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Old 17.04.2018, 11:20
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Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping of getting some advice here. My daughter has a severe nut allergy which, until she went to Kindergarten, we could manage quite well. I have always brought a nut-safe alternative to Spielgruppe and they have given me a list with birthday's on it, so I knew well in advance when to bake. My daughter was also fine with how it went and did not take food from others as it could have nuts in it and after her anaphylactic shock when she was 2, she got really suspicious of food from others.

Now she is in Kindergarten and seems to have let go of everything written above. We have tried to explain the teacher how severe her nut allergy is, explained the epi pen, antihistamines etc. but the teacher seems really dismissive of it all. In our recent conversation she said yes yes, I know how it works, it's like clicking a ballpoint ... Well no, dear woman! On top of this she said 'well it's not like it's a life threatening allergy is it' Again wrong.. Now after about 5 conversations she still has no clue about the severity of it all and how to work the pen in case something goes wrong. When there is a birthday, she asks the parents if there are any nuts in the cake and if they say no, she is allowing my daughter to have cake. I have tried to explain to my daughter that even though you don't see the nuts, that doesn't mean there are no nuts in the cake (ground almonds or hazelnuts in chocolates etc) but she says, well Frau ... says its ok, so I can then also have cake - which is a normal reaction from a 5 year old and of course she cannot see the consequences yet. So we have tried to take it up with the head of school to ensure teachers get a proper training in allergies and how to handle when she gets an anaphylactic shock but he also seems to think this is not necessary. He is also retiring after this school year, so he basically does not care..

It feels like I am just fighting agains a wall here, I don't feel taken serious and I am getting nowhere. To be honest I am also getting a bit fed up with requesting another talk with regards to my daughters allergy.. Until now everything went well for her and she did not suffer a reaction but people will forget and if you are not dealing with allergies, you are not focussed on the ingredients of food.

Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this as I am getting at my wits end here.
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Old 17.04.2018, 11:24
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

If it could be a language problem/misunderstanding, get a note from her doctor and give her that.

Ridiculous behaviour of the teacher by the way
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Old 17.04.2018, 11:30
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

No, its definitely not a language problem as my Swiss husband has also explained it to her several times, he even showed her how to use the epi pen with a demo version..

I might actually contact the Kinderartzt and ask to send a letter about the severity of it all, that's a good idea!
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Old 17.04.2018, 11:49
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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No, its definitely not a language problem as my Swiss husband has also explained it to her several times, he even showed her how to use the epi pen with a demo version..

I might actually contact the Kinderartzt and ask to send a letter about the severity of it all, that's a good idea!
I'm not generally the type to overreact, but I would escalate this. Write a letter to the Schulbehorde pointing out the problem, and that the teacher has allowed your child to consume stuff that isn't known the be nut free, and attach a copy of the letter from the Kinderartzt.
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Old 17.04.2018, 12:18
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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I'm not generally the type to overreact, but I would escalate this. Write a letter to the Schulbehorde pointing out the problem, and that the teacher has allowed your child to consume stuff that isn't known the be nut free, and attach a copy of the letter from the Kinderartzt.
Thank you for that! I didn't know about a Schulbehorde, I thought the head of the school was the highest we could take it up with.
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Old 17.04.2018, 12:25
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Thank you for that! I didn't know about a Schulbehorde, I thought the head of the school was the highest we could take it up with.
I made a spelling mistake, it's actually Schulbehörde, or in Hergiswil "Schulkommision".

http://www.schule-hergiswil.ch/de/sc...hulkommission/
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Old 17.04.2018, 12:57
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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Thank you for that! I didn't know about a Schulbehorde, I thought the head of the school was the highest we could take it up with.
The highest would be the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne and after that if that also fails the ECHR in Strassbourg.

So it goes like that:

Teacher.
Schulleiter (Head Teacher/Principal). Not in every canton..
Schulbehörde/Schulkommision/Schulpflege. (Officials elected by the public of the commune)
Schulaufsicht (Cantonal institution, in some canton on district level)

The comunes Schulbehörde can issue legal binding verdicts.
You would have object to that at district council or state council (depends on canton see Volksschulgesetz of your canton).
You than can object to that at the canton's administrative court.
Against that you can object at the federal court in Lausanne.
And finally you can go to the ECHR in Strassbourg.
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Old 17.04.2018, 11:55
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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No, its definitely not a language problem as my Swiss husband has also explained it to her several times, he even showed her how to use the epi pen with a demo version..

I might actually contact the Kinderartzt and ask to send a letter about the severity of it all, that's a good idea!
DEFINITELY !!! Should have done that in the first place.

