Welcome to St. Bernard's Elementary
Serving the communities of Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, Mobile, Tors Cove, Burnt Cove, St. Michael's and Bauline
A number of students and staff in our school have allergies to a variety of food and environmental items. These include peanuts, tree nut, split peas, shellfish, fish, kiwi, banana, egg and wheat. Some of these items must be ingested, but many reactions can be caused by simply touching the allergen. For this reason, we ask that you take precautions when packing lunches to ensure there are NO peanuts, tree nuts, eggs (this does not include egg that is baked in), kiwi, shellfish and fish in your child's lunch. In addition to being aware of these food allergies, we also ask that you be mindful of strong scents that may trigger a response in this with asthma and scent allergies. Our goal is always to provide a safe and caring school and we ask that you help us by maintaining awareness and ensuring that all children are safe when they come into our school. Below you will find some useful information regarding anaphylaxis reactions that might help you understand the reason for these restrictions.
WHAT IS ANAYPHYLAXIS?
Anaphylaxis is the word for a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that may be brought on when certain foods are ingested or when contact is made with certain items. Common allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, insect stings, certain medicines and latex. Symptoms can come on quickly and can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth and tongue, redness and itching of skin, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, paleness, anxiety, decreased blood pressure and loss of consciousness. These symptoms are quite serious and if not immediately treated can result in serious complications and even death.
A child receiving treatment for an anaphylactic reaction will immediately receive a dose of epinephrine through either an Epipen or Allerject device and must be immediately transferred to the hospital. All staff members and bus drivers are trained in the use of these devices and the school has an emergency protocol for dealing with such emergencies.
READING LABELS/CROSS CONTAMINATION
It is very important to read packaging before sending any items to school with your child. Just because it says peanut free does not mean that is is tree nut free. Be sure to carefully read the ingredients and not rely solely on the pictures on the front of the box. Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, chestnuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and more. When in doubt as to whether or not it is dangerous, do not send it.
If a product says may contain, it is not safe for a child with the allergy to eat, but it should be fine to be consumed in the presence of these children. However, it is always good practice for children to wash their hands after handling food and to clean the eating surface to avoid contamination.
Be aware that contamination can occur through the use of baking pans that have been previously used for products containing an allergen, through the use of shared utensils and through the lack of sanitation in eating areas.
We encourage parents not to send in treats for the entire class as it poses a risk and can often make an allergic child feel left out. If treats are for a special occasion or holiday, please notify the teacher in advance so he or she can clear it with the parents of that child and perhaps provide an alternate treat. However, when possible, if you must send something, try to think of non-food items as an alternative. Great ideas include pencils, activity books, erasers, stickers or a whole class donation such as a new book or board game.