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I have an 8 yr. old, who has a airborne allergy to peanuts (we have known about her allergy for 5 years). I am just so let down by so many parents that send their kids to school with snacks that contain or may contain peanuts. The school has issued another letter explaining how deadly this allergy is.

A week ago and again today parents sent in snacks for the whole class. They had a warning label on them. The teacher is great, making the kids go outside to eat their snacks, but still what do I have to do to make these thick headed parents understand that these snacks could kill my daughter.

Sorry but today I just feel fedup and let down.

On Apr 24, 2002

I am sorry for your amazingly ignorant parents. I looked to see where you were from and saw it is Canada. Hopefully Cindy will be able to help you out. She has been very helpful to me, but I am sure she will be able to help you out being you are both in Canada. The laws and rules here in the United States are horrible for the allergy. However in Canada you seem to have more options. I will email Cindy and let her know to go to this post. Hope she is able to help you out. Take care. Cindy in the USA

On Apr 24, 2002


Originally posted by momof4: [b]I am sorry for your amazingly ignorant parents. I looked to see where you were from and saw it is Canada. Hopefully Cindy will be able to help you out. She has been very helpful to me, but I am sure she will be able to help you out being you are both in Canada. The laws and rules here in the United States are horrible for the allergy. However in Canada you seem to have more options. I will email Cindy and let her know to go to this post. Hope she is able to help you out. Take care. Cindy in the USA[/b]

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I can tell you the rules here are not so hot either.

Sincerely Lisa

On Apr 24, 2002

shirriff, welcome! [img][/img]

Cindy just e-mailed me and asked me if I could help you out with the difficulties you're having. I checked your profile and see that you're in Ontario, which is the same province I'm in, so I think I can really help you quite a bit. This may require some off-the-board contact. Would you feel okay about that? I don't encourage people to go off-the-board because all information is important to be posted here, but there are some things/names/etc. we're going to have to discuss that shouldn't be posted perhaps.

I'll ask you a few questions here and we can start from square one. I know that that may sound really easy for me to say, but believe me, I have had difficulty with school since my son started three years ago. However, I'm now at the point where I am able to help other PA parents get what they need/want for their children in their schools (to a degree).

Does your daughter have a "peanut free" classroom? I can tell you straight away, that in the province of Ontario, all school board district policies re anaphylaxis (PA) GUARANTEE your daughter a "peanut free" classroom.

It would be your responsibility, if she does have a "peanut free" classroom to educate the teacher/principal that "peanut free" also means NO "may contains" or NO "made ins".

Aside from your daughter's class, does the school claim to be "peanut safe", "peanut free" or "reduce the risk"? If they claim to be any of these things and they aren't, they have to be reminded, through Duty of Care literature that by calling themselves something they are not leaves them wide open to a lawsuit should something happen to your child while in school.

You mentioned that the teacher lets the other children eat "may contain" products outside of the classroom. Not okay in my eyes, but perhaps a compromise. However, does she implement hand washing before allowing them back in the classroom?

Do you have a copy of your school board's policy re anaphylaxis? Although school board policy is, to me, very clear about what is to be done when you have a PA child in your school, it took me a couple of years to realize that I actually needed a personalized school plan for my 6 year old PA son Jesse. Another member here, PeanutTrace, took her daughter's personalized school plan (also for a school board in Ontario) and personalized it for Jesse. It is excellent and it also is backed up by school board policy.

Are you dealing with the public or Catholic school system? Public school board policy re anaphylaxis is pretty well the same province wide, the wording may change a bit, but that's it. Catholic schools, on the other hand, do not seem to have a policy in place. However, usually when they are presented with one from the public school system, they will adhere to it and actually have to as they receive public funding.

I recently helped a PA Mom who was moving from a city where she had a "peanut free" school for her son to another town where he was entering the Catholic school system. Eventually, through the literature I was able to provide her (I'm not tooting my own horn here, it's all information I get from fellow members here), she got exactly what she wanted for her son - a "peanut free" classroom.

I have recently found a great pamphlet put out by Shoppers Drug Mart that I have been promoting here. It is very parent friendly and deals with Food Allergies and Intolerances. I just sent some into my son's class for his teacher to send home with the next class newsletter.

Lisa, I am quite willing to help you take this from step one. Believe me, I had been banging my head against a brick wall for two years with my son's previous school and only the support I received on this board helped save my sanity and make me realize that this can be done.

I can call the school board that covers your district. I would then get a copy of their policy and get one for you if you don't have one already. Then, we fine tooth comb it. Personally, I would come up with a personalized plan for your daughter.

This may come across as though I am VERY tough and deal with these things easily, but believe me, when I have to meet with the principal/superintendent/teacher, I'm shaking in my boots and simply hoping that I come across well. And bottom line is, after working at it for three years, I do have Jesse's plan in place with no argument from the school.

I'll re-check this thread since Cindy brought it to my attention (thank-you, Cindy [img][/img] ) and if you like, please please, contact me off-the-board. I'm certainly NOT the only person in Ontario who could help you, but as one of my son's school's teacher's called me this week-end, I seem to have become an "advocate for PA". I don't mind making phone calls, getting information, sending information that may be helpful, etc. I truly don't.

I can definitely say one thing, you will be okay. You've found this website and even if you choose not to contact me, there are many caring, concerned, supportive people here who are able to help you with your day-to-day frustrations. In fact, a couple of different members, in seeing what difficulties I was having with my son's previous school, just through my venting in different threads, contacted me off-the-board and suggested what I should do.

