Introducing Your Support Group in the School
This was the presentation used for the monthly School Council meeting where we introduced the Allergy Asthma Support Group and what we were trying to do in the School. The Support Group was within the school and belonged to the School Council. This association with the School Council made the Support Group part of the formal organization and gave them an official voice in meetings and in the school newsletter. We also worked closely with our School Public Health Nurse, who was very interested and supportive.
The presentation was very general in nature, and totally non-confrontational. The approach you use is very important. Note that we are not asking the Council for anything at this point like a peanut-free school or no more bake sales. We are just describing the Group.
Hi. I'm XXXXXX and I'd like to give you just a little bit of background to the Support Group we are starting.
Our child(ren) have severe food allergies. (Name) is in Grade (#) and (Name) is in Grade (#).
During the past few years I have met other parents of Food Allergic children, and we all share the same fears of a serious (or even Fatal) food allergic reaction. We have all taken steps of our own to try and cope with situations where exposures could occur, but we are always running across situations we hadn't thought about and that catch us by surprise.
Over the last year, we decided to form a similar group for parents of Allergic and Asthmatic children at XXXXX School, with the hope that we could focus on the issues specific to our kids in the Elementary School System. That way we could all share some of the strategies we've used to cope with various situations, and could also promote some of the procedures already in place at XXXXX School that some parents are not aware of. That is why we were delighted when the School Council let us form this group as one of their Sub-Committees.
The Principal and staff at our school have always been very supportive of medical concerns when approached by individual parents, but I'm sure it would save them a considerable amount of time if parents were to get together and do a lot of the information sharing among themselves.
I'd like to point out that Alberta has the highest incidence of Asthma in Canada, and also has the highest fatality rate in Canada.
Between one and three percent of children have severe food allergies , with peanut being one of the most deadly, and the numbers appear to be rising. This does not take into account all of the environmental allergies we all hear about that also appear to be increasing in numbers and severity.
We hope that being associated with the School Council, then through information and discussion we can all have a better understanding of the deadly effects of asthmatic attacks and allergic food reactions, and can reduce some of the misunderstandings about these issues.
We will be having a meeting shortly to get the group started, and we invite all parents of asthmatic and allergic children to attend, and participate, and we also welcome anyone else who is interested.
If anyone would like a copy of these objectives of the Group, I have some copies here.