Went on a field trip.. WWYD??

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 9:34am
samirosenjacken's picture
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Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

I am a little unsure of how to handle this situation but I feel something needs to be said. Suggestions would be most welcome!

Marianna had a field trip on thursday to the Philly zoo. I made it clear that I had to chaperone and be on the bus or my close friend (who also has a food allergic child} would have to be a chaperone for her dd who is marianna's best friend in another classroom. A limited amount of chaperone's would be allowed to go and ride the bus. It turned out I was granted a spot and so was my friend so it all worked out. While we were driving I was talking to another chaperone and the subject of PA came up. During the conversation I realized that Marianna has a classmate who is also allergic to peanuts but nothing was said about him. His parents didn't attend and he doesn't carry an epi pen! I know he comes from a dysfunctional family (mom's an alcoholic and dad gave him peanut butter to see if he would still react and the boy ended up in the ER). I went back to the teacher to find out if she brought an epi pen for him. She just looked at my blankly and said "no timmy doesn't carry one." I asked her if she made sure Timmy's chaperone knew about the allergy and not to give Timmy any food etc.. She just stared at me and the chaperone happened to be sitting right there and he turned white while listening to the conversation.

I proceeded to caution the chaperone about not giving Timmy any food and not letting him sit too closely to kids eating pb and suggested that the boys wash their hands after lunch to avoid any accidental contact. I volunteered my cell phone number and gave the dad a brief description of what a reaction would look like. The teacher asked me for my cell number and if I had any extra epi pens that she could carry.

I am really upset that no one was looking out for this boy. Shouldn't the school have taken responsibility for him? Should he have been allowed on the trip without proper medication? I know he is in school without an epi pen. I don't think the nurse was able to get any actual documentation from a doctor about his allergy. The boy himself alerted the teacher that he was allergic to peanuts and sat at the peanut free table on his own!! The nurse has never heard from the parents at all! The teacher didn't tell the chaperone about the allergy at all. I can only imagine what could have happened if this poor father inadvertently gave the boy a snack at the zoo and something happened!

I am really upset with the teacher... she's a great teacher but she totally dropped the ball on this one in my opinion. She would have been responsible if anything happened to that child. Wouldn't the school be liable as well? I feel that this should be brought to SOMEONE'S attention so that this type of thing never happens again. Should I call the nurse? The principal? Go higher up? let it go?

I didn't sleep all night thinking of what COULD have happened to that little boy if I wasn't there. I know that he's been very lucky this year b/c he's in Marianna's class and I've worked so hard to make it safe for her so it has also been safe for him. Someone should be looking out for him.

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 9:50am
MimiM's picture
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Good for you! I definately think that you should let the school nurse know about this one and then let him/her take it from there. The school nurse should get in touch with the parents and have them provide documentation from the boy's doctor stating that he must carry his epipen. From there, it seems like the case should be investigated by social services. It may even turn out to be a case of neglect. He was very lucky to be noticed by you before something tragic happened.

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 10:47am
toomanynuts's picture
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I totally agree with Mimim. Someone should be told and if you have to talk to the school or social services I hope you will.
Most of the time when children are overlooked it will continue unless someone steps in. (Everyone just figures it is not there responsibility if the parents don't care then others take on similiar attitudes.)
The ER doctor should have at least given them a prescription for and Epi Pen.
This is a sad story I hope that you keep up with it until that little boy is taken care of.

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 10:55am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

