School

Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2000 - 2:04pm
Horseluver's picture
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Joined: 05/30/2000 - 09:00

Hi I have a pa,asthma,seafood allergy, and
atopic dermatitis.I,m a ten year old girl.
I hate having these allergys!I've been
homeschooling for three years, and i am
going back for fifth grade.I can't wait, but
I am kind of scared!Does anyone have any tips
for making it easier?
-Katherine

Posted on: Wed, 05/31/2000 - 3:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Oh, Katherine, I just read your posting. My son is 4 years old so it is a lot different for him. Let me think about it and get back to you - that's a definite.
Cindy Spowart Cook
e-mail at [email]ron.cook@sympatico.ca[/email]

Posted on: Wed, 05/31/2000 - 4:02am
Horseluver's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]Oh, Katherine, I just read your posting. My son is 4 years old so it is a lot different for him. Let me think about it and get back to you - that's a definite.
Cindy Spowart Cook
e-mail at [email]ron.cook@sympatico.ca[/email][/b]
Thanks!!!!!

Posted on: Wed, 05/31/2000 - 2:58pm
rilira's picture
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Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

Katherine-
I think just asking for help is a great first step. I would say be real aware of what the food rules your family has set up for you. Don't give into peer pressure. Remember always have your epi with you. Be sure your teacher and close friends know what to do if you are having a reaction.
Are you able to go to the school to look around and get used to the setting? Try to meet some kids who already are in the school to be friends with. Have fun and use being scared to be safe but don't be too afraid and miss out on the fun stuff.

Posted on: Thu, 06/01/2000 - 1:49am
Horseluver's picture
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Thanks so much. I will allways have my epi
with me. I will try not to be too scard.
-Katherine

Posted on: Fri, 06/02/2000 - 1:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Katherine, I'm so sorry, I had wanted to respond more quickly to your posting. I went back in (I hadn't bookmarked it) and I couldn't find you so I had them search the site for you and got your original posting back up. I guess I have a few questions for you too.
You said that you had been homeschooled for the last three years. That means that you went to grade 1 at public school? Did you go
to Junior and Senior Kindergarten too? Why was it decided that you should be homeschooled, can you remember? And now, why
are you going back into the school system? I have noticed that a lot of children with PA end up being homeschooled. Oh, there are so many things. First, do you know if the school you will be going to has any "peanut free" policies in place? If not, does the local school board? This would probably be something your parents could check out. The local school board should have a policy in place which they will, in turn, have to give to the school you are attending. Is your peanut allergy severe, i.e., you should be in a "peanut free" environment? The school should have medical forms to send home to your parents to fill out. My son is required to have two epipens at school, one he wears on a fanny pack and one is kept close to his teacher. Do you have a MedicAlert bracelet?
My son also has asthma and I have left inhalers at the school, both for if he needs them for his asthma itself and also if he goes into anaphylactic shock due to the peanut allergy and needs some of the reliever puffer (to help him breathe). Do you have any friends that are already going to this school? At 10, you're probably pretty aware of what you can and cannot eat. Will you be staying at school for lunch or coming home?
Do you live fairly close to the school? Is part of your nervousness nothing to do with any of your allergies but just the whole social aspect of it? Are your parents able to find out if there are any other children with PA in the school? There will be a lot of them with asthma, no doubt. When you were homeschooled were there other children that were with you? What's happening with them?
At any rate, I really wanted you not to be scared. I can only respond as the parent of a child who has PA and asthma and it is pretty scary for me and perhaps as he gets older it will be scary for him too, but you're probably so aware of what is okay and not okay that you'll be fine. Nervousness about going into the whole social scene of it all is a different thing though. Do you have a large group of friends now? At any rate, enough for now. I'm sorry I lost your original post and took so long to reply. My heart just aches for you but I know you will be okay. Do you know how to administer the epipen? When was your last reaction where it had to be used? Are you able to administer it to yourself (I have read that even if you know how, the shock is so severe that you're unable to do it). Oh, also, I know that I had to provide a picture of my son to the school to put up in common areas so that all of the teachers know who he is. I'm also very fortunate that he has a great teacher. I've also found that if you arm the school with a lot of information about the allergy especially if they don't have any other children that are PA, it really helps.
Chris likes us to stay on-line here, but you can also e-mail me at [email]ron.cook@sympatico.ca[/email]
It's actually good to stay on-line because I see you're getting a lot of support and will continue to do so even as you go back to school.
------------------

