Talking Allergies

Halton Board and Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group
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Author:  Julie [ Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Halton Board and Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group

The Information Session on Sabrina's Law and an update on the Halton District School Board's and the Halton Catholic Separate School Board's joint Anaphylaxis Management Policy Document will take place on Wednesday, March 8, 2006 at 7:30 P.M. in the Theatre Studio at the M.M. Robinson High School at 2425 Upper Middle Road in Burlington.

Author:  laurensmom [ Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:57 am ]
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Any chance you can post the highlights of this meeting because unfortunately, I will not be able to attend?

Author:  Julie [ Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:18 pm ]
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I was very pleased with the meeting held in conjunction with the Halton Boards and the Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group. The meeting was well attended, and I have to say that I felt very reassured by the information received at the meeting. A tremendous effort has gone into assembling this very detailed protocol (68 pages). For those wishing to read the protocol, the website link to the Halton District School Board is: The home page will direct you to the Anaphylaxis Protocol 2006. The individuals speaking at the meeting indicated that this is a "living document", and will be adjusted as needed. For those reading it, please be aware that work on this document began in 1999! It has been a real team effort, and much attention has gone into carefully wording the document. Representatives from the school boards, the parent support groups and others were involved in assembling this document. I personally feel it is a reasonable, and well-thought out document. Information provided by Anaphylaxis Canada was frequently used as reference material in assembling this document.

Status as of March 2006: all principals within the Halton district have read this document, and are in the process of educating all staff involved with children - teachers, custodians, school bus drivers, etc. Within the Halton Board, training for staff will take place twice every year - in Sep & Feb. The main emphasis within this document is to have a preparedness plan in place and to have a minimized allergen environment. But I caution everyone to be aware that requests posted in every school (elementary & secondary) refer only to peanuts and tree nuts. After hearing discussion on this, I realise it would be impossible to have a school environment that was free of all the major allergens. Having said that, INDIVIDUAL plans for all students will be required by the school, so if you have a situation with your child that includes additional allergens, an indivdual plan will have to address these needs.

A few notes:
- please note that the Halton schools will only adminster the Epipen, and not the syringe portion of the Twinject - apparently the schools are not permitted the do "syringe injections"
- children in grade 1 (and up) are required to carry their Epipen. There will be spot checks at a minimum of once per month (and more if required) to ensure the child is carrying their Epipen
- this protocol is not "perfect" - but really, how can it be? Our children must still learn to live with their allergens in their environment. Peanuts and tree nuts may still slip into the school, and schools are open to many other events besides educating our children. The main purpose of this protocol is to identify the children at risk, and have specific plans in place to care for each child's needs.

I urge all parents within the Halton Board to approach the principal within your school to prepare these individual plans. You will be the first individuals (in Canada!) to have these plans in place which follow these strict protocols, but believe me, the forms already exist within this protocol, so they are ready to use. Don't sit back and wait for the school to come to you... this was stressed at the meeting by several parents. You must be involved (the school cannot do everything for us without our involvement), you must advocate for your child, but we must also be reasonable in our approach.

On a personal note, I can only dream of the day my son can live in a completely safe environment. But I know this doesn't exist. My husband & I must ask for assistance and teach our son to care for himself. We must advocate for our son. We must help our son accept his food allergies and make the best of his situation. My 4 yr old son has multiple food allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seed, egg, fish, sunflower seed, mustard seed, cottonseed, poppy seed, green peas, and pineapple).

Author:  Helen [ Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:41 pm ]
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That's great to hear, Julie. I hope other school boards are following suit.

Author:  KarenOASG [ Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:11 pm ]
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Julie -

I'm glad the meeting went so well. It sounds like this board is working hard to be allergy aware! I agree with you keeping kids at risk safe it must be a team effort involving the board, the schools, the staff, the parents, and the kids at risk.

Can I ask - were the new national anaphylaxis guidelines (Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings) mentioned at the meeting? This is an excellent resource. Perhaps you could let whoever is in charge of the the Halton web site know about the Allergy Safe Communities website at and suggest they link to it...?


Author:  Julie [ Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:05 pm ]
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Yes, the document Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings was mentioned at the meeting. However, I am still going to email the key individuals involved to ensure they have the allergysafecommunities website link. Thanks for the suggestion.


Author:  Nicole [ Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:55 pm ]
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Thank you for all your info, Julie. I feel lucky to be living in Halton and the timing is great for us as we just recently found out about my daughter's peanut allergy. I'm glad that the high schools are also going to aim for a peanut/nut free environment. I hope they also create awareness at the student level. I tried to bring up that point at the meeting but didn't get the chance. I know they brought up the point of also teaching the students how to use the Epi-pen. Although I agree that this would not be very practical from a point of view of liability, I think that we should at least present some kind of information to students to reinforce the importance of not bringing peanut/nut products or even "may contain" products. Contamination avoidance is after all the first step. This information should also may be touch on learning to recognize the signs of an anaphylactic reaction. My daughter was pretty good at telling her friends about her allergy, but not all teens feel comfortable doing so. Friends might often be the first ones to witness a reaction and since a lot of kids have cell phones, they have the potential to save lives, particularly in the cafeteria or when there are no school personnel around.

That's why it's good that the protocol is a "living" document and can be adjusted as needed. I will bring this up to my daughter's principal.

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