Going Too Far?

Author:
Updated:
Original:

I would like to hear others feelings regarding our school actually going too far in dealing with peanut and other allergies. We have two boys in our school, one in second grade and one in fifth grade that have peanut and other allergies. I do not know how severe either one of the cases is but it's my understanding neither one is susceptable to airborne nut material. I feel that our principal has gone above and beyond in accomodating the special needs of these kids and still the parents push for more. So far, letters are sent home constantly revising the "approved list" of snacks which was already VERY short, there is a peanut free table with a peanut free zone set-up in the cafeteria, teachers have to supervise the kids washing their hands when they get to school, the school carnival has to be sure not to use the two hallways that house the classrooms of these two boys and the very popular cake walk/junk food walk at the carnival has to be a carrot/fruit walk. Forget about the holiday parties because they're a joke. No eggs, no flour, no dairy or nuts allowed anywhere, ever. At what point is enough enough? I don't need my principal and his staff including teachers spending time taking care of these issues when they should be teaching and educating children. At what point do the requests get rediculous? These kids are old enough to know what they can and cannot eat. There's no need to mandate what the other 99.5% of the kids can do to facilitate the needs of .5%. The kids need to be able to take care of themselves. I just wanted to see what others thought. As an aside, I do have a 4 year old that also has a peanut allergy and she knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food. I look forward to hearing others thoughts.

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] I do have a 4 year old that also has a peanut allergy and she knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food. [/b]

Have you read Emily's story? [url="http://www.allergykids.com/index.php?id=12"]http://www.allergykids.com/index.php?id=12[/url]

I wish the very best for you and your daughter.

On Aug 29, 2006

My school does many of these things for the sake of my son and the many other allergic children at his school. In fact 10% of the incoming kindergarten class has life threatening allergies (5 of 51 kids). It is becoming epidemic. We do have 3 parties a year which I will help plan for my class and attend to make as safe as possible for my son. They will be peanut and nut free. Other than that it sounds almost identical to your situation.

Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, please recognize that federal law mandates appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities and this includes food allergy under Section 504 of the American Disabilities Act. If it is a public school, the allergic children are entitled to be and feel safe while getting an education.

While at first glance it may seem like an infringement of freedom, your child is not entitled to a junk food walk at a publicly funded school under federal law. Your child is not even entitled to eat his/her peanut butter and jelly sandwich in school under federal law, if the school feels this impacts safety for other students.

Luvmyboys

On Aug 29, 2006

I understand what you're saying but the fact that there is currently a law in place to force the schools to act a certain way doesn't make it right. Things like cake walks at carnivals have been around forever and I don't remember it being an issue when I was in school. Granted, they don't HAVE to have one, but why should they noy? There might be a few kids who can't participate but the VAST majority still can. My concern was more towards taking too much time catering to the needs of a few kids(and the mothers) and forgetting about the education.

On Aug 29, 2006

Welcome! I must say I am very proud of your daughter! She knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food. That is a good start! I wish it were that simple.

There is a thread on here dedicated to all those, of different ages, who have lost their lives to an anaphylactic reaction. I'm sure they all knew what to eat, what not to eat and to not share their food. However, in reality it is a learning process throughout the allergic person's life. I think at 4, she knows these things because you have been a great teacher to her about it but she still needs to be guided. She learns from wathcing you and how you are dealing with it and what you teach her. My DD is 11 and I am teaching her how to deal with this every day. I don't think the world should be paved for her "peanut free" but if she can get some help along the way that is great!

I do think some schools go far out with their peanut free policies. There has to be some balance between the PA kids and the non-PA kids.

I would continue to teach your DD about her food choices because of her allergy. It is something she'll have to live with all her life unless there is some way to outgrow or prevent it medically (praying!). I always tell my DD, peanuts are in the world and you just have to avoid them as best you can.

On Aug 29, 2006

I agree completely. I'm just trying to determine if our school is going too far or if they are on par with other schools. It's always tragic when a child dies regardless if if it was for an accident, cancer or anything else. You can read any of those stories and your heart will be torn out each time. I lived through my friend dying of cancer in high school and it was the horrible.

On Aug 29, 2006

BASP -

Thank you for coming here to find out more information.

You mentioned that you don't know how severe the allergies are, and if the kids are sensitive to airborne allergens.

What about contact reactions? Peanut residue can be invisible, but just as deadly.

I totally understand your point about going too far. We've been walking a fine line after putting our son in public school, but it really can all be worked out, AND be fair to everyone.

I suggest you try to find out the extent of the allergies. Maybe then you'll understand why things are the way they are.

On Aug 29, 2006

If your child had anaphalactic reactions from pb residue then you would change your tune in a heartbeat! You would not want the halls filled with something that was deadly to your child. Many children are allergic to residue. My child wasn't till he was 6 or 7... so watch what you say- you may be the one fighting for the same accomodations one day.

On Aug 29, 2006

Thanks you for your response and you made me remember one more question I had that I neglected to add. If the rest of the school is going to make special accomodations for a couple of children with allergies, are the other parents in the school entitled to view the medical records and doctors recommendations to determine of there is TRUELY a medical issue or if the parent is just being overly protective?

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] I'm just trying to determine if our school is going too far or if they are on par with other schools. [/b]

I'll share what our school district does. . .

Our carnival at the elementary school has a cake walk and parents voluntarily provide the goodies~ some safe and some unsafe. No overt peanut, but unlabeled foods and also 'may contains'. I didn't address it because the event is held [i]outdoors [/i], kids are not allowed inside, so there was little/no threat of contaminating surfaces inside the school.

We're now at the Middle School, and our 504 plan is clear that any food that is provided by the school or by the Parent Association for general consumption must be safe for my daughter. So that means that any parties organized by the PTA will only serve foods that my DD can eat. The school enforces/oversees this policy. For the lunch program, all the food on the 'line' is completely safe, and there is one basket of 'may contain' pre-packaged products that is labeled as such for those who are PA.

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b]If the rest of the school is going to make special accomodations for a couple of children with allergies, are the other parents in the school entitled to view the medical records and doctors recommendations to determine of there is TRUELY a medical issue or if the parent is just being overly protective? [/b]

Fortunatley, a child's medical and educational record is protected under FERPA and HIPPA privacy laws, so no, another parent does not have the right to this information. The school is prohibitted from sharing this information with you [i]verbally [/i]as well.

What makes you believe that these two parents are being overly protective?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 29, 2006).]

On Aug 29, 2006

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you should find out by any other way than straight from the parents.

There are some parents who don't want to be asked, but I think it's wonderful. Education makes all the difference, and I'd rather they find out from me - and get the truth. I appreciate it when someone asks. When someone is genuinely interested in learning about PA, NOT just trying to stir up trouble, that is.

On Aug 29, 2006

I think when it comes to the life your child, we are all guilty of being a little "overprotective." We ack like a Mamma bear protecting her cubs!

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b]...teacher have to supervise the kids washing their hands when they get to school...[/b]

Good! This is a widely recognized infection control method, and will well benefit all children at the school. Many schools are re-addressing this practice (nothing to do with allergies).

[b]

Quote:

...the school carnival has to be sure not to use the two hallways that house the classrooms of these two boys and the very popular cake walk/junk food walk at the carnival has to be a carrot/fruit walk.[/b]

What in the world are the carnivals doing *inside* the school, anyway? [i]Remembering working the ever-so-messy sand-art-table...the fishing booth...and the pumpkin painting station. Would not be volunteering to be on the clean-up committee.[/i] What about outside? That's where we had carnivals when I was in school. Do they not have a gym, in case of rain?

And I think the staff has much more to do than plan a carnival. This is usually a "parent thing" at my DD's school.

[b]

Quote:

...Forget about the holiday parties because they're a joke. No eggs, no flour, no dairy or nuts allowed anywhere, ever. At what point is enough enough?...[/b]

Since when do they *need* cupcakes/doughnuts/ice cream at school?

We all have certain special "memories" of our time at school. Special teachers, art projects, playground activities...may just be me, but I don't remember class parties that well. Cupcake and juice, maybe a cookie. Oh well! Our DD is much more interested in the activity (usually a craft to keep).

Many of these "catered affairs" seem to be *much more* important to the Mom's than the kids.

[b]

Quote:

...As an aside, I do have a 4 year old that also has a peanut allergy and she knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food. I look forward to hearing others thoughts. [/b]

Have you read the threads about accidental exposures? Many parents never dream their kids would take something from another kid, or even an adult (other than a parent or teacher), but this has sadley been proven true more than once.

Most parents here only *dream* of a school like you are describing.

Hope your DD is one of the "lucky ones." But wouldn't you rather not take the chance? I mean with the *obvious* peanuts and such. Not saying some parents don't go overboard.

But at least you will have one less thing to worry about your DD when she starts school there.

If a school is that committed, the staff must really care about the kids. Nice!

Have a good day, Daisy

On Aug 29, 2006

Daisy -

Well put:

"But at least you will have one less thing to worry about your DD when she starts school there.

If a school is that committed, the staff must really care about the kids. Nice!"

On Aug 29, 2006

Daisy: Did you actually READ what I wrote before you responded? First of all, we live in a northern climate so planning something outside in October doesn't work. Every school carnival I've ever gone to in this area has been inside. If we lived in California it might be different but we don't. The carnival takes up the entire school including the gym, cafeteria, library and hallways. Secondly, the staff doesn't plan the carnival, the parents do. I'm not sure where you got that either. There is an outside company that sponsers the entire event and the parents organize and run it. Lastly, the event is HARDLY catered. There isn't even any food available outside of the cake walk (and possibly cup cakes). If you're going to resond to a thread, make sure you respond to the actual question being asked and not make up items to respond to.

On Aug 29, 2006

In my opinion..remember, you asked [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]..

You have been given an incredible gift and you don't even know it.

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] I look forward to hearing others thoughts.[/b]

Okay. . . then we'll try to share our thoughts with you.

Personally, I don't think this is completely about age alone. Yes, more responsibility should be handed to children as they mature and are developmentally capable, but there's more to it than that.

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] These kids are old enough to know what they can and cannot eat. [/b]

Did you read Emily's story? The link I posted for you? Emily's mother makes this important point: [i]"She knew what she could and couldn

On Aug 29, 2006

[quote]Originally posted by BASP: [B]I understand what you're saying but the fact that there is currently a law in place to force the schools to act a certain way doesn't make it right.

Perhaps you should be working to eliminate the American Disabilities Act then because right or wrong, the schools are forced to comply with it. If it didn't exist, I would be forced to homeschool my 3 boys, right or wrong. Fortunately for me I am in a position where that is possible but others are not so lucky.

As for your desire to see these kids' records and make a judgement call for yourself.. Would you want the public seeing your child's records? Would you micromanage every decision the school makes or will you trust the school to make appropriate and legal decisions that protect their children?

