Help! I need advice

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I really need some advice. My son who is nearly 12 years old and has a peanut allergy is supposed to be going on a school camp next month. We live in Brisbane in Queensland Australia and they are going to camp to Canberra in ACT Australia which is about a 3 hour plane trip away for five days. I'm not sure whether to let him go because at first the school was happy for me to go and then they turned around and said I couldn't go , so we said my son was not allowed to go and now they have come back and said they would like my son to go as it is part of the school curriculum and he'll miss out. So we came up with what if our whole family went to Canberra and we stayed at the same place and I could still do all my sons meals for him. And now they have come back with that yes we could stay nearby but not at the same location as them and I could drop my sons food off to one of the teachers each day and I asked couldn't my son have breakfast and dinner with us so that I don't have to worry about if the tables have been wiped down where he is sitting and what everybody else is eating and you know all the usual stuff we have to worry about. And they have said but not actually said that we will be not having any contact with him at all.

Ican understand that because all the other kids won't be having any contact with their parents. So I feel like I'm being dictated to about my child. So I would really appreciate any ones comments on this . Thank-you I'm sorry its long.

Michelle.

On Jun 20, 2006

Could a trained health aide accompany your son's group on the trip?

Cathy

On Jun 20, 2006

A registered nurse who is his teachers wife is going to go with them which is a big relief but I always say anyone can give him his epipen you need someone who understands about allergies and cross contamination to prevent a reaction in the first place.

I just feel like they are making me out to be over protective and paranoid. We said to them that we wouldn't interfere in any way with the camp as they will be out sight seeing all week, all I wanted to be there for was the preparation of his meals.

Am I being over protective , they are making me question myself?

Very confused Michelle

On Jun 21, 2006

Welcome, Can you contact the camp about food info? Will they have peanut butter or other really obvious sources of peanuts?

And could you remind them of Hamidur's death in 2002 at a school camp?

It's great that a nurse will be with them! How close will they be to a hospital? Will he carry Epi?

Many people here have an allergy action plan for schools. I would want one of these written up by his allergist before the trip.

Daisy

On Jun 21, 2006

I understand your feelings! I don't think you are being overprotective to want to provide his food. A lot depends on your son's maturity level and his sensitivity to his allergens. You are the best judge of that, in my opinion. Also, I would be really angry if a school tried to tell me that I couldn't have access to my own child.

In cases like this, I try to set my feelings aside and find a workable compromise. Believe me, my daughter's school has said plenty of insulting and outrageous things so I know how you feel. What if you provide food, deliver it to the teachers and come up with a plan for your son to make sure his area is clean and he's not sitting next to anyone eating nuts? Also, I agree that it's a good idea for you and the school to write out an emergency plan including how and by whom he would be taken to the emergency room and where the hospital is.

Cathy

------------------ Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

On Jun 21, 2006

Thank-you for your replies. My son is very immature so the nurse would be carrying his epipens and I will organise with her to have an action plan in place.

I think that we will end up staying down there if they allow it otherwise he won't be going unfortunately. They don't seem to be taking it seriously at all they just don't want us anywhere near him or them. And we keep telling them we would not interfere with any of the camp except for meals. And his safety is the most important thing to us instead of attending a school camp.

I get so angry when these things happen its not fair but thank-you for listening.

Michelle them.

On Jun 21, 2006

Well, I don't see how they can really prevent you from going separately. What are they going to do, get a restraining order!? I don't think you need their permission. Ask them if they are willing to assume all liability for your son's health and safety. They should be grateful that you are willing to go along and provide food instead of insisting that they check everything.

Best of luck! Cathy

On Jun 21, 2006

I am finding their stance quite unreasonable. I cannot imagine why they would *not* be thankful that the burden of your son's food safety be lifted from them, especially seamlessly. Odd. Go with your gut. It is sad it has to come down to him missing out when you have offerred to be so accomodating and helpful. It is a great expense to go yourselves and make it all work. Too bad they do not see it for what it is. becca

On Jun 22, 2006

Thank-you all for your advice.

Well we are all going and we are staying in the same place as them, not with them, in a seperate building. And I am providing all his meals, I am dropping them off each day at reception but he will be eating dinner with us so that he can have a hot meal at night.

My husband ended up saying to them that this is what we wanted and if they couldn't accept him going on these terms well he just would not be going.

It's still going to be hard for me to let them take responsibility for him as he is flying down with them because they are stopping at Sydney for a few hours to go to the zoo there and we are catching a later flight. But he will be flying home with us thank goodness. Anyway thank-you all it's been a very stressful week. Michelle.

On Jun 22, 2006

Michelle, I totally understand your concerns. It's amazing how some just don't get it. One would think that they would welcome you to come as this would ease the stress for them. Please let us know how it all works out!

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