Posted on: Fri, 06/02/2000 - 3:36pm
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Hello Cindy. Thank you so much for answering Katherine (my daughter). I found this sight a few days ago and thought it might help both of us to talk about how we are feeling. She said she would answer your questions, but I thought I would answer some also. I am really the one who is terrified about her going back to school. She is much more confident than I am, but it is still scary for her. Not the social aspect, but the peanuts everywhere. I briefly spoke with the school nurse and she was very nice, however I know they have a policy of not letting the kids carry their meds with them. I may be in for a fight, but she WILL carry 2 epi pens with her at all times! She went to a private K and 1st grade where this was no problem. I also got a job teaching at this same school and everything worked fine. I have considered us going back, but I have 4 children and it was difficult and expensive.The environment was great. The kids protected her, watching out to see that she was never by anyone that ate pb. It was almost comical at times. We were lucky to have the same lunch period so I watched her also, but I would find myself upset when I saw someone eating pb. Each day during lunch I would go clean the bathroom where I thought any child might leave traces. You would not believe how that stuff ends up on faces, hands, lunch bags,ect! Anyway, after 3 years of homeschooling (because of the allergy) she really wants to go to public school.I told her she coul go, but I am having second thoughts. I guess there comes a time when we have to let them go and pray we have taught them the right things. I know she is very careful and mature. I am so proud of her. She wants to be an allergy doctor and help find a cure for this nightmare. I pray constantly that one of the studies presently being conducted will be available in the near future. I am sorry to go on and on like this, but I guess you know that people just do not understand. I sure wish we had a support group here. It is so great to read all these posts from people with the same anxieties. Sometimes I feel so isolated. People just don't get it. Well, I guess I should go. I wanted to answer your questions, but I think I forgot half of them. Sorry to ramble on, but it is very cathartic.
Michelle

Posted on: Sat, 06/03/2000 - 4:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Michelle, at least remembered the site so I could check back in to see if any reply. At any rate, I have a migraine right now that will not leave and I cannot sleep but also cannot answer properly. When my husband read my last posting to Katherine he said that for him it was very confusing to read. I have quite a few thoughts though to share with both of you and hope you welcome this. I'm assuming that you live in America. I live in
Canada (Ontario) and I'm not sure if law is different in the two lands regarding PA and schools. I also had some information from the local school board here at the beginning of the last school year but I gave it to another parent who had to present it to the Catholic school board to have them implement a "peanut free" environment for his child. So, I don't have that. I'm wondering if I should request another copy of it. I know that it's like a 64 page document or something and this is a very small school board compared to one for Toronto. At any rate, I do tend to babble. I want you to know that I'm very concerned for both of you and want to keep discussing. I'm also new to the board, having only discovered the site last week. I was so pleased because I have been looking for ANY contact with another parent with a PA child. I finally received this week also a list of three penpals through Today's Parent Magazine, but I really have been wanting to be in touch with people since my son was diagnosed. Anyway, I am sorry to ramble. I know that you will get flagged in your e-mail that you did receive a reponse. Please know that I'm thinking of you and Katherine and will try to gather my thoughts in a less confusing manner to address what was left unanswered from my last posting and what I wanted to respond to in your reply. I hope all is well
Cindy Spowart Cook
e-mail at [email]ron.cook@sympatico.ca[/email]

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 1:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Michelle - check out on this site - Legislation, and then Allowing our Children to have their meds. See if it has any information regarding where you live. You could probably also contact Chris to get further information. Carrying her epipen is an essential for Katherine. I don't even know if we have such law against carrying meds here. I'm still not well, but promise to respond to your earlier posting later in a more clear fashion re questions, etc. And, we have a couple of months to get the school issue dealt with anyway. I hope you both had a good day.

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2000 - 4:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Katherine/Michelle - I've been through the discussion so far and I think I have my questions and thoughts in a more coherent manner for both of you.
1. Do you have information to give to the school regarding the allergy and what should be done in case of a reaction? This should be given to the nurse, principal, vice principal and teacher.
2. How many grades does the school go up to?
3. Why, because of the PA, did you decide to
homeschool? You simply did not feel safe with what was offered by the public school system?
4. Do you know if the school you will be going to has any "peanut free" policies in place?
5. If not, does the local school board?
6. Is you PA severe, i.e., you should be in a "peanut free" environment?
7. Does the school have medical forms to send home to your parents?
8. Do you have a MedicAlert bracelet?
9. What can you do to be able to carry your
epipens (Michelle, see Legislature part I mentioned in an earlier posting)?
10. Do you have to carry your asthma meds with you too?
11. Do you have any friends that are already going to this school? I'm wondering if you could set up a buddy system thing.
12. Will you be staying at school for lunch or coming home?
13. Does the school cafeteria have a peanut free zone if you are staying at school for lunch?
14. Are there any other children with PA in the school?
15. When you were homeschooled were there any other children that were with you?
16. Do you know how to administer the epipen?
17. When was your last reaction where it had to be used?
18. Are you able to administer it to yourself?
19. You are actually fortunate to have a school nurse, we don't have them here.
20. Michelle, do you want me to request the 64 page document put out by my school board?
I completely understand both of your fears, etc. It's a very scary situation simply because it is deadly.
21. Oh, how bad is your asthma?
Anyway, when you get a chance, please respond and I'd be glad to work on this with you throughout the summer before school starts as I'm sure others who see your posting will be.
Michelle, I've found that this site has actually become my support group because its a lot easier than leaving the house and I've had such positive response.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Cindy Spowart Cook
e-mail at [email]ron.cook@sympatico.ca[/email]
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 12:11am
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Katherine and Michelle,
My daughter is currently in a public kindergarten and next year she will be going into the first grade. Our school system has a policy that children in third grade and up are allowed to carry rescue medications (ie Epi pens and inhalers ) as long as they have a note from their doctor saying the child knows how to properly administer the medication.
When she started school, I got in contact with the child study team and discussed the severity of her allergy. With out any special plan, we worked out special seating on the bus, training for the drivers on how to id a reaction and to ensure that the seats are cleaned before she gets on the bus, training for the staff in her school and special seating at lunch.
We have had an incidence free year, but she was sent home twice for excessive coughing, both times it was an excellent catch by the staff as she was developing croup one time and bronchitis the next.
I am even trying to figure out a gift to leave in the office for the staff to thank them for a great year.