samirosenjacken, first of all I think you did all of the right things to protect this child.
Jesse had a child in his classroom last year who was TNA. Apparently the teacher knew about it but the principal didn't. I inadvertently said something that alerted the principal that the child was TNA and I posted about it here because I felt terrible that I had blown someone's anonymity (which some PA parents do choose for their children).
Dysfunction is NOT an excuse for this child not being taken care of.
As far as the school being responsible, yes, they would be, and I think perhaps you should speak with someone there in authority (the principal?) so that they can be speak with the parents. Duty of care does apply to the school, but duty of care really implies that the school will take care of your child as well as you are taking care of them.
It is so very hard to tell whether this is just a case of different comfort zones. I know that the PA child in my daughter's class does not wear an Epi-belt.
I don't care for Fascist intervention in one's life and personally I would be hard pressed to call Children's Aid (social or family services) here unless I really thought something terrible was going on.
Why I think you should speak with the school is this - they are in a position to speak with the other PA parents (rather than you speaking with them as perhaps a PA parent with a very different comfort zone) and they are also able to, if they feel the need, to call Children's Aid (or social services).
I know that here in the schools if a principal does suspect that something is happening to children that is not okay, they can call Children's Aid and have the family investigated.
Since the school is liable (and the poor parent who was his chaperone and his turning white [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ), I think if you spoke with them and suggested a conversation with the PA child's parents, this might be the best solution. They may then be able to deduce if there is a reason to call Children's Aid (I know it's called something else in America).
I'd like to discuss the three points that you did make about the child and his family.
The mother is an alcoholic. Okay. Even an alcoholic Mother can be an aware and caring parent and, in extension, PA parent.
The Father fed him pb to see if he would still have a reaction. Okay. Sounds pretty stupid to all of us perhaps, but for a Father in denial, I can also actually see this happening in the *real* world. Not as something to endanger the child, but the man honestly hoping that his child was not PA. He did make it to the ER.
Then, with the school, there's the whole anonymity issue, if the parents did not want the school involved (which even some members here choose) and perhaps issues about whether or not the family can afford the prescription Epi-pen.
Years ago, when I did see things in only black and white with no gray in between, I would have said that there was something *wrong* with the parents and that Children's Aid should be called. I no longer feel that way.
The PA child in my daughter's class - his parents' comfort zone is very different than mine and yet I can tell, from looking at both of his parents, that they are probably a well functioning, loving family. Just different comfort zones (and the other day I even found out, in speaking with the Mother), different knowledge re PA.
After what happened the other day (how did your friend react who is also a FA parent?), I would speak with someone at the school and suggest that they need to speak with the child's parents. If need be, play on the fact that the school would be held liable (even by a dingbat family) and that they really need to get some precautions (even if they would be different than your requirements) in place for this child when he is both in school and on field trips.
Again, I do think you did do the right thing the other day on the field trip.
To me, the zoo is still a "high risk" situation for my PA son but even I'm probably not attending when he goes on a field trip this month to the zoo, simply because as far as I know, at this moment in time, I don't have anyone to watch my daughter and the trip extends before and after school hours. What I personally will be doing is finding out who the other parent volunteers are and finding out what group my son will be in and then speaking with the parent in charge of him.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 11:28am
samirosenjacken's picture
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[quote]Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
It is so very hard to tell whether this is just a case of different comfort zones. I know that the PA child in my daughter's class does not wear an Epi-belt.
I disagree that this type of attitude deals with comfort zones. While I am a very strong advocate in my town about food allergies, my comfort zone is a bit "looser" than others. My girls participate in every sport, go to all birthday parties, and live as normal a life as possible but we take precautions to ensure their safety. With this child, NO PRECAUTIONS are taken. He doesn't have an epi pen at all. His parents have never alerted the school of the allergy. They have never spoken to the teacher or nurse about the allergy. It's as if it doesn't exist.
I'd like to discuss the three points that you did make about the child and his family.
The mother is an alcoholic. Okay. Even an alcoholic Mother can be an aware and caring parent and, in extension, PA parent.
Again, in this case there is no discussion with anyone responsible for the child's care that the child has an allergy. I do not feel that this parent is a caring and aware parent. And I do disagree that anyone who is drinking all the time ( or to the point where she is considered an alcoholic) can be a caring and aware parent. Drinking effects your thought process, reflex and ability to process information ... how can someone who is drunk handle an emergency and administer an epi pen?
The Father fed him pb to see if he would still have a reaction. Okay. Sounds pretty stupid to all of us perhaps, but for a Father in denial, I can also actually see this happening in the *real* world. Not as something to endanger the child, but the man honestly hoping that his child was not PA. He did make it to the ER.
Again, I disagree. Any parent who feeds his child peanut butter after being told the child has a peanut allergy is neglectful. This child in particular was diagnosed with several food allergies as a young baby/toddler and we are told he outgrow all but the peanut. I do believe that giving him peanut butter to challenge him is completely irresponsible. The fact he made it to the ER is plain lucky... he could just as easily died.
After what happened the other day (how did your friend react who is also a FA parent?),
She felt exactly as I did. She is the one who has first hand information about the family in question. We took an epi pen count (she is allergic to bees and had several epi pens on her as well) to make sure we had enough for my dd, for her and for this boy in case of an emergency.
[This message has been edited by samirosenjacken (edited June 06, 2004).]