My school district provides an incredible education while still going to every reasonable effort to protect its disabled students. It has not detracted from the education at all. It helps students to feel safer, and therefore focus on an education. Handwashing has reduced absences, allowing students and teachers to focus more on education. Less food in the classroom reduces the focus on food as reward, improves student health and allows students to focus on education.

Luvmyboys

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by luvmyboys: [b]Handwashing has reduced absences, allowing students and teachers to focus more on education. Less food in the classroom reduces the focus on food as reward, improves student health and allows students to focus on education. [/b]

Excellent point.

BASP, is your concern really about majority children not getting an education because staff are distracted (my word choice) dealing with the .5% of children with food allergies? Seriously.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 29, 2006).]

On Aug 29, 2006

I get the sense that this is about a lot more than the safety measures for the two children in question. Why exactly does this seem so "over the top" to you?

To continue the cancer analogy that you have used, not everyone recieving treatment for cancer is so immunocompromised that they need extreme infection control measures. But I gladly comply for those who do. And it isn't for me to ask whether or not the need is "genuine." Good grief.

I think that is what is seeming rather abrasive about your posts. You seem to be somewhat bellicose toward the "moms" of these two children. What gives? Is this a personal thing?

If it is because you "know what peanut allergy is like," based on your own experience... with all due respect, you DO NOT walk in [i]my[/i] shoes, I assure you. You have no idea the nightmarish proportions that daily life assumes with a contact and aerosol sensitive PA child.

And I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but even if you live with PA, that doesn't mean you "get it" until you've held your child in your arms and begged for them to somehow be snatched back from the brink of death. If you haven't, I suggest that you avoid passing judgement on those who have.

I have to wonder why you are feeling put out that someone else's child has a PA that requires different accomodations than you would ask for your daughter. Are you also put out that some children require differentiated instruction due to learning disabilities? Clearly you could look at this as also "robbing" the other children of instructional time.

Why on earth does the ADA protections afforded PA children seem so wrong-headed to you?? Not all PA children qualify for 504 protections. It is decided [i]individually[/i]. By [i]persons knowledgeable about the child's condition[/i].... which I respectfully remind you that you are not. It does seem extraordinarily unlikely to me that any school administration would enforce such protective measures if they weren't deemed necessary by a committee that includes a medical advisor. You don't get a peanut-free building or even classroom just by "demanding" it be so, trust me.

So-- is your problem with the situation because;

a) you feel that disability law provides "special" treatment for those protected by it,

b) you don't believe for a minute that an allergy can rise to the standard of a "disability," (see d. as well)

c) you have a special axe to grind with one or both of these families,

or,

d) you refuse to acknowledge that anyone's situation might differ from your own?

Just things to think about. You seem very angry and I cannot understand why. Definitely some missing information in your posts. And I can't quite figure out what you are asking, but you clearly aren't happy with very many responses that don't agree implicitly with your opinion.

Edited to fix spelling.

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 29, 2006).]

On Aug 29, 2006

Can I just say (with tears in my eyes) that I wish my son could go to that school? I'd give my right arm (literally) for a school like that for my son.

On Aug 29, 2006

I don't understand something. If your DD is PA as well, wouldn't you be happy that the school is taking these precautions for the kids that are allergic, your DD included? Each PA is different from one another regarding their severity. Yes, they are all severe in the fact that they are life threatening, but to different degrees; ie. ingestion only, airborne, touch.

I think you should just sit back and relax that your DD is in an environment that watches out for her safety as well as you do. She only benefits from it.

On Aug 29, 2006

I get the sense that BASF is a troll, or someone out to stir the pot...just my sense.

I mean a 4 year old who knows what foods contain hidden allergens?!? My 6 yo is just realizing how careful he has to be -- ask a responsible adult to read labels ALL THE TIME if I am not around, never share food with friends at the lunch table, etc. Will BASF's 4 year old know to ask an adult who hands her a wonderful looking piece of candy to check the label? Will she ask the waiter at a restaurant whether or not they cook with peanut oil?

------------------ mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] My concern was more towards taking too much time catering to the needs of a few kids(and the mothers) and forgetting about the education. [/b]

Please explain what a cake walk has to do with education? How is the vast majority being denied thier right to teaching and education because of these school guidelines? Its been my 8 years of expereince that its the mothers(not kids) of non pa children who get upset about the rules. Children are typically sensitive and understanding about keeping thier fellow classmates safe(and alive) What if something could have been done to avoid your friend having cancer? Would you want to avoid it for just that person or allow it because it makes life more confortable for the others. We just try to avoid having our children around what is to their bodies....poison.

On Aug 29, 2006

Wow, this is the kind of thread that makes me really wonder about people.

BASP, sorry, but reviewing another CHILD's medical records would be a huge invasion of privacy.

I also think this person is a troll ... I hardly believe BASP's 4yo has a peanut allergy or the parent would be thankful the school has such measures in place.

Why do school events revolve around FOOD anyway? Shouldn't they revolve around LEARNING? And, there are plenty of carnival type foods that would be safe -- think bubble gum, cotton candy, lollipops.

I've heard that often it's the kids that show much more compassion than the parents, once they're old enough to understand their friend's limitations. Thank god for kids that are caring and sincere, even when their parents have not displayed such compassion.

BASD, very interesting that your FOUR year old can read labels. And, despite that, btw, most fatal reactions occur in the preteen/teen years, becasue younger children are more protected by their parents and hopefully, the schools.

If you truly have a child with peanut allergy, choose your words carefully as you may reevaluate them once your child is saved after a horrible reaction that could have been prevented. Reactions get worse over time, so be careful what you wish for.

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by that'smetrying: [b]I get the sense that BASF is a troll, or someone out to stir the pot...just my sense. [/b]

ditto- too many inconsistencies.. just doesnt have the credibility of a parent with a PA child..

On Aug 29, 2006

Looks like some college kids haven't returned to classes yet.

On Aug 29, 2006

This person is just trying to stir up the puddin'. Her questions were not questions - but statements disguised as questions. Ho-hum. I sincerely hope this person does not really have a PA 4 year old. If so, poor kid!

On Aug 29, 2006

Of course, this was BASP's first post on this website, another giveaway...6 posts to date, 5 of which are on this thread, the other one 20 minutes after her initial post in this thread, as BASP anxiously awaited responses.

And I love how a 4yo daughter with the peanut allergy is "just an aside".

Sorry, BASP, you didn't fool us. Now go spend time finding some compassion for those children and their parents at your child's school.

[This message has been edited by TwokidsNJ (edited August 29, 2006).]

On Aug 29, 2006

I don't think so. Few trolls are so subtle. This poster just seemed... [i]uninformed.[/i]

I think that in all liklihood this is a person who has a (airquotes)"'PA'" child. One who was diagnosed with a single allergy test, has never had a single reaction (not even before testing) and lives in a household which is not particularly careful.

(And hey-- I know that this might offend a few people on the boards who are in that boat-- I don't mean to imply that without a clinical anaphylaxis hx you aren't really allergic, okay? It is possible if you are [i]really[/i] careful-- this just doesn't seem to fit with BASP's post.)

Such a person would quite naturally be pretty amazed at the lifestyle [i]I[/i] lead, let me tell you. I am amazed that such people don't do more harm when they gloat about how the rest of us are simply wackos and that they know all about it.

Anyone who thinks a PA is easy or simple to live with-- doesn't. Period.

No, my suspicion is that this person is posting partly out of irritation because of being inconvenienced by restrictions that have never been needed in her experience (but see my opinion above...)... AND (though it may have been a subconcious thought when she posted) she might even be worried about her daughter being labeled as "disabled" when she enters school. If she understood more about ADA she wouldn't be concerned on that score. Either that or she's feeling vaguely uneasy about how cavalier they've been about precautions for her daughter and she wants validation that her comfort zone is just fine.

Three comments.

1. If ADA didn't exist, we could roll back the clock to the days when a particular medical diagnosis was sufficient for a school to deny a child entry. How 'bout them apples? Do [i]you[/i] want to be forced to homeschool your "PA duaghter?"

2. Get a better grip on what PA means or does not mean for your own family. Quit worrying about another child's medical diagnosis and find out more about your own. Do you need to be carrying epipens? How do you know your child is allergic? Seriously, if your daughter hasn't had any reactions at all in the last 2-3 years, there's a good chance that she may be one of the lucky children who have outgrown a PA. Only a doctor's challenge can tell you for sure, though. [i]Might be time for a talk with your allergist, KWIM?[/i]

3. If your daughter [i]is[/i] truly allergic, then you should discuss her care with your allergist-- you need to carry epipens and always be prepared to treat an allergic reaction. Beyond that, nobody here is going to challenge what you need to do to keep her safe. That's called a comfort zone, and I don't think any two people have the same one. We may ask one another to think about things in a different way-- but that is a very good thing.

(shrug) Of course, I have run into a few people who have self-diagnosed a PA in a child and have no real basis for having done so (IMO). Always amazes me. Why would you [i]want[/i] such a thing? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] It really seems kinda sick. Anyway. Tangent over.

I just hope that BASP will consider the glass house she thinks she is currently residing in before she lobs any more rocks.

On Aug 29, 2006

I agree with Corvallis mom. At first I wondering whether we had a troll, or this was just someone who is, for want of a better phrase, ill-informed. I used to have a neighbor who said her son was PA, but let him eat all kinds of "may contains" including plain M&Ms. He did just fine. I don't know how she knew about his allergy (reaction? test?), but I would guess that either he was very lucky so far, or he wasn't really allergic. But I think that BASP may have a child like that. And she either thinks her child is typical of PA children, or perhaps is afraid to find out it is more serious than she wants to know. If BASP is truly not a troll, I hope she sticks around awhile and learns from the many voices of experience here.

On Aug 29, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Jimmy's mom: [b]. . . I hope she sticks around awhile and learns from the many voices of experience here.[/b]

ditto here. I hope you stay around, BASP. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 29, 2006

BASP, all I have to say is I hope you realize these school procedures are in place now and WILL protect your nut allergic child when she is in school...if I were you, I would applaude your school rather than taking offense. They are helping SAVE the lives of children that attend that school, and the child they save next year might be your own!!! My daughter's nut allergies are LIFE-THREATENING and I take it Very seriously and I would take it just as serious if it were someone else's child and not my own at her school. I am very thankful that the parents of the kids in my daughter's class are very understanding and helpful with her serious allergies; not one has complained of the snack list, in fact a few have brought snacks from the list in for the whole class to keep in the classroom should a child bring a non-safe snack. I hope one day you are just as appreciative of others that help keep our children safe as we are.