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 7:41am
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MaryLynn, I am Michelle, Katherine's mother. I finally got my own username. I am glad everything went well with your daughter this year. Your school sounds wonderful! Since she does not have her Epi on her, how do they make sure all of her teachers have it? Maybe she has only 1, which would be safer than having several teachers.

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 8:24am
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Cindy, I hope you are feeling better. I am Katherine's mother. I finally got my own username. I will try to answer your questions. Thanks for your help. I do have information to give the school. We have an allergy apt. next week with a new doctor, and I plan to get her to write a note stating she must keep her Epi with her. I hope she will, since I have heard some docs will not. Six years ago Katherine was diagnosed at this clinic (Texas Childrens's Hospital Asthma and Allergy Center). They told me they would help me with any school problems I may encounter in the future. They also said "Do not let her walk down the street without her Epipen". That is something I sometimes hear in my nightmares. I am sure you can relate! I did deceide to homeschool because of the allergy.I talked to the principal and nurse at the public school she would have gone to for K, but they were not very helpful. They had never heard of this allergy, and suggested I homeschool! There was no way I was going to send her there. We tried Catholic school for K and 1st grade and it was wonderful, but I really wanted to homeschool.It was so great to always feel safe. She really wants to go to public school in our new neighborhood (we moved to get out of the first school district) so she can meet more new friends. As far as I know, the school and district does not have any peanut free policies. I will not allow her to ride the bus (as a teacher, I know how kids behave on the it!) And I think I will pick her up from school for lunch each day. She has always carried her asthma medication with her, but it is fine with me if she goes to the nurse for that. Her asthma is severe, but it is getting better. Yes, she should be able to give herself a shot. I have only had to use it once. That was 2 years ago after she had a minute bite of shrimp. I was so scared, but it was not bad at all. It is amazing how quickly it works! I do not know what you mean by your 64 page document. Could you tell me a little about it? I have not had a chance to check out the legistative portion of the board yet, but I plan on it tonight. I am sorry this sounds so choppy. I probably should have answered in paragraghs or with numbers like you did!Thanks. Have a great evening.
Michelle

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 2:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Michelle, the document I'm referring to, which I can get a copy of for you is, my local school board's code or whatever of how to deal with children with PA or other life threatening conditions. It basically tells the principals and teachers what they should do. It's Canadian, so I don't know if it would help you, but it might be some additional information to present to the school. I've had a terrible day dealing with
PA, nothing terrible has happened to Jesse, but if you get a chance please check out my I Could Scream! posting under Living With Peanut Allergy.
Do you feel that I asked you too many questions? Katherine's posting just so touched me and I wanted so desperately to let her know that people cared and would be supportive (I mean on this site) and helpful as far as getting her back into the school system. That's why I've had so many questions I've asked you. At any rate.....
Let me know if you would like that document as ammunition for your school (I think I need another copy myself anyway after to-day!).
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 2:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

MaryLynn, what is a child study team at a school? It sounds as though your child's PA is quite severe, as my son's is. He has almost completed his 1st year at public school (junior kindergarten) incident free (touch wood). We're Canadian, so our laws re meds seem to be different, but he is allowed to have his epipen in a fanny pack on him despite the fact that he's too young to know how to use it (it's for easy access). I think Katherine and Michelle really need to hear positive school stories but also the negative things they'll run into also, so it's great that they posted and are getting responses. My heart just broke when I read Katherine's initial letter. I'm glad your child was okay this year at school.
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 10:04pm
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Horseluver, My son is just finishing second grade, is PA, possibly seafood allergic and is enrolled in the public schools. He has never had any reaction in school. His teachers have always been great (with education). His epipen is kept in the office and always brought on field trips. We have just won the right for him to have the epipen on the school bus. He has never been teased about his allergy and is very happy with school. I think you will do just fine in fifth grade!

Posted on: Wed, 06/07/2000 - 1:24am
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Hi Katherine!
I remember one of my teacher let me do a "show and tell" about my epi pen when I was growing up. I explained to my class all about my allergy, and they learned a lot, and it gave me an opportunity to share with them. My friends used to enjoy telling the substitutes about how much they "knew" and they really helped look out for me.
Maybe you could ask if you could do this.
You will be great!!! take care !!

Posted on: Wed, 06/07/2000 - 10:09am
Horseluver's picture
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Thanks so much i will ask if i can bring
my epi pen for show and tell.

Posted on: Wed, 06/07/2000 - 10:11am
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Quote:Originally posted by PattyR:
[b]Horseluver, My son is just finishing second grade, is PA, possibly seafood allergic and is enrolled in the public schools. He has never had any reaction in school. His teachers have always been great (with education). His epipen is kept in the office and always brought on field trips. We have just won the right for him to have the epipen on the school bus. He has never been teased about his allergy and is very happy with school. I think you will do just fine in fifth grade! [/b]
Thanks so much!!!!!

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2000 - 7:35am
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Joined: 06/24/2000 - 09:00

Hi Katherine and Michele,I t is not an easy decision to have to make.My heart goes out to you both.
My son is 5.He has spent 2 years at the school already.The teachers there are fantastic.They did have to give the Epi. 3 times this year,twice last week.They are doing their best.
I wish you all the luck in this decision.This site is really great though to talk to sufferers themselves or indeed other parents.
Stay safe.

