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Old 17.04.2018, 14:37
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

Are the Swiss genes such that they don't have life threatening allergies, at all?

Thinking shellfish and (pea)nut type ones, not complete bollocks ones like gluten.
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:43
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Are the Swiss genes such that they don't have life threatening allergies, at all?
I don't know any who do have such problems.

Tom
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:44
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Are the Swiss genes such that they don't have life threatening allergies, at all?
.
Not at all, they are allergic to having two windows open at the same time. The ensuing draught can be deadly!


Being serious, we got onto the subject of allergies last week and my wife said a work colleague had a daughter with a nut allergy.
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:49
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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I don't know any who do have such problems.

Tom
Insufficient sample size. Next...
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:51
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Are the Swiss genes such that they don't have life threatening allergies, at all?

Thinking shellfish and (pea)nut type ones, not complete bollocks ones like gluten.
At a Swiss christening the baby is not only slam dunked in the font but also has to taste a sample of the gifts the three wise men brought to baby Jesus: Golden peanuts, frankencrabs, and myrrh.

You know what you have to do when they float like a duck or choke on the holly stocks.

On more serious notes: I only know of one single guy which has a serious bee allergy. That's it.
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:06
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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I don't know any who do have such problems.
Presumably because they're all dead!
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:10
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

My sample size in Switzerland is also only one; a person with an allergy to a specific fruit. As in: went into the whole terrifying process right before our eyes, but fortunately had her medication there and could teach those around what to do.

Aside, not intended to derail OP's threat: I have wondered, too, why allergies seem to be known in some geographical areas, and not in others. Seems odd. Could it be to do with the way foods are cultivated? Or with genetics?

As Odile said, unfortunately "allergy" is a terribly over-used word, sweepingly including the range from "I don't like the taste" to "Too much of this gives me an upset stomach" through sensitivity and intolerance, and this weakens the impact.

Other words have suffered this fate, too, such as "'flu" (for any two-day cold), "trauma" (for anything that makes one feel briefly unhappy), and "migraine" (for any headache). I once heard someone use all three in the same sentence: "Seit gestern habe ich eine Grippe, heute noch eine Migräne, und wenn ich nicht jetzt sofort im Wald joggen gehe, kriege ich eine Trauma." (I've had flu since yesterday, today I also have a migraine, and if I don't go for a run in the forest immediately, I'll be traumatised.)

Sometimes the significance can be re-claimed by using other vocabulary. I know someone with MS who, when not taken seriously ("Oh, yes, that makes one feel tired sometimes, doesn't it?") while needing to get the point across in order to achieve something he can't do without, says he has "partial brain damage related to a life-threatening auto-immune disease", and that usually gets people to focus sufficiently.

Perhaps you can ask your doctor to use the corresponding type of sentence in his letter to the school.
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:49
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Are the Swiss genes such that they don't have life threatening allergies, at all?

Thinking shellfish and (pea)nut type ones, not complete bollocks ones like gluten.
Well that is an interesting question indeed. We went to a Lecture on child allergies some time ago- by one of the top Swiss Professors on allergies.
He said the huge majority of his patients are Anglo-Saxon in origin- come from middle class families with VERY careful hygiene (often obsessive) from the start, and mostly with parents who have high educational background. He illustrated the last transparency with a drawing- and there he was, our grandson lookalike and background. Large proportion ceasarian born too.

The Swiss, especially in rural areas, are very relaxed about baby hygiene- have dogs, cats, and if the bread falls on the floor, or the dummy, you blow on it- and give it back to the child. No constant use of anitseptic wipes, antiseptic spray, etc, etc.

When I was at school in the 50s and 60s- I can't remember any child who had an allergy or intolerance- and we had one friend who was asthmatic (in those days a little rubber pump with a glass tube).
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Old 17.04.2018, 16:08
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Aside, not intended to derail OP's threat: I have wondered, too, why allergies seem to be known in some geographical areas, and not in others. Seems odd. Could it be to do with the way foods are cultivated? Or with genetics?
I know someone who did their doctor thesis on allergies. One of the things she said at her presentation was that there are various studies which indicate that some food allergies are cultural.