On Aug 29, 2006

I think that you may be giving BASP a hard time. I have a 7 yo severely PA son, who a the young age of 4 was very capable of telling people about his allergy. He knew what he could and couldn't eat, he knew how to look for peanut words on the label, and he would ask adults to read the label. It is true that any accidents could happen, but unfortunately, our children do have to learn to live in a peanut laden world. I (in the case of my son) believe that I can't always provide a safe environment (outside of our home of course). He needs to learn to be extremely vigilant and "be afraid" of everything he puts in his mouth. This may mean to clean his table area prior to eating, or clean his seats and tables on an airplane, and even clean the seats around him at a baseball game (yes, I have taken him to MLB games...not comfortable with it, but I do take him). I believe this is the best lesson I can teach him. Yes, my son has had a severe contact reaction, and has tested in the very high ranges. I can't keep in him a bubble (though I would love to) and I can't treat him much differently than my other non allergic children. I believe that my son accepts his allergies for what they are and understands what can happen to him if an accident occurs. It's scary, it stinks, but it is reality.

I really didn't see anything wrong with what BSAP initially asked that required many of you to jump all over her!

On Aug 29, 2006

What was offensive?

1. Implying that measures taken to protect OTHER students at her older (non-PA) child's school were totally out of line. (Backed by her claim that she has a PA 4 yo and sees no reason to limit food in the school in [i]her own[/i] experience...)

2. Her irritation at ADA accommodation for... anything??

3. The notion that she must somehow be privy to these childrens' medical records so that she can "see for herself" that they "really need" these measures in place.

The last one in particular strikes me as deeply offensive-- doubly so if it comes from another PA parent.

Nobody questioned her comfort zone. What was questioned was her perspective and understanding of the school's obligation to all of its students. In addition, some things that she said (or didn't) told me that she may well be one of the unfortunate people who is told NOTHING about PA by a physician giving the diagnosis.

I don't think anyone "jumped all over" BASP. (Other than those who may have erroneously identified her as a troll... experience tells me she's not.)

On Aug 29, 2006

You say cake walks have been around forever, well, I believe at one time there was corporal punishment in school as well, times change. I agree the focus should be on education in schools, there could be a lot of time saved by eliminating a lot of the birthday and holiday stuff in the school. What's so wrong with a couple parties per year? Perhaps with the focus on activities instead of food so everyone is included? Trust me, I wish my son's one month in public school had had the focus on education, instead everyday focused on food, what could they play with, how many unsafe birthday treats could they sneak in? My personal favorite was the crushed nut table they felt fit to display, my son didn't touch, but left school with red streaks on his face because people contaminated the entire environment. Did I mention that his lung function dropped to 68% of his norm in only one month of school? Are you going to tell me to homeschool? Then tell me why I should have to pay school taxes? I haven't gotten any refunds yet. Why are schools supposed to acccomodate these kids? Because the law says they must go to school, they're entitled to it. Unfortuately, I believe they will eventually kill my kid. I really love view points like yours, you say the focus of the educators should be on education, yet your argument is for cupcakes, not extra teachers. At our school, the kids in the area are SO POOR, all the parents can afford is peanut butter. Yet these same parents drop 20-25 bucks for the fanciest cupcakes for their kids to bring to school. Inconsistent wouldn't you say? Then all the treats for the back to school party, halloween party, thanksgiving party, christmas party, New Year party, Valentines party, St Patrick's day party, Easter/ Spring party, Memorial Day Party, end of school summer party, I think that's about one a month. Not counting B-day parties (at least two per month) and class parties of pizza and candy for being good. I'm very glad your 4 yo is so good about her allergies, my son is too. He knew not to take food from anyone, in fact he was the only one allowed to open his snack bin, it made no difference because his entire environment was covered in residue. All he had to do is touch his eyes or nose because they itched from all the stuff in the environment, and boom- sick kid. I tried to keep him breathing, before school he had his antihistamine, we added an asthma med, he took two different nebulizer medicines (one was a steroid) and a steroid nose spray. No less than two hours later the school nurse was giving him his rescue inhaler. Load a 40 lb child with that much medicine, that still can't breathe, and then have the teacher tell you it's sheer defiance that keeps him from focusing on school work. Struggling to live will do that to a child. Virtually the same routine before bed for medicines. Despite the plan of care the school wrote themselves and agreed to follow, they didn't bother. The best part is, there is noone to hold them accountable, the state pushes it on federal, the federal pushes it on state. But they sure didn't forget to collect their school taxes this year. So forgive me if I seem less than moved by your canceled cake event. I'm more worried about how to pay for all the extra curriculars my child will miss because he can't go to school. We're not wealthy, despite that ever prevalant myth that allergic children are only born to the independently wealthy.

On Aug 29, 2006

I just don't understand why so much thought goes in to what we can't feed our kids at school. They are there for lunch--the parents have them for every other meal and treat and birthday party, etc... Are we sending our kids to culinary school or elementary school? Why is food associated with "reward" for every time something has to be recognized at school? I believe we all put too much emphasis on how many cupcakes we Can or Can't make. School is about the learning, and I personally don't want my children taught in a pavlovian manner. I am just as guilty as anyone else about making sure that my PA & TNA kids had special treats. I never wanted to make them feel left out, and I just always felt so sorry for them.

I happened to be the Fall Festival Chair(one and only) for the last two years. Including homeroom mom for 2 classes. Big Big carnival-cake walk and all. What does two hallways have to do with ANYTHING! They are just 2 hallways. Unbelievable to me after reading all of these replies. Corvallis mom is right on in my opinion. I think this person hasn't been educated and hasn't experienced an up close and personal view of an anaphylatic attack, happening to your child. Changes everything!!

And, I don't believe anyone was giving anyone a hard time, except for the one who started this post. She got very snitty half way through. Point is is that I am trying to change my children's view of foods. Foods are for nurishment-not for reward. And especially not an every week event in the classroom. This way of thinking is hard to get across,(especially when I want my deep fried cheese puffs! ha ha) but very necessary and our school is giving different kinds of rewards all the time. Not just because of the food allergies, but because of healthy reasons.

------------------ Stacie - Mother to: 10 yr. PA 8 yr. TNA 2.5 yr. PA&TNA

On Aug 29, 2006

Sorry, I think I just had a Jerry Springer moment. Didn't mean to get all-all-evil! I just get frustrated like everyone else. Every FA child is different and every child with any disability is different. It is just not in my realm of understanding to not make every effort possible(especially if life or death) to make the school system a safe environment for all. I would and have done anything necessary for the safety and enrichment of every child. To even complain for one second about how this or that is such a pain or stupid--I don't get it! I have 3 children-2 are in school system-who are very anaphylatic and I could not bring myself to complain. There are so many things out there that could me EVEN WORSE. I have dealt with this allergy for 10 years. I just still think that I was given all three of my kids for a reason. Every day does not have to ALL consuming with fear-just remember the routine, and if the situation feels uncomfortable, don't do it. ie: basketball and baseball games--NO WAY! They serve shelled peanuts there--way too frightening. My kids don't live in a complete bubble, but I still have control at their ages.

------------------ Stacie - Mother to: 10 yr. PA 8 yr. TNA 2.5 yr. PA&TNA

On Aug 30, 2006

Just my 2 cents...

BASP, your child is 4 and knows what to eat and what not to eat...IN YOUR OWN HOME. That's a point that must be made because when they go to school, it is an entirely different ball game. There will be snacks, there will be parties, there will be people that will say, "Oh, this is okay. I don't "see" any peanuts." There will be substitute teachers that may not understand much about food allergies, ditto with bus drivers, support staff, etc.

Are you truly sure your 4-year old can handle all these pressures that go with being in school? You will not be with your child at school.

There is so much that can go wrong. Luckily we have a solid 504 that covers the entire school day. Little room for error or misunderstanding IMO. Very similar to the situation you describe with the school going "overboard".

Personally speaking, I would never send my child (at age 5) to school with the notion that he knows what he can and can't eat. That is too great a margin of error for a child with a severe, life-threatening food allergy. Ryan is now a soon-to-be 10-year old in 4th grade, and he is starting to make his own decisions regarding food, the snack program at school, and the lunchroom setup. He is ready to face these issues with my assistance. His growing maturity level means growing responsibility, and IMO his strong foundation in the early years has greatly benefited him.

[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

On Aug 30, 2006

I have to say I have learned a lot reading the posts that have come in over the last 24 hours both positive and negative. Let me start out by setting the record straight on a couple of things. I am not a "troll" as that'smetrying stated and I'm not a bored college student waiting for school to start as Lindajo said. I'm a real parent with a real 4 year old daughter that has a PA. She has had reactions in the past and has been tested. Thankfully she doesn't seem to have the allergy as severe as some of your children do but as I've also learned through these postings, that can change. I really appreciate the information and point of view I received from a few of you who like ants mom who were able to actually answer the questions and provide information rather then attacking someone who, god-forbid might have a different opinion then some of you do. Most of you took off an a tangent assuming I was some sort of deviant that was only here to cause trouble because I don't agree with all of you. After all, how could someone NOT agree with us? The militant attitude I experienced from a portion of this group is exactly the same attitude I see from other parents of PA children in our own school. I can tell you that isn't helping your cause at all. The few of you who stated that you feel I'm being neglectful and endangering my own daughter based on a few lines on a posting board are just plain idiots. That's beyond insulating to state something like that based on what little information you have. There is a common groud to be attained here as a few of you seem to have found in your own schools. I'm trying to find that in mine as well. Maqbe we're already there and I don't realize it. Remember what my initial question was. I was trying to compare what my school was doing to what other schools are doing. Most of you took it as an attack on PA children everywhere. Those who did that should be ashamed of yourselves. If you truely want this to be an information sharing site, try answering the questions posted rather then attacking the individual asking the questions. For the few of you who took the time to answer my questions and give your own feelings, I thank you very much for the information.

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] The militant attitude I experienced from a portion of this group is exactly the same attitude I see from other parents of PA children in our own school. I can tell you that isn't helping your cause at all. [/b]

Would you elaborate on this? Can you please describe what you mean by "militant attitude" ? Maybe give some examples of what you've observed at your school by PA parents that is "militant"?

On Aug 30, 2006

Hi BASP! I know it can be difficult reading tone into a computer message. So please read this in a friendly, conversational tone :-) I have been dealing with PA for about 11 years now with dd. I'll tell you about our experiences in the school system. DD started school in a K that was already peanut free. The teacher was exteremly vigilant because she had had a child have an anaphylactic reaction in front of her. She was very careful with my dd. I can tell you, it sure decreased my stresss level. Grade one, dd started a new, larger school. At the time, I felt it was enough to train staff on recognizing a reaction, using meds, etc. Even though she had a reaction at 2 yo from touching a piece of pb fudge to her lip (no bite marks at all). She started coughing grabbing her throat and by the time I grabbed her epi-pen she was unconscious, not breathing. I won't go into detail about the emotional details....as a mom, you can well imagine the unimaginable terror. So during the first grade, dd had many contact reactions. Her nose would run literally like someone had turned on a water faucet, one or two hives on her face, itchy eyes and mouth. Then when she was about 7 she had another anaphylactic reaction. This seemed to make her allergies more sensitive. During grade 3 from the beginning of Movember- Mid-december, I picked dd up from school everyday because she was reacting (we now know it was to trace amounts of pb). Each day the reactions were getting worse until she had an anaphylactic reaction at school.

