Oaktree Newsletter

Friday, January 8, 2016

January Schedule

There are plenty of scheduling anomolies this month so we want you to be in the loop:
  • Wed. January 13th-Late Start/School starts at 10:20 am for students
  • Monday January 18th is a teacher work day/NO SCHOOL for students
  • Wednesday January 27th and Thursday January 28th are half days in AM/School starts at regular time and kids are dismissed at 12:10pm.
  • Friday, January 29th is Record's Day/NO SCHOOL for students

Kids With Food Allergies

Some of you are aware that we have students who attend Oaktree Elementary who have severe food allergies. In the coming days I want to take time to educate all parents about this issue and maybe help bring some awareness to the topic.

I think one of the most powerful ways to build understanding is through personal narrative, so I will start by sharing the story of my son Brendan. Brendan is my oldest child and he is a 4th grader. When he was a baby we noticed he had lots of eczema on his face and body. His pediatrician ordered blood work and when that came back we found he had allergies to dogs, cats, dairy, eggs, and peanuts. Our pediatrician warned us that the peanut allergy was his most severe and that would mean major life changes for us. We proceeded to control what we could control and communicate first with daycare, then with school as he grew. Basically every time we joined a new group, we communicated information about Brendan so that they would know and could help us keep him safe. When Brendan was 5 we moved to Oregon and he had never had a reaction. We are not the type of parents to build a bubble around our kids, so we participated in all the regular things kids do including Halloween. That Halloween we had a great time and returned home around 8pm. We sorted through his candy like we always did and thought we did a good job. We were wrong! Brendan ate a small chocolate eyeball with peanut butter inside of it. Within minutes Brendan's body began rejecting it. He broke out with hives, his tongue and lips swelled, he vomited uncontrollably, and his face started turning blue due to his airway's closing. Did I mention that this all happened after we administered his epipen? We preceded to call 911 and first responders arrived within 5 minutes, hooked him up to an IV of Adrenalin and benedryl. Brendan's symptoms started to subside and by the time we reached the hospital he was sleeping. The ER doctor told me after he examined Brendan that he had experienced an anaphylactic allergic reaction, that there are six steps to an anaphylactic allergic reaction and that Brendan had experienced five of the six. The only one he did not was heart failure. Had first responders not arrived when they did, things might have been way worse!

Brendan obviously ended up being fine and thankfully has not had another reaction. The reason I am sharing this with you is that food allergies are not a choice and can be dangerous. They also have an emotional impact on the person experiencing them forever. They are essentially to people who have them as kryptonite is to Superman.

If you ever have questions please feel free to ask. I have also included a link below which has some information that might be helpful to you.