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 12:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I'm trying to remember all of the other PA parents I've met in *real* life through my children's school.
The TNA child in my son's class last year, he did not carry an Epi-pen. As I posted above, the principal was not even aware that this child was TNA. There was no emergency medical plan in place for the child. Yet, in speaking with his Mother, I learned that he had been administered the Epi-pen in the past by her for obviously an anaphylactic reaction.
Given that my son's teacher last year was so not "with it" even with a child who was wearing an Epi-pen strapped to his body, simply making the teacher aware of her child's TNA, as this parent did, I personally didn't feel was enough.
I don't know if the office at the school has an Epi-pen for the child in my daughter's class that does not have an Epi-belt on.
Last year, there was another PA child in my son's school and the child did have a fanny pack carried from class to class with her. However, I did happen to get a glance at her emergency medical plan and the instructions to the school were VERY different than what I would have given them for my child.
How old is this little boy? Obviously somehow somewhere he "got it" about his allergy if he's able to sit at the "peanut free" table.
There was also the case last year of the Mother ranting and raving about her child's red dye allergy and how the school wasn't taking care of her child's needs but was of the PA child (meanwhile she's ranting to me) and yet she had never told the school that her child was allergic to red dye. I told her that she should speak with the principal.
If the Mother's alcoholism is that severe (it is a progressive "disease" of choice), then Children's Aid could be called regardless of whether her child is PA or not. Often times where there is one alcoholic parent, the other parent (even if it is the Father in this case) becomes the primary caregiver and would be able to deal with a reaction with his son.
I'm sure no member here is going to post if they've ever done so or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone has perhaps fed their child pb (with precautions in place of some sort - i.e., perhaps simply the knowledge that they will be going to the E.R.) in the hopes that their PA child is not PA. To me, it *could* be denial.
I was simply trying to look at it from a different point of view and I'm sorry if I did upset you.
That's why I still strongly suggested that you contact the school because they are in a position to call Children's Aid if they feel the child is being neglected. The child could be taken care of in all other aspects of his life, except obviously, in regard to his life threatening allergy, and that is something that they certainly could call Children's Aid to have investigated.
Also, again, there is the question of anonymity. I know that there are members here (and again, not a vocal lot) that do not want their children's schools to know that they are PA, for whatever reasoning they have.
In the previous town I lived in, my son was thought to be the only PA child in the school. He wasn't. There was a 12 year old boy that was also PA. His parents didn't want the school to know. Why, I don't know. He also didn't carry an Epi-pen and obviously if the school didn't know he was PA, there was no emergency medical plan in place for him or an Epi-pen in the office for him.
Do I disagree with how this child's PA is being handled by his parents? Damn straight.
I think what I was trying to say though is that even parents that aren't alcoholics or aren't in denial do do differently than what we think *should* be done. Is it horrifying?
Yes.
I personally feel that if we think that schools should be held liable should anything happen to our PA children, that we are also responsible for fully disclosing our children's medical conditions to them (so not just with PA child, but say with my daughter and her migraines, or both children and their asthma). It is my responsibility as a parent, IMHO, to inform the school. But again, I have seen people that would not be considered "dysfunctional" that have chosen not to have their PA child wear an Epi-pen and have chosen for their PA child to remain anonymous. Not what I would do. Not something I agree with.
I think also, in your first post, you were very upset with the school and particularly the teacher and my first thought was "what about the parents?"
If the parents don't request/require precautions, how is the school to know that there should be any? You had also mentioned that there is no medical documentation with the school about this child's PA.
If I post a question tonight asking if any members here remain anonymous at school, no one is going to answer.
I know that the Mom last year whose TNA child was anonymous as far as school administration was concerned, she was a wonderful, caring Mother.
And again, if the family is that dysfunctional, Children's Aid can be called on them regardless of PA being involved. That PA is involved perhaps makes for an even stronger case for the family to be investigated and perhaps, for you, it is a call you would care to make for your own peace of mind.
I honestly did not mean to upset you.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 12:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Just the thread I had re the anonymous TNA child last year:-
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000794.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000794.html[/url]
Again, I am so sorry that I upset you. I really didn't mean to. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 8:20pm
robinlp's picture
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All I can think is that you were put on that field trip for a purpose. Thank goodness you were there to keep that child safe. I can't even imagine how many close calls this child has had if he does not carry and epi and it does not sound like anyone was aware of his allergy. I definitely agree that someone needs to know about this. I think I would start by speaking to the Principal and see if they can take it from there. There is no excuse for this child not to have protection (epi).
I wish more parents were like you, I'd feel a lot safer having my child go on a field trip w/ someone like you along!!

