”There may be trouble, ahead…”

November 18, 2013 7 Comments
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The Anaphylaxis Campaign has successfully lobbied for all schools to be required by law to support pupils with allergies.

As the announcement was made in Parliament, Oswaldtwistle teacher Domenico Sanna said it was great news for youngsters struggling with severe conditions.

But, presumably, not great news for schools, who will now need to draft policy that will, inevitably, err of the side of extreme caution. So not good news for children who will be denied peanut butter sandwiches or bananas or anything else that might trigger an allergic reaction.

Domenico said: “It is reassuring to know this will be guaranteed by law. It is also important systems ensure children are not ostracised because of allergies that they have no control over.

“A wider awareness of anaphylaxis is needed in general as it’s far more serious than an upset stomach caused by a food intolerance.

“Many people don’t know the difference between the two, which can have serious consequences for someone who has the condition.”

I fail to see how since it’s quite a staple of drama shows, and was even used as a murder weapon in David Tennant’s latest offering!

Mandy East, national co-ordinator at the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said: “This decision will bring real hope to many families of children who live with severe allergies and who are struggling to get the support they need.

“But this will need to be backed up with statutory guidance that shows schools what is needed to support children with health conditions.”

I fear that will be interpreted rather differently from what is hoped, thus causing more resentment and ‘special status’ for these children.

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7 Responses to ”There may be trouble, ahead…”

  1. November 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    With Anaphylaxis the essential risk is that a severe hit can kill inside a few minutes. The person affected can never know if the next hit will be severe or not. The really serious issue is if they have a bad hit will those around them understand or realise what has to be done within the few minutes available. It is a 24/7 danger and yes inconvenient for others. One answer is to exclude these cases from schools and provide private tuition. If not then the risks have to be faced.

  2. Voice of Reason
    November 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    My wife and kids are celiacs, but most people seem to think that ‘a little bit won’t hurt’. Nonetheless, we don’t demand that the schools change everything for them. The question that I have is what happened to the allergic kids when I was in school? Did they all die?

    • November 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Anaphylaxis is beyond allergy and is catastrophic systems failure. The answer to your question is yes, some did die.

      • Peter MacFarlane
        November 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        Some.

        How many?

        I went to a school that had more than a thousand pupils and I never heard of this until about twenty years ago.

        I am not suggesting it’s not real, but I find it a real mystery that something has gone from vanishingly, invisibly, freakishly rare to more or less an everyday occurence in just a couple of generations.

        What is going on here?

        • November 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

          Go to Google Scholar for the academic stuff and put in Anaphylaxis with substances. Try Chlorhexidine for one. Recent science and research has made progress. Not so long ago it was very difficult to identify. Also some forms left few survivors to tell the tale or be identified. Any sudden death is often difficult to work out or wrongly attributed.

        • November 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

          Twenty years ago sounds right; I know that in the early 90s, nursing mothers were almost universally advised to treat soreness with a brand of ointment that contained peanut oil. Although the product instructions state firmly that is it for external use only, it would be virtually impossible to prevent the baby ingesting traces of it with the milk at the next feed.

          This is purely personal speculation – and the formulation has, I think, been changed since – but such early exposure to peanut oil may well have affected a sensitive minority. To compound matters, babies with infantile eczema were – and, for all I know, may still be – often treated with a cream containing almond extract which would be rubbed into broken skin or licked off hands.

  3. November 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Gordon Bennett. Yet more jobs for the girls. You can be sure that no men will be getting the jobs boom in the schools as of course it would attract paedophiles.

    Just think also of the career choices for all the little girls in school to look forward to. It used to be “I want to be a teeecher when I grows up”; now it will be “I want to be a Skool Anafalmastic Moniter / Sckool Bully Counsellor / Scowl Sechul Harrismen Patrol Ofisor”.

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