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Posted on: Mon, 05/19/2008 - 1:25pm
Krusty Krab's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2007 - 09:00

[url="http://www.foodallergyadvocate.com/Section504IDEA.htm"]http://www.foodallergyadvocate.com/Section504IDEA.htm[/url]
This site is a wonderful way to learn about 504 and how it applies to life threatening food allergy. Read it again and again.

Posted on: Sat, 05/24/2008 - 1:52am
lakeswimr's picture
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Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

Originally Posted By: nutty1 I have heard a lot of people talking about PA and being "contact sensitive". I have no idea if my son is contact sensitive, is this just something that I'll figure out in time?? What does being 'contact sensitive' mean exactly? I assume it means that he would react if he sits near someone eating peanuts?
According to my son's food allergist he feels this everyone with a given allergy is 'contact sensitive' otherwise skin testing wouldn't work. If you are allergic to peanuts and you get some on your skin you will have a reaction of some type. That is a contact reaction. This type of exposure has been studied and shown that it didn't not cause anaphylaxis in any of the severely peanut-allergic people tested. That doesn't mean it is impossible to have anaphylaxis *just* from skin contact but that it is very unlikely. There was a somewhat recent news story that a boy had anaphylaxis to skin contact with *milk* so I believe it could happen with peanuts as well. It is just very, very unlikely.
But the risk of contact is great *because people touch reside and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth* thereby having *INGESTION*, not just contact!
My son has had anaphylaxis twice just from playing at a friend's house. He didn't eat any allergens either time. One of the two time there was absolutely no food present. The other time people were eating and DS only ate allergy-free food and there were no peanuts or tree nuts present (but there was dairy) and the other kids washed after eating. DS reacted both times to food residue that we couldn't see with our eyes but what there nonetheless.
Given this my son must eat at an allergy-free table. He is at his own little table and sometimes even has to sit alone. If he just had a peanut allergy it would be much, much easier but he has multiple food allergies including milk and milk can spill very, very easily so it isn't even safe for him to be at the peanut-free table.
I do worry about him being alone but he is young now and doesn't care about this. I hope he will outgrow the dairy allergy and be able to sit at the peanut-free table (which is all the tables where kids who eat hot lunch sit so not very restrictive in terms of who he would be with at all.) For now he is *safe* and that is most important.
when he is older he will be able to control touching his face but right now he can't. And the seats are *right* next to each other. Kids get other kids lunches on their lunches easily. It would absolutely be unsafe for DS to sit at a regular table unfortunately.
Lucky for DS he is well-liked and kids *want* to sit with him.
We all have children with different needs. I'm sure if someone had their child have anaphylaxis after just playing with Play Doh (not an allergen for DS) due to food residue on the Play Doh it would change how you thought about 'contact reactions.'

Posted on: Sat, 05/24/2008 - 2:09am
lakeswimr's picture
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I know other lawyers disagree with him for sure! The Food Alleryg and Anaphylaxis Network says 504s are appropriate for those with food allergies.
In response the the comparison with walking down the street--the thing is, it is NEVER safe for a child with food allergies to be touching their allergens. touching allergens can happen easily in schools. Therefore the analogy is a poor one. If my child touches his allergens and then touches his eyes, nose or mouth (which he does regularly, esp now during allergy season when his eyes and nose are very itchy all the time) then he could have a life-threatening food allergy reaction. This is *always* true, not just sometimes. The risks to his breathing are *always* there if he comes into contact with his allergens.
Lawyer sounds like he had his mind made up from the start.
The thing is, in the case of an IHCP, if a student gets a teacher who doesn't want to follow the plan there is *nothing* the family can do to force the teacher to comply with the plan to protect their child's life other than what the school will voluntarily do. With a 504 the school *has* to comply. IHCPs do not give families the legal protection 504 plans do. Now, I say this as someone who only has an IHCP becausee my son's school is great but not all here have such accommodating schools and some have hostile schools so they very much need 504s.
I think your goal should also be to be ready in case you do need to give an epi. Most children who have food allergies have reactions every few years and most reactions happen in schools and most school reactions happen at parties, field trips etc. So, I'd be ready!
I agree it is best to work together positively. I"m super lucky with my son's school and very grateful. I think I could have gone in there with a different approach and have a very bad relationship with them now but I went in and approached them positively and luckily they were also positive. Not all here will have such a good situation. I had a preschool president who was very difficult and I had a bad relationship with her. Partly this is my fault. I approached her the wrong way. But she didn't feel my son's allergies were that serious and didn't take the proper precautions. No matter what I did she wasn't going to protect my son. (shrug) So, workiign together in a positive atmosphere isn't always possible and I'm thankful there is some legal protection for those with FAs who don't have cooperative schools. Really, we are at the whim of people like you. YOur students are *lucky* to have you. NOt everyone is so lucky.
I"m glad you don't know anyone who is like this. I"m a teacher and the place I work now keeps the epis locked with the nurse and the students are sometimes a 7 min walk away from the nurse! NOT SAFE but they didn't listen to me about this. I would say that is the type of place just trusting good will won't work and these are *nice*, *good* people I work wtih!

Posted on: Mon, 05/26/2008 - 9:26am
Krusty Krab's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2007 - 09:00

[b]According to my son's food allergist he feels this everyone with a given allergy is 'contact sensitive' otherwise skin testing wouldn't work.[/b]
With a skin prick test, the allergen is introduced [u]into[/u] the body. Therefore I wouldn't consider this a contact reaction. Now if the allergen just sat there and the skin wasn't broken in any manner, and the child reacted by hives or whathaveyou, then I'd call it a true contact reaction.
But hey, that's just my non-professional opinion.

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