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  • June 5, 2014 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 2 Comments

    A School District Food Allergy Thank You!

    Some of you may think that you live in the best school district for managing food allergies. Some of you may think you live in the worst! For us, we KNOW we live in the best district! Many of you have heard me speak about how wonderful our district has been about providing 504 Plans, guidelines, policy and most of all care for food allergy students. Since Morgan recently graduated, we thought it was time to give Academy School District 20 a formal thank you tonight by attending the school board ...

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  • Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

    A friend of ours says that God answers prayers in one of four ways: Yes, No, Not Yet, and Beyond Your Wildest Dreams! When my son, Morgan, started kindergarten in the Fall of 2001, I prayed every day when I dropped him off at school, "God, please take care of my boy!" It was such a part of my routine, and it helped me to be able to walk back home knowing I'd done everything that I could do to keep him safe, including a little prayer humbly asking for help.

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  • Food Allergy, Colds & Other Nasty Bugs!

      When our son, Morgan, was 3 weeks old he was diagnosed with RSV - Respiratory Synctial Virus. It was a frightening illness that landed him in the hospital with oxygen necessary around the clock and nebulizer treatments every 4 hours. The illness lasted for three VERY LONG weeks. Thankfully, Morgan fought through the illness and still gained weight like a champ! Nine months after this occurrence, Morgan touched a peanut butter sandwich, reacted with hives, and we were baptized into the ...

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  • December 5, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    Managing Food Allergies? Mistakes That We’ve All Made!

          Nicole Smith is the Founder of and the author of three best-selling children's books about food allergies. Allie the Allergic Elephant: A Children's Story of Peanut Allergies was her first foray into writing. She is an almost-native of Colorado, and continues to speak and advocate for children with food allergies at the state level and in her school district's Food Allergy Task Force, in addition to writing a blog about living with food allergies on Gina Clowes is an ...

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  • August 27, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 1 Comment

    Why Your Child with Food Allergies Needs a 504 Plan at School

    Through the years, I have received hundreds of emails and phone calls from parents asking if their child with food allergies needs a 504 Plan in school. From my experience, the answer is a resounding YES. Too many parents think that a 504 Plan is only written once things go sour with a school district. That is not correct! Or they think that their Health Care Plan is enough. That may be true, but the sad part is that you'll only know if it's untrue after a serious issue has ...

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  • August 9, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 1 Comment

    What works to keep food allergic children safe in elementary school?

    Since my son, Morgan, is now starting his senior year in high school, we've had a lot of experience with the anxiety of the start of the school year. It's much better now, but I so remember the fear that I might miss something that would be the key ingredient in keeping him safe at school! Hopefully, you have already visited your child's elementary school and let them know (preferably last spring) that your child has food allergies ...

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  • July 28, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    The History of “Allie the Allergic Elephant: A Children’s Story of Peanut Allergies”

      Back in 1999, when my son, Morgan, was preparing to attend preschool, I began the search for an age-appropriate book for him to share with his classmates about his peanut allergies. He also had several other food allergies, at that time, but his contact reactions to peanuts made it the most worrisome. Sadly, there were no children's books about food allergies anywhere. I came up with a wild idea that I would write a little book about peanut allergies that would teach the other preschool children why Morgan wouldn't ...

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  • Kicked Out of College Because of Food Allergies?

    Many of you probably saw the blog post by a young Washington state woman titled, "How I was Kicked Out of College Because of My Allergy." The blog post was taken down, but a local news station interviewed this young woman here. I was horrified and confused how this situation had occurred, especially after the young lady contacted the Disability Services Office of her school. Since my son, Morgan, is now 17 years old and a junior in high school, we have begun the college search in earnest. It ...

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  • Growing Up With Food Allergies

    In December of 2005, when my now 17 year old son, Morgan, was just 9 years old, I asked him if he'd be willing to start writing a column for my Newsletter. We decided to call it Morgan's Corner.  This was before he'd had anaphylaxis to fish on that fateful camping trip. He was still in elementary school, and wasn't yet allowed to self-carry his EpiPen since the law in Colorado was yet to be passed. However he was certainly knowledgeable about his food allergies! He'd ...

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  • March 22, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 1 Comment

    Food Allergies in School: 3 Allergists Answer questions

    Our School District's Food Allergy Task Force wanted to find out what several allergists thought about managing food allergies at school. I sent these three allergists several questions: Daniel F. Soteres, MD MPH is a Board-Certified allergy/immunology physician with offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. He has been in private practice at Asthma and Allergy Associates and Research Center since 2005. Todd Mahr, MD, is a Board ...

