children are believed to have a high risk of anaphylaxis, the life-threatening reaction that can kill within minutes of exposure.
While public schools cannot reject students, some private schools have refused to enroll children with serious allergies, arguing that they cannot adequately protect them. This fall, the parents of a 4-year-old girl filed a complaint with the US Office of Civil Rights, charging that St. Edward Elementary School in Brockton illegally rejected their daughter because she has a severe peanut allergy.
Ellie Goldberg, an educational consultant from Newton, has seen resistance in schools run by other denominations, as well as charter schools: "Peanut butter just goes with kids. They have a hard time making that adjustment."
North Andover first confronted the issue in the 1990s when officials created a peanut-free classroom after enrolling a kindergartner with a severe allergy to peanuts.
"There were parents who were upset about this because their children only eat peanut butter and jelly," said Diane Huster, former chairwoman of the school committee. As the mother of a girl who once ate little besides peanut butter and crackers, she, too, was conflicted.
But once she understood the severity of the allergy, she said, she supported the ban. And in time, the school's policy -- which included a daily washing-down of the school-bus seat where the allergic child sat -- became routine.
Still, Huster said, "I was surprised that we had to do so much convincing."
Public schools vary so widely in their approach to students with food allergies that some parents move into school districts for their allergy policies, officials say. "There is a huge trend for families to seek communities that have active programs," said Jane Franks, coordinator of school health services in Lexington, where 140 of about 6,000 students have life-threatening allergies.
The new state guidelines urge banning the tradition of trading lunches. They also recommend peanut-free tables in the cafeteria. "In most cases, it wouldn't need to be the whole school," said Katie Millett, who oversees the Department of Education's school nutrition safety program.
And they suggest that all schools maintain a supply of epinephrine for students who may have their first allergic reaction at school. About one-third of students who have severe allergy attacks at school and are injected with epinephrine did not previously know that they had life-threatening allergies, according to Anne Sheetz, the director of school health services for the state Department of Public Health.
In Belmont this year, the school system adopted a new protocol for protecting students with severe allergies. Parents of elementary school children are asked not to pack snacks containing ingredients -- such as peanuts and nuts -- that cause allergic reactions in their classmates.
The school district has hired extra school nurses so every school has full-time coverage. Bus drivers and coaches are alerted to children's allergies, and every field trip has a trained staffer designated to administer life-saving epinephrine.
Some educators didn't have to be sold on limiting sugary treats in school. "The kids don't need that much sugar during the day," said Dr. Rose Feinberg, principal of the Burbank School.
Normile, who started the parents' support group that eventually helped establish Belmont's new guidelines, said her son's friends didn't minding giving up sweets.
"Typically, you had your birthday and in went 24 cupcakes into the classroom," she said. "The teachers are very creative. Now they find other ways to celebrate the children's birthdays."
Kathleen Burge can be reached at [email]kburge@globe.com[/email].

Posted on: Mon, 11/10/2003 - 2:39am
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Excellent Article, Kim M. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 11/10/2003 - 4:17am
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I just sent a copy to the principle and nurse of the school my son will attend next year as well as the assistant superintendant. Great article! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 11/10/2003 - 11:34am
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Thanks for posting!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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