Posts Tagged ‘education’

Plea to parents over schoolgirl s peanut allergy
An allergic reaction has ruined a Victorian girl’s first day of prep school.

Little Amelie had a very severe allergic reaction after playing with another child who had been in contact with nuts.

The little girl developed a terribly swollen and puffy face – a common symptom of nut allergies – and was sent home early on her first day of school.

A photo of Amelie’s reaction has been shared more than 20,000 times on Facebook. The pic is above.

Natalie Giorgio

13 year old Natalie Giorgio died after eat a Rice cookie made with peanut butter

Amelie’s mother has urged parents to stop packing nuts in lunch-boxes amid fears a child will die. It is a call we are glad to back, for reasons that will become clear. Her mum said;

“Amelie is anaphylactic to peanuts and although she didn’t eat her fellow students peanuts, simply played with another child who had snacked on peanuts during lunch,” she said in a warning to parents on Facebook.

“Peanut oil stays on the skin and is easily rubbed into the eyes or mouth. A simple sharing of pencils or a game of ring-a-rosy is all you need to pass on the nut oil. I sympathise with parents of children who are allergy free, that it’s difficult to remember not to pack nut-based snacks for school. But please, this message is from one of those annoying parents of a child with anaphylaxis, because I don’t want my child to die. Like Amelie, who loves to eat all nuts / tree nuts (just not peanuts) perhaps this very nutritious snack of nuts is better left for home.”

Amelie has since, thankfully, made a full recovery. But it could have been terrifyingly worse.

Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick

Just half a cookie made with peanut oil killed 19-year-old Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick

As you can see from the cases quoted here, allergies can be murderous at any age. As our family knows all too well.

In the Wellthisiswhatithink world, Ms Wellthisiswhatithink Jnr was born 1,000 times more allergic to egg than the average human being. For her entire life thus far, at least until the allergy started ebbing away somewhat thanks to the attention of a naturopath – read that amazing story here – her mother and I – and her, herself, of course – have had to exercise rigorous vigilance to prevent her ingesting even tiny amounts of egg that could kill her.

She goes everywhere, even to this day, with an Epi-pen to deal with any anaphylactic attack.

But that wouldn’t be too hard, would it, avoiding egg?

Cookies, breads, scones, wine that’s been clarified with egg white, cakes, cake topping, fudge, pies, ice cream, protein drinks, pastries, pancakes, custard, crackers, mayonnaise, sauces, fried rice, egg noodles … I could (and nearly did) go on, but you get the point …

(And try explaining it to an “ethnic” non-English speaking restaurant’s waiting staff, just quietly … we got quite skilled at that.)

The dangers of eating peanuts in takeaway meals was highlighted two years ago by the tragic death of student Emma Egerton. The 18-year-old from Sale, Greater Manchester, who had a severe nut allergy, ordered a chicken tikka korma through a website, unaware that it contained peanuts. She suffered a severe allergic reaction after one mouthful, was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived and died later that night.

The dangers of eating peanuts in takeaway meals was highlighted by the tragic death of student Emma Egerton. The 18-year-old from Manchester, who had a severe nut allergy, ordered a chicken tikka korma through a website, unaware that it contained peanuts. She suffered a severe allergic reaction after one mouthful, was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived and died later that night.

Nut allergies are more common than egg, especially peanuts. It really seems very sensible for schools to ask parents to avoid putting them in kids’ lunch boxes. it’s a tiny dietary imposition which could well save lives.

If you agree that nuts should be kept out of lunch boxes, may I suggest you write to your local school? And if you’ve got kids at school, just adopt the restriction yourself, of course? Sure, it’s mildly annoying, but not as annoying as a dead kid.

Amelie, and many others, will thank you.

If ordering take away food, be damn sure you state “no peanuts” explicitly if you need to. Research shows they are often substituted for other, