Hi we had decided we think to home ed our daughter who has severe food allergies.we went to the school parent evening as she has been asking to go to school and we want to see all sides,. When we were there we went to speak to the teacher and the school nurse (her First) But when we went tot the teacher to ask about craft activities etc we were just told to speak to the school nurse we are really disturb by this as it is the teacher not the visiting school nurse that she will be in the care of every duty.
The teacher obviously didn't handle it well, did you have an appointment or was it more of an open evening sort of affair?
If you explain to the school nurse exactly what your daughter's allergies are, and specifically what she has to avoid, the nurse would then advise the teacher. The nurse is the specialist, so it's more efficient to do it that way and safer for your daughter.
What were you particularly concerned about with craft activities?
Please could you ask questions or make points that people can address helpfully. I'm not sure what you need.
I may be ignorant and I am prepared to be educated but what is there to be allergic to with craft activities???
I don't know about the OP's child but a child allergic to (say) bananas or peanuts can have a life-threatening reaction from touching something that's been touched by another child with minute traces of that substance on their hands. I know of one school where a child had a severe allegic reaction after using playdough. In those cases the whole school tends to have to become a [whatever the allergen is]-free zone, but even then another child might have had whatever it is for breakfast.
I think that i would make an appointment with the head teacher to see how well managed the school is.
When dd2 was in primary school they had pretty comprehensive plans for food allergy. this included an A4 size laminated photo of each child with an allergy spelling out exactly what caused it, symptoms and action to be taken-eg EPIPEN, CALL AMBULANCE. etc.
Also with one child who had a severe nut allergy- nuts were banned throughout the school- this was enforced.
I can only imagine the stress of having a child with a severe allergy and it must make decisions like this really difficult but if your child wants to go to school it really is worth finding out how the school can accomodate this. Once the school understands the allergy they should do everything possible to make school accessible.
I have known children who had an allergy that meant they could not play with playdough - I think they reacted to corn syrup.
I would suggest an appointment with school nurse but would think it is a good idea to provide simple, perhaps bullet-pointed notes that the teacher will be able to use as a constant reminder/checklist. I would also try to speak with the Head who will then make a point of ensuring that everyone who needs to know will be informed of how to keep your child safe.
You can always offer to spend time in the classroom to ensure that you are happy with how they will cope with your child's allergies.
Having worked in a number of schools and having a nut allery myself, schools are very used to dealing and managing many different medical requirements/needs. Just sort out a suitable time to discuss it carefully.
I have three children in my class with very severe peanut allergies, and one is also allergic to basically everything under the sun (all dairy, shellfish etc etc..) and all are on epipens. I also have two insulin dependent diabetics. The parents of each child are responsible for coming in and meeting with the school nurse at the beginning of each school year to create a care plan for their child, which I am then given a copy of and keep in the class, and ensure anyone working with the child are aware of their needs (eg; MDA's, volunteers, TA etc..) Then if there is any change in the childs health over the year, again it is the parents responsibility to alert the school and the care plan would be altered accordingly.
IMO, I think keeping a child out of school due to allergies if they really want to go is not fair to them...you cannot keep them in a bubble!...and I am sure others will disagree with that, but they are going to have to learn to live in socieity with their allergies at some point, so why not start now? I personally have never come across a teacher/school staff member who does not take a child's allergies or any health concern extremely seriously. Unfortunately there are SO many children, and adults alike nowadays who have such a range of allergies, that it is not like it was 15 years ago when there was only 1-2 children in a school, now it is mostly 1-2 children in a class...so schools are more than used to dealing with all sorts of health concerns and allergies.
If I were you, I would make an appt. with the school nurse, ask what sort of paper work is given to the staff who work directly with your child day in and day out, and ensure your satisfied with it. IT should all be logged even just for the schools safety and own liability if not for the safety of your child.
also meant to add, that perhaps your interaction with the teacher came as a result of school policy, as in my situation if a parent were to come to me to discuss a childs allergies, I too would tell them to see the school nurse first to create a care plan and then come to meet with me after this if they are still concerned and we can go through it and discuss it together then. From a liability standpoint, there has to be a medical level of paperwork that is documented which then makes it easier to go through your individual concerns.
I'm a bit confused by your post. Did you go to the school even though you home Ed? Or have you decided to HE because of how the parents evening went? It's just you say she has been asking to go, implying that she does not at the moment.
Obviously if she is in school and her allergies can be triggered by craft materials then you need a meeting with the school nurse and any other adults who would deal with your DD on a day to day basis.
When I had a child with a nut allergy in my class, we actually had the meeting just after lunch so the lunchtime staff could learn early signs and what to do. I would be very surprised if the teacher did not want to learn everything she could in order to keep your DD safe.
sorry i seemed to have confused a few people our 4 year old is anaphylactic to peanuts ,other nuts ,eggs and sesame.She also has hayfever and is allergic to most sun creams.And also reacts to shea butter and some plastics.
We have been home educating for lots of reasons and were planning on carrying on with this but we did get a place at a good local school due to feeling we ought to and to leave our options open.
Now through being asked by lots of people when she is starting school ( for the past two years ) she looks and acts very grown up she has been asking if she can go so we are going through the motions as we do not want to make the wrong choice for her.
So as i said we went to the parents evening saw the school nurse and made an appointment
for a further meeting,spoke to the head who seemed unable to tell us where she would sit for pack lunch apart from in the hall.
we then went to see the teacher who when we said we have some questions as are DD has sevre allergies just said see the nurse.
Then yesterday when we took her for story time luckily we took her into the classroom instead of leaving her at the door as we were being urged to do as there was a table of playdough,we managed to get the TAs attention to say she must not play with it as it had noy not been checked .1stly some playdough is not safe for her and 2ndly the teacher still had not asked what she was allergic to.
I think in this instance, you need to get to see the nurse ASAP. When is your appointment? If the staff seem lacadasical about your DDs allergies, perhaps do not take her back until you have had the meeting with the nurse.
It is the schools ultimate responsibility to provide a safe environment for your child, whether that means sitting her seperately for lunches, or ensuring she is not using things like playdough. If in doubt, site the Every Child Matters document which makes sure that each childs individual needs are met.
Perhaps see the SENCO as well, as they can be helpful in situations as you have described. In my school, the SENCO and nurse work together to establish the needed outcomes for children with a range of allergies. She is also in the meeting with the nurse/teacher when discussing the health care plan.
we are waiting for an appointment with the nurse to come through did not think about the SENCO .
athomeagain...I think it would be worth at least talking to the SENCO...I know, in my own school, the SENCO is "responsible" for the children with severe allergies (other than from the sheer medical perspective which is the school nurse's responsibility), but I know other schools where the SENCO does not take this responsibility...but you have nothing to lose by at least checking!
Let me know what comes of it..I will be interested in hearing the result!
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