31 August, 2008

Food Allergies and Awareness

In preparation for the new school year, please note as a reminder, the following letter addressed to the families at the Kildare Steiner School:

1st September 2008
Re: Allergen Food Items

Dear All,

It is our school policy to ban food items that cause a severe allergic reaction that is potentially fatal (i.e. Anaphylaxis). A person allergic to such food items can have shock not only by ingesting but also contacting or inhaling particles therefore. Please do not bring any of the food items listed below to the school.

When the school is used as a venue for other activities than the usual school/kindergarten curriculum, the organisers of such activities also need to ensure that these food items are not brought in to the school premise.

Please put up this list somewhere visible in your household. If anyone wishes to add more food items to the list for the same reason, please contact Yuki Kobayashi 086 341 2006.

Food items banned from the School/Kindergarten: Peanuts, all nuts, peas, lentils, sesame seeds, chickpeas, buckwheat and food products containing these items.

Similar food items NOT banned from the School/Kindergarten: Butter beans, azuki, kidney, pinto and soya beans, sunflower seeds, pumkin seeds, broad beans, french beans and runner beans.

Attached is a letter from the parents of a child with severe allergies sent earlier last year:

Dear Parents:

We am writing to you on behalf of our daughter Iseult Reid. Iseult has severe food allergies to peanuts, nuts, peas, lentils, sesame seeds, egg and chickpeas. She has lesser allergies also, but the reaction to contact or ingestion of above foods can be anaphylactic shock, which can result in death within minutes. Although she is allergic to egg we don't mind children having products which contain egg as long as she does not consume the said products.

We are asking for the support and understanding of parents as we try to create a safe environment for her within the School.

Her needs have been discussed with the School teachers and unsafe ingredients can be eliminated, without any major change in the current school activities.

As many of you are aware, we have many festivals and fund-raisers where food is available and these are times when we need to be extra vigilant, as even contact with nut residue can cause a reaction. We would very much appreciate if food provided could be nut free if possible, or if there are nut products or foods that may contain nuts, that we are informed of this, so that we can take all the precautions necessary.

We try to create as ‘normal’ a life as possible for Iseult and we very much appreciate your help in this regard.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about food allergy!

Yours sincerely,
Mark & Cliona

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