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Compulsory labelling of allergic children

(41 Posts)
Notmesirnoway Wed 08-Feb-17 17:50:49

I've name changed for this although probably fairly outing anyway but such is life.

Our school are insisting that all children with allergies or coeliac etc. wear a compulsory lanyard with photo and detail in the lunch hall whether they have school meals or not

My ks2 child who has successfully managed their coeliac disease since age four won't wear it and I don't blame them.

Is this even legal?

It's even packed lunches which really gives me the 😕 rage.

All advice welcome on how to encourage them to "adjust" this policy!

pishedoff Wed 08-Feb-17 18:08:32

Our school use a red allergy card which is on their plate. My DS1 has a severe nut allergy ( now at Sec school- not sure of protocol there?!) but I wouldn't care what he had as long as it meant he was safe. As an dinner lady it used to help me, particularly with the new reception children as there was a lot of children with allergies

pishedoff Wed 08-Feb-17 18:10:01

Forgot to add, I suppose the issue with packed Lunches is a child could have a reaction and no one realise they have an allergy so don't act on it promptly?

smilingsarahb Wed 08-Feb-17 18:11:30

Can't you just go in and ask why they are doing it like this but not in a rage full way. Just in a trying to understand why as it's upset your son way. Perhaps there has been an incident with a less capable child. It does seem over zealous and embarrassing but they might tweak it to ks1 only after a chat with you?

ElectronicDischarge Wed 08-Feb-17 18:13:26

I have no idea, but as an allergic adult, I find this truly repellant

Notmesirnoway Wed 08-Feb-17 18:14:10

I've been in awaiting response.It's being imposed after half term.I've offered to withdraw from school meals and sign a waiver (desperate). She's coeliac and very valuable of reminding people / checking food as we've taught her since she was four!

JakeBallardswife Wed 08-Feb-17 18:15:07

I can understand from a parent point of view it is possibly a little OTT but surely its better to keep them safe and work with the school on coming up with a solution?

steppemum Wed 08-Feb-17 18:17:28

My friend's son has Crohns and really struggled through year 5 and 6 as he adjusted to his diagnosis.
he was adamant that he didn't want anyone to know, as the idea that he had to run to the loo occasionally was completely mortifying.

Staff handled it brilliantly, discretely etc. I cannot imagine how insensitive it would be to have to wear something to make him stand out.

Totally unnecessary for KS2.
Maybe acceptable for reception/year 1.

Lucked Wed 08-Feb-17 18:25:06

Perhaps this might be necessary for small children who have a typical allergy with risk of anaphylaxis. Coeliacs is completely different and I think you could make a special case.

BurnTheBlackSuit Wed 08-Feb-17 18:30:17

What kind of a primary school isn't able to just know these things about their children?

All the lunchtime supervisors at my children's school and told which children have allergies so they know.

And hopefully, whether or not a child has known allergies, if they suffered a reaction it would be taken seriously anyway. What if the child had never had certain nuts before and the nut allergy therefore was unknown?

smilingsarahb Wed 08-Feb-17 19:16:12

Burntheblacksuit. .One that has a lot of children with a lot of varying dietry requirements that doesn't want to leave itself wide open to a claim for negligence when one of its lunchtime supervisors is having a bad day and muddles up two similar looking children with similar names children or forgets it's melon and tomatoes and not just tomatoes. I am not on board with the lanyard thing but I do hope my sons school has some tighter processes than memory in place.

BarbarianMum Wed 08-Feb-17 19:42:19

Our school has introduced a similar system but with wrist bands since an accident earlier in the year when a Y1 child who should have been eating packed lunch ordered himself a school dinner and had an allergic reaction to it.

Notmesirnoway Wed 08-Feb-17 20:15:44

Barbarian I think wrist bands are better as less "in your face" plus no photo. Could be a cost issue I suppose. There's been no consultation or warning about this and we break for half term tomorrow. The system starts the first day back.

BarbarianMum Wed 08-Feb-17 20:27:28

Ah well the photos are on the wall of the kitchen (child's name, allergies).

Burntheblacksuit there are 550 kids at dc's school - lots of allergies and intolerance. I don't want a system where you just hope to God the word has got around that little Jim's just been diagnosed with a soya allergy, I want it to be as failsafe as possible.