Posted on: Tue, 04/06/2004 - 10:21am
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Diane You wouldnt happen to live in Middlesex county New Jersy do you??? Just asking because the school my son goes to is peanut free.
I was real worried about this last year when he was in the public school. He only had half day kindergarten so no eating, I am grateful I found a peanut free school before first grade.
Its so hard. Maybe other have some answers for you. Can she have her own ball or jump rope or whatever stored for only her?
------------------
[b]Florence[/b]
[i]Patrick[/i]-PA/TA
[i]Edward[/i]-Penicllin pa/ta unknown
[i]Jessica[/i]-yellow dye pa/ta unknown

Posted on: Tue, 04/06/2004 - 12:07pm
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I would contact the school and ask them how they are going to accommodate your child.
In my humble opinion peanut free schools are not realistic. True you may eliminate PBJ, what about cheese crackers that "may contain traces of peanuts". What about candy bars? What about cookies? A totally peanut free school would be a nightmare to police as 100% peanut free. Just because the school is peanut free, does that mean that a grand parent may make lunch for a child and not know about the peanut free rules? I believe that peanut free schools give parents a false sense of security.
Peanut free schools also create hostile climate towards PA children. I personally want a relationship with other parents that are more of a partnership. People tend to react passionately when you take their kids PBJ away.
I would push towards requiring children to wash their hands after lunch. The school should be able to provide some sort of monitoring to ensure that kids are 100% complying. I would also push the school towards food allergy awareness. Schools teach our kids about sex, drugs, aids, teenage pregnancy, guns, bad cholesterol, etc. [b]Why schools can

Posted on: Tue, 04/06/2004 - 12:22pm
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Some of the schools that I have worked at have outside play stuff for the special needs kids-bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, etc. Could your daughter have a bin of her own stuff, and for another child to play with her they have to wash their hands, etc.?
It would be a little easier to keep track of then the play ground-we have 2 pa kids in my school, neither play on the playground equipment but are not excluded in play any other way.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 12:27am
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I copied this because I am having trouble quoting
"In my humble opinion peanut free schools are not realistic. True you may eliminate PBJ, what about cheese crackers that "may contain traces of peanuts". What about candy bars? What about cookies? A totally peanut free school would be a nightmare to police as 100% peanut free. Just because the school is peanut free, does that mean that a grand parent may make lunch for a child and not know about the peanut free rules? I believe that peanut free schools give parents a false sense of security."
imho, Pete, I think that eliminating the peanut butter sandwich is half the battle. My son's school was peanut free before he wa enrolled. I didnt have to battle parents. Actually no one did, the principal did it on her own. The kids eat lunch in their classrooms at their own desk. The teacher can see what each child brings to lunch. Do I have a false sense of security, no.My son still has his epipens, benedryl, safe snakc in the classroom as well as the nurses fridge. He does not eat anything from anyone, he eats only his lunch, snacks etc. I am not too concerned with may contains, if he doesnt eat them.
Basically we have the same plan implemented here that we would have at the public school minus the cafeteria filled with 400 plus kids eating and who knows how many eating peanut butter and jelly.
His school is a small private school.If a parent doesnt liek the no peanut policy they can put their kid in public school.
Are you going to tell me that if given a choice you would rather yor child in a regular school or a peanut free school with all the precautions taken that you would take anyway?
So far the parents I met have been great about the policy. Like I said it was implemented before my son went there. After fighting the public school last year and getting no where, I just knew my son would forever be the peanut boy. Here it was done already.
At least this year the principal knows who my son is and cares about her students. The public school prinicpal didnt.
anyway, thats not the topic

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 1:01am
Going Nuts's picture
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Welcome Dianelyn!
Has your child played in regular playgrounds? Has she had problems there? I'm not trying to minimize what your MD indicated, but the chances are if she's gone to many child oriented recreation activities she's already been exposed.
My son is contact sensitive as well, yet he has done fine in school (maybe a guardian angel?). I think with some accomodations, your DD should be able to enjoy her recess. Perhaps as mentioned above there could be some hand-washing, or use of wipes at least after eating. Some stuff designated just for her.
I think the toughest thing for parents of PA kids is to balance their safety with their psychological well being. With few exceptions (the circus, many restaurants) there's really nothing my PA doesn't do; we just do them with precautions.
Of course I realize that not every child's situation is the same, and my contact-sensitive child may be much less sensitive than yours. I just hope you can work something out for her - no child should miss out on recess. For some, it's their favorite subject! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
Amy

