Posts Tagged ‘Allergies’

The Difficulties Faced by Students With Allergies

October 28, 2012


In a bid to care for children with strong allergies it seems schools have made allergic children feel socially isolated, different from their peers and vulnerable to being bullied:

TAKARA Rose is the face of a new dangerous fad of playground bullying. The eight-year-old has never hurt or been nasty to anyone, her only “crime” is she suffers a range of allergies.

Mum Alanna describes her daughter’s experience of bullying as terrifying, likening it to having a “loaded gun against her head”.

The year 2 student from Sandringham, in Sydney’s south, is dangerously allergic to nuts, dairy and eggs, meaning if she is exposed to foods containing those ingredients – even brushing past them – she can go into potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.

In a bad week, Ms Rose, 50, is forced to call the ambulance four times because of Takara’s extreme reactions.

Twice, the young girl has been chased by a group of year 6 boys threatening to throw nuts at her, leading her to once lock herself in the school toilets to stay safe.

Takara is among a disturbing number of food allergic children who are being targeted by bullies in Australia, which has one of the highest food allergy rates in the world.

“In her eyes, it’s like holding a loaded gun against her head,” Ms Rose said.

“It’s hard enough to live as restrictive as we do without having the added problem of being bullied by other kids,” Ms Rose said.

Ms Rose also said the school told her the incidents did not constitute “bullying”.

It seems as if the school doesn’t equate life threatening behaviour as “bullying”.  How can we properly protect children when schools continue to make excuses for unacceptable behaviour?

Take this horrible story for example:

Central Coast paediatric nurse and founder of Allerchic website, Stephanie Holdsworth said she knew of one kindergarten child who ended up in the intensive care unit at Sydney Children’s Hospital for four days after having a peanut butter sandwich rubbed in his face by his young tormenters.

These incidents are not simply ‘bullying’ they represent the height of bullying. Nothing is likely to change for allergic kids unless schools are aware of their challenges, actively work to see that they are integrated properly within the school and that the culture of the school is such that bullying and harassment are not taken lightly.

Click on the link to read Doctors Able to Reverse Egg Allergies

Click on the link to read A Nut Allergy is Not a Disability

Click on the link to read Anaphylaxis: The New Form of Discrimination

Click on the link to read Nowadays There is Nowhere to Hide From Bullies

Click on the link to read When Something Doesn’t Work – Try Again Until it Does


Treating Children Like Old Shoes

September 19, 2012

Shoes belong in boxes, not children:

An Arizona couple is suing their son’s former school district for allegedly throwing him in a tiny, windowless room for bad behavior they say was caused by officials ignoring his severe allergies and feeding him foods packed with sugar.

Leslie and Eric Noyes of Glendale, Ariz., filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Court last week against Deer Valley Unified School District No. 97 and Desert Sage Elementary School, where their son attended second grade last year.

The complaint, obtained by Courthouse News Service, charges school officials with assault and battery, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress on their son.

The couple is seeking compensation for their son’s medical treatment and transportation costs to send him to a school outside his district as as well as general damages.

The use of cool down rooms in the same county whose controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio has forced prison inmates to wear pink underwear isn’t unique to Arizona. School officials across the country have used seclusion rooms, most often for special education students or those diagnosed as autistic. The practice is controversial. In 2004, a 13-year-old Georgia student hanged himself after his parents said he was traumatized by being put in a time-out room.

These “scream rooms” are absolutely abhorrent. They should never have been allowed on a school premises. It disgusts me that we are incorporating torture techniques to deal with classroom behaviour issues.

Click on the link to read The Rise of Teacher Approved Bullying (Video)

Click on the link to read Students Allegedly Asked to Draw 9/11 Devastation Pictures in Class

Click on the link to read “Teacher of the Year” Award is a Farce

Click on the link to read There’s a lot You Can’t Do in Ten Days

Parents’ Stress Damaging the Development of Their Children

December 22, 2011

Author David Code goes beyond warning parents about the effect their stress has on the lives of his children. He even blames their stress for “damaging their development and altering their DNA, because of crushing worry and anxiety.”

“Stress is highly contagious,” says David Code, an Episcopal minister and author of Kids Pick Up on Everything: How Parental Stress is Toxic to Kids. “Parental stress can weaken the development of a child’s brain or immune system, increasing the risk of allergies, obesity, or mental disorders.”

So calm down and socialize more. Resolve to start the new year with peace on hearth – it’s not only good for your health but your children’s physical and mental health too.

