Talking Allergies

what to do?
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Author:  twinboys1 [ Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  what to do?

Both my boys have a nut allergy. We are starting preschool in a few weeks and the preschool we are attending has the parents bringing in treats for the whole bunch. I was ok with this before I found out the severity of my boys' allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. The preschool also allows parents to bring in treats on birthdays. I am going to contact the teacher in the next few weeks to discuss options.... any suggestions on how to make my kids feel normal at preschool????

Author:  _Susan_ [ Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:47 am ]
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Where do you live? Some provinces and states have laws which cover public schools, camps and daycare. It would apply to a preschool as well.

I would make them aware of how serious this is...second count .
Studies show death occurs most with individuals who are allergic to peanut, who have asthma or the medication was not given soon enough. Knowing what symptoms to look for and how to administer the Epi-Pen/Twinject is crucial.

Make sure they understand in no uncertain terms that they are not to feed your child anything unless you or your partner have authorised the food (and then it is only in that particular circumstance).

I would give them a copy of How a Child Might Describe a Reaction and a copy of 10 Things Every Child With Food Allergies Wishes You Knew! ... dwish.html

I would ask them what their plans were to manage my children's condition (they might plan something you hadn't thought of :) ) and then point out a few other points-what about musical instruments?

Get the book out of the library A Special Day at School which is about Alexander the Elephant who can't eat peanuts and his first day at school. I found this helpful, I read it with my daughter and discussing how she can keep herself safe.

Get a couple of boxes (I use plastic boxes for the dollar store) and have the boys use stickers to spell their names and decorate the boxes themselves. Then place a few safe treats in them Enjoy Life bars, No Nuttin bars, safe candy, stickers etc. Give these to the teacher and ask the teacher to tell the boys to go and get a treat when they are handing out treats to the other students. It's important for the teacher to know they have to give the child permission to go and get something because small children are intimidated by large people in authority.

Make sure that in the end, this is all written down and signed by yourself and the school and that an individual plan with the child's picture is posted in the lunchroom, in the classroom and where ever the substitute teacher would look (lesson plan).

Author:  twinboys1 [ Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:02 am ]
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Thanks so much for all your great suggestions and things to think about when speaking with the teacher. I live in BC and I know that not all schools are nut free, I think it depends on the school. I will look into this.

Thanks again!

Author:  AnnaMarie [ Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:31 am ]
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This link is to discussion about regulations (rules?) in BC. Within the link is a link to the actual document, but I thought you might also want to read the discussion about it. ... php?t=2827

Author:  twinboys1 [ Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:41 am ]
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Last week, I met with my sons preschool coordinator and thier teachers. I discussed the severity of the boys' reactions to peanuts and tree nuts and came out of the meeting with mixed feelings.

First of all, they were not aware on how to use an epipen ( which I thought was manadory in BC), Secondly,I was told that I was not allowed to bring a box of "treats" to keep at school or pack a snack each time as the rest of the children would want what my kids were having instead of the communal snack for that day. Even when I mentioned that this is a life and death situation, the coordinator was still unwilling to accomodate my children. Finally, I was told that if they are unsure of the snack for the day, they do not serve it. Therefore, my children will go without.

At this point, I cannot look for another preschool as most don't offer the days and times I need, so any suggestions?
Do I grill my kids each day as to what the snack was? Do I try to contact each parent in the class and let them know about the allergies?

Author:  _Susan_ [ Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:42 am ]
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Can you offer to purchase all of the communal snacks (and expect to be reimbursed of course) so that you can satisfy the preschools need for utter control and your childrens need to be kept safe?

Can you contact the Ministry of Education and inquiry about preschools being held to the same safety expectaions of elementary schools? Does the Ministerial Order not protect those in pre-school? In Ontario we have a Day Nursery Act. The same legislation that was passed for anaphylaxis in the school setting was passed for the daycares under this act. (see section 36.1) ... 0262_e.htm

Is it not obvious that younger children are in greater need of safety measures afforded to the older children? Statisticallyspeaking this is a larger issue in the younger years and so it is more important to set up legislation to protect those 1 year untill 3-4 years old.

Author:  aaronsmom [ Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:57 pm ]
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I would involve the public (community) nurse who is in charge of the preschool. The administrator should be able to give you contact information. They should be able to help you help you negotiate with the administrator.

The MInisterial Order does not apply to anything outside of public schools, unfortunately. In Ontario, it took two years for the Day Nurseries to follow suit. I believe it is the Ministry of Children and Families who regulates preschools, you should let them and the Ministry of Health know what you are facing, so that they realize the need for regulation.

You might also want to see if there is a support group in your area, we are trying to start up more in BC.

Author:  twinboys1 [ Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:11 am ]
Post subject: 

I will look into this,but so far things seem to be working out. I grill my boys each time they come home from preschool and today I was told that the teacher gave them an alternate
"nut free" snack as the snack they had was from the bulk section. I feel a little more at ease now but still need to keep in mind that I need to follow up with this issue.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Author:  syzygy [ Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:49 pm ]
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Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable sending them to a preschool that had no food allergy policy. Particularly because the staff don't know how to use an epi (where do they keep it? are you sure they store it properly and that it travels with your children?), they don't sound like they do any sort of training to ensure their staff would know how to recognize a reaction, and especially that they sound pretty unwilling to be flexible on the snack front.

They really should let you send your own snacks for the boys considering their lack of knowledge I wouldn't trust your preschool to select a safe snack. DS's preschool is peanut/nut-free, but in cases of MFA's they suggest parents send their child's snack from home; it's the only outside food they allow (aside from birthday treats that parents are allowed to send, BUT they must be peanut/nut-free, in its original packaging, and have ingredients clearly labeled).

Author:  twinboys1 [ Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:33 am ]
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Thank you for your concern. One of the teachers does have a child with a peanut allergy so she is aware of the severity of the allergy at hand. She does know how to use an epipen and where it is located in case of an allergic reaction. They have had many other children with peanut/nut allergies so I am confident that they know how to handle a situation if one was to occur.

Author:  syzygy [ Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:11 am ]
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Ah, I got the impression they didn't really know what they were doing. But if they do, then that's great. Hope you're boys enjoy preschool!

Author:  twinboys1 [ Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:40 pm ]
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That is the inital impression I got as well. However, when I actually sat down with the teacher and not the coordinator she told me that she is trained in administering an epi-pen. I do however believe that I still need to ask questions about snack time as you never know.

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