Peanut-Safe Schools

Posted on: Sun, 06/20/1999 - 6:54am
Winnie Hunsburger's picture
Joined: 06/20/1999 - 09:00

I teach at a middle school in Southern Ontario. This year we have two PA students and next year we will add a third. One of these students is in my class this year and will be again next year. We are doing our best to try and raise awareness about PA and encourage our 450 - soon to 700 students - to understand this critical situation.

I have appreciated reading many of the posts by parents and wish sincerely that it didn't fall to you to educate schools, principals and teachers about your child's allergy.

I would greatly appreciate your sage advice on how we can raise awareness at our school - particularly among the students - aged 9 to 14. I am particularly concerned because so many of our classrooms must be used as lunchrooms - mine included. Should I make a case not to have food in those classrooms where there are PA students? (Our PA kids eat in a separate area or go home at lunch.)It is difficult because the students are on a modified rotary schedule and spend time in many different classrooms.

Can you recommend videos or teaching aids for this age group?

Do you know of school boards in Ontario that have well-developed policies on this issue that I could contact.


Posted on: Mon, 06/21/1999 - 3:52am
Kurt's picture
Joined: 05/19/1999 - 09:00

Posted this SOMEWHERE else on this board with more specifics, but can't find it now...however, I used the Renfrew County Board of Education policy as the template for the policy I'm trying to create for my own child's school in New Jersey. The primary author was a fellow by the name of Jim Bowie, who has a title like 'Safety Administrator' or similar. It's a very detailed and thorough document and was incredibly helpful. Good luck.

Posted on: Mon, 06/21/1999 - 4:04am
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi, Winnie I am happy to see your post. One of the members of the Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group [H.A.P.G.] worked with a student teacher in one of the Halton Board's schools to make the whole school aware of anaphylaxis issues. I know a child at this school who did a presentation to her class as part of a series of presentations by students school-wide. I do not know the name of the school and the child and her family are away right now so the easiest way to find out is to contact H.A.P.G. Their web site is [url=""][/url] Also the Hamilton-Wentworth School Board has a working committee [the Anaphylaxis Committee] currently exploring policy issues for their board. Finally, my position as a mother of a child with life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies: no foods with peanuts or nuts should be allowed in any classroom where my son will spend any part of this day. Children entering the gym or computer areas after having eaten should wash their hands thoroughly to prevent leaving residue from peanut butter or dust from salted nuts etc. on keyboards, basketballs etc. There have been children who have had severe reactions from cross-contamination in those areas. To accomplish this my son's school sends a letter home with each child and asks that ingredients be checked. I provide the list of suspect ingredients such as hydrolized plant or vegetable protein etc. E-mail me if you want more information. I also have a bibliography of books on anaphylaxis including Health Canada's guide for school boards. Thanks again for asking and I look forward to hearing from you by email.

Posted on: Mon, 06/21/1999 - 4:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Kurt,
I think the information you are looking for is under the thread--Preparing for the School Systems (Canada). You posted information about Jim Bowie along with his e-mail address, I believe.
Hope this helps!
Stay Safe.

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/1999 - 9:30am
Leanne's picture
Joined: 09/02/1999 - 09:00

I suggest to write to the Canadian School Boards Association and get a copy of a handbook entitled "Anaphylaxis: A Handbook for School Boards" The cost is $10, but I am told it is well worth it. I am waiting for mine to arrive!
Their address is:
350-130 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON
K1P 6E2


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