This scared all of us including the principal. She said to me "How can I keep your daughter safe when her "killer" is smeared all over the school".

At this point we all felt better about a peanut free school. I can honestly say that we tried to avoid going that route but to keep dd alive, it was necessary. After the pf status, things were fine for the most part for dd. She could actually be in school for an entire day and not call for me to come and get her.

My dd looks healthy. She doesn't take asthma meds every day, only when she has a virus or her enviro allergies are particularly bad. So unfortunately, we weren't believed by many parents that her peanut allergy was that bad when the school stated that it would be going pf.

So this is just our own personal journey. Every situation is different and I think that is a very important thing to remember.

Also, things can change. I wish I had understood allergies more when dd was younger but I just didn't have the resources here. I often wonder that if I hadn't had that pb fudge in the fridge when she had her first ana reaction, would she be as sensitive as she is today? I am not blaming myself; I did what I knew at the time.

So if I could offer you a piece of advice from the mom of one beautiful PA little girl (although my 11 yo dd is not so little anymore....sob!) to another, things can change even with your own situation. One minute you can be going along thinking that everything is fine to...panic...when you get the call from school that your child is covered in hives, swelling up, wheezing, pale...etc. I don't want you to have to look back and ask "What if I hadn't left that pb fudge in the fridge?"

On Aug 30, 2006

Thanks for the great response. Is it your belief or maybe a fact that if the kids are exposed to it at a younger age (like your peanut butter fudge) and have a reaction, that it makes them even more vulnerable to reactions as they grow?

On Aug 30, 2006

I am in no way an expert, but I have been told by daughters ped and allergist that, yes, this is the case. We have also seen this in our dd's situation. Not saying this is the case for everyone. DD is now so severe that last summer I was standing talking to a friend of mine and dd and I didn't notice her little guy was eating a bag of peanuts until dd's nose started running, her ear started hurting (doc at emerg told me that this symptom is showing that there is swelling starting in her throat/ear and the swelling in the ear is causing pain). So the fact is, she wasn't reactive to airborn particles when she was pre-school and now she is. Whether it is due to reactions over the years increasing sensitivity or the natural progression of the allergy...we couldn't tell ya. Just our personal situation.

Sorry...by the time I clicked to reply to your topost I forgot the question. I don't think it necessarily had anything to do with the age of my daughter when she had her reaction as much as having repeated exposures making her more sensitive, IMO and the opinion of her ped.

[This message has been edited by KS mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]I don't think so. Few trolls are so subtle. This poster just seemed... [i]uninformed.[/i]

[/b]

It seemed to me there was a lot of rationalizing going on too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] A cry for help? I don't know.

On Aug 30, 2006

.....but I tend to do a lot of rationalizing myself too. I re-read the thread and I'd have to say there's some things I don't think BASP is that far off about. Maybe it's the point in my journey I'm at (echo's of another poster) and that I'm through cutting my nose off to spite my face. Struggling to get my kid a cupcake he's rather not have....and probably doesn't need. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

that kind of stuff. If that's what disability rights are about, maybe there is a need for change...

On Aug 30, 2006

I reiterate what I said before.

1. No other parent has any rights to my daughter's personal history, no matter how skeptical they might be. Individual accomodations are about [i]her[/i] needs, and beyond that, it isn't any of your business. Same as any other disabled child. Do I [i]enjoy[/i] applying that label to her? Of course not. I loathe it, and it certainly isn't how I feel about her... but the reality is that our life resembles BASP's or Ant's Mom's [i]very little.[/i] And truthfully, anyone with a PA who [i]can[/i] go to a MLB game isn't in the same end of the boat as us. (At least not today...) And high test results don't mean a damn*d thing, [i]for the record.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

[i]Demanding "proof" of disability from other parents. Wow. (Still having some trouble with this one.)[/i]

2. Because accommodations are about individual needs, comparing how two PA children are handled is not useful. Unless they have similar needs. Because you [i]do not know[/i] what these children need, you can't compare it with other kids. You have your answer, even if it wasn't what you were hoping to hear. Schools with highly sensitive PA children do this and more-- routinely.

3. Why do the accommodations for the other children make you angry, BASP? Please answer this question, it is genuine.

Is it: a) about fearing that your daughter's allergy will be handled the same way (and perhaps too restrictively in her case)?

b) about a beef with ADA? (As I said previously, think carefully about that one.)

c) underlying uneasiness about uncertainties w/r to PA in general?

What is it that you know (or suspect) about these other two children that makes you question the validity of the school's response? Or is it that it just didn't tally very well with your own experience of what a PA means? You are identifying strongly with those who have extremely relaxed comfort zones on the boards-- and that is fine. But please don't identify the rest of us as "militant." [i]That[/i] is pretty offensive... or is it "defensive?" Hmmmm....

As I said, nobody questioned your own comfort zone. I questioned your level of awareness about PA because it seemed you could not envision a reason for the accommodations which are in place, and seemed to feel that your child's PA was 'no big deal.' And again, as long as you carry epipens, nobody here is going to tell you that your parenting skills need work, okay? So don't read something which isn't there.

(Also for the record, I am glad you ventured back into the fray-- really, we don't bite...at least not much. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

On Aug 30, 2006

In my PA DD's school, she has a peanut-free classroom. But all that means is that there are no classroom activities involving peanuts and the kids can't bring snacks that actually contain peanuts or peanut butter. There is no list of approved snacks, and I'd honestly be annoyed if there was. There's a peanut-free table in the lunchroom. I wish they didn't serve peanut butter in the hot lunch. My DD can't eat the school lunch and the only disability accomodation I've been able to find is that kids allergic to milk are legally entitled to a substitute beverage.

Our school carnival is indoors, mostly in the gym of the high school, and there is a cake walk. But all food brought by parents to that or for birthday treats has to be commercially-prepared and packaged. So everything in the cake walk is sealed and the child chooses what they want to take. My DD then has the option of taking fruit snacks with the label on it to check.

For birthday treats and holiday parties, nothing served can contain peanuts because of the risk that smears and crumbs can get on the tables and endanger my daughter, but that doesn't mean it actually has to be safe for her to eat. She has a bag of safe treats we've provided so that the teacher doesn't have to make the judgment call about whether a particular birthday treat is safe. I sometimes have checked treats in advance that the teachers wanted to serve to the whole class for special occasions. I don't think our accomodations have taken up much of the teacher's time. And other than having to remember not to send in peanut M&Ms for their child's snack (the one thing that got intercepted by the teacher last year), I don't think we've inconvienced other parents that much. It does make my DD a little sad to be left out of the birthday celebrations.

If we really want to focus on learning, I think it would make sense to take the focus off of food and parties. A little celebration is fine, but I've been disappointed with all the pizza party afternoons and walks to the ice cream parlor and holiday parties of goofing off and eating. And this has been with my DS who doesn't have food allergies. It's just too much time lost. Why do we need a longer school year if they're just going to waste days with this stuff? And with the obesity problem, I don't think food allergies are the only reason to make snacks healthier and to limit food in the classroom.

So that's how things are in our school. You have to accomodate medical needs. You don't want to greatly inconvenience the majority of parents if it isn't necessary to do so, but sometimes it is. Hopefully your administration is thoughtfully considering what the allergic children's needs are. Is there someone, the principal or superintendent, who could answer your concerns? I've been guilty of getting overly excited about things I've observed or read about, and then gotten more information from school staff that reassured me that things were being handled fine. They've been good about answering my questions.

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]3. Why do the accommodations for the other children make you angry, BASP? Please answer this question, it is genuine. [/b]

Do you (BASP) resent these restrcitions because you believe they are unnecessary? because you don't require these restrctions for your PA daughter?

(BTW, we subjected our daughter to multiple types of testing in order to obtain 'proof' of her allergy. in addition to the regular skin testing and CAP RAST blood work, she also had an air borne challenge and a contact challenge. But our allergist is sure to warn us that there is only very limited predictive value in any testing. )

On Aug 30, 2006

Also back to your original post...

"Snack lists" and changes to them aren't always about a parent's desire to be an egomaniac...

Manufacturing changes occur all the time. This is one of the nastiest things about any FA... and not all of those changes are reflected by labels. Some kids [i]really[/i] cannot tolerate products made on shared lines-- no matter how "well-cleaned." [i]Really.[/i] If your daughter [i]can,[/i] that is great. Nobody would suggest you need to follow someone else's "snack list" for her.... would they?? (Just trying to figure this one out.) It seems very likely from your post that one or more of these other children has [i]multiple[/i] life threatening allergies (as do a great many of our kids). Most parents would [i]rather not provide a "safe snack" list for that reason.... things change too quickly.[/i] But sometimes the school virtually [i]demands[/i] one anyway.

Also trying to figure out how you [i]know[/i] that neither child is aerosol sensitive. Is this a rumor you've heard circulating from other frustrated parents? Or something you have more direct knowledge about?

ETA... see the thread "Teachers" recently bumped up, which deals with many of the questions that you seem to be wrestling with.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

On Aug 30, 2006

Thank you for the outstanding response Beth C. That was exactly the type of information I was looking for. For what it's worth, I agree whole heartedly with the amount of "goof off" time in school. It does get rediculous and I would be the first one in line (or maybe second behind you) to support limiting using class time this way.

On Aug 30, 2006

BASP-- a word of advice (and perhaps a note about etiquette).

If you only want a certain type of response, then you probably needed to be more up front about that. It [i]is[/i] a public BB, after all.

If you were simply looking for validation, say so. Otherwise ignoring all the other posts in a thread is considered a bit, um,... having trouble coming up with a non-offensive term there. Rude will have to do.

You'll also find that many of us here ask as many questions as we answer within a thread. This is so that we can offer more well-informed opinions... not to irritate or threaten you. Bear in mind that nobody is "exempt" from that-- but it can be extremely useful to gain outside perspective when you are wrestling with a problem you aren't sure how to solve. Most of the parents who spend time here welcome being challenged about their thinking from time to time, and many of the long-time posters are [i]very good[/i] at setting aside our own comfort zones to take a look at something through someone else's eyes (but it takes knowing about your situation to do so).

Ever wonder [i]why[/i] some other PA parents are seeming so "militant" to you? What do you think it would take for you to feel that way yourself? How long have you been dealing with PA in your own family, by the way? Have you handled PA issues with a childcare provider or school yet? Are there everyday situations that make you feel terrified for your daughter's safety?

You are quite vociferously complaining that we aren't answering your questions, but you don't acknowledge those who have (unless they basically agree with your perspective) and you aren't answering very many yourself, I see.