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 1:46am
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At Drew's school, they have recess right before lunch (which works out great because they come in hungry and thirsty). They come in wash hands, eat lunch and then the "lunch box" kids wash their hands (and face, if necessary) again after lunch. This has worked for us.
I would think (hope) that any teacher would be flexible enough to do another "wash up" after lunch to allow your child to play at recess. That way she could play with her friends on the equipment and not have to be limited only to her playground supplies.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 1:53am
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b]In my humble opinion peanut free schools are not realistic. True you may eliminate PBJ, what about cheese crackers that "may contain traces of peanuts". What about candy bars? What about cookies? A totally peanut free school would be a nightmare to police as 100% peanut free. Just because the school is peanut free, does that mean that a grand parent may make lunch for a child and not know about the peanut free rules? I believe that peanut free schools give parents a false sense of security.
Peanut free schools also create hostile climate towards PA children. I personally want a relationship with other parents that are more of a partnership. People tend to react passionately when you take their kids PBJ away.
[/b]
Pete,
are you just *speaking* of the label "Peanut Free" as defined? I *believe* I understand what you are trying to *say*.
One accomodation a school agreed to (defineable, enforceable, monitorable, achievable) when our family attempted to achieve a 504 plan to adequately address *my* cubs needs wrt PA/NUTS was the removal of the pb sand[i]witches[/i] from the [b]Federal Brown Bag Lunch Program[/b] offered at the school.
We also asked that a dedicated letter containing *specific* information re: PA/NUTS be sent out *requesting* certain cooperation from parents/families/school/staff. We also asked for *input* into that letter. We asked the letter be sent out on a regular determined basis, PRN, and modified as necessary. (Defineable, Monitorable, Enforceable *enforceability re: letter distribution*, Achieveable, Improvable)
disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 2:30am
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b]I believe that peanut free schools give parents a false sense of security.[/b]
Hi Pete,
I would disagree with that point. Just because something is labelled as "xxx-free" does not mean that people will turn off their brains.
When the traffic light turns green, does it give me a false sense of security so I blindly cross the street without looking in both directions? Yes, a chocolate bar could enter a peanut-free classroom. But a car could also run a red light. Does this mean a green walk signal gives pedestrians a false sense of security since a car could run the red light? Should we eliminate traffic signals until we can guarantee there would be no more red light runners???
A peanut-free classroom (just like a traffic light/crosswalk/etc) is not a guarantee. We still must keep alert and take precautions. It is there to help us to keep safe [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] t there there to reduce the risk, just like traffic signals are there to reduce the risk, but we still must be vigilant and cautious at all times as nothing in life has an absolute guarantee.
I have been in many peanut-free environments in my life, and I have never had a faslse sense of security. Those of us who have PA never have a false sense of security as we know that no where can ever be 100% safe as accidents can happen, and we must always be alert and careful.
I never had a peanut-free classroom but if I had been in one, I would not have had a false sense of security. Peanut-free classrooms may not work in all jurisdictions (every school may have a different solution), but I know in same areas they work very well and do not cause hostility/enemies (ie: read Cayley's Mom's postings about her daughter's successful peanut-free school). In fact, as you will see at the Touche Bakery web site ([url]http://www.touchebakery.com[/url]), 62% of Canadian schools/daycares/camps are not peanut/nut-free.
It may not be the solution everywhere as some schools may have a safe solution that allows peanut products (ie: handwashing policies, etc), but in some cases (speaking of Toronto as an example), they can be successful without creating hostility and without creating a false sense of security. One size may not fit all situations, but in some cases peanut-free/nut-free schools can be a success.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 2:50am
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Erik
thats what I was trying to say also. I have not turned off my brain. Its just so much easier to deal with a school that understands and doesnt fight you on everything.
My son knows not to eat anything. You know he is much happier in this school too. Last year he was worried that he was going to have to eat lunch with kids eating peanut butter.
It scared the heck out of him. He panics when he sees peanuts etc, and so he should. So for his peace of mind its worth it.
oh, and I am not saying that an accident cant happen.Of course it can, it can happen anywhere. I am not blind to that fact. I still worry everyday.
------------------
[b]Florence[/b]
[i]Patrick[/i]-PA/TA
[i]Edward[/i]-Penicllin pa/ta unknown
[i]Jessica[/i]-yellow dye pa/ta unknown
[This message has been edited by patsmommy (edited April 07, 2004).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 2:54am
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I wish there was a list of peanut-free schools posted somewhere or something...I would probably go as far as to sell my house and move to that district so that I wouldn't have to worry so much when my son starts school (the lunch menu for my local public school lists PB&J as an Al A Carte menu item EVERYDAY -- as does the menu of an extremely expensive private school we are considering...so I'm already bummed...).
I understand the argument about a "false sense of security" of peanut-free schools, but when you're talking about K-6 kids, I think the benefits far outweigh the risks. I really don't think that a young child can fully understand the concept of a severe contact allergy to peanuts until at least age 10 --- yes they may know that they can't eat a PB&J, etc., but it's really hard to be as paranoid as you need to be at such a young age...it's like you wouldn't let a bunch of six year-olds play in an open field surrounded by speeding traffic because they truly don't understand the risk at their age (you'd have to put up a fence). You could, however, allow 7th graders to play in that field.
I also know in my heart that if my son wasn't allergic to peanuts and there was a another PA allergic kid in his class I would NEVER send any type of peanut product to school, nor would I disagree with a decision to go peanut-free -- there is no way I would want to be responsible for any type of accident in anyway...and I also wouldn't want to see any little kid robbed of the opportunity to play & eat with the other kids (one of the best things about "being a kid") just so my kid could eat peanuts during school hours. However, unfortunately, there is always going to be a few nasty people who will make a big deal about any type of accomodation for the minority....like those who get angry because of the high cost of wheelchair ramps and the "unfairness" handicapped parking spaces. And I really don't think any type of education will work with these types of people (they understand the risks, they just don't care) -- the schools/authorities just need to take a stand and set the rules and that's it...
...just my opinion [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Kristin