Laselva Wed 08-Feb-17 20:49:57

There's no way my coeliac DS (age 6) would wear this. He has packed lunches in school but since nursery he has known he can't take food from others and no one can touch his food. He's shy, but knows to ask if things are gluten free and has heard me quiz people so many times it's perfectly normal to him.
I really see no reason why a ks2 child should not be able to manage this themselves unless there are other needs or the child has severe anaphylaxis.
I don't know how sensitive your DS is but it would only take 1 'accident' to remind my DS to be vigilant.
I would say to the school that I refuse to allow him to wear it. I fully accept the risks asdociated with this. These risks are part of our children's daily lives, accidental exposure will happen to our children and when it does they have look at why at happened and make adjustments if necessary.
Good luck op.

Laselva Wed 08-Feb-17 20:55:36

Just to add my DSs primary school has 900+ pupils and has successfully managed my sons condition. The head has a son who has a severe nut allergy and understands that whilst the school must have strict procedures in place to make sure children are not exposed to allergens, it is also important for the children to manage their allergies themselves in order to prepare them for life outside of school.

HelsBels5000 Wed 08-Feb-17 21:00:13

Whilst they are at school though they are under the care of the school 'in loco parentis' and all that. The school staff would be horrified if something happened to a child in their care because an allergy was overlooked or mixed up. The potential consequences are so awful.
For the young reception children particularly, this kind of visual reminder is really important as they won't be able to check/investigate the food they are given, they will just eat it!

smilingsarahb Wed 08-Feb-17 21:06:56

Laselva Do you know what the procedures are as they might help notmesirnoway approach her school and show best practice in other schools. My sons school does photo cards that the child hands to the person serving dinner to ensure they get the right meal. Packed lunchers just fend for themselves...The expectation being that parents pack the right food and children aren't allowed to swap food. (Teachers and office staff have a list of all the medical conditions in the school) pictures of children that need epi pens are circulated at the start of each term and all staff sign to say they read the care plan.

123bananas Wed 08-Feb-17 21:08:41

They have wrist bands at my childrens' school. There are 3 classes per year in their school. Hard to remember every individuals specific requirements so colour coded bands with a label on help. Kitchen staff and class teachers also hold picture walls with allergy lists. There is also often a list in the staff room for other staff to familiarise themselves with. It also means that in the event of an anaphylactic reaction any member of staff (even supply or temporary) will know that they have an allergy and what they are allergic to.

Lanyards and photos round their neck is a bit too far I think, but if there have been situations where allergic children have been exposed to allergens in the school then it could be that this new approach saves a life.

Laselva Wed 08-Feb-17 21:39:27

In our school -
In infants each child is taken to lunch and served by there class TA, if TA is absent then class teacher is will brief adult taking them to lunch.
In the lunch hall by the serving hatch there is a picture of all children with allergies/ intolerances which states what they can't have.
The school also has a 3 week revolving menu each term which is on the website and in school and lists allergens in each dish.
My DS currently has one meal in this 3 week cycle.
In juniors children can see the menu and are expected to know what they can and can't have. There is also a TA to help, so if a child isn't sure they can ask and will be supported.
I would say all children with severe anaphylaxia have packed lunches. There are only a few children who fall into this category and all regular lunch time staff know who they are.
Whenever there is a menu change the new menu is emailed to all parents (or a paper copy given to those who have requested paper communication). I go through it with DS and we look to see what suitable items there are for him (hardly any) and what he would then eat (even less). He's only in y1 and has managed this since Reception. As a parent I genuinely feel he has to take on some of the responsibility of managing his condition, otherwise how will he cope at parties, at the park, at friends houses.

Notmesirnoway Wed 08-Feb-17 22:05:50

Thank you all of you.

jamdonut Wed 08-Feb-17 22:43:18

We use a similar system...We have so many with reported allergies and intolerances it's a big ask for all staff to remember everybody's !

Our children don't seem to mind, they like wearing lanyards, because it is "like the teachers", and it is literally only for going to lunch, then they take them off and back to the classroom before going outside to play.

In a big school, I don't think it is unreasonable, and other children don't take any notice. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry?

llangennith Wed 08-Feb-17 22:47:21

DGS has an allergy. Our primary just has a photo in the dinner hall of each child and names their allergy. No big deal but does the job.

BarbarianMum Wed 08-Feb-17 22:55:12

Our school was the same llangenith - until the latest incident.

irvineoneohone Thu 09-Feb-17 06:29:27

At my ds' school, the picture with details of allergy is on the wall in the kitchen. Also we have annually amended health care plan with names of 2 lunchtime supervisors who are responsible for my ds' during lunchtime.

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