On Aug 30, 2006

Maybe, BASP, you should quit blaming others and look at your own post to find out why people seem to be militant around you. You come on this board as a new member and come across so abrasive, and expect the membership to treat you with kid gloves. If you can't take it, don't dish it out. And it won't help to come on and lecture everyone about how they should respond. People will respond as they will respond. If you are just looking for validation, as someone said, say that up front. You can't blame people for thinking you are a troll. That's exactly how you sound. I am never going to be the kind of person who is wishy washy make-nicey with people who come on harsh and judgemental of me. Never was much for turning the other cheek and saying "slug me again!" Sorry! I will also never apologize for taking whatever measures necessary to keep my angel breathing in and out every day. I will just never come around to the rightness of the sentiment that someone's peanut treat is more important than my kid's life. If that makes me militant, then I'll wear a big red M on my forehead with pride.

On Aug 30, 2006

Wow.... you guys have been busy. I've been working the last few hours and haven't had time to respond so I'll try to cover it all now. First of all to CORVALIS MOM, I have always had a problem with a large group of people being forced to conform to certain rules and regulations to satisfy a few. It's just the way I am. I will admit that the militant, yes militant mothers in our school have left a very bad impression on a majority of the other parents in the school including myself. Her desire/need to control all aspects of the school enviroment as well as soccer, scouts, carnivals, etc. has really rubbed people the wrong way. I'm not saying everyone on this list is that way at all. Given most of your responses I would say that most of you are not. But there is a few. Don't think of this as an issue with the ADA as much as it's an issue with a certain subsection of this group (the parents of PA kids in our school included). She's made the statement that her childs PA has triple in severity since last year because the teachers weren't diligent enough to follow through on the hand washing each and every day. I'm sorry if you don't agree but there are limits to what people shoul dbe expected to do. As far as proof, I realize I'll never get it but that doesn't stop me from wondering about the actual severity given the statements his mother has made. If we're all going to be forced to change what we do we should be able to determine if it's a legitimate need or just an issue with the mother. As for CHRISTABELL, don't confuse someone having a difference of opinion with you with them being a troll. I think that covers the major issues you both raised. If I missed anything, please let me know.

On Aug 30, 2006

BASP -

Do you think this parent you're talking about has enough power to make the school demand all these precautions without valid proof that they're necessary?

(No *tone* was used in the typing of this post. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

On Aug 30, 2006

Just curious if you will say where your school is located city and district or even the name of the school? I have heard of schools being very accommodating and some not so accomodating. Just interested because your school seems to have done what a lot of us only dream of at our schools.

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

She's made the statement that her childs PA has triple in severity since last year because the teachers weren't diligent enough to follow through on the hand washing each and every day.

I must say that if I heard someone say this, it would definitely rub me the wrong way too... nobody has any idea why our kids become more (or less) sensitive with time. It certainly isn't "the teacher's fault." Oh my. Blaming sure doesn't fix it. But if she has it in writing that supervised handwashing [i]needs[/i] to be happening and then it isn't..... well. Let's just say I can understand why she might feel pretty annoyed with the school for not doing what they say they will.

I have really not met any other parents of special needs kids that were truly "militant" about demands once I allowed them to explain their child's needs. Perspective changes things, in other words.

Personally? I don't like asking large groups to change for my daughter either. But sometimes I have to. And when I can't control an inherently dangerous situation, she doesn't participate. This means that things others take for granted are [i]unthinkable[/i] for us. Really. This is the level of vigilance which is required to keep my 7 yo from [i]requiring epinephrine regularly.[/i] Even so, she still needs to be medicated for unavoidable, unforeseeable exposures several times each month. So I probably [i]do[/i] seem like a militant control freak to someone who doesn't see it firsthand. I think my family does a good job walking a virtual tightrope between peril and whatever aspects of "normal" are available to us. Our allergist agrees. But we also get accused of being overprotective, too--if you are unfortunate enough to have one of the uber-sensitive PA kids, there [i]is no way to 'do it right'.[/i] You're either 'trying to control everyone else' or you 'shouldn't keep your kid in a bubble.' [i]And really, take my word for it here-- you can have BOTH at once. It's a wonderful world. [/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] It takes a pretty thick skin to live in [i][b]this[/b] neighborhood, in other words.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] It used to reduce me to tears, years ago when my daughter first became aerosol sensitive. I'm used to it now.

My point? Unless you are hearing it direct from the family, don't believe all that you hear. I've been treated pretty unkindly by the "rumor mill" this way-- paraphrasing rarely conveys accuracy, in other words. [i]Just for the record, I have never said that a picture of Mr. Peanut would harm my child.... sheesh.[/i]

Until you really see near-death anaphylaxis with your own eyes, it is hard to imagine anything transforming you into a Mama grizzly bear. But the fear of that will do it-- and how! I would enthusiastically gnaw off both my own arms to avoid it.

If you read a bit on the schools forum here, you'll see that a lot of us come here first instead of throwing a tantrum at our kids' schools... lots of soothing of ruffled feathers here and deep breathing leading to more reasoned responses. Usually. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Most of what is here involves that search for balance.

[i]'Should I say anything, how can I get an administrator to call me back about this safety issue, at what point to I give up and go away, is this normal, why did this make my kid so upset, etc...'[/i]

Get to know the regulars here and you'll see that reaction history plays a HUGE role in how militant most of us are (or aren't). PA families don't just wake up some morning and decide to freak out and make crazy claims about their kids' needs. Not usually, anyway. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] We may seem biased toward the more controlling types, but perhaps this is because the more severely affected our kids are, the more support we find we need.

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b]She's made the statement that her childs PA has triple in severity since last year because the teachers weren't diligent enough to follow through on the hand washing each and every day. I'm sorry if you don't agree but there are limits to what people should be expected to do.[/b]

So are you saying that hand-washing, specifically, is "going too far?"

Cathy

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] I will admit that the militant, yes militant mothers in our school have left a very bad impression on a majority of the other parents in the school including myself. Her desire/need to control all aspects of the school enviroment as well as soccer, scouts, carnivals, etc. has really rubbed people the wrong way. [/b]

I fall into this category. . . of being 'militant'. Accommodations are necessary for my daughter to participate in soccer, girl scouts, carnivals, etc. I'm sure I've left a bad impression with some . . . but "I do what I gotta do" . I ALWAYS try to be polite when I assert what my daughter needs, and if that rubs people the wrong way . . . well, then so be it.

On Aug 30, 2006

Hear hear, Gail and Cathy.

I like to think of myself as being more [i]Ghandi[/i] than [i]Rambo[/i] when it comes to those kinds of things. I am just not going to tolerate anything unacceptable. Serenely (I hope), but as an irresistable force. DH calls me "Yoda."

Of course, there are times when Rambo is called for. I just have trouble going there myself. I tend to flee instead. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]

(For any Monty Python fans in the house, [i]"Run Awaaaaaaaaayyy...."[/i] )

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

On Aug 30, 2006

I think we all want to use the Ghandi approach, but when that doesn't work, time and time again, well. . .

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]DH calls me "Yoda."[/b]

I've been told that I've been referred to as "the Velvet Hammer" by the staff. Once even in a staff meeting. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]

On Aug 30, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] If we're all going to be forced to change what we do we should be able to determine if it's a legitimate need or just an issue with the mother. [/b]

Sorry to repeat this again...It's not up for public vote. It is your school administration's job to determine the necessary accomodations. Not yours.

If my child starts speech therapy and that is using up precious resources are we going to have to release his records so we can have a public hearing on the matter? Your school has a 504 committee. If you have concerns you can go ahead and bring it up with them, but really I don't think it is any of your business at a public school.

And honestly, those who claim to have PA and criticize those who truly need extensive accomodations do more to endanger our kids with PA than anyone else in my humble opinion.

I'll let you know what my school does in greater detail since that's what you asked...DS is in kindergarten. He wears an epi. Two more are kept in the nurse's office. The class is pnut and treenut free. Food is kept at a minimum (no snack, just 3 parties a year that I will help coordinate and will have to attend). All children are asked to wash hands before leaving for school but again wash upon entering the classroom. His class has specials early in the day to minimize chance of contamination of these other classrooms. His room and special rooms are not to be used for after school activities. I will attend ALL field trips. The gym teacher and playground monitor have cb's or cell phones. The nurse trains any subs before they enter his classroom for the day and ALL staff is epipen trained. Next year he will have a peanut free end of the table for lunch, probably near the exit. We will have to decide if we are comfortable with 'may contains' near him or if he needs a 'buffer'. That's all I can think of right now...

Is my son airborne sensitive? I believe so but do I know for absolute sure in the sense that he would have a visible and serious rxn? No because I'm not about to test out the theory. Do I believe he's contact sensitive? At this time I believe he gets a tingling sensation or something that tells him something is wrong. He might get some hives. Do I know for sure? No. It's hard to distinguish between contact and ingestion at 3 yrs old. He is not one of the kids who gets unexplained hives from residue every week. Then again he's on 2 tsp claritin and singulair which could be suppressing these smaller rxn's. This is just what my experience would indicate with a little boy who can't always tell me exactly what's wrong and how he knows. And I don't feel the need to explain to you each little incident that has led me to these conclusions but I can tell you that I have been quite forthcoming with this information when it comes to his school nurse and teacher and principal, all of whom stand behind us 100%.

Luvmyboys

On Aug 30, 2006

First of all to CORVALIS MOM, I have always had a problem with a large group of people being forced to conform to certain rules and regulations to satisfy a few. It's just the way I am.

Isn't that how we ALL live? Everyday conforming to rules and regulations set by a group of people. ie: I don't think smoking is allowed in schools either, and I am over 18 years old and tobacco IS legal. Or, t-shirts that have words are NOT allowed in our middle school. etc....There are always going to be conforming issues in life. Adults are the ones who are suppose to understand this, and then help their children to learn emphathy for others. We are talking about life and death with this FA issue--life and possible death. Not if someone is offended by a t-shirt that says sh@t! or anything else that some would find offensive. I am a VERY liberal person, I love my kids to express themselves in any way (safe way) they want. I also have friends that tease me and say that in live in Staciearchy-don't like others telling me what to do. But, I am no longer a teenager and have a GREAT responsibility to teach my children how to stay safe, and to have understanding and emphathy for others---without them questioning if that person's situation is REAL or not. That is not the point of an emphathic person.

------------------ Stacie - Mother to: 10 yr. PA 8 yr. TNA 2.5 yr. PA&TNA

On Aug 30, 2006

Ok, my last reply was meant to have that 1st paragraph to be a quote. I guess I did it wrong. Sorry. I wasn't addressing anything personally to Corvallis Mom-that was the quote from above.

------------------ Stacie - Mother to: 10 yr. PA 8 yr. TNA 2.5 yr. PA&TNA

On Aug 30, 2006

i would do anything for my school to be so accomadating and excited to send my 4 yrold Pa child there without argument. most of us go through so much to even remotely secure our own childs safety-why is this an issue?