Again, I would be very pleased to help, but I know that there are many others out there as well. I could be on the phone to Richmond Hill tomorrow, though [img][/img]

Another couple of questions. Does your daughter carry her Epi-pen? Has she ever had a reaction at school?

Oh, and it will be okay.

Best wishes! [img][/img]


On Apr 25, 2002

Hi Cindy,

Thank you so much for your understand.

My daughter originally went to a peanut free school for two years. I switched schools in september, after speaking with the principal about her allergy I felt better, but not totaly concern free. She didn't attend this particular school for kindergarden because the 1st principal I met had no regard for her safety. This principal is more informed but of course this is his last year and I find with people knowing they are leaving don't like to "rock the boat"

My daughter's teacher is truly aware of the situation. If there are snacks that are brought in for the class he waits until the end of the day before giving anything out. The kids cannot eat these treats in the class. But even this I feel has to be stopped. Yesterday's problem was with Tim Horton's. They did eat the snacks outside by the playground. My daughter was so upset after school, she had to play by herself until the treats were gone and the kids cleaned themselves up. Their class has a sign that you can see before entering the room, but it must be invisible. Or I am the only parent that reads.

How can I control what the kids have in their lunches. Do I have to sit there during recess and lunch to read the ingredents? If that's what it takes to keep my kid safe then that's what I will do.

I plan on going in this morning and talking again with the principal and the teacher and seeing if I can stop parents from bringing in any outside treats for the whole class. My goal is stopping all parents in the school, but I figure one step at a time is a good place to start. I was going to do this after school yesterday, but I was so angry I figured that was not the time to react.

My daughter does carry epi-pens with her at all time, the teacher keeps one in his desk and the school office keeps one. Thank God we have never had to use them. The only reaction she has ever had was the first time, and since she her allergy is airborne as well she has had hay fever symtoms in public places. (we now stay away from the city's home shows, royal winter fairs, etc) That another thing that gets me as well, but that's another story [img][/img]

I do not mind talking with you, any time. During the days are best.

Once again, thank you. This web site, plus your replies made the world of diffence in my life yesterday. I know I am not the only one going through this and that's a major comfort.

With regards Lisa

On Apr 25, 2002

I have also run into this problem. Since my daughter does not have an allergy to airborne particles, we have gotten by with providing separate snacks for her. In your case, however, assuming that your child's airborne allergy is documented, the school is obligated to take additional measures to ensure her safety. Instead of having parents send in snacks for the class, why don't you ask the school to set up a "snack fund," either with school money or with parent contributions. You could be put in charge of buying safe snacks for your child's class. The other alternative is to eliminate snacks from the classroom altogether. It has been awhile since I was eight, but I don't seem to remember having snacks during the school day when I was that age.

On Apr 26, 2002

shirriff, well.....

To me, it sounds as though you need superintendent involvement for YOU to "rock the boat" of the principal who is leaving. Although it is near the end of the school year, basically the same thing happened to me last year at this time. Another member from here told me that I should get the superintendent involved and NOW. What you need to do is call the board office and find out who the superintendent for your school is. Then, you request a meeting with the superintendent and principal.

I realize what I'm saying may all be mute if you have worked out something in your meeting with the principal yesterday. However. The member that suggested this to me last year runs a support group in the Hamilton area, and apparently, a lot of PA parents, when they get superintendent involvement finally get what they want. This actually happened with me as well. All of a sudden I had a co-operative principal and my head wasn't banging against a solid brick wall (this was after two years).

There should be no eating allowed in your daughter's playground. Although there are always kids who are going to eat in the playground and that can't be controlled, group eating, such as what happened the other day, definitely shouldn't have happened. I have it in Jesse's school plan (which again, is backed up by school board policy) that there is no eating in the school yard. How terrible for your daughter to be ostracized because of something the kids really should have been eating at home, if at all. [img][/img]

How is the teacher currently checking the lunches/snacks? What they are able to do with children your daughter's age, and even younger, is enlist the actual help of the children in the class. They help to read the labels on the food that they're bringing in. However, you can also request an aide for the teacher if the teacher feels that the task is overwhelming. The aide simply comes in and checks the lunch boxes first thing in the morning.

Again, I highly recommend getting the Shoppers Drug Mart brochure and getting enough copies that you can have it sent home to each and every parent in your daughter's class. If you want me to send you a copy, by mail, I can.

You also require the Duty of Care article, the May Contain Study, and a look at a school plan for Ontario. I'm going to e-mail these to you off-the-board.

I know I sound really strong, but the thing is, I'm not, I just get really really angry when this continues to happen in Ontario. Now, as far as you wanting a "peanut free" school for your child, that's going to be really difficult to get again unless the new principal has run one before and you're able to convince him/her. I know a woman who is able to do a seminar at the school at the beginning of the year in September month. There are a lot of things we can work on over the summer of what you provide the principal/teacher with for them to finally "get it" and for your daughter to be safe.

But, first things first. I will get a few things e-mailed to you to-day and I hope you have a printer that works (mine doesn't [img][/img] ).

I think you'll find that a lot of people in Ontario do have peanut free schools, or reduce the risk schools, and they're run with relative ease. These parents, of course, are unable to understand what we're going through (which is okay).

Oh, and the one other question. Is your daughter the only PA child in her school? Jesse is.

Best wishes! [img][/img]


On Apr 29, 2002

Lisa, how did your meeting go?

Best wishes! [img][/img]