A doctor is an authority that is listened to in this country. Also ask the doc to write the consequences for the school if they don't take this seriously.

I once tried to save the life of a man at a festival who those round about said was having a heart attack. Actually he had eaten a sauce that contained peanut butter and his throat swelled up and he died right there in my hands.
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Old 17.04.2018, 12:04
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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DEFINITELY !!! Should have done that in the first place.

A doctor is an authority that is listened to in this country. Also ask the doc to write the consequences for the school if they don't take this seriously.

I once tried to save the life of a man at a festival who those round about said was having a heart attack. Actually he had eaten a sauce that contained peanut butter and his throat swelled up and he died right there in my hands.
How awful that must have been!! This is my worst nightmare! I will contact the Kinderartzt this afternoon!
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Old 24.04.2018, 10:48
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

In France the creche/school can deny to have a children with allergies. If they have allergies, they must show a medical proof*, then if the creche/school accepts the kid the staff is usually given a basic training on how to deal with an emergency. Although I don't have a kid with allergies, I've seen that they have in the "cantine" where the pre-school kids eat, a list with all the kids names and the info on having or not allergies, and what type of allergies (nuts, egg, etc). Only with the medical proof the "cantine" can request support from the state to request special meals for the kids.

*without an official letter from a doctor, kids with allergies are considered to be vaguely intolerant.

I am not sure how difficult it would be to have an official letter from a doctor testifying that she has an allergy to nuts, but it would probably help a lot. Probably the one in charge of your kid is automatically ignoring how serious it is, because she is expecting to have a doctor's letter if there was really some life-threatening problem. Like Odile says most people don't know the difference between allergic and intolerant.

Good luck!
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Old 04.05.2018, 20:47
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

The Beobachter is a well-known Swiss magazine, in German, about societal issues that are misunderstood, or matters of social relevance that are dealt with poorly.

Here is an article dated 26‎. ‎April‎ ‎2018, in the Beobachter, setting out that allergies can be deadly.
https://www.beobachter.ch/gesundheit...n-todlich-sein

Perhaps, OP, it might help if you took this along to the Kindergarten teacher.
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Old 05.05.2018, 23:40
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

Reading back through...did you get an official direction from your child's paediatrician/allergy specialist, explaining what precautions need to be given, possibly symptoms, and what steps must be taken in case of allergic reaction ? This should have serious weight with the teacher and the school organisation - I would suggestion doing this ASAP and copying it with a polite informative letter to all the staff who have contact with your daughter, as well as the school leader.
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Old 07.05.2018, 17:42
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

I had been watching for my best friend's two girls as they grew up.
One of them is severe Celiac and the younger one is gluten intolerance.
While some people think it's a fad, for some people watching the sufferers almost everyday is really eye opening.
The oldest is so severe that when she accidentally putting gluten containing food in her mount, she becomes projectile vomiting and got severely sick immediately. The youngest one got headache and if she goes for prolonged exposure, you could notice her change of behavior a.k.a she turns into a ball of nightmare.

My other friend (actually my kids' ex principal) was diagnosed celiac at the age of 52. To top of that, he has severe peanut allergy already. Those allergies while we can't see it, are real. I realize some people ended up making the gluten free diet to become a fad, but for some people they are life-threatening.

I am lactose intolerance myself, as a result of a stomach surgery back in 2011. Here's the catch...I could consume dairy product, but CERTAIN type I can't. I could drink cow's milk, but the same cow's milk of different brand I can't. So does with yogurt, cheese, frozen yogurt, ice cream and many more.
Is it a fad? Certainly not, especially after you suffer from stomach cramping you get cold sweat and feel someone twist your guts inside out.

Working in the school increases my knowledge of allergy awareness. Some kids are not yet well aware of that life-threatening consequences of others.
Yes I had a girl who insisted her allergic friend invited her to sit at the allergy table, while she has PB&J sandwich. Really? When she was told that her friend is allergic to nuts, she just shrugged. Of course..your problem, not mine, right? Absolutely not. You wouldn't be happy if something happen to your kids. We take that seriously.
When I do my cafetaria duty, I check home brought kids' lunches if they were invited to the allergy table. Questionable food? Send the food to the nurse, he would check and made calls if necessary.

Sharing this, I realize it makes me sounds so anal, but I don't think we do really need to see a victim first before we could be aware of this thing we could avoid. Yeah, you need to protect your child in any way you can as the advocate. It gets easier as the child grows older.
Get a doctor's letter and raise some voice.