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2004 - 11:47pm
MommaBear's picture
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[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001388.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001388.html[/url]
to compliment this thread.

Posted on: Mon, 06/07/2004 - 12:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, I personally found the thread you provided the link for above, to be an important part of the discussion going on here. JMPHO.
Again, if I posted a question asking how many PA parents choose to have their children's PA not known to the school, NO ONE is going to answer. Perhaps we do not have any members of PA.com who do choose anonymity for their PA children.
But I have seen it done in *real* life. Have never asked the parents why they don't want their children's life threatening allergy to be known to the school. Can't personally understand it, because we have been so open with our son's (especially with regard to having newspaper articles done about him/his allergy).
But do I have the right to question another PA parent who does choose anonymity? I know that last year, in the thread that I posted the link to, I was very upset that I did "blow the cover" of the TNA child. Upset because it was not my *right* to tell the school he was TNA. It was his Mother's responsibility and/or choice, not mine.
I also think the point I was trying to make was that even families that are not dysfunctional still choose anonymity or choose not to have their children wear an Epi-pen. Why, I don't know.
Do I think Children's Aid *should* be called because another PA child is not wearing an Epi-belt? Personally, no. Because I don't know the intricacies of the family and why they have gone the route they have gone.
Do I agree with what happened on this field trip? No. Would I have reacted in a similar fashion? Yes.
My daughter has one field trip left this year and I will not be attending. But I was thinking about this since this thread was raised. It would be very interesting for me to go to see if the PA child's parents are in attendance, to see if there is an emergency medical bag for the child, etc. (remembering he does not wear an Epi-belt).
Last week Jesse had a field trip that I considered "low risk" because we have gone so many times. I spoke with his teacher and she said that she would make sure that she had his emergency medical bag. What I did that morning was go into the office myself and check out the bag and personally handed it to the teacher, who I had to speak with regarding something else anyway.
As I posted in this thread, Jesse has what I do consider a more "high risk" field trip this month and it is 99.9% clear to me, at this point, that I will not be able to attend. What I will do is make sure that every possible precaution I can possibly take is taken to ensure his relative safety while he does go to yes, the zoo.
The situation does sound not okay and again, that's why I posted that I thought it would be a *good* thing to call the school and speak with the principal. The principal can then make a call to Children's Aid if they feel it is something that is warranted.
I'm not clear if the Children's Aid Society of Ontario has their mandate posted on the internet or not. It would be an interesting document to look at especially with regard to health issues and with regard to this thread.
I think, for me, again, it was that there are no precautions in place for this PA child, and that is really separate from the fact that his family is dysfunctional and his Mother is an alcoholic. I'm sorry, but it is. I have seen enough PA parents in *real* life who have chosen anonymity or for their children not to wear an Epi-belt and they were what would be considered perfectly *normal* functional families.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Mon, 06/07/2004 - 12:28am
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Quotes from this thread:
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000894.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000894.html[/url]
[i]My point exactly. We NEED legislation, policy, procedures. Everyone needs to be on the same page. It is not enough to start on a case by case basis. It is not enough to call teachers in on every infraction of individual plans. It is not enough to have a plan for just your own child (with regards to your own child). Why? I *personally* found such plans to be a whole lot of "lip service". Yes, yes, you can pursue infractions, I know. (Especially with regards to 504 plans). I had a lawyer who dealt in school law inform me that the school district (meaning people who worked for it) would probably look at a lawsuit and say "Go for it", since the money would not be comming out of their pockets anyway. I on the other hand, would have difficulty comming up with the retainer fee for legal representation. He did state he would have no reservations about taking money anyway. He got paid either way. Secondly, we need to be directing our energy into addressing our local legislative