At Dundurn School we are committed to provide a safe environment that is inclusive for all children. In common with most other schools, we have a number of children with nut allergies. The purpose of this page is to give families the information they need to support us in providing a safe and inclusive school.
Why ‘Nut Aware’?
Dundurn School is ‘Nut Aware’. We do not describe the school as being ‘Nut Free’ because we can’t guarantee that students or adults have not brought nuts, or traces of nuts, into the building.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life threatening. Approximately 1-2% of Canadians live with the risk of an anaphylactic reaction. Food allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis. The most common food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, egg and milk products. Anaphylaxis can affect multiple body systems. This can range from skin inflammation to anaphylactic shock, which is an explosive over-reaction of the body’s immune system. This can be characterized by swelling, difficulty breathing, abdominal cramps, circulatory collapse, coma and, ultimately, death.
Source: Anaphylaxis Canada
It is our responsibility as a school community to avoid exposing students with allergies to the products which could start an allergic reaction. This means that we take great care to avoid any products that could contain allergens in our school snack program and other food items that are brought into school. We ask parents to exercise care when preparing lunches to carefully check labels and to not send any products which contain nuts, or traces of nuts. We also ask that families exercise care when baking for snack or fundraisers.
The best treatment for food allergies is prevention. However our staff are trained to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction and, if necessary, deliver the medications which help to reduce the reaction. When an incident of anaphylaxis occurs, first responders will be called, as well as the parent of the child.
What if my child has peanut butter for breakfast? Could this cause an allergic reaction for another child at school?
The answer is ‘Yes’. Children should thoroughly wash hands and brush their teeth before coming to school.
Are the peanut butter alternatives, such as ‘Wow Butter’ safe to send to school?
There are several peanut butter substitute products which do not contain common allergens, however we ask that parents exercise caution with using these products as they are difficult to distinguish from peanut butter and may cause confusion, or even anxiety, for students with allergies.
There are many websites which list nut-free and allergen-free products. These can be reached with a simple Google search. However, families should still carefully check labels.
The file below is information shared by Saskatoon Health Region public health nurse, Carolyn Hoppe at our October 4th, 2012 Epipen / Twinject staff training session.