Saturday, September 13, 2008

God Bless Mr. Peanut

Here is just one of a million examples of why the childfree life reigns supreme. Imagine for a moment that you are a parent and are "blessed" with a child who happens to have an allergy to peanuts. Sounds like a minor thing, right? Think again. Here is what you would be dealing with (this was posted on a discussion board I visit where someone had asked for a recommendation on peanut-free schools):

"Parents with Children of the Allergy World:

Pick your school then- Have a 504 Plan meeting with the following people at the same time: Principle, District Nurse, School Nurse, students Teacher and the Food Service Workers.

Have the Allergy Test results, a letter from the doctor as to how severe the allergy is and what the doctor wants done with the medicines.

You will need to have the teacher (depending on the school and age of the child) get a fanny pack with the students name: allergy: and medical alert signage on it. This fanny pack can be woren by the student during switching classes, bathroom runs etc. If they go out to PE with the teacher, than the teacher wears it. The monitors on the playground should also have fanny packs with the students medicines (epi and benadryl on them) because there is no time to run the student to the office while the reaction occurs. The nurse should have meds also locked at their station.

There needs to be a drill plan: Our children's teachers (at each grade level all of the teachers on the campus should know the plan) have peanut-drills like fire drills. If a reaction occurs in the classroom or while in the custody of the teacher w/ the class then the teacher simply says "PEANUT DRILL !!!" and the class immedicately goes to the nearest classroom (with a teacher) and says the same thing...PEANUT DRILL - that teacher then knows that the class will be with her until the situation is over and she is released. The teacher will phone, radio or send a student(s) to the office to let the nurse know to call 911.

You must let the OFFICE know that you want the nurse to ride with the student unless you are there, especially with the student also has asthma, because there are medications that contain peanut that are used for breathing treatments: DuoNeb, Atrovent, Ipratropiumbromide, Comivent,etc.

Field Trips the cafeteria packs lunches for the students that way the lunches are ham sandwiches for something other than PB&J. You can also provide the snacks for the students as a gesture for all of their help.

We also have hand sanitizer in the classroom after recesses and lunch. If the teacher says there is time- they wash their hands. This is actually beneficial to all of the students. The attendance rate went up over 50 % in our childrens classes because the kids were so clean, they weren't spreading germs all the time. The teacher like the fact that she got to take a vacation instead of using her time for sick days.

The biggest thing is to make sure that the school is educated and will know who your child is and where they are at all times. There are teaching tools for K-8 and up like Alexander the Elephant who is allergic to peanuts.

Also, just to let you...allergy testing can be confusing too. You can have a positive reaction one year and two years later be negative, this is a false reading. The peanut nut allergy is one that you have for a lifetime. It grows with intensity with each reaction. That is why it is so necessary to learn all you can, and educate everyone you talk to. The allergy shots just introduce the peanut protein- they are life-threatening reactions waiting to happen. Trust me.

IF the school doesn't want to do their part change schools or get an attorney. YOU are your child's advocate- it will be hard to start, but well worth it.

Good Luck !!!! Everything will be fine....have a safe nut-free day!

Don't forget to have peanut-free fundraiser with the PTA: there are cookie dough, and lots of others.

Trace Atkins is the Honorary Chairman for the 2008 in San Diego,CA because his child has the allergy. Join the walk in your area and find others who can support you. ~ God Bless."

God bless is right. She will need God's blessings to deal with this all this bullshit. Can you imagine? And this is just one of thousands of burdens parents deal with every day just for the joy of having kids. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick with my monthly outings with my nieces and nephews and leave Peanutgate to the blessed ones.


firefly said...

Allergies suck -- I have sensitivities to gluten and casein and a cat who can't have fish or milk -- and trying to stick to a diet that doesn't include things you can't have is a major drag. (Try finding cat food without fish in it -- reading the tiny print on those stupid labels on the can is hell on aging eyes ;)

At least it doesn't require roping in the staff of a school, though. THAT would be ever so much worse!

CFVixen said...

Such a good point. Who willingly wants to put up with all of this crap?

brettc said...

And this is one of the many reasons why my wife and I don't want any kids. My wife is allergic to gluten, casein (milk), almonds and a lot of other nuts, but she does okay with peanuts. And I apparently have an allergy to fresh banana and kiwi. I can't imagine trying to deal with a kid that has any sort of severe or even mild allergy. If we did have a kid, it would likely have some sort of expensive allergy. So no thank you... I'll stick with my Puggle.