bodies (or even higher up the chain) to make such policies. Secondly, even though we have things such as school policies (Canada) regarding food allergies, and 504 plans (US), the fact that these "plans" vary from child to child with the SAME diagnosis (ie: remember, it's "like being pregnant", either you are or you aren't, the potential is there ----re: peanut allergy), undermines parents in dealing with them. We (as a PA community) need TO COME TO SOME AGREEMENT ON THE METHODOLOGY of handling pa. And until we do, laws governing specifics as opposed to having such things as "individualized 504 plans" will never become. That we (as a pa community) cling to maintaing the majority of power in deciding how to manage such a diagnosis is what I find to be undermining our efforts. Remember, I said *majority* of power. We need not give up all of it. For instance, when you enter a hospital, you can make certain choices about your care, but do prescribe the meds? treatments? You have the right to choose whether you want to be a "full code", but you do not run the code. There are policies regarding that. Can you imagine the confusion, if we allowed patients to entirely run the system? You would not believe some of the things patients and family have suggested regarding their care. (trust me, PA is not the most difficult thing to manage, nor is it impossible to manage) *I* for one, would WELCOME policies (based on medical findings, literature, and experience of families dealing with PA) that dealt *specifically* with methodologies of managing PA. Methodologies that erred on the extreme possibilities. Some parents may not agree with that, but in order to deal with such things, and extreme possiblilities, we may all have to make concessions. That is the nature of the beast. Take seatbelts, speedlimits, and airbags.
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Next, is not PA a "health related" issue? Does it not involve body systems? Do we not seek medical advice and consult medical literature in its management? I did say such policies should err towards the extreme, did I not? As to comfort zones and the management of such problems, could you imagine if we allowed the same in medical institutions with regards to what has become standard and acceptable practice based on literature, medical opinion, patient input, and what has been found to be expected outcomes? ie: where I live "MONA" (morphine, oxygen, nitroglycerin, aspirin) greets every patient with the symptoms of myocardial infarction at the door.So to speak. (Of course, this could change based on new information in medicine---policies need continual review and updating periodically) If there is a contraindication for such care, it is adjusted accordingly based on RISK. Ie: does witholding the treatment pose a bigger risk than administering it? Hopefully, patients have taken certain precautions to make persons aware of conditions if they are unable to do so. ie: Medical Alert bracelets. Do we allow patients to dictate different unapproved care? Absolutely not. Do you have the right to refuse treatment sign a form to leave AMA (against medical advise)? Absolutely (provided you are deemed competent to do so and after the risks have been explained to you and the same documented). Similarly, situations regarding such standardized care in relationship to PA in the school systems could be developed. However, if there is a consensus of professional opinion and overwhelming evidence certain methodologies provide a certain level of protection to a child with such a diagnosis (PA), and a parent refuses certain steps to ensure a childs safety, then one must question the motives of the parent. Ie: is this a religious conviction? And such documented. Example: Jehova Witnesses often refuse blood products in the hospital setting. I have had patients die simply because they refused blood products. However, if you were a heart surgeon, would you agree to do open heart on a patient who did refuse blood products? Of course, I would expect such protocols regarding PA to be developed by licensed, educated, experienced professionals in their field and on the results of research (which may include the input of families who have dealt with PA, but not based entirely on that alone). Why licensed, why level of education, why experts, etc? Because that is what the STANDARD is. Ya wanna make policies, ya gotta have some credentials. IE: Courtroom trials are often won on the opinion of an "Expert Witness". This I know through personal experience. LOLOLOLOL.
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My point about the "individualizing" is this: That it does not fundamentally alter the specifics of the broad plan: those things that there is a consensus on that are deemed "necessary" in managing a life threatening food allergy such as PA. ie: what if the policy states no "may contains" but a parent of a PA child states "may give may contains". would this is this appropriate? It is a small example of the potential problems with allowing persons who may or may not fully understand PA to develop "individualized" plans that superceed formal policy that may be based on expert opinion, licensed professional opinion (ie: which opinion is a school nurse obligated to oblige? the higher license or the parental opinion?), and research opinion.
