what to do on the bus

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 12:40am
renny's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

My PA son will be starting kindergarten this fall. Luckily I think I found a good school district that is very informed about allergies and is a member of FAAN. And also familiar with 504 plans. However, my one big concern is the buses. The drivers cannot carry epi on their person and they discourage elementary children carrying them for fear of kids messing around with them. However, they do have a plan. They are trained to recognize a reaction and if one should occur they are instructed to go to the closest school or the child's home. They phone dispatch which will call 911(als) and instruct to meet them at that location. No food is allowed on the bus. I'm so used to having that epi-pen with him at all times, I'm afraid the time it will take to get to school or home in case something will happen will take too long. The nurse told me the bus transportation dept said they took that into consideration and that with the way the routes are designed time shouldn't be a bad factor. Since I haven't had to deal with bussing before I was wondering what other parents that had PA children bussed thought of this plan. I've been posting alot since I logged onto this site. I'm on a mission to get a lot of information before I meet with the school.

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 2:00am
Janet Laflamme's picture
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Joined: 02/08/1999 - 09:00

I'll reraise some material for you.
It was a two year battle for our family but we won the right for my son to carry the meds on the bus.

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 2:14am
Dana's picture
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Joined: 12/26/1999 - 09:00

We home school due to our son

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 2:36am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Speaking only of *my own personal highly individual and unique childhood experience* and absolutely not as advice in any manner or form, and just something I remember:
[i]I am not PA.[/i] But, I hated the bus as a child. I still shudder when they pass my home. Even "school bus yellow" evokes a visceral response in me. If I was going to get beat up at school, there was a very good likelihood of it happening *at lunch* or *on the bus*. My mother drove me to school and picked me up *whenever possible*. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] We usually stopped somewhere very early in the morning for a snack and conversation prior to her dropping me off at school. Many times, my father was home in time to pick me up with my Mother. Then we'd shop or go out for an early dinner. It was great. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 2:44am
Kim M's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

I would [i][b]never[/i][/b] let my child be anywhere at any time without her epipen. The school's plan is insufficient to protect your child. Minutes can be crucial in preventing death, and unless the bus is peanut free (and if the school is not, then the bus is not) there is great potential for exposure. This is one you should fight them on.
[b]Edited to add[/b] that I know you said that no food was allowed on the bus, but if kids are bringing their lunches to school, then food is on the bus. It is [i]not[/i] a safe environment.
[This message has been edited by Kim M (edited March 19, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 2:47am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

We had no school bus and the school was close but I car pooled when I could. I regret that now because most of the kids in the car pool were so poorly behaved and my quiet kids got the brunt of it.
Can you drive your child to school yourself?
Believe me those days go by so quickly and they go off to college, I would do anything to be able to drive my kids to school again!
Peggy

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 1:29pm
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Ugh, I sure hated driving my kids to and from school in Chicago ("It's always rush hour on I-94") traffic. But I couldn't carpool because of the epipen. My neighbor, whose son used a wheelchair, was also forced to drive because nobody seemed capable of securing her son's wheelchair correctly in the bus.
Your child might be able to use the bus in a few years, when he is able to self-inject. My kids take the bus now, because my older daughter is capable of helping my son if he needs the epipen.
The bus company can't prohibit your son from having the epipen on board. If they don't want him to have it in his possession, then they'll have to provide an aide who can be responsible for it.

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 8:43pm
StaceyK's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

We won't be using the bus. I'm with MB, I hated the bus. So much went on on the bus. I went to terrible schools, though, so maybe most bus drivers didn't pass joints around! (I'm not kidding.) (Really, I'm not kidding! When I was in 8th grade, my bus driver passed joints around to some of the kids on the bus.) The bus was where kids got pounded, intimidated, harrassed... It was not a controlled environment at all. Now, my daughter will be going to private school and I hope those kids are better behaved than the terrible kids at my icky school - but I still won't let her ride without an epi pen. No bus for her!

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 10:22pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I would NEVER let my child get on the bus without an epipen. This was a non-negotiable issue for me. Virtually no one knows he wears his epipen in his epibelt under his oversized shirts. His bus driver knows and is trained on recognizing a reaction and how to use an epipen, although, legally, she does not have to administer. We have worked with Ryan on how to self administer, however.
Ry has an assigned seat (first seat, opposite the driver) and this is in his 504. He MUST sit in that seat. The bus driver can very easily keep an eye on him this way evertime she stops to let on more kids or drop them off. Luckily Ry is one of the last to get on, and first to get off. Only on for about 10 or 15 minutes. We have an emergency protocol in the driver folder.
We don't have to worry about subs. I wait with him at the bus stop in the morning and drive him in if he has a sub driver. If there is a sub driver coming home, he tells a teacher on duty or the principal/vice prinicpal on the bus platform that he has a sub driver. They take him to the office and call me to pick him up.
Ry loves riding the bus and I do not want to deny him this pleasure. We worked very hard to make sure he is as safe and secure as can be.
I could not be more pleased with how the bus situation is working out.

Posted on: Sat, 03/20/2004 - 7:59am
renny's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Thanks for all the input and pulling up that thread. It gave me a lot of great ideas. I called the director of health and student services for the school district. He oversees all the nurses and allergy plan.
I told him I was impressed with the reputation of the schools and the districts policy regarding food allergies and that was one of the main reasons we would be purchasing a house there. I then told him my only concern was the no epi on the bus situation (etc,etc, etc) He understood my concern and said since the bus department was under the authority of the school district that it was possible to to train the bus drivers on epi administration.
Since I am not a resident yet of the school district, (currently buying a house) he told me to give him a call when I'm in the neighborhood to set up a meeting with him and the director of transportation.
I would've never had any idea what to do if I hadn't gotten this information from all of you. Thank you!
I am going to be cautiously optimistic about this. At that meeting I intend to bring documentation regarding the dangers of delay in epi administration and letters from as many allergists as I can for added ammo if I need to pull out my guns so to speak.
Wish me luck. I'll let you know what happens.

Posted on: Sat, 03/20/2004 - 8:03am
renny's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Sorry about the no paragraphs up above.
Thought I did it, but I didn't.
Now I know how!

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