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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:47 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Ottawa
Just a thought, when the school tells you they have a policy regarding food etc, ask how they communicate this with the parents. This is sometimes done inefficiently.

Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy and green beans) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: Oral Allergy Syndrome, Allergic to Birch trees

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 9:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 984
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Just thought I'd pop into this discussion as well... I have 2 children, my daughter is 8 years old, in grade 2, and does not have any allergies; my son is 5 years old, in JK (at a very small Montessori school) and has multiple food allergies (the fact that our son has multiple food allergies is a huge factor for our family and greatly affects decisions we make for our family). When my daughter was in grade 1, I frequently volunteered at her school (different school than my son's, and with about 650 children from grades 1-6), and as much as I really respected and liked her teachers, I could see that they were very busy, and it was a very busy school, and it concerned me that my son would be in that environment with multiple food allergies. The sheer number of students in the hallways during switch time, recess, etc. seemed utterly chaotic in this school that was never meant to house this many students. At lunch time and recess, there was no in-class adult lunch monitor, and at recess, ALL children were out on the playground with only about 6 playground monitors - to oversee more than 600 children! It concerned me that if my son were having a medical emergency while eating lunch, or out on the playground, or in the busy hallway, no one would see it! For this reason, we are likely going to make some different choices for education that will suit both of our children. It is very complicated, and we've really considered the options very carefully. My daughter is currently at a French Immersion school. A student must enter at grade 1 to take part in this program, but we don't feel our son will be ready for this particular environment at grade 1. We've been exploring another school in our area (it's an English public school), and it seems it will be better suited for both of our children. We can keep our son at his current school until he is ready to manage himself in a larger school environment (his current school goes up to grade 3, but we would like to move him as early as we feel he is ready (hopefully by grade 2). We feel very strongly that we want our 2 children to go to school the same school (eventually), and they can do so at this other school. If need be, my son will come home for lunches (I'm leaning towards this; however, I don't want him to miss out on the social aspect!) Anyway, it's not easy.

I believe it is VERY important to observe your child's school in action. I know this is very difficult if you're working (I worked for 22 years as a chemical technologist in a laboratory, and had to quit my job 2 years ago to care for my son, so I do understand the difficulty in juggling career and children). But if there is any way you can get in to see your child's school, I think it's really important. You really need to be aware of what's going on throughout the day so you can be sure that it is a safe environment for your child.

Making a decision for an appropriate school is not easy. Some of us are very lucky in finding a very good fit for our child, while others really struggle to find the right school. And what's right for one family, may simply not be right for another. Our son's current school is absolutely fantastic and amazingly supportive. We know we've got a great situation right now. He only goes half days (he's not there at lunch) so we minimize his time near food. Obviously, different decisions may need to be considered when a child is attending school with a serious medical condition.

18 yr old daughter: no health issues
16 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, egg, fish, sesame,sunflower,mustard,poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid legumes(except soy & green beans),pollen, cats, horses, cold urticaria

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