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Old 17.04.2018, 14:11
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TheSpouse TheSpouse is offline
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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As swisscanmom posted, this is a cultural issue and allergies are taken much more lightly here.

There is practically no culture of:
  • 'always having an EPI pen around' and
  • 'that exposure to a peanut will kill your child'
here as there is in other countries (like the states). This means that you can not assume that you can bring and epi pen and announce that your child has a peanut allergy and expect that the problem will be taken care of (as it mostly would be in the states) because everyone knows about peanut allergies.

Depending on your pediatrician, it may even be that your pediatrician doesn't take the situation as seriously as you wish him/her to (refer to what swisscanmom explained about having it be even difficult to get an epipen prescription). [Please let us know in the forum as I would be interested in what your pediatrician says].

My feeling is that you guys have sunken into a situation in which you each are highly suspcious of each other. You are suspicious that the teacher won't take care of your daughter in a life threatening situation. The teacher and school probably think you are a making a big deal about nothing. If it continues like this, you won't get anywhere as neither of you understand the other's perspective at all.

I would recommend thinking carefully about what exactly is it that you want the kindergarten and school to do and try to acheive these things (without trying to convince them of anything else).

So... what do you want the school to do?
  1. Do you want the teacher to keep an epipen in the kindergarten and be ready and trained to use it? If so, explain this specifically. Tell her it is an easy treatment and you will leave the epipen in the school.
  2. Do you want more epipens in the school? Do you want everyone trained? If so, are you willing to bring more epipens and explain to the staff at a staff meeting? If so, offer this. Tell the Schulleiter, that you'll come to the school and teach them and it'll just take 5 minutes.
  3. What do you want your daughter to eat? Nothing that is brought in? No birthday cakes? Only birthday cakes that the teacher has checked (it sounds like the teacher is asking, but you aren't sure she'll really make sure there are no nuts). Here, I think you need to make decide what you consider to be safe and then try to make a rule together. This should be easy enough for the teacher to enforce. For example, I don't think it is realistic that you be 100% sure that no cake your daughter eats in school has nuts in it). There are too many recipies in Switzerland with nut flour and too big a chance of miscommunication between the baker and birthday party. Again, decide what you want and ask for it specifically.
  4. Do you want anything else? If so, figure out what it is and ask for it.

Because there is no culture of life threatening allergies here, I also think this problem won't be solved by escalating the situation. I don't think you'll, by going to the top, get to someone who will suddenly share your perspective. It isn't likely you'll find a school board member or a schulleiter who will suddenly say "my god, we have to fix our complete culture.' Rather, I think you'll find more and more people who don't share your perspective and you'll continue to find the situation frustrating. Solve the problem with the teacher by focusing on what to do, not by convincing her to see things from your view.

good luck, it sounds like a tough situation
And, by the way, this is one of the most intelligent and informative responses from a newbie that I have read in years. Watch out, Jazh, because you are on the fast track to be a mod. Mark my words!
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