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 2:55am
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Hi Florence,
I agree with you too. I know I would have preferred a peanut-free class/school for myself as well. If I haad a choice of eating in a room without any peanut butter sandwiches, or eating in a room with several other kids eating peanut butter sandwiches, I would definitely choose the room without peanut butter sandwiches.
I will still be alert, careful, have my epi-pen, etc.. since nothing is a guarantee (maybe a kid sneaked in some M&Ms?).. but it sure would have made my life less stressful not having to worry about peanut butter sandwiches in the environment. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 3:07am
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Kristin, where do you live? Maybe someone here knows of some p.f. schools near you.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 3:10am
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<<< Kristin, where do you live? Maybe someone here knows of some p.f. schools near you. >>> -- didn't know how to bold this...
I live in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Yes, I would love to know if there is a peanut-free school nearby... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 4:37am
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Hi, my son is PA, has been for 3 years. The schools in our area, all of them, are attempting to be peanut free. I know that kids do come to school with "may contain" items, and we are comfortable with that. My son doesn't eat anything unless I packed it for him. He knows, and has known for a few years, that if it says may contain, he can't eat it. I know accidents can and will happen, so I can't pretend that a peanut free environment will protect him. But I can't believe, in this day and age, when there are so many children with PA, that all schools in the country aren't attempting to be nut free. There are 2 children in my son's class that are PA, and at least one in each grade. Perhaps we live in a highly concentrated area, and therefore we have the benefit of "safety in numbers". I feel lucky that my son was born at this time, and not going to school, even 10 years ago. The children are the keen ones at school, when it comes to being allergy aware. Even before my son was born, my daughter was in JK, and she knew about PA from school. She was always very aware of what she could and could not take to school. (who knew she would one day have to live it 24/7!) The parents of our school are amazing too. My biggest fear was that my son would be shunned because he was the PA boy, but on the contrary. He has friends from all age groups, and has been to loads of birthday parties. I speak with the parents before and they have always gone above what they needed to do to make it a fun time for everyone. I make them aware, but not to the point of scaring them off. If I feel that the parents don't get it, which hasn't happened yet, then I would stay for the party as a volunteer. Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the topic.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 7:23am
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Would it be possible for your daughter to wear disposable gloves when she is on the playground?
Also, if the contact is such a big concern from your doctor, what about other shared things in school? Why is the playground the only thing he thinks she shouldn't be touching?

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 9:46am
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Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] When the traffic light turns green, does it give me a false sense of security so I blindly cross the street without looking in both directions? [/b]
Maybe it's you. You then may not believe how many "T-bone" accidents at red lights occur every year due to persons in cars "running the red" and hitting persons in cars proceeding on the green. [i]Wouldn't ya know it.......... not only are there persons who don't look before both ways before proceeding on the green, but there are also persons who do not yield the right of way on the red.[/i]
PS........And there are [b]still persons who refuse to wear seatbelts[/b] or don't remember. (Same effect, or better described, lack of, either way?).

