Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Add new values, Please...?

I just got back home after attending a meeting conducted by our County's School Board. The topic - Health, Safety, and Wellness - Food allergies being the focus. This was more a joint effort by our area's Allergy Network of which I am a member, and the School Board to discuss issues in Public Schools regarding Food Allergies.
It was very informative and reassuring to know about the steps that the School Board has taken to train Teachers, Nurses, Cafetaria workers, Bus-Drivers and even Substitute Teachers. The School Board takes Food Allergies very seriously.
But (there is always a but!), there are some basic rules across the board, and that is not enough to deal with the increasing proportions of children with food allergies.
The Schools primarily worry about allergies from Peanuts and Tree-nuts, as they are the most common allergens. Most people are not aware that an allergy to milk or wheat or eggs is just as much likely to cause an Anaphylactic reaction as an allergy to peanuts. A friend's daughter has had a severe reaction after being touched by another kid who had just eaten pizza (from the cheese).

One of the suggestions in this meeting was from a parent who has had a very good experience from her School including Thoughtful and Considerate Teachers and Staff. She brought about an important point that it is the parents of other kids, and even the kids themselves who need awareness! I never knew the serious ramifications of having an allergy until T1 tested positive to a whole slew of allergens when she was 7 months old.

I have some work to do here too, especially since she goes to Public school this fall. I was actually taking her allergies for granted after she started outgrowing some of them. But recently she broke out in a terrible rash when Pup touched her after eating some walnuts (this despite testing negative for Walnuts)!
She has eaten Cashew-cake (kaju katli) before, but when she had it last year, her throat started itching after just one small bite (my guess - possible contamination with peanuts)! Fortunately, she ate just one small piece and some Benadryl was all she needed to get better.

So the point of my post is to humbly implore the rest of you to add a few more values when raising your kids, some simple things - like "NO SHARING FOOD" in school, "WASHING HANDS THOROUGHLY" after eating (before touching other kids), and "NOT RIDICULING" kids with allergies.
And as parents, if we can be considerate to other children in the class when taking special snacks or party treats, that will be very highly valued!
Simple things, but they can go a long way.
Thank you.


jenny said...

alternative therapies are the best way to get rid from chronic allergies. Here is a site, go and see the remedies for chronic diseases.

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

Jenny: Thanks for stopping by!
I agree...I give T1 daily doses of an Ayurvedic remedy for her seasonal allergies and occasional wheezing, and a combination of Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic remedies during an episode
...but as far as food allergies are concerned, I only see "hit or miss" situations with treatments.

mummyjaan said...

Very useful post, GND. I don't think it's wise to share foods in school.