Need help wording an email please

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2006 - 5:45pm
milosmom's picture
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Joined: 05/30/2006 - 09:00

Hi-
I'm pretty new here. In my introduction I mentioned I was having problems with our church changing their policy on administering epi pens etc.

I spoke to the head of the nursery about the situation and she said she was unaware that Miles had a 'life and death' allergy and that 'changes things'. I will giver her a copy of his emergency plan and a consent to administer the pen, and they will 'review' it. grrrr.
The difficulty I am facing is I feel this is an opportunity to educate the people in charge of the children's programs on how all food allergies are potentially life threatening, as they are incredibly ignorant.

I thanked her for making the nursery peanut free but since they give the older kids candy for prizes including snickers and peanut M & M's as well as banana nut muffins etc in the cafe he isn't truly safe, as residue etc can cause a reaction. She said "Well we allow the nuts with the older kids because we figure they should know that they can't have those products" I wanted to scream, but that wasn't the time or place to launch into a tutorial. If anyone can direct me to good examples of letters written in situations like this or have any advice on wording for me I would greatly appreciate it. I need simple yet effective. I would like to see them stop offering candy as a prize but I know the head of the children's program is super difficult and I can almost guarantee she'd balk at that.

Thank you!!

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2006 - 11:28pm
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

First go to [url="http://www.foodallergy.org"]www.foodallergy.org[/url] that is FAAN and they might have an example of a letter you need in their pages.
I am sure a bunch of people here have written similar letters and you might need to search here too but you'll get responses here too.
Try FAAN, they are here to help us with that kind of difficulty.
peg

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 3:08am
milosmom's picture
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Joined: 05/30/2006 - 09:00

Maybe I'm just not looking in the right spot but I did a search here and there is a lot of information regarding schools but as this is a volunteer nursery I don't know if the law applies, and therefore my letter would be more of an appeal for the safety of kids like my little guy.

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 3:22am
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

This is totally my opinion...if you are up to taking it on, go for it...but I would personally 1st focus on making it safe for your son before educating them on 'everyone's' PA. Just my experience that MANY moms do not take their own children's PA seriously nor do they consider it 'life threatening'. Defining PA as life threatening in general when facing such an uphill battle, you may find a group of moms of PA siding with the church! It's amazing how defensive they can get. Then again maybe not so amazing since we all get defensive about our comfort zones as well!
Good luck. Anything you accomplish will help to protect PA kids in the future!
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 4:19am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I have to agree with lmb - educating people that ANY peanut allergy could be fatal is impossible when the parents of the PA kids themselves don't believe it.
I've had a couple of shocking conversations, including one woman who didn't bother to renew her daughter's epipen prescription because "she's old enough now to avoid peanuts."
That is one of the downsides of this message board - you get so used to talking with people who take PA very seriously that you forget that this is a minority opinion, possibly even within the PA community itself.

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 4:54am
nomorenutz's picture
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Joined: 10/28/2005 - 09:00

Just to add on about people taking it seriously or not (PA people). The 3 people I know in real life are very lax about it. I mean, they avoid peanuts, but don't double check things like I do. Even my son's allergist says things like Peanut Oil and May Contains are probably all right for my son b/c of his low test score. I don't take any chance b/c I have been educated on this subject, but I'm sure a lot of people just listen to their doctors (or don't go), and are much more free about the whole thing. One of my son's doctors (not allergist) has a peanut allergy herself and does not carry an epi b/c she "knows how to avoid peanuts". She said if she takes a bite of something she can tell instantly if there is peanut in it and she spits it out and has no reaction. This is a woman who twice turned blue as a child from peanut allergy anaphalaxis. I guess I've always been a better safe than sorry person, but I seriously take no chances with my sons' health!

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 6:12am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Hello again - re-reading this thread made me realize that it might seem like we are coming down too hard on your idea of an email. I still think that it is a good idea, I would just focus on your child and explain how if he touches a table that has peanut on it (for example, from peanut M&M's) and rubs his eyes, that could be enough to send him to the hospital.
Hope this helps!

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 6:24am
milosmom's picture
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Joined: 05/30/2006 - 09:00

My fear is if I don't mention that PA are deadly I will be written off as a 'crazy over protective mom' and the policy will not change and this will directly impact my son as he will not attend nursery. KWIM? I could care less what they think about me personally but I feel like if I can impress upon them the severity of the allergy and it's not just me be a freak that it will give them pause, and my son will be safer as a result. I have no problem wording an email from an entirely personal perspective but what I am asking for is advice in creating an effective email/letter that gets the point across as I am having a hard time being concise with it. I am not trying to be a crusader for everyone's food allergies that's too much to take on (right now anyway) I think I was misunderstood.

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 1:34pm
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Milosmom, I understand your point. I guess you could go along the line of PA is deadly...I just wouldn't, as you said, take on fixing the system for everyone just yet=) You could try something along the lines of what our ped wrote to the school for 504...I've excerpted relevant parts...
DS has severe, potentially life-threatening, sensitivity to peanut. Since he also has asthma, he is clinically placed at an increased risk of having a fatal anaphylactic allergic reaction. Approximately 150 people die each year due to anaphylaxis to foods. DS has a history of aaphylaxis and allergy tests are positive for peanuts. It is essential that DS have emergency medications consisting of Benadryl and Epi Pen available at all times so that they may be administered immediately in case of an allergic reaction.
Avoidance of all contact with food allergens (i.e.peanut) is the only way to avoid a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. This includes avoidance of ingestion, contact and inhalation of peanut protein. Such avoidance is a highly complex task, impossible for a child without the ongoing assistance of an adult. It is because of the very life-threatening nature of DS

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 1:37pm
rebekahc's picture
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Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

FAAN - foodallergy.com does have an education packet geared toward preschool and child care which might be helpful in educating your church. Also - if they are concerned with liability issues associated with administering the epi - you might mention Good Samaritan Laws...
[b]Good Samaritan Protection
Most states have Good Samaritan laws, which generally protect individuals from liability who render emergency assistance in good faith, with no expectation of payment, and who hand the patient over to appropriate medical personnel (such as EMTs or a school nurse) as soon as possible. Some states, however, have recently enacted Good Samaritan laws that specifically refer to epinephrine.[/b]
(I took that statement from FAAN's website)
Good luck!
Rebekah

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 1:38pm
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Of course this may scare them so much they won't want the responsibility! LOL! You'll also need to explain what you want them to do in addition to holding the epipen. Then again you could work on the epipen part first and skip the whole thing about avoidance for now. Good Luck...luvmyboys

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