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 10:10am
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] Maybe it's you.[/b]
That's my point... the traffic light does not give me a false sense of security... just as a peanut-free classroom would not give me a false sense of security. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 10:23am
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Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] That's my point... the traffic light does not give me a false sense of security... just as a peanut-free classroom would not give me a false sense of security. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[/b]
[i]That's my point.[/i] Maybe it's you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Possibly some others, but I don't assume.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 10:41am
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Quote:Originally posted by patsmommy:
[b]His school is a small private school.If a parent doesnt liek the no peanut policy they can put their kid in public school.
Are you going to tell me that if given a choice you would rather yor child in a regular school or a peanut free school with all the precautions taken that you would take anyway?
[/b]
Some people have to make do with large public schools. In our situation, small private schools are not an option. I would accept small private schools to be more tolerant of peanut free restrictions. Sadly, I've never even heard of a peanut free school in my area (north of Pittsburgh).
Yes, If I had a choice (all things like education being equal), I would want my child in a peanut free school.
The other point I would like to make is when I said peanut free schools giving you a false sense of security. I think that is still a true statement. However I should point out that the folks at PA.com are a little more intune with the meaning of a PA.
My son goes to a daycare 3 days a week. It is NOT peanut free. I feel perfectly comfortable with it not being peanut free. I feel that way because I personally, as well as my wife, have taken a very active part in increasing awareness of the staff. I have a crystal clear allergy action plan. I update it as information changes. The rules that I want enforced are black and white. I routinely spot check.
My son has had one anaphylactic event. That event happened at home. That event happened because his allergies got worse (additional foods) between tests, or because of cross contamination.
[b]PA is a complex allergy and there is not one solution that fits all.[/b]
------------------
Pete Ferraro
[url="http://www.FerraroFamily.org"]www.FerraroFamily.org[/url]
[This message has been edited by PeteFerraro (edited April 07, 2004).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 10:57am
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] [i]That's my point.[/i] Maybe it's you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Possibly some others, but I don't assume.
[/b]
Yes, I agree that perhaps someone like me or others may prefer a peanut-free classroom... but this does not mean that everyone does. If a parent with a PA child has no problem with their school not being peanut-free that is fine with me.. there is no one solution. In my case, I would prefer peanut-free but just speaking for me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 11:00am
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b] PA is a complex allergy and there is not one solution that fits all.
[/b]
That's true.. some people prefer a peanut-free school.. some don't.. everyone does what works best for them.
For me, I would prefer a peanut-free school, and I would never have a false sense of security in a peanut-free school. Even when I picked up that pack of Sixlets in NYC, even afterb reading for years they are totally safe, I still read the label. Living with PA all my life has resulted in me not having a false sense of security as I must always be alert.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 11:06am
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Something I almost forgot...
My son is also tree nut, egg, soy, and potato allergic.
Should I expect the school to ban foods with those ingredients as well?
------------------
Pete Ferraro
[url="http://www.FerraroFamily.org"]http://www.FerraroFamily.org[/url]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 11:29am
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I think we've been round and round that question in other topics before.
As a PA/TNA person, I would love it if my school was pnut free too (I work in a grade three class). It's not the Tree Nuts that cause me the biggest problem, it's the peanut butter. It's EVERYWHERE.
Would I shut off my brain and not keep an eye out? No way. I smell pb a mile away now, and like the "flight or fight" instinct mentioned in another thread, I keep an eagle eye open. I would have an epi, etc. available. It would allow me though to relax a little more, I wouldn't tense up at lunch time and take my walk around the classroom to see which child I have to avoid for the rest of the afternoon.
Pete, you said that allergies are complex and not one solution is right for everyone. So, you answer it-what would be right for you and your child? To have the other allergens removed from your child's environment? For me, just removing the pnut would be enough. How about you?
By the way, one can't really generalize and assume that having a pnut free school "makes a lot of enemies". We have a peanut free school in my district, and in no way was there a lot of angry people. My son's school is also peanut free. You always get a few parents who complain about everything no matter WHAT the school does, but in that case most people were very supportive. And if you see my thread regarding "How to deal with people who think you're being rude when you're protecting yourself", it doesn't happen just at school. It happens at work to us pa adults, as well.
[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited April 07, 2004).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 11:37am
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b]Something I almost forgot...
My son is also tree nut, egg, soy, and potato allergic.
Should I expect the school to ban foods with those ingredients as well?
[/b]
Hi Pete,
I think the emphasis on tree-nut/peanut-free classrooms is due to the fact the the majority of deaths are caused by these items. A study of food allergy deaths here in Ontario found that 20 out of 32 were caused by peanuts/tree nuts. In second was seafood (3 out of 32). So the emphasis seems to be on peanuts/tree nuts since they are most likely to cause deaths.
[i]Peanut and tree nut represented 20/32 of the food allergens, followed by seafood (3/32), milk, sesame, sulphite and beer (1/32 each). In 3/32 cases, the allergen was undetermined[/i]
[url="http://www.anaphylaxis.org/content/programs/programs_research_deaths.asp"]http://www.anaphylaxis.org/content/programs/programs_research_deaths.asp[/url]
However, if you child had life threatening anaphylactic reactions to other allergens (ie: eggs?), then I don't see why you shouldn't see if egg salad sandwiches could be banned from the classroom.
As you wrote, everyone's situation is different... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 11:41am
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]It's not the Tree Nuts that cause me the biggest problem, it's the peanut butter. It's EVERYWHERE.
By the way, one can't really generalize and assume that having a pnut free school "makes a lot of enemies". [/b]
Hi Karen,
I agree.. peanut butter is sticky and residue ends up everywhere... more of a problem than other allergens. Plus airborne reactions are common too.
I also agree that peanut free schools do not necessarily cause hostility.. mnay members in Canada (thinking of Cayley's Mom, Cynde, etc) have been successful with peanut-free schools without causing hostility... they may not always be achievable, but sometimes they are [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 11:46am
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Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]So, you answer it-what would be right for you and your child? To have the other allergens removed from your child's environment?[/b]
What would work for me is a [b]cure[/b]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Other that that, my wife and I have the attitude of "when" not "if".
I just don't think it is realistic to remove all the allergens that are harmful.
Yes, it sad to say we've given up hope of preventing reactions. All that we can do is hope (and pray) that our planning is adequate.
Does that mean we are not vigilant? [b]No![/b] We bust our tails minimizing risk. We are trying to be realistic. We are also trying to not raise "bubble boy".
I don't know what else to say.
------------------
Pete Ferraro
[url="http://www.FerraroFamily.org"]http://www.FerraroFamily.org[/url]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 12:03pm
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b]Yes, it sad to say we've given up hope of preventing reactions. [/b]
You should not give up all hope of preventing future reactions. If you are careful (and a bit lucky), you can prevent reactions for a long time. Excluding airborne reactions, I have not had a peanut reaction in 20 years... due to being very careful, cautious, and changing my diet to eliminate various products (ie: most baked goods, etc). It is possible.
Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b] We are also trying to not raise "bubble boy". [/b]
Not sure what you mean.. unless you mean you if kept your son home all the time (home school, home cooking, etc) and didn't let him socialize with friends, so that he'd be afraid to leave the house? Not sure exactly what you mean by 'bubble boy'