On another note- out of curiosity, why do so many people respond to BASP? I'm new on this board but if BASP seems so adamant on this issue do you really think you can change her mind?(of course she did ask for opinions) on the other hand it is hard for me to believe that anyone with a PA child wouldn't love that these safety measures are being met. I would do anything to ensure my dd's safety.

On Aug 30, 2006

BASP, earlier you said something about having cake walks when we were kids, and it not being a big deal. I know what you mean, and this is the type of observation I hear all the time. When my child was diagnosed with peanut allergy, no one explained to me that it's an allergy that is on the rise. The number of kids with peanut allergies doubled over a five-year-period in the late 1990s, and it has increased even more since that study was done. My child's allergist, the chief allergist at a large children's hospital, explained that this is a TRUE increase in allergy, not a perceived one. The blood tests back it up. The studies are confirming what schools and parents are saying, which is, where the H*** is this allergy coming from? It didn't used to be this bad, and now I have anaphylactic kids in my school. BASP, did anyone in your family have a peanut allergy before your child? If I had to guess, I'd guess no. No one in my family or my husband's family had one, either. Instead, there was a limited family history of "atopic" symptoms like asthma in two of my uncles, a penicillin allergy in me, my husband's childhood allergies (all outgrown, and none anaphylactic). The same child who would have been born "just atopic" a generation ago is frequently being born peanut-allergic today, and they really don't know why yet. And the numbers are still climbing. And yes, your daughter's allergic responses can get worse over time. I hope for her sake and yours that they don't. All the trace exposures she gets, the ones you don't see that may cause her eczema to flare up (if she has eczema) can be raising her RAST level, raising her potential to have an anaphylactic reaction the next time.

I think you're really here to read and get educated. Please read my posting under the introductions forum where I tell the story of my preschooler's first anaphylactic reaction. Nate was your daughter. He knew what to eat and what not to. He asked his (peanut-allergy educated) teacher to read the label on the candy, and she lied to him and told him she had checked, and the candy was safe. 99 days out of 100, maybe she was great about checking. Maybe that day she was just a little overwhelmed. She had eaten the candy and it seemed safe to her, so she told my son that she had read the label. My point is, when your daughter goes out in the world away from you, and she is under the influence of trusted and admired teachers who tell her she's safe and then act a little disapproving if she is too obsessive, will it be possible for her to be influenced? Please think about it...maybe you can avoid some of the mistakes I made. If I could do it over again, everywhere Nate went (school, church, etc.), he would eat only snacks from home. That way, no one else would have to wonder...and no one would feel as sh*** as his poor teacher did when she called us later that night.

This year, Nate brings everything. And the school has still opted for a peanut-free menu to reduce the risk of residue, etc. I'm so happy and thankful. And I know what my own ignorance was just a year or two ago, and I wait at every school meeting for the other shoe to drop, for the other parents to get mad. So far, every parent has been great. I have come home and cried (in gratitude) three times now. One mom whose son loves PB&J even ordered Sunbutter right away so her son could sit at the peanut-free table with my son. And apparently, he likes it!

My son, on the other hand, is still a nervous wreck from almost dying last year. He's going through a phase right now where he won't eat very much of anything...just a few foods he trusts. Believe me, the only thing that would ever turn a kid back from a pile of candy or junk food is the fear of intense pain or death, and that's precisely what my son has....after just one anaphylactic reaction. I really hope your daughter is one of the lucky 20% to outgrow her reaction. But just in case she's going to be one of the 80% who don't, please stick around, find a good allergist who will teach you about the severity, the progression, etc....and hug her tight every morning you have to leave her in someone else's care.

Thanks for sticking around to read the responses. Even if it gets a little hairy, I believe most folks are here to learn and help each other. It gets hard for the parents of PA kids. There are studies that show that it takes an emotional toll. Maybe that's partly responsible for any attitude you're seeing in the parents at your school.

Best of luck in your own personal journey with your daughter.

------------------

On Aug 31, 2006

April in KC,

Thanks for your story in introductions. My ds is in preschool now...your story really hit me. I'm so sorry he had that experience and is still feeling the after-effects of it.

I'm going to link your post here.

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum17/HTML/001273.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum17/HTML/001273.html[/url]

***************************

BASP, there are many of us who struggle with denial of severity at times, or not wanting our child to be different or singled out. Perhaps these "militant" parents were scaring you...wondering if your daughter could someday need these precautions?

I agree with what most of the others have posted so there's no point in repeating it all.

But, I'll tell you this. Here's the situation at my ds' preschool. You see, he's milk, egg, and peanut allergic. The class is only there for snack, and it is a milk, egg, and peanut free classroom. Students and parents wash their hands upon entering the classroom. The snack consists of crackers and juice every day.

The school provides the snack after I've approved the labels. At least this eliminates other parents being hassled with safe snack lists and reading labels...Birthday celebrations are food free. They do have holiday parties with only food that is safe for my son.

I'm thankful that 90% of these precautions were already in place when we found the school. The policy was created when another little boy with a peanut allergy had to transfer preschools because he received the epipen THREE TIMES in one year at his previous school!!!!!!

I don't know if I would have had the courage to ask for all these precautions because I HATE, I mean hate imposing on other people!! I probably would have ended up keeping my son home from school if I didn't find this school because this setup would be what I felt was necessary to keep my son safe. Another parent paved the way for me, and I couldn't be more thankful. Just giving you our story since I believe that's what you asked.

I'm not going to detail my son's reactions or history to you either...I find your request for medical records pretty outrageous.

Despite your anger at the militants, I really hope you can give them some benefit of the doubt and realize you don't know all the details of their child's medical history. We all could potentially(in our heads here) question others posts sometimes, not thinking we'd do this or that. But only the parent, child, and school administration can make these decisions.

I wish you and your daughter the best in dealing with her allergy and schools, and other parents. Meg

On Aug 31, 2006

BASP, I am glad to hear you are not a troll, and do hope you'll stay. I can't speak for others, but there are two reasons why that crossed my mind. First is that you just joined us. One of the marks of a troll is that it's their first or second post. The other is that the "my kids are inconvienced at school by not getting to eat as much PB as they want" theme is pretty popular among trolls here. So now that that is all cleared up, welcome!

On Aug 31, 2006

Oh, we have the hand-washing requirement in the peanut-free classrooms, too, I forgot to mention. I think it's one of the most important things, since kids come into school shortly after eating a meal at home. I should find out if they'll all be washing their hands after school lunch this year. I know my DS's classes with allergic kids in them haven't done that, because he's made a special stop in the bathroom to wash his hands when he's had peanut butter in the hot lunch. It's a good idea for reducing germ-sharing anyway, so I think it's a necessary allergy precaution that benefits everyone.

On Aug 31, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b] The few of you who stated that you feel I'm being neglectful and endangering my own daughter based on a few lines on a posting board are just plain idiots. That's beyond insulating to state something like that based on what little information you have. [/b]

BASP, I need to ask you something that's been bothering me. . .

Is it equally "beyond insulting" for you to question if a mother is "going too far" based on the little information [i]you [/i]have about [i]her [/i]children?

I mean, are you willing to post all your 4 year-olds medical information here, publically, for us to review and so that we can weigh in if you are "not going far enough"?

How is questioning going "too far" be any more or less insulting than questioning one "not going far enough"? It's insulting either way. . . do you see that?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 31, 2006).]

On Aug 31, 2006

First off, BASP I apologize for calling you a troll - mea culpa! I guess after years of dealing with people telling me if I would just calm down and realize that my child's allergies are due to his misaligned aura or my own negative thoughts, I get a little skeptical. Again I am sorry. I would like to take you thru what happens to my 6 year son when he ingests even the smallest amount of peanuts (or tree nuts, or legumes). First off he vomits. Then his lips swell to 4 times normal size and split open. Then his head and body start to swell to about 2 times normal size. His throat then starts to close. At this point he begs me to give him an epi shot. With trembling hands and a beating heart I do. Next we rush to the ER. Time from first injestion to his throat closing - 7 minutes.

Last night I went out to dinner with old friends of my parents. The man told me he had shell fish allergies. Now, we were at a sea food restaurant, so I immediately asked if he had an epi-pen on him. He explained to me that he only gets a slight stomach ache when he eats shell fish. So people have different definitions of "allergy." For my son, his allergies are LIFE THREATENING. It's different ball game.

My son's doctor is Alan Green in Glendale, California. If you want to see his records, call me and we arrange a get together! In my mind, and I don't know you at all, your daughter probably has a minor peanut allergy or one that hasn't progressed to anaphylaxis...yet. I wish you all the best, but try to walk in others shoes. And when you see that militant mom, tell her thanks for making your school safer so that all kids can learn.

I like to change the word "militant" to PASSIONATE! I am passionate about keeping my kid safe at school.

------------------ mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

[This message has been edited by that'smetrying (edited August 31, 2006).]

On Aug 31, 2006

GAIL W: You make a very good point. It would be difficult for me to allow someone else to see her records and determine if I'm going far enough. To that point then, if you were me how would you handle it with this particluar mother? Maybe you can suggest a better way for myself and the other parents in the school to deal with her. As far as THAT'SMRTRYIN's apology, there no need for it. Nothing gets people more worked up then handling issues involving their own kids. It sounds like the situation your dealing with is many, many times worse then where I am. My daughters peditrician said 80% of these kids don't get worse as they get older so I just have to hope she falls into that 80%.

On Aug 31, 2006

I think BASP may be my principal in disguise!!! Seriously though, my DD is severly allergic to eggs and nuts, I would be jumping with joy if my school was so diligent. Besides, I am so sick of everything in life revolving around food---no wonder our society is so obese! My goodness, our kids can't play T-ball for an hour without food? They can't make it from 8:30am-11:45am without a snack? We never ate so much when we were children.

On Aug 31, 2006

overwhelmed- i agree. way too much food in school and i think I would be pushing for a no food policy even if my dd wasn't PA. I don't like the sports snacks either. It's like our kids can't do anything without receiving a food "reward" after.

On Aug 31, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: [b]GAIL W. . . if you were me how would you handle it with this particluar mother? Maybe you can suggest a better way for myself and the other parents in the school to deal with her.[/b]

I guess it depends on what your goal is. . .

If your goal is to learn about this other mom's experience and to better understand her, then I'd reach out to her in the hopes that I could gain some knowledge and compassion about her situation.

If your goal is to find out from her what "proof" she has to convince you that the accommodations in place are justified, then I think you should probably [i]not [/i]talk to her and speak with the principal instead. I mean, anything that happens in the classroom is accountable to the principal, so I think your questions should be directed to the principal. Ask the principal to justify to you his/her decision regarding specific procedures (e.g. hand washing). If procedures are in place, the principal is accountable to you to explain why. Another mother isn't accountable to you, right?

Personally speaking, I've always appreciated it when another parent is igenuinely nterested in Mariah's PA and asks me questions. I think you could approach her and just simply say that you also have a child with PA . . . and that your DD's allergy hasn't required the same precautions that the school has put into place for her son. Ask her if she'd mind sharing what her son's PA is like. I'd try to be open minded and just simply listen to her with the goal of just trying to understand her experience. No judgements [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].