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  • March 1, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    Food Free Classrooms – Can You Imagine?

      Wouldn't it be amazing if your child's school removed all food from the classroom? Imagine what that would be like for those students with food allergies! You wouldn't have to worry about a safe snack box; you wouldn't have to worry about snacks at all! No birthday celebrations of cupcakes, no holiday celebrations of buffets of sweets, cookies and candies - no food at all! There was a time, when my son was in elementary school, that such a thought ...

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  • February 21, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    Stock Epinephrine bills in many state legislatures!

    Many state legislatures are currently hearing testimony about "stock epi" bills, which will benefit school children with diagnosed food allergies, and those who haven't yet been diagnosed. Several states, including Virginia, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York, already have stock epinephrine laws in place. Colorado HB 13-1171, concerning the use of auto-injectors in emergency situations in school settings, has recently been passed by the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee  by a vote of 11-2. We have a long way to go to get it through ...

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  • February 8, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    Should your child’s school district have a Food Allergy Task Force?

    We have one, and it’s the greatest group of advocates our school district has ever had to increase education and awareness of food allergies, and to keep children with life-threatening food allergies safe at school. Life Before the Task Force Before our task force was created, each parent of a child with food allergies had to train the teacher and school administrators about food allergies and what accommodations would be necessary to keep their individual child safe. In a district of over 23,000 students, we had almost 300 students with food allergies in ...

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  • January 18, 2013 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    Court cases define Food Allergy as a Disability

    Recent court settlements have determined that a child or student's food allergy is a disability. While I would have cringed several years ago to think that my son has a disability, I now see this as welcome news! Here are the details of the first lawsuit: A lawsuit was filed by Shannon Knudson against Tiger Tots Community Care Center after they refused to accept her daughter with tree nut allergies in to their care because they feared liability. Ms. Knudson claimed that the daycare ...

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  • May 11, 2012 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 5 Comments

    Food Allergy, 504 Plans, Title II and K-12 Schools

    I recently attended a presentation by a Senior Attorney for the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in Denver, about Section 504, Title II and Students with Disabilities in Public Schools. This presentation was made to the MOSAIC support group in Denver, Colorado on  May 7, 2012 in regard to 504 Plans in the K-12 school setting. Information in this blog post should not be used to argue a specific issue that you may have with a school, but is provided here for informational purposes only. The attorney started the talk with ...

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  • Food Allergy & the School Lunch

    The US Department of Agriculture oversees the national school lunch program and has a guidance document here.  On page 25 of this document, it states "The school has the responsibility to provide a safe, non-allergic meal to the child if it is determined that the condition is disabling." Setting forth this statement is one thing - the application of it depends upon educated cafeteria staff, accurate ingredient listings of foods and in some cases good luck! There are many ways to deal with the school lunch. We have opted for ...

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  • Food Allergies, School & a Tragedy

    Sending your child off to school for the first time is difficult for most parents. When your child has food allergies, there can be even more anxiety. Then, hearing about the death of a 7 year old girl at school in Virginia can tip the anxiety over the top! The details around the sad, tragic death of first grade student, Ammaria Johnson, may never be fully known. (Click here for more info about this tragedy.) What is known is that Ammaria never received epinephrine at her school. Her Mom ...

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  • February 1, 2012 Posted on Interviews,School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    Inhalant dairy allergies & a creative solution – a robot!

    Below is an interview with Lauren & her Mom, Melissa. Lauren's inhalant dairy allergies forced a creative solution with going to school! Lauren – can you tell me how old you are and what your allergies are?  I am 14 years old and I'm allergic to all forms of dairy including goat milk. Have you ever gone into anaphylaxis? I have been in anaphylaxis over 40 times. If my EpiPen wears off I need more EpiPen before I reach the hospital. Sometimes I ...

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  • August 4, 2011 Posted on School & Food Allergies, 0 Comment

    The 504 Plan – Is it Necessary?

    There are many schools and school districts that have guidelines or policies for severely allergic children. Some states have mandated these policies; other states have provided guidelines for schools to follow. If you're interested in this type of legislation, please click here. There is a Federal law - the Americans with Disabilities Act - that can provide coverage for your child with life threatening food allergies regardless of where you live in the USA. Every entity that receives public funding (therefore generally not private schools) must adhere to the ...

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