Allergy Policy and Awareness

 

Introduction

Welcome new parents and welcome back to those of you who are returning. This online resource of policies and procedures was developed and is maintained as part of a joint safety venture between Humbercrest Public School, the Humbercrest Parent Council, SoFun and the Humbercrest Allergy Committee. If you would like to download a PDF version of this material, get the digital handbook here.

Whether your child has allergies or not, we urge you to read it carefully and review it annually as it contains important safety information for all children attending Humbercrest.  We know there’s a lot of reading to do when you’re getting your child started in school so we’ll get right to it!

Allergy Statement

Humbercrest is a NUT-FREE/ALLERGY-AWARE SCHOOL.

With over 700 families in our community, the only way for us to succeed in providing a safe environment for all is with your help.

Please vigilantly respect our nut-free environment and watch out for one another.

Objective

To support the well-being of students with life-threatening allergies by raising awareness of the importance of preventing cross-contamination and the implementation of protective procedures to that end.

Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan

In accordance with Sabrina’s Law, all children at Humbercrest who suffer from life-threating allergies are required to have an individual Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan. The plan for each child is kept in the main office as well as the child’s classroom, the library and high-risk areas such as the music room and the lunchrooms. The plan details what the child is allergic to and what to do in the event of an exposure. Parents of children with allergies with unknown severity should also complete the form.

In addition, students on field trips will now be asked to carry a copy of the plan in their backpacks or lunch bags.

Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan sheets are available from the school or via Food Allergy Canada and can be downloaded here.

Epipens

In addition to carrying their own EpiPens, students that require them are asked to provide one Epipen for the office and, if possible, one or two for their classroom at the beginning of each school year. There are a number of waistpack options available on the market including a free one through Epipen.ca that fit small children.

Note: Getting very young children used to wearing a waistpack can take some time at the beginning of the school year. Work with your child’s teacher if this is an issue for your family. You may want to practice for a few days with an empty waistpack. Talk to your child about the importance of having an Epipen and remind them that it is not a toy. If you feel that your child is not ready for this responsibility, speak to their teacher.

In addition to being available in the classroom and office, extra Epipens are carried by lunchroom supervisors and monitors.

Staff and Volunteer Training

In accordance with Sabrina’s Law, teachers at Humbercrest complete an annual anaphylaxis training program online. Training will also be completed by lunchroom supervisors, monitors and lunch program volunteers. The training can be completed at the link posted below and we urge parent volunteers to complete this training as well.

http://www.eworkshop.on.ca/edu/anaphylaxis/sc01.cfm?L=1

Awareness

An allergy awareness campaign will take place each September. This will include presentations during divisional assemblies where we will discuss the basics of allergy safety, recognizing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, student protocol in the event of an exposure, Epipen use and our poster, placemat and button and teal ribbon.

Posters will be supplied for each classroom. Posters in kindergarten rooms will be reviewed to highlight important details for this age group.

A live training presentation will also be made available to staff, ECE’s, volunteers and lunchroom supervisors annually.

Classroom Procedures

An annual review of student allergies per classroom will be conducted each September.

A letter will be sent to parents outlining which life-threatening allergies exist in the classroom.  We ask that you take great care in reading this information and avoid sending those foods in your child’s lunch.  Keep in mind that nuts or nut containing products of any kind are always prohibited.

Parent/Student/Caregiver Responsibilities

(a) All parents, students, caregivers and volunteers should review the Allergy Awareness poster attached to this document.  Parent volunteers at our food events and field trips should also familiarize themselves with our allergy placemat and allergy button.  If you have a secondary caregiver or grandparent preparing snacks/lunches or volunteering, don’t forget to provide them with this information.

(b) Reading Food Labels — read ingredient lists carefully and thoroughly.  Please do not send any food that contains nuts or that has a “May Contain” statement referencing nuts of any kind.  NOTE: a peanut-free symbol does NOT mean a product is also tree nut free.