The most common food allergy in the US is (was, it's 24 years ago now) peanuts. The most common food allergy in CH at the time? Celery.
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Old 17.04.2018, 16:42
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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I know someone who did their doctor thesis on allergies. One of the things she said at her presentation was that there are various studies which indicate that some food allergies are cultural.

The most common food allergy in the US is (was, it's 24 years ago now) peanuts. The most common food allergy in CH at the time? Celery.
It is really interesting. I know one Swiss person with a nut allergy. Small sample could it be because Peanuts are used a lot more in anglo saxon areas? When I was a child, peanut butter was not know here. The only way you ate nuts was at an Apero, salted ones, or at Samichlaus, spanisch Nüssli. The only allergy I knew as a child was hay fever (Heupfnüsel). That's it. Interesting topic!
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Old 17.04.2018, 16:46
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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could it be because Peanuts are used a lot more in anglo saxon areas?
"Prevention may be partly achieved through early introduction of peanuts to the diets of pregnant women and babies."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_allergy

Tom
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Old 17.04.2018, 18:10
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

I met an English, but German speaking, parent a couple of years ago who had 2 children with severe nut allergies. Kindergarten was ok, the teacher was understanding. But the parent was concerned that at primary school the very large playground, limited supervision and lack of commitment from the headmaster to have an epipen trained teacher always within a couple of minutes reach of the child was just too dangerous. She sent the children to ISZL where she was happy with their safety procedures.
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Old 17.04.2018, 18:20
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

This could actually turn into an interesting thread on perception over time, no matter what country you hail from.

I grew up in the 1960's in America and there were a few known allergies at that time. Shellfish and beestings, which made people go to the hospital. Pet dander and pollen which made people have to use antihistamines.

In the 1980's, when my own kids came along, I noticed that the oldest son broke out in a rash when he ate Skittles and red M&Ms. The youngest son broke out in a rash when he was crawling around in the garden helping me plant marigolds. Same son also got a rash if I used a sunscreen with PABA in it. No biggie. Just don't let them eat things with a certain red dye, use sunscreen with PABA or touch marigolds. But, it they did, it was not the end of the world. Nut allergies? Never heard of them.

Fast forward to today and it seems like every other thing is going to kill somebody. I'm no PhD who can tell you why this is, but it certainly makes for an entertaining topic.
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Old 17.04.2018, 18:42
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

I don't know anyone with severe allergies, but folks around me were nursed. I only know grownups here who gradually developped some food intolerance or another, wheat, lactose..those are autoimmune and metabolic issues. I haven't seen so much allergy related problems back in my poorer, simpler home, I wonder why. Since pollution is definitely a concern there, too. Could be a better microbiome? Fewer c-secs? Bfeeding? Home made food? Maybe in the West the environmental triggers play a bigger role, stress, pesticied, processed stuff, the health of the parents before the kids are born..

Where I am here, health issues are taken with pretty appropriate sincerity, the whole teaching team+class get trained by specialists, en cas ou. Maybe OP could also contact the cantonal/commune school nurse, they are dilligent.
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Old 17.04.2018, 18:54
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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"Prevention may be partly achieved through early introduction of peanuts to the diets of pregnant women and babies."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_allergy

Tom
There really is a medical theory back home on introducing all foods before 1st bday - since the cell map is fixed around then, before it starts identifying new foods as unfriendly or toxic. I did, all my friends and family, while nursing was super pushed, so some stuff got passed through bm as well = no allergies. But I never dug into it to know more, it just made sense. There were kids at playgroup here staring at mine, rubbing strawberries, peanuts, kiwis and whatnot around her mouth when she was a few months old. Eggs. Regular cow milk. The no-no choking foods were her favs, grapes, bluberries. Her food was bm, so she thought those colorful things are to poke and suck on.

I know, though, that serious food allergies are deadly, and it does exist here.
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Old 17.04.2018, 18:55
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

Here's another idea I saw work long ago, which might help OP and her daughter.

I knew a child whose asthma was set off by certain food-colouring and preservatives. When he was about four, the parents devised a clever little song, with a dinky melody, and taught him to sing out all the names of those chemicals, and the song included a verse about what might happen to him if he ate or drank any of them.