Good luck
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Old 14.12.2018, 01:25
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

This confirms my observations that the Swiss school system is about 50 years behind the rest of the developed world. I have seen some highly incompetent kindergarten teachers in Basel-Stadt this year. I have visited several private kindergartens with the international staff and they seemed to be aware of this issue with the Swiss public school staff. Apparently I was not the first one to complain
I wonder if you managed to convince your family doctor to send a letter, because Swiss family doctors have similar qualifications to the Swiss teachers.


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Hi everyone,

I'm hoping of getting some advice here. My daughter has a severe nut allergy which, until she went to Kindergarten, we could manage quite well. I have always brought a nut-safe alternative to Spielgruppe and they have given me a list with birthday's on it, so I knew well in advance when to bake. My daughter was also fine with how it went and did not take food from others as it could have nuts in it and after her anaphylactic shock when she was 2, she got really suspicious of food from others.

Now she is in Kindergarten and seems to have let go of everything written above. We have tried to explain the teacher how severe her nut allergy is, explained the epi pen, antihistamines etc. but the teacher seems really dismissive of it all. In our recent conversation she said yes yes, I know how it works, it's like clicking a ballpoint ... Well no, dear woman! On top of this she said 'well it's not like it's a life threatening allergy is it' Again wrong.. Now after about 5 conversations she still has no clue about the severity of it all and how to work the pen in case something goes wrong. When there is a birthday, she asks the parents if there are any nuts in the cake and if they say no, she is allowing my daughter to have cake. I have tried to explain to my daughter that even though you don't see the nuts, that doesn't mean there are no nuts in the cake (ground almonds or hazelnuts in chocolates etc) but she says, well Frau ... says its ok, so I can then also have cake - which is a normal reaction from a 5 year old and of course she cannot see the consequences yet. So we have tried to take it up with the head of school to ensure teachers get a proper training in allergies and how to handle when she gets an anaphylactic shock but he also seems to think this is not necessary. He is also retiring after this school year, so he basically does not care..

It feels like I am just fighting agains a wall here, I don't feel taken serious and I am getting nowhere. To be honest I am also getting a bit fed up with requesting another talk with regards to my daughters allergy.. Until now everything went well for her and she did not suffer a reaction but people will forget and if you are not dealing with allergies, you are not focussed on the ingredients of food.

Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this as I am getting at my wits end here.
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Old 14.12.2018, 09:17
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

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This confirms my observations that the Swiss school system is about 50 years behind the rest of the developed world. I have seen some highly incompetent kindergarten teachers in Basel-Stadt this year. I have visited several private kindergartens with the international staff and they seemed to be aware of this issue with the Swiss public school staff. Apparently I was not the first one to complain
I wonder if you managed to convince your family doctor to send a letter, because Swiss family doctors have similar qualifications to the Swiss teachers.

As I posted before. Are you dealing with the teachers in their mother-tongue ? And do you have a direction letter from the specialist/paediatrician directly to the school of what precautions they need to take ? This is how it works in Switzerland. Also, don't take it to the class teacher, take it to the school Principal. They are the ones who need to ensure that a protocol/procedure is implemented across the whole school structure.
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Old 16.12.2018, 19:18
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Re: Kindergarten teacher does not take nut allergy serious

I hope you already have resolved the issue and feeling calmer now. I totally feel for you, I too have a child with severe nuts allergy's (6 nuts!) and i have had and still have sleepless nights worrying about it. Just sharing with you our ways, in the end you have to find a way that put your mind in rest......very early in daycare years, we realised the lack of knowledge in carers/teachers...we used to make a page with my daughter’s foto/name/class with all her allergy informations/medications and detailed instructions of what to watch out and required actions....i have always left an extra epipen in the class room (she has two sets with her all the times) in the day care, i asked them to put the paper up on the wall! in primary schools i gave all teachers a copy (mentioning it in parents evening too) still i remember one or two occasions when teachers gave her a ‘Samichlaus’ bag😳
she is in Gymmi now, we still do the same making personal contact with the head of the school/mensa(restaurant)/carers on the school trips even if it means we have to drive few hours to get to them. But mainly we talked and talked and educated her from the early age that she should not trust anyone in this matter! and she shouldn’t eat anything in school/bdays/school trips etc unless she can read the label herself..... to be honest, i don’t want to trust a teacher’s/someone else’s judgment in what is safe for my kid to eat, for me it is much safer and controllable! if my daughter makes the call ...also we have to prepare them for outside world where you can not trust a restaurant owner advice...

https://www.theguardian.com/society/...lergy-customer

https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-allergy-death

We are going through different phases ourselves, for example currently my dilemma is next year, when they take them abroad for school trips! First times are always scary....

P.s i’m cooking and writing in the same time😏 so forgive the mistakes... wish you all the best
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