Diabetes is a condition that indeed may vary in terms of difficulty controlling and may need more individualized control. The actions of what other eat do not directly affect the individual (as with inhalation reactions, or cross contamination issues) However, correct me if I am wrong, I think many of us agreed that PA carried certain POTENTIAL with regards to anaphylaxis, regardless of history of reaction
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Let's get hypothetical here. Let's say having PA is like being pregnant. Either you are, or you aren't. Let's say due to the nature of the beast, the Potential for a Fatal Anaphylactic Reaction is always a possibility. Let's say that the immune system is a fickle animal and is in a state of continual adjustment. Let's say that in the overall PA population, there is a tendency for the immune system to become more sensitive to peanut protein over time and therefore repetetive exposure is our enemy. Let's say a "Standardized Protocol" was developed by persons similiar to the ones Gail suggested. Let's say part of this protocol stated "no may contains". Let's say most of this protocol erred on the side of caution. Remember, these are hypothetical situations. If a group of medical, immunological, and healthcare professionals conducted research (which would involve input from those with pa and their families), investigated, and used their experience and expertise (maybe groups such as Gail suggested) to compile a Standardized Protocol for schools to use regarding PA, how would you respond to the situation you presented? Would you, given the hypothetical circumstances, agree with erring on the side of caution? What about the parent that allows "may contains" (given the hypothetical situation)? Should an "individualized plan" be permitted to allow for that (given the hypothetical situation)?
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The mom (A or B -----can't remember which) who would feel ok giving her child the "may contains". In your example situation. I still wonder about that (giving may contains deliberately). Is this "OK" to do, given the nature of PA, and the possibility of peanut protein in the item?? Does a more relaxed "comfort zone" make this acceptable (giving "may contains"). See, this is where we, as a PA community, need to start commiting to across the board "right way" or "wrong way". I'm not saying on everything. But on the big issues. Epi-pens. Where Epi-pens are kept. Training of individuals, documentation of such. What will be allow our children to eat at school.(ie: homebaked goods? "may contains", food that could be a risk----but is allowed because we haven't had a problem yet?). There are still parents who have children with documented PA (by history and blood testing) who don't feel an epi pen is necessary. I know. I met two in two days this week. What are the odds of that? Complete strangers. Funny where God puts ya and who ya meet?
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I did not realize that the terms "right" and "wrong" would be as offensive to some persons. I myself do not find them quite so controversial. Recently, I have offered a few explanations as to why this is so for me.
Let me continue, and offer a "short" (lol) explanation further.
You posted:
"Anyway, that's my opinion. And it is also my choice if I want to put merlot on my waffles instead of maple syrup. Each of us has to decide how to live life, and we can suggest guidelines but I think it is hard to say right/wrong."
the following is not directed at anyone in particular, or at all, on this board. It is merely an attempt to explain my position. :
Often, in my line of work, I have the frequent occasion to make the aquaintance of individuals who reserved the right to act against better judgement. In these circumstances, I am required to make decisions based on SOP's, patient care policies, Standards of Nursing Care, physician's orders (which by the way, are based on similiar directives), etc., that have been deemed "right" in order to help remedy their current state of affairs. Hope this helps you understand how I arrived at my "opinion" and where I am comming from
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Actually, I work in ICU, CCU, Trauma, and float to other areas as needed. I find the same principles I mentioned govern those areas as well. Just think......not too long ago CPR was not a "Standard" in the hospital setting. At some point it must have been a theory, no? Now, some fast food chains have persons who are capable of it.
If not for CPR, how could we accomplish open heart surgery? Bypass? Organ transplant???
In addition to CPR, we have PALS and ACLS. Within each pathway, are guidelines by which to "customize" the protocol. But "standard" guidelines.
I cannot help but remember this quote:
