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Thread: Food intolerances at school - HELP?!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Food intolerances at school - HELP?!

    So DS has started school this year.

    Day care always provided us with the action plans they wanted filled out and off we went.



    This is our first experience with school. DS has both allergies and intolerances. We don't know what all the allergies will react like as he has never had real life exposure to some of them. The issue however is that our GP is not very up to date on dealing with allergies in the school system (and I admit neither are we really). We went to the GP for an action plan and he couldnt give me one there and then, so we waited for one for be done all the while DS is in the school system. Thankfully the school is nut free, unfortunately we have already had hiccups where they listed him as peanuts and not tree nuts (they're not the same!!!).

    One of the issues is that the GP wants to do the action plan as a letter, which isn't good enough as the school has an action plan from ASCIA that they look for and have trained their staff to look for. So I handed that to the GP to complete and they lost it!

    The other issue now is that DS also has intolerances which are just as important to avoid as the allergens. But how do we get an action plan for the intolerance? Can it just be placed on the allergy plan as a no go also? Has anyone had to deal with this?

    The GP also doesn't seem to understand that they need it to be this form as any other variation thereof won't be immediately recognised by the staff at the school and this is how accidents happen. (We had an incident at day care that happened in a similar manner).

    I'm just getting more and more frustrated and in a way wish that DS had something that was widely recognisable such as coeliacs as at least then it is understood by the GP and school more.

    HELP. Any advice for a new school allergy mummy fumbling in the school system would be wonderful.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Perth, WA
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    Default Re: Food intolerances at school - HELP?!

    I don't have any specific advice for you, but I do know that as a teacher, any child with allergies had their photo and action plan posted in every location they visited at school ie classroom, specialist rooms) plus staff room and office. The action plan had a set format, but was made up by the school. So, the parent provided information and the school rewrote it into a plan that was displayed for staff. If that's the case, surely whatever format you provide the info in (as long as it's been signed off by your GP) would be fine?

    Oh, and intolerances (or non-life threatening reactions) were also listed on the action plan.

    I feel for you - it must be tricky organising and figuring all this out.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Food intolerances at school - HELP?!

    I agree with Jleigh. The schools I have worked in do have a format, but the info is provided by drs and parents. Therefore the format you supply the information shouldn't matter?
    The action plan should then include epi pen location etc. then with a photo the info is sent out to teachers,and/ or placed in spots for staff to see.
    Can the dr write the letter and you fill in the form?

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Food intolerances at school - HELP?!

    Agree with the others.
    But I wanted to say that if I were you I would be changing gps, and finding one that was up to date and competent with allergies. Then finding out exactly what your child is and is not allergic too (and by now your child should have been tested for what they are allergic or intolerant too).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Food intolerances at school - HELP?!

    Thanks guys.

    Our issue is we live in a regional city. DS goes to one of the smallest schools in town, so they have very limited experience with allergies and/or intolerances.

    It's just been a series of misunderstandings, and fumblings and mostly a massive learning curve. As soon as day care knew he had allergies and intolerances we were bombarded with information and practically spoon fed. Like with most things school, its much more independent and I've had to go searching for what I need to do and even then I haven't been fully informed each time.

    The school doesn't have a form that they copy information onto, they use ASCIA forms, which are a proper medical document, so neither myself, nor the school can actually fill it in. I didn't know this at first hence the first hiccup. But the ASCIA form is also an allergy form, not an intolerance form which causes its own issues, as allergies and intolerances are two completely different kettle of fish. Neither less important than the other except so far as anaphaylaxis is concerned, but again, even that is a separate form.

    Changing GPs has been tried and tested, this one is the best that we have found and who can also deal with DS' other issues. But I guess also, all schools it seem have different expectations of what needs to be completed so far as their allergy plans go, so it's not a one size fits all anyway.

    DS has been tested beansbeans? We know exactly what he is allergic and intolerant to. We know what he is allergic to, we don't know how he will react to some of them in a real life exposure.

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