I think all of us here have probably had some experience when another parent has asked us questions about our child's PA and it becomes pretty clear that it's just a guise to try to obtain information. Their real agenda is to venture into a fishing expedition to render their own verdict as to whether or not they feel they really need to comply with the school's food allergy policies.

So, as another poster pointed out, I wouldn't necessarily assume that these are "her" rules. If her child has a 504 plan (or an IHP), then the accommodations have been word-smithed and scrutinized by staff, most likely a committee, including administrators. My DD's 504 plan, for example, is not only signed by the principal but also signed by the Assistant Superintendent of our SD.

So.... What is your goal here? To genuinely learn from her? Or to obtain proof/accountability that the school's practices are justified?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 31, 2006).]

On Aug 31, 2006

To continue Gail's very succinct points, if my own experience is anything to go by, this other mom's apparent hysteria/militance may stem from a feeling of being perpetually on-guard because nobody [i]ever[/i] just listens to what she's trying to tell them. I think we all agree that our child's basic safety (in terms of life and death situations) is pretty non-negotiable as parents. That being so, we PA moms have a tendency to turn up the volume (usually figuratively, by using much more graphic and inflammatory rhetoric) in order to better be heard. (Which of course does not work very often... then you just look hysterical.)

Anyway.

I'll bet that if that is the case, all you need to do is set aside your previous judgments about her situation/behavior and keep an open mind as you speak with her. Think about trying to empathize with how [i]she feels.[/i] If I'm right, as soon as she sees that you are really hearing her, she will relax. Noticeably-- her entire demeanor will change.

You don't have to think she's [i]right[/i] about all her opinions, by the way. Just don't start every conversation looking to prove her [i]wrong[/i]... or as Gail pointed out, pump her for information. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I hate that.

I am usually pretty pleased when people want to talk to me about my DD's allergies. Right up to the point in the conversation where it becomes clear to me that this is really about [i]them[/i] telling [i]me[/i] some little gem of wisdom that they think I desperately need to hear, telling me how dreadfully allergic some friend-of-a-friend is to some food that virtually nobody on earth is [i]ever[/i] truly "allergic" to (complete with a host of reasons why they don't carry epinephrine for the "allergy"), or "tripping me up" somehow to demonstrate that there is no way that any human being could possibly be [i]that[/i] allergic to anything.... That's how 95% of those conversations go. The most insulting ones have the person telling me about how I really should try some "cure," how I "made" my daughter allergic, or worst of all, that she should just try to "like" her allergens a bit more.

I can't fathom the nerve of some people. I wonder if they tell blind people they just need to stop relying so much on that service animal?

Anyway-- I think it is a good idea for you to forget what [i]you have heard [b]about her from someone else[/b].[/i]

On Aug 31, 2006

BASP said: "CHRISTABELL, don't confuse someone having a difference of opinion with you with them being a troll."

You aren't tolerant of differences of opinion, yet you expect others to be tolerant of your differences of opinion. Let me repeat - don't dish it out if you can't take it.

I still smell a troll! Just one w/ a better than usual cover story. Sorry, but something doen't jive w/ BASP.

On Aug 31, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] What is your goal here? To genuinely learn from her? Or to obtain proof/accountability that the school's practices are justified?[/b]

I want to clarify that I think both of these goals are absolutely legit. I am sincere in putting forward the goal of holding your principal accountable.

I realized that's because the accounatbility [b]cuts BOTH ways. [/b] * I * have the right to hold them accountable for my daughter's safe access to school, and *other parents* have the right to hold administrators accountable on the practices they've implemented to achieve that.

I didn't realize until today from answering your question, BASP, that I harbored some resentment regarding this exact scenario. It's been so long ago that I'd almost forgotten about it. The first year of elementary school, a group of parents met with the school principal to object to some of the accommodations that had been implemented in my daughter's classroom. That was 7 years ago. . . . and I still to this day feel uneasy when I see that group of moms. We were the "first" PA kid at our school, and the changes seemed 'going too far' to many parents. I was really hurt that they went to the principal; one mom was trying to organize/rally a large group, a 'power in numbers' approach, to meet together with the pricipal to object to these new procedures.

But now I realize that this is exactly what was supposed to happen. They *shouldn't* have asked me about it or have asked me to provide them with 'proof' of these new practices. It was appropriate for them to take it to the principal. Collectively, even. Because the principal is accountable to them, not me. Your question really clarified this for me personally. And I feel some inner resolution to some residual anger I realized I'd held on to for years.

[i]Thank you.[/i]

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 31, 2006).]

On Aug 31, 2006

It is as simple as this BASP. Would you allow children to bring guns to school? No - and thats because they would endanger your children. For parents with children with nut allergies, a nut is as dangerous as a gun. So you can ask the same question of schools in LA for example - are they going too far in having metal detectors at the entrances? Take one look at Columbine, and the answer to most parents is that it is not "overkill". I think you are completely correct to question and think about why your school does what they do, and I respect that - but I think your viewpoint is a bit selfish and skewed in this case.

On Aug 31, 2006

BASP, I wonder if your pediatrician gave you some misinformation. He wouldn't be the first one. I've never read that 80% of kids with peanut allergy don't get worse with age, and I've been reading about this a lot in the last year and a half. I have read that peanut allergy tends to get worse with each exposure. Some kids do start out with a bang. But some are like my DD, who just got hives until she'd had a bunch of accidental exposures. Then she had an anaphylactic reaction. Peanut reactions are unpredictable and depend on a lot of factors. But the general trend is worse over time. Each additional exposure has the possibility of greater severity and/or faster progression.

They do believe that 20% of kids outgrow it, but they usually fit some specific criteria, including only one mild anaphylactic reaction before they started avoiding peanut exposures entirely for a number of years.

On Aug 31, 2006

Maybe all of these parents of food allergic kids who require no accomodations should have their medical records opened for public review. Perhaps the child is not being protected properly, maybe other parents could help that family define a stricter comfort zone in the best interest of their child. Fair is fair, no? I guess I would see BASP's post as more genuine if it didn't seem the real concern was lack of cake, things that may be fun, heck I'd love to see my kids go hog wild at some carnival, but certainly not necessary for the well rounded education that BASP claims to be so worried about. We have recently acquired numerous memberships to science centers and children's museums for educational purposes, funny they can devote a whole science center to exhibits that teach and do not involve food. Funny that the children's museum can teach my kids the joy of reading with no food, yet the pre-school requires celery,peanut butter and various tidbits to stick in the goo. Sort of on par with the school psychologist who just had no idea how to deal with "the parents who object to so much handwashing." I'd love to meet these parents. I know I was impressed that in one month we got a "health warning" sent home for lice, scabies, conjunctivitis, strep throat and various URI's, seems to me a lot of reasons to wash hands, and perhaps flea dip, upon entry to school. People also balked at the additional cleaning at school, food allergies aside I can't see myself objecting to that, a cleaner, healthier environment = fewer sick kids and fewer days missed = better education. So is education truly the concern? Perhaps BASP should also be sure that their anger with the parents is deserved. I know our school district purposely changed things to a punitive instead of trying to put a positive light on things. The school tried to warn me the parents would not be happy, they certainly made sure that prophecy was fulfilled. Heck a big note goes home saying kids cannot play on the playground unless they wear sneakers. Well, what if all my kid wears is leather Mary janes? (Read- My child will only eat ) The bottom line is the school makes rules all the time. They could have guised everything under the new wellness plans, said not to send in candy for celebrations, send in two dollars instead for a punch and popcorn party in the gym, add a little music, heck take turns letting the kids decorate, doesn't sound like abuse to me. Instead they just take things away, or send home a list of restrictions instead of a list of suggestions, just to rile up the parents on how much they "can't" have. My favorite is that my son's whole class would be restricted from the parties, way to set the tone for his enjoyment of school. Let's just make it different for one class. It's just food, go home and eat. A little harder IMO to hire a full out core of teachers to school in my house, guess I could push for homebound option, make the district pay big bucks, sure would make everyone's taxes go up. I just think it's a waste of education dollars which are already stretched when simple (YES SIMPLE) things such as restricted eating areas, handwashing and non-food rewards and parties could be instituted (which would not affect others educations the way the presence of those things affects my child's educational access) cost little time or money, and be inclusive for all. Don't think I've ever heard a parent say, "Go get a few cupcakes before we start your homework. You always concentrate better hyped on sugar." Unless these are the same parents who object to handwashing. Maybe BASP could be the one to provide a positive direction for all of this, since a 4 yo and their allergies can change immensely for the better or worse, and but for the grace of god, it could be BASP's child one day. It's not rocket science, it's a little common courtesy. Nobody's telling you what to do in your home, you could have daily cake parties at your house for the deprived kids. I just wonder what motivates people to want to challenge accomodations for any disability, let alone one in which our kids could be dead in minutes. Cake and tradition is that important to you?

On Sep 1, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by BASP: My daughters peditrician said 80% of these kids don't get worse as they get older

Either your daughter`s pediatrician misinformed you or you misunderstood him/her. I am a board certified pediatrician. The correct statistic is that 80% of the time peanut allergy DOES get worse with age. In addition, the older the child the more likely that the child will have airborne or contact reactions. In addition, each airborne exposure is an exposure whether or not the child has a reaction, and may decrease the chance of outgrowing. Also, airborne exposures can increase the severity of the pa making it more likely that the person will experience a fatal or life threatening reaction with the next exposure. It is very common for a child who has not had airborne or contact reactions to develop them as he gets older.

As a pediatrician, I recommend that ALL of my pa patients avoid airborne exposure for the above reasons, whether they have had an airborne reaction or not. EVERY peanut allergy has the potential to become airborne sensitive.

It is bewildering to me how a responsible parent working to keep his child safe fits your definition of "militant". That you have such strong objections to steps taken to keep children alive is astounding to me.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited September 01, 2006).]

On Sep 1, 2006

This is what drives me crazy about PA... there are no common statistics... there are studies that say airborne reactions do not occur (actually covered at the FAAN confernece in Chicago), studies that say they get worse over time, studies that say reactions stay the same, studies that say aviodance is what helps outgrowing, studies where exsposure lowers reaction and RAST numbers, and lot of anidotal evidence that you can outgrow with high RAST, reaction history, and other food allergies, and adults have have minor reactions their whole life... so there is no ONE answer. There is no agreement among the doctors, researchers or experts, so we shouldn't attack others for having a different point of view on here or sharing a statistic that their doctor supports. If anyone knows the answers... please share it with the experts, because they are still trying to figure everything out.