If you really want to make your kids happier, forgo the Xbox or iPad and invite friends over. The greatest gift you can give your children is your own, healthy relationships with other adults, Code says.

“That Xbox or iPad will placate the kids for a while, but soon they’ll demand even more. Far better to take the kids over to your friend’s house – you and your friend can relax with a drink while both sets of kids entertain each other. That means better social skills for your children, and lower stress levels for you as you ‘scratch that primal itch’ to bond, which reduces your stress,” he adds.

According to Code, research shows children can catch their parents’ stress just like they catch a virus. “Children are like little sponges, soaking up the free-floating stress in today’s anxious households until their developing nervous systems hit overload, at which point they act out, or develop symptoms of mental or physical illness.”

The mind-body connection strongly factors into almost every child’s behaviour –the parent’s mind affects their child’s body “through a kind of emotional pipeline,” Code says. The more stress a kid picks up from the parent, the more ill health – even if the parent is unaware of his or her own anxiety.

Personally I think Code goes over the top with the prognostications of DNA damage but I agree with his main contention. There is no doubt that stress from parents has effects on their offspring.

Code offers the following advice:

Steps to raise healthier kids, according to author David Code:

• Set up a no-screens-after-5 p.m. night: Turn off all screens, big and small and socialize.

• Socialize more with other parents while your kids play together. “If I could wave my magic wand and reduce the stress of today’s parents, I would give them a glass of wine, a friend, and an Italian village square to go socialize in every evening.”

• Bring on the potluck: Once a week dine with friends. “Since you have to make dinner anyway, a weekly potluck doesn’t suck that much time away from your current schedule.”

• Exercise with your spouse. Build muscle and your marriage too. “It’s easier to discuss tough topics and get emotional when you’re side by side on the treadmill or jogging down the street. It’s easier to be emotional in motion.” Even a short evening stroll together is great marital maintenance.

• Take a vacation every three months for a complete change of pace and a healthier family.

• Practice the daily vacation – lunch hour. “Instead of building stress over eight hours, you’ll start over again after lunch and not get so wound up by quitting time.”

• Establish the one-minute instant intimacy builder with your spouse. “When you both get home from work, while changing or preparing dinner, share your highlight and ‘lowlight’ of the day. Try to focus on one moment in time,” he says, adding that sharing one specific lowlight each day builds bonds because we won’t feel so alone in our suffering.

Anaphylaxis: The New Form of Discrimination

April 8, 2011

As a father of a beautiful child who suffers from anaphylaxis, I couldn’t be more disappointed in the parents of Edgewater Elementary School for their repeated calls for a young girl with a peanut allergy to be removed from their school. Their reaction is alarmism at its best and warrants a strong and decisive response by the school board.  Unfortunately, the best they could do is blame Federal law for not being able to remove the child.

Some public school parents in Edgewater, Florida, want a first-grade girl with life-threatening peanut allergies removed from the classroom and home-schooled, rather than deal with special rules to protect her health, a school official said.

“That was one of the suggestions that kept coming forward from parents, to have her home-schooled. But we’re required by federal law to provide accommodations. That’s just not even an option for us,” said Nancy Wait, spokeswoman for the Volusia County School District.

Wait said the 6-year-old’s peanut allergy is so severe it is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To protect the girl, students in her class at Edgewater Elementary School are required to wash their hands before entering the classroom in the morning and after lunch, and rinse out their mouths, Wait said, and a peanut-sniffing dog checked out the school during last week’s spring break.

Wait said school leaders will meet this week with parents to address concerns and try to halt inaccurate rumors that children’s mouths were being wiped with disinfectant.

Chris Burr, a father of two older students at the school whose wife has protested at the campus, said a lot of small accommodations have added up to frustration for many parents.

“If I had a daughter who had a problem, I would not ask everyone else to change their lives to fit my life,” said Burr.

Am I missing something here?  Are we not in the year 2011?  So what if children are slightly inconvenienced my having to wash their hands and rinse their mouths?  How can the inconvenience of added personal hygiene measures compare to the possibility of an anaphylactic attack?

How dare the school for not taking a much more calm and rational approach.  Talk about pandering to parents!  Why couldn’t they just say that nut allergies are common, and with sensible but thorough measures, we can deliver great educational outcomes for all students with allergies?

My daughter has egg and sesame allergies.  Otherwise, she is a normal, sweet-natured and delightful person.  I would be horrified if there was a campaign to have her removed and homeschooled.

There is enough descrimination already in this world, let’s not add to it!

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