(c) If your child has a severe allergy requiring an EpiPen, it is highly recommended that you speak directly with their teacher about their anaphylaxis plan and Epipen requirements. It’s important for everyone to understand that no harm comes from administering an Epipen but that delaying can result in loss of life.

We can only ensure safety for all with your help!  Please inform and encourage everyone to be responsible and allergy aware.

(d) Arts and Crafts Materials — please do not donate any packaging for arts & crafts for products containing nuts or with any type of “may contain peanuts or tree nuts” statement. If the product isn’t something that can be sent to school, then the same goes for the empty box/packaging/container.

Food Events

Food Sharing

Food sharing is strictly prohibited at Humbercrest and lunchroom supervisors are asked to monitor this practice but they can’t have eyes on every student at any given time. Please remind your children that this practice is strictly prohibited at school.

Lunch Programs

Our Pizza lunch supplier is Pizza Nova. Pizza Nova has a very sensitive and comprehensive allergy policy. Their pizzas for school lunches are made on separate workstations and handled with extreme care. If you have further questions or would like to confirm this for yourself before allowing your child to participate in pizza lunches, you can reach the head office at: 416-439-0000. They’re always more than happy to talk about their practices.

Outside lunch programs are Real Food for Real Kids and The Lunch Lady. Both have strict allergy policies. Please contact them directly for more information:

www.rfrk.com

thelunchlady.ca

SoFun Events

Our Popcorn supplier is Sugarpop. SugarPop popcorn is 100% nut, gluten and dairy-free. Some of their other items are not allergy safe so proceed with caution if planning an event of your own. You can verify this for yourself by simply visiting their site here: http://sugarpoprentals.com/.

Our Holiday Breakfast pancake mix is Aunt Jemima and the syrup is Aunt Jemima Butter Flavored syrup.

Our Hot Chocolate is Nestle Carnation Hot Chocolate (Rich and Creamy).

The allergy committee works in tandem with the SoFun committee, parent council and administration and will conduct an annual review of all foods purchased and served at these and any additional events throughout the year. 

Bake Sales

If you are participating in bake sales, Cake Walk or any other food programming at Humbercrest please ensure that all ingredients in your baking abide by Humbercrest’s nut free/allergy aware policy. Please label your goods with a list of ingredients. As some of these events fall outside of regular school events, we rely on our community to keep everyone safe. Please take special care to prepare foods on clean surfaces and dishes to mitigate the possibility of allergen transfer from your kitchen and read ingredient labels carefully to ensure no nuts, nut products or “may contain” statements are present. Parents of children with severe or life-threatening allergies may well choose to opt out of such events.

Birthdays

At Humbercrest PS, we believe in the inclusion of all students. As the list of children with life-threatening allergies and other medical conditions grows, birthday celebrations will be held without the involvement of food. This decision will benefit all students as it also eliminates extra snacks that are often sugar laden and disruptive to their learning.

Please do not send food treats for classroom birthday celebrations. Instead, consider donating book or similar item to your child’s classroom. A list of alternative birthday celebration suggestions is included in Section 3 of this booklet.

Food that arrives in the classroom without prior organization and formal notice to parents will not be served. It will either be sent home with the parent or sent to the office for end-of-day pick up.

Food Celebrations and Programming

All other holidays, celebrations and food programming in the classroom will be planned with advanced notice to parents and facilitated either by the teacher or with the assistance of the parent liaison. Any foods that come into the classroom for such events must be fully labeled with a list of ingredients used and, as always, must adhere to Humbercrest’s nut-free/allergy aware policy. Please take special care to prepare foods on clean surfaces and dishes to mitigate the possibility of allergen transfer from your kitchen and read ingredient labels carefully to ensure no nuts, nut products or “may contain” statements are present.  Parents of children with severe or life-threatening allergies should address any concerns with their teacher.

Appendices

Poster

 

Placemat for food events (Breakfast with Santa, first week of school, lunch room, classroom food programming.)

Teal Ribbons for Classroom Door

 

Buttons for First Week of School and Field Trips

 

 

 

Alternate Birthday Celebration suggestions

  • Books for Birthdays. Donate a book to the classroom in honour of the child. Parents are welcome to come in to read the book to the class.
  • Send in a favourite activity for the class to participate in, even during a recess (a specific dance song, some art, finger paints, favourite sport in gym). Please be sure to contact the teacher in advance to arrange this.
  • Bring in something that all the kids can sign as a birthday treat (shirt/sweatshirt/tote bag/autograph stuffed animal, pillowcase etc).
  • Cultivate class community awareness by sending in a supply donation to the class (markers, stickers, crafty supplies, whatever would help the teacher and class community)
  • Birthday child get a featured role in various activities (go first, ‘pick’, etc.)
  • Special birthday badge (favourite colour, animal, sticker, etc.)
  • Class discussion/activity: ‘What words describe how [child’s name] is such an important member of our class community’
  • Teacher collages the words the class comes up with on big paper or white board – sends home (if whiteboard, take a pic!). A decorated box can also be sent into to collect the ideas.

 

Teacher Checklist

Your help in ensuring the safety of all our students is appreciated. Please use this checklist to assist you.

  • Identify students with allergies in your classroom.
  • A letter using the attached template, will be provided to you to send to parents informing them of any life-threatening allergies within their child’s class.
  • Kindergarten teachers (and possibly Grade 1) should use the Allergy Aware buttons during the first week of school and on all field trips. Buttons are supplied and extras are available in the office.
  • Review the Allergy Aware poster with your class.
  • A Teal Ribbon sign will be provided for you to fill out and fix to your classroom door.
  • On all field trips, ensure you have:
    – Allergy Plans
    – Epipens
    – Allergy Aware Buttons (where appropriate)

Letter to Parents

To be sent home to all parents in classrooms affected by allergies. An attachment from Health Canada with information on the specific allergen to be included. Here is where you can find the attachments:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/food-safety/food-allergies-intolerances/food-allergies.html

Dear Parents;

Welcome to another school year! As we all know, there are more and more children being diagnosed with food allergies. This year, there is a student in your child’s classroom that has a severe allergy to ___________ and ___________ products. Any exposure to these items, even a tiny amount, could potentially be very serious and life-threatening. The specific child, their families and the school staff will be responsible to protect these children from consumption of these items. We do ask for the help of our students and families to make the school environment safer. Your assistance will be appreciated for the following:

  • Please wash your child’s face, hands and brush teeth thoroughly before leaving home if your child has eaten any __________ products before coming to school.
  • Note that birthdays are celebrated without food at Humbercrest. For other food celebrations, (ie. holidays), please contact the teacher prior to sending anything in.
  • Please check ALL ingredients on items you send to school.
  • Please remind your child not to share his/her food with others.
  • Please read over the attached information sheet regarding this allergy.

A list of alternative birthday celebration ideas is available in the Allergy Awareness Booklet located on the website [insert address]. Please take time to review the booklet and consult it throughout the year should you have any questions.

Our goal is to ensure a safe environment for all students at Humbercrest. We greatly appreciate your attention and support in this matter. Contact us at allergies@humbercrestcouncil.ca with questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Simona Emiliani                                                                                    _____________________

Principal                                                                                               Classroom Teacher

 

 

Additional Reading

Food Allergy Canada resources for elementary schools:

http://foodallergycanada.ca/programs-services/elementary-school-program/

Sabrina’s Law:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=135

TDSB Anaphylaxis Policy:

http://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Policies-Procedures-Forms/Detail/docId/282

 

In Closing

We’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this booklet and helping to ensure the safety of all students here at Humbercrest. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to address them to the allergy committee at allergies@humbercrestcouncil.ca.

Have a wonderful and safe school year!