Some of the studies... [url="http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm"]http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm[/url]

Lindy

On Sep 1, 2006

i have been DYING to reply to this topic but was unable to post for over a week due to a glitch in my username or password or something after i attempted to update my email address.

i would not want to attack BASP in any way but it seems that every local PA person i've run into has the very same attitude which makes my efforts with school that much more difficult.

thankfully, my school has the attitude, "better safe than sorry" and has decided to err on the side of caution rather than on the side of not being cautious enough. i love my school......

....and i love the way they just say, "okay. we can do that." no one requests medical records (which i would provide...doesn't bother me...but i do see why it would bother some) and i love the way they don't question my concerns or give me the "look" (you know, the "you've got to be making at least some of this up" look).

i also love the way they treat my children like they were their own. makes my days so much easier while they are out of my care. no situation is perfect but i sure wouldn't trade mine, as far as school goes, for a lot of other peoples' situations.

i just wanted to say...imo...it's as simple as it sounds. kids don't need snacks every time they turn around. they get lunch at school and generally that is enough (unless they have some special dietary need....different situation entirely). if a snack is just absolutely necessary for all the kids, then there are plenty of good peanut-free/nut-free choices.

to attempt to place the value of a cupcake over the value of a student is absolutely nothing but silly (and mean spirited, if you ask me).

someone suggested having "daily cake parties for all the deprived children" that cracked me up!!! that was possibly the funniest thing i've read in a while.

On Sep 1, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by LindyLovesA: [b]This is what drives me crazy about PA... there are no common statistics... there are studies that say airborne reactions do not occur (actually covered at the FAAN confernece in Chicago), studies that say they get worse over time, studies that say reactions stay the same, studies that say aviodance is what helps outgrowing, studies where exsposure lowers reaction and RAST numbers, and lot of anidotal evidence that you can outgrow with high RAST, reaction history, and other food allergies, and adults have have minor reactions their whole life... so there is no ONE answer. There is no agreement among the doctors, researchers or experts, so we shouldn't attack others for having a different point of view on here or sharing a statistic that their doctor supports. If anyone knows the answers... please share it with the experts, because they are still trying to figure everything out.

Some of the studies... [url="http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm"]http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm[/url]

Lindy[/b]

FAAN is hardly unbiased, since they are partially funded by the peanut industry. There are many food allergy websites with all kinds of differing information. For reliable accurate unbiased scientific information based on correctly done scientific studies, physicians go to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology [url="http://www.aaaai.org"]www.aaaai.org[/url] All of the information in my above post can be found there.

On Sep 1, 2006

I must have grown up under a rock, because I am over 40 and have never participated in, nor even heard of, a "cake walk". No, don't tell me either [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

But evidently not participating in one didn't scar me for life, KWIM?

If it's too cold outside for a carnival in October, what about just having it in May or June instead? just an idea.

On Sep 2, 2006

Edit

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

On Sep 2, 2006

BASP could be a troll or may be a parent in denial. I received the message below from one of our local support group leaders, who talks about how the 5 stages of grief can apply to PA families. I think it may possibly shed some light on what BASP is all about.

Tracy

"We've all heard of the 5 stages of grief. They can apply here as well:

1. Denial Upon hearing the diagnosis of food allergies, we as parents are shocked, especially if the allergy is newly acquired and to something the child has been able to eat before without apparent problems. And especially if you have no family history or have known someone with food allergies to relate to.

2. Anger or resentment "Why me?" or "Why my child?" are the questions asked now.

3. Bargaining For some, and I hope not many, this may be the stage where you have reactions. These might stem from that saying we never want to hear, "it's only one bite". You've removed the allergen for six weeks and you try just a tad to test if what the doctor is saying is really true. This is bargaining. Or for those who don't suffer from anaphylactic reactions, bargaining may consist of giving a child a bite of something you know will illicit GI reactions, because they would rather suffer the pain then miss out on a snack. Older children may bargain and make these choices themselves. Again, I hope not many "dwell" in the stage of bargaining for obvious health risks involved.

4. Depression Acknowledgment brings depression. Now that you know "normal" has to be redefined, you may be depressed about all the things you can't do any longer or can't do without major pre-planning.

5. Acceptance This is the stage where you've actually redefined "normal" in your life and you live within these new boundaries.

Keep in mind, you can go through the 5 stages of grief many times (in many cases with each new curve ball thrown your way.) It's said by experts on the matter of grief, that people who never fully experience all 5 stages, are those that need to seek assistance. Dwelling in depression and never getting to acceptance can be a horrible way to live. Constant bargaining, where chronic health issues are concerned, can have very serious consequences as can denial.

As we all know, in most cases, all members of the family unit will go through some sort of grief over the diagnosis of food allergies: - Food allergic children don't understand why this is happening to them on so many different levels. - Mother's have the added responsibility, in most cases as primary caregivers, to figure out how to navigate avoidance. - Father's feel neglected since their wives may be preoccupied with managing everything. - Siblings may be resentful if the feel the food allergic child is getting more attention or if the mourn the loss of certain foods and activities that are no prohibited because of the implications of the food allergies.

In researching this topic, I came across another "system" for defining stages of grief that I hadn't seen before.

TEAR: T = To accept the reality of the loss E = Experience the pain of the loss A = Adjust to the new environment without the lost object R = Reinvest in the new reality

I almost tend to like this approach better - you deal with acceptance and pick up and move on from there and there is a focus on the fact that there is a new reality - something all of us know is definitely part of our lives as parents of food allergic children.

I hope this helps to focus some feelings you may be experiencing now, either because you are new to managing food allergies or because the added stress of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon you and you may be more sensitive to encountering situations that involve food. Knowing the natural progression of feelings you will encounter can help get you out of a "slump or rut" so to speak. You can say - okay - I need to move on here and this is what I should be doing next...this has helped me on numerous occasions."

From Melissa Dalton (President of COFAF)

On Sep 3, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by bandbmom: [b]BASP could be a troll or may be a parent in denial. I received the message below from one of our local support group leaders, who talks about how the 5 stages of grief can apply to PA families. I think it may possibly shed some light on what BASP is all about.

Tracy

"We've all heard of the 5 stages of grief. They can apply here as well:

1. Denial Upon hearing the diagnosis of food allergies, we as parents are shocked, especially if the allergy is newly acquired and to something the child has been able to eat before without apparent problems. And especially if you have no family history or have known someone with food allergies to relate to.

2. Anger or resentment "Why me?" or "Why my child?" are the questions asked now.

[/b]

a lot of people get stuck here.

On Sep 3, 2006

...and hey-- Anger is the gift that keeps on giving. It is a hard thing to move past. Particularly when you get a lot of well-intended advice from clearly [i]clueless[/i] people that should just shut up about my kid...

I have moments of anger even now-- and I think that we deal with DD's situation remarkably well, and have for many years. Considering. But "normal" isn't what most people think, that's for sure.

But back on-topic. I think that [b]denial[/b] is much much [i]bigger[/i] than we on this board usually consider. Many PA families are not given epipens or even told that the allergy can be life-threatening [i]in anyone who has it.[/i] You don't often see them here-- because they think this board is [i]"for those poor unfortunates.... Whew! Am I ever glad I'm not like them...."[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] They don't understand they they [i]are just like us... they just don't know it-- yet.[/i]

Nobody ever wants to recognize the mortality of their child. But until you do, you still don't "get it." Great thing about the whole "disneyland" approach to entering the PA world is that "denial" as a stage simply gets skipped over after you see medical professionals working to save your child's life. But for everyone else, I can see how very alluring denial would be. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Sep 3, 2006

I generally bounce between depression and acceptance, or I should say RELUCTANT acceptance. Right now I am in a deep depression due to my son's recent reaction (totally MY FAULT) and the start of school on Tuesday...will his teacher watch out of him?

I have only been dealing with this allergy for 4 years and I hear the road gets harder as they get older....depression, acceptance, depression, acceptance...I really don't like roller coasters!

------------------ mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

On Sep 3, 2006

Found an excellent quote that relates tot his topic (from another board, abcpeanuts.com):

Richard, from North of Oshawa Peanut

On Sep 4, 2006

Denial gets the best of anyone. . . . and I'm guilty, certainly. Sometimes it's all just too much for me.

I'll always remember our pediatrician proclaiming to my husband me that we were 'in denial' about Mariah's asthma. DD's asthma was exceptionally well-managed, and it never limited her activity so we always saw it as a non-issue. And having been through a bad anaphylactic reaction, we were solely focused on her PA. The pediatrician saw that we needed some . . . shall we say [i]adjustment[/i] about how asthma was a real factor in the whole PA management. Her whole approach with us was that it's an "addressed issue" that required on-going attention and that asthma always needs to be addressed. The same awareness that we apply to her PA needed to also be applied to her asthma. That was some 6 or 7 years ago, and thinking about it now I realize how on-target she was so early on. I remember being totally stunned at her candor~ no physician had ever been as forthright in their opinion before (perhaps, I suspect, due to 'professional courtesy'). She had major guts (or perhaps another anatomical part [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) to call it what is was to my physician-husband. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

We'll always be grateful to her for that.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited September 04, 2006).]

On Sep 4, 2006

Hello

After reading this thread, I was interested that my opinion is best related to the situation described by "April in KC". My daughter, now 12, suffered from severe anxiety last year due to PA. She would not eat at school at all, and would not eat any food with her hands even at home. It took many months of counselling to help her to manage her anxiety, but she still has not gained back the 15 punds she lost.

At the time, she had a peanut free classroom but not a peanut free school (she was in grade 5 and only the grade 4 class did not have a PA child in it so it had no restrictions). Her anxiety was so severe that she missed several days of school and made herself physically ill due to her fear of a reaction because of that one class with children eating peanut butter.

Our principal added further accomodations for her, including making the grade 4 class peanut free, because she was unable to focus on her schoolwork, which is the reason she was at school.

For the posters who know me, I have been on the this board for years. I have a middle of the road comfort zone and my daughter plays baseball, does gymnastics and many other activities. I don't think her increased anxiety is related to my own attitude - there have been anaphylactic allergies in my family all my life and we are used to living with it.

However, from following this board, numerous children suffer from anxiety at some point. It seems to be related to a realization that they are getting older and become more aware of their allergy and that it is potentially fatal. Maybe it's related to losing that innocent faith that their parents and teachers will take care of everything. My son is now 9 and is staring to show some signs of worry about his anaphylactic egg allergy in a similar, though much less severe way.

Anyway, I would like to point out to BASP that your experience with your 4 yr old may not reflect the experiences of other families with older children. I know many of the parents on this board have had their children go through periods of increased anxiety due to food allergies as mine have. Why can we not provide them with a school environment with less risk so they can just be kids and students and focus on their work?

With regards to the other parent, I have frequently come across parents with different comfort zones - some tighter, some looser. I offer up any info I have - knowledge of a new product that I consider safe for my family, perhaps, but then I keep my mough more or less shut. It is not up to me to change their comfort zone or school accomodations. I let them know how I handle my childrens' allergies and then I let them make their own choices.

take care

deb

On Sep 7, 2006

bump!

Related