I have a 14 yrs. son who has an 8th grade class trip to DC NEXT WEEK. I did not get chosen as a chaperone, so now I must prepare someone to watch out for him. He is allergic to peanuts and ALL tree nuts. He has never had to use the Epi-Pen but has had reactions with very little contact (taking a bite of a cookie and then spitting it out when he realized there was some type of peanut or other nut).
We are at a private school and they have not been very understanding. They will not tell me who his assigned chaperone is and seem to have a casual attitude about the seriousness of this.
I am going in to discuss with the principal. Any words of wisdom or other advice would be greatly appreciated.
By kickert on May 7, 2013
My 13 year old daughter went to DC 3 weeks ago with her 8th grade class - I can relate to how you feel. We also go to a private school but they have been awesome. Some of the things we did. I personally called the airline (with the ticket number) to request a nut free flight, they flew SW. We assigned two of her friends to be responsible for boarding the plane early and wiping down the seats/row where she would sit. We had 4 sets of epi-pens on board with benadryl. The school allowed me to provide the names of several girls that I felt comfortable with her rooming with - they had been to our home, knew how to use an epi-pen and already looked out for her when they went places. Three of these girls were chosen and they had an awesome time. They also had a process for eating out - my DD would approach the restaurant manager and explain her allergy and request a nut free meal - this all went well and I learned that she does listen to me and knows what to do :)....The only thing that happened was on the return flight - it wasn't first think in the morning and the attendants had been serving nuts priot to their afternoon flight. She had some issues with watering eyes, itchy throught - she took benadryl and put on her mask(as bad as she hated that ) but once she landed she felt much better. Preparing is everything - you have to talk to the principal and make sure he understands that this isn't a small thing, it is your son's life. I'm so thankful that our school was understanding and fully understood that all of my early preparation was to keep my daughter safe. Good luck....
By cathlina on May 7, 2013
You may request an accommodation under Section 504 of the Handicapped Act to accompany your child. If the principal denies it, then contact the administration office and ask to speak to the Section 504 Coordinator. Each school is required to have a Section 504 Coordinator. Sometimes the Section 504 Coordinator is the superintendant of schools. If they refuse, then you can file a complaint with your state education department.
By Saralinda on May 9, 2013
At 14 years of age, he should know what to do. Your responsibility is to make sure he has his epi-pen with him.
His responsibility is everything else. I would hope that you have been teaching him what to do since he was diagnosed.
The school's responsibility is to make sure that the other children are aware of his allergy and that snacks are "safe." If the school is providing food, the school is responsible to make sure all the kids are able to eat it.
At 14, he will push the limits. Try not to worry.