Whenever he went somewhere for a visit, or when someone brought food along, he would do as taught and get the attention of the adult in charge by singing his little song, looking ever-so-cute. It worked.

The older he became, the less he needed the song and the more he could just say: "No thanks, unless we're sure it doesn't have all those things in it, I'll just have something from my lunchbox." Diabetic childen do the same.

I guess this method would be suitable only for a child who truly believed in the matter, him/herself.
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Old 17.04.2018, 19:00
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

Have you discussed it with the principal?

I had several children with life threatening allergies in my kindergartens. I asked the Schularzt how to handle the pen and we always took the pen with us on outings and also told the parents to not bring birthday cakes containing certain allergens. Thank god nothing happened. I asked the parents of the allergic child to bring some packed sweets or snacks to kindergarten, which those kids could eat instead of the cakes on birthdays. That worked well.

At the school I work now, we have a child with a peanut allergy. Especially during christmas time, there was a sign at the teachers room to wash your hands before entering the hallway.

If the principal does not react appropriately, let the family doctor call him/her.
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Old 17.04.2018, 20:53
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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
This is really helpful! Also the questions that you ask, these are some really good questions to get some information out. I'm so caught up in this that I sometimes not even know what I want, except for my daughter to be in safe hands, if something happens. The thing is, the teacher is drinking coffee in the break so she won't be around when they are having their break and if they are sharing their znüni. There are however some supervisors in the area, but as mentioned before, she cannot say what's wrong until its too late. I can say with a 99% certainty that she is not sharing her food, but it's better to be safe than sorry in this case. So I want to have the teacher trained with the epi pen and if we can do this in a staff meeting, this would be brilliant of course.

I do believe that she is asking the parents as I don't think she would jeopardise a child's life, but if you are not dealing with allergies, you will not scan products on their ingredients and a mistake is quickly made there. For example, smarties, she is allowed to have but the smarties special products like easter eggs or adventskalender, they have again hazelnut paste in it. So someone can think oh, smarties, these are safe, I'll give her these in stead and completely overlook the ingredients, as Smarties were a safe food. Someone also said once to me, oh but if she's allergic to nuts, she can have almonds as this is a nut that's good for you, all the other ones are making your body sour.

With regards to the paediatrician, he's great! We couldn't ask for a better one. He even took time to make sure our other daughter was fine, when introducing peanut butter and nutella. He has also written letters to the airlines, explaining the severity of her allergy and why its vital she is having her epi pens with her at all times. So I have no doubt he will write this letter to school. The allergist from the hospital is not so good though. The general rule there is, the won't do an oral test, before the age of 8 as it makes no sense to them.

You are right that it is not a specific kindergarten problem though. It is at the moment just relevant for us and I hope when she's older, she can recognise the signs herself, so she's able and trained to administer the epi pen herself, which she is not able to do herself. For example, if she breaks out in hives, she thinks a mosquito has bitten her.. Some training is still required for her to recognise the signs
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Old 17.04.2018, 21:36
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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I don't think it is much about poo-pooing the facts of allergies as much as it is fear of the responsibility in recognizing what is happening and taking correct and appropriate action.
Exactly! I think the teacher should know what to do in case some nuts are in the cake and if our daughter is showing signs of an anaphylactic shock.
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Old 17.04.2018, 21:52
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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For the OP, Jazh has got it exactly right. It is not just Switzerland, but all of Europe and, really, all of the world except for the US that do not believe that food allergies are real. ...
Erm... Not totally sure about that. In our theatre group, we've had on occasion a non-US child with a severe peanut allergy. While there are a few Americans among us, we're mostly not American, yet we took the issue very seriously. To the extent of banning peanuts and food containing peanuts from the rehearsal rooms and backstage at the theatre. I think in the UK now, (real) allergies are recognised and treated seriously.

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It is really interesting. I know one Swiss person with a nut allergy. Small sample could it be because Peanuts are used a lot more in anglo saxon areas?
Note that a peanut allergy is one thing and a nut allergy is another. People can have both, or either (or none), but the allergen in peanuts is not the same as in nuts. Mainly because peanuts aren't, botanically speaking, nuts at all.
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