Please contact the office if your child will be absent or late. Call the attendance line:
403-817-3536 ext. 1.
It is imperative that the school be made aware of any medical conditions (e.g. allergies, diabetes, epilepsy), which may impact your child’s safety or functioning within the school. This way we will be able to assist your child appropriately in the event of an emergency. Parents should also be aware that school personnel are not authorized to dispense medicine.
From time to time students become ill or injured at school. When this occurs, a staff members certified in standard first aid will assess the students’ state of health to determine a plan of action. If it is a minor issue, students can rest in the nurse’s room for a brief time until he / she is able to go back to class. When a student is too ill to return to class, parents will be contacted and expected to make arrangements to come to the school and pick up their child. An ambulance will be called if deemed necessary by staff.
A public health nurse works closely with our school to ensure children are protected against certain communicable diseases and to answer any questions parents or staff may have about health in children. The nurse is also involved in health promotion activities, which address the health needs of our school and community. The nurse comes to our school on a regular basis, but is also available for consultation.
Nutrition and Allergies in the School Environment
Consistent with Administrative Regulation 6002 - Student Health Services and Administrative Regulation 3047 - Nutrition, Buffalo Rubbing Stone School encourages students to make healthy eating choices. Within a comprehensive school health framework, students learn about active living, healthy eating, and treating others respectfully. Parents support this work by helping ensure children are able to choose healthy food options at home. We ask parents to refrain from sending high sugar treats, such as cupcakes or chocolate, to celebrate birthdays. Birthday celebrations are primarily family events.
Please do not send lunches or snacks containing peanuts, nuts or nut by-products.
What’s The Issue? We have children at school this year who are allergic to nuts and related nut products (as well as other food items). The specifics and the severity are different for different children. While there are other causes of allergies (wasps, pets, lilacs), the Anaphylaxis Handbook for School Boards says: “Peanuts and nuts are the most common allergen causing anaphylaxis in school-aged children. The Ontario Coroner’s office reported seven deaths of school-aged children from allergic reaction to peanuts, tree-nuts, or sesame seeds between 1986-1991.”
What is Anaphylaxis? Anaphylaxis is the medical term for allergic shock. An allergic reaction to peanuts and nuts can be any or all of the following: tingling in the mouth, hives, itching, flushed face, and body, swelling of eyes, lips, face, and tongue, tightness in the throat, mouth, and chest, difficulty breathing and swallowing, wheezing, coughing, choking, vomiting and stomach upset, dizziness and unsteadiness, loss of consciousness, coma and death. Some individuals can react to traces of peanuts or other substances.
What Do These Families Do About It? These households obviously must control the foods that they buy. Parents have to educate themselves, their children and friends. A big responsibility lies with the child. All of them have known the seriousness of their allergy for quite some time. They have been taught by their parents and caregivers never to accept food from others and to not share food with their friends. In addition to the obvious (eg. peanut butter), these children must remember to avoid foods that may contain peanuts, almonds, by-products etc. such as granola bars, cookies, candy. It's important to note that their friends have been some of their best allies by remembering not to have foods around containing peanuts. Most, if not all, carry EpiPens (pre-filled adrenaline syringes), some also wear medic-alert bracelets. This medication is safe and effective, but may need to be given quickly. These children know that it is their allergy and that they have to learn responsibility for it; but, like all small children responsibility evolves over time.
What’s So Special About Peanut Butter? The particular problems with peanut butter comes from its popularity with the rest of us and from its sticky texture. It’s fairly obvious to even a young child how to avoid certain foods. But peanut butter gets left behind on desks, door handles, plates, knives etc. It’s hard to clean up. It doesn’t dry up.
Why Not Just Ban Peanut Products at School? The Calgary Board of Education policy reflects the fact that trying to ban peanuts, nuts and related products from schools is unrealistic. It would be impossible to demand or guarantee compliance. Even with complete co-operation, it’s too easy to make a mistake, given the wide range of affected foods. A ban could give staff, parents, other students, and most importantly the allergic child, a false sense of security. These children must learn to take responsibility themselves to live in the world. The world is not peanut-free.
What is the School Doing? It is important that adults at the school know who these children are and what to do if there is a problem. We have “picture gallery” posters with pictures of these children. In the office there is a special file drawer with medications and instructions for each child. Teachers and other staff have been trained to recognize symptoms and administer medication. When we have in-class food served it is provided by the teacher and the allergic child brings his/her own snack. Parents are asked to avoid peanuts, etc. from recess snacks. In the lunchroom, we ask that peanut butter not be eaten or that a peanut butter substitute (pea butter or soy butter) be used. We work towards educating our whole school community. Friends and classmates are willing and able to help.
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation in creating a safe environment for our children. For further information or questions, feel free to call the school.