Friday, January 17, 2014

Anaphylactic allergies in schools: Sabrina's law

When I was teaching, we would create peanut-free classrooms. Then, entire schools began to go peanut-free. Parents created lists of foods families could avoid in putting together a child's lunch. (See: Safe Snacks)
 Unfortunately, I fear it might give parents a false sense of security. We stopped 'accommodating' anaphylactic children, sending them out of the classroom when a peer brings a PB&J sandwich, to sending out the offending child with the sandwich. We figured out safe snacks, and safe party cupcakes, and many vigilant parents, those without allergic kids, would go out of their way to read labels. This took the onus away from the child with the allergy to be vigilant.

Sabrina's Law was passed to create accommodations for children with severe allergies.
Anaphylaxis: Sabrina's Law Introduction. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life threatening; it requires avoidance strategies and immediate .
I cannot imagine how difficult this would be for a parent.
I cannot imagine how difficult this would be for a school. With more kids developing allergies, it will come to the point when kids are unable to eat lunch, or have snacks at school, without teachers checking out each product. This means parents sending along product listings in original packaging.

Some parents, those without allergies, are unable to understand the severity of the issue. There is no such thing as a peanut-free, or allergen-free environment. It is up to the parents to determine how to best protect their anaphylactic child. I cannot imagine risking a child's life, knowing that there are anaphylactic risks. Eliminating dairy and eggs school-wide seems impossible.
We've had students allergic to food substances, as well as wasps, bees, and so on.

A food allergy can be a terrifying problem for a young student. In Hamilton, Ontario , one parent believes it is 'discrimination.' Her child is severely allergic to dairy and eggs.

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