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 12:26pm
PeteFerraro's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] Not sure what you mean.. unless you mean you if kept your son home all the time (home school, home cooking, etc) and didn't let him socialize with friends, so that he'd be afraid to leave the house? Not sure exactly what you mean by 'bubble boy'[/b]
Yes, that is what I mean when I say "bubble boy".
It's nice to hear success stories (20 years is impressive).
------------------
Pete Ferraro
[url="http://www.FerraroFamily.org"]http://www.FerraroFamily.org[/url]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 12:37pm
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b] It's nice to hear success stories (20 years is impressive).
[/b]
Thanks... I have been careful, alert, cautious, but not let it take over my life as I live quite a normal life (with minor restrictions like few baked goods, no Thai restaurants, etc)... plus I know there's been luck involved too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 6:08pm
MommaBear's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by PeteFerraro:
[b] Other that that, my wife and I have the attitude of "when" not "if".
I just don't think it is realistic to remove all the allergens that are harmful.
Yes, it sad to say we've given up hope of preventing reactions. All that we can do is hope (and pray) that our planning is adequate.
Does that mean we are not vigilant? [b]No![/b] We bust our tails minimizing risk. We are trying to be realistic. [/b]
So that while some say "Peanut-Free" does not equate to "False Sense of Security",
can some say that while they
"just don't think it is realistic to remove all the allergens that are harmful."
they are still vigilant and work to reduce the risk where possible and realistic? That they are not necessarily advocating for a "free for all". *Personally* [i]I think so.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
I mean, does anyone get the feeling that if one doesn't ask for a "Peanut-Free" label on a school, or an all out "Ban", some people think one is advocating for a "free for all". I don't think this is necessarily true. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (the "free for all", I mean)

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2004 - 10:51pm
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hi everyone
I had a really bad migraine last night so bear with me, I hope I make sense today!
Pete, When my son was in pre school it was not peanut free. I did not know about the school he is attending until he was almost done with kindergarten.
The preschool was great.Ok, also a private school, but besides the point.They had a full time nuse and she did epipen training and specific allergy training with parents and teachers/aides before school started. We had a very good plan in place there.
The public school my son went to was not so responsive. I mean I got a call from the nurse one day that my son was in her office because the classroom next door was doing a peanut butter project. (my son's class was in the library, his teacher went back to get something from her room and smelt the pb in the hall!!!) she panicked and did not bring my son back to the classroom.
I went to pick up my son and blasted the school. No I had no confidence in that school at all. This was after going over plans, training etc. I think the thing that did it for me was hearing the prinicpal saying " we have so many kids with allergies what r we to do, your son is not the only one, so many kids are allergic to so many things his attitude was really on of oh well!"
By the Grace of God that same day I found out that the private school by me was peanut free. Funny , from a person who knew my son was pa and just never menyioned it before! You never know there might be one next to you, its not like they advertise that.
DO I think they should eliminate allergens? Depends on how bad there are.Are they airborne? what led the principal to go peanyt free was after a child had an airborne reaction (not sure if it was at the school or not, it was before my son went) I wouldnt agrue though. I am sure I could find something my kid could eat while at school for 6 hours.
The school did stop the ccd kids from bringing in food. (They come after school for religion )
Also there is a child with a red dye allergy. His classroom is red dye free actually. The whole school is not though.
The bottom line is schools can accomodate any chld.Its how much they are willing to work at it. Some schools cant be bothered.Other schools go above and beyond.
My son is not a bubbleboy. He plays football, baseball, takes tae known do.This year he is even going to a basketball camp for 4 days(3 hours each day) I cant believe I found a camp that is allergy aware! They have a full time nurse and even onthe appilcation there is a mention of epipens.Of course I have to drive 1/2 hour to get there.(And I will probably stay for the 3 hours, lol ) But still....
His coaches have been great. I tell them all about his pa and not one hard time.They were all understnading and went out of there way for him.
oh, and you know what I really dont care anymore what people think of me when I am trying to protect my son. They mean nothing to me and he means everything. Does that mean I am looking for enemies. No. But if you are going to fight me on how to keep my son alive then YOU BETTER BACK OFF. I am not going to try to appease anyone when it comes to my kids life.
I dont want my son to have enemies either and I know that kids can be cruel. I am not goingt o back down to some parent though so her child can eat the ever precious peanut butter and jelly. but see thats where the school comes in. The school should be trying to do everything they can to protect each child. I should not have to be fighting the school and the parents. Thas why it is great if you can find a school where the adminstration is willing to work with you. It shouldnt look like its coming from you when the school decides to go peanut free or have a peanut free classroom or lunch program, it should be from the school.
I am ramblingnow and the kids are running amuck.
I am lucky to have found this school. I know that.
I just wanted to add that even if I did not find this school I was still pulling him out of the public school and was going to try to put him in back in the preschool he was going to.It was a parish school that went up to 8th grade. He origanally could not attend the regular grades there because of the parish thing.We had our own parish school, blah blah blah, . He now goes to our parish school.
Oh, and the best part. I come to find out that people travel from 3 towns over to go to this school because of it's reputation.
------------------
[b]Florence[/b]
[i]Patrick[/i]-PA/TA
[i]Edward[/i]-Penicllin pa/ta unknown
[i]Jessica[/i]-yellow dye pa/ta unknown
[This message has been edited by patsmommy (edited April 08, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by patsmommy (edited April 08, 2004).]

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Many people use inhalers to take the drug albuterol to help their asthma or allergies, and those with COPD...

Some people with shellfish allergy have concerns about consuming sea salt that might be contaminated with traces of shellfish. Though there are...

Nearly 25 percent of children with a peanut allergy will outgrow it. However, there is a small risk...