"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards." -- Mark Twain
(Disclaimer: I do not necessarily hold the same opinion, nor do I intend it as an "across the board" statement.)
After dealing with my son's previous school regarding a 504 plan...........I can only say(*Personally Speaking here*): There must be a better way. It is in my nature to find a better way.
I understand you have had great success with your school, Gail, and I commend you on that. It is a great accomplishment. But, you have also been blessed with the grace, composure, knowledge, and resources to handle that mighty task. Again, my congratulations! I might add you have developed "policy" along the way, have you not? Is this a result of your success or due to it? By far, you are one of the persons on this board I hold in high esteem.
Of course, schools have a tendency to deal with issues in certain ways. Maybe individualized ways. Take IEP's for example. Also, there is much "theory" in developmental thought. This I know from dealing with "special needs" for both my children. Yes, I find it frustration. At work, however, I deal much in action, reaction. And sometimes rather quickly. I titrate a drip, I get a specific reaction, and usually quickly. Hopefully! It is paramount to success in such a field (healthcare) that we can count on certain expected outcomes. PA to me represents a healthcare issue. Albeit in a school setting at times. I don't believe it is that unmanageable, considering the healthcare spectrum. I believe that with proper collaberation, "standardized" proceedures, possibly including "proceedure within proceedure" are possible. Granted, healthcare policiy is volumes thick. I don't find it hard to follow though, since much of what is directed in it is the natural course of action, given my education, and the education of others in my field. We are, for the most part, on the same wavelength. Given what I know regarding anatomy and physiology, and pharmocology (for example, but education not limited to) certain policies just naturally follow.
Yes, we do not know all there is to know about PA, but would you grant me that we do have "the big picture" in focus as far as we are able? (similarly with most healthcare issues, one cannot say we know all there is to know) Would policy (regarding the school setting) erring in the favor of the most protective measures be that bad? Of course, if there is but one child in the school history who's "individualized plan" dictates certain measures to begin with, say "no may contains" or a "peanut free" school, would not a child with a "individualized plan" who was allowed "may contains" (although I don't agree with that *personally*) or did not have the requirement for a "peanut free" school, still abide under the rules of the previous "individualized" plan mentioned? Would it be so hard for one PA parent to submit their child to certain conditions that they may find exceed their "comfort zone" requirements(that would err in the safest extreme according to what is known or suspected about PA) considering (as a Parent of a PA child myself) I ask non-PA parents to make accomodations for my child in school?
Would not such policy offer protection to children who did not have as concerned or informed adults "going to bat" for them? I say this with caution, but resolve since daily I see children (in general and not specifically related to PA) without parents who demonstrate protection, love, or nurturing. We cannot assume PA to be elevated above this possibility. Is it not the duty of society to offer some means of protection for such children? Should PA be any different?
Of course, "Standardized Policy" would probably consist of several, or many, sub-policies that together could work in agreement to provide a safe, less stressful (for everyone) appropriate environment in school. Equally.
**********************
If I was required to handle healthcare issues differently for each person that I cared for in the hospital setting,(and the number of healthcare issues I would venture to say is endless), and stricly according to their own preferences and desires, and not according to "standards" and "acceptable practice" for instance, let alone each shift interpret those desires.........I dare say it would be impossible to offer remedy, treatment, theraputic intervention, or even maintain continuity of care. Let alone maintain a safe practice. Again, I will reiterate that patients are allowed to make healthcare CHOICES. That is their right, but choices within a continuum of care, and within current acceptable standards of care. It is the "price" one pays when allowing others to care for them in a professional setting. As Gail elluded to previously, it offers protection for both the caregiver and the one receiving the care.
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Link to thread discussing the [b]Mass. Document[/b]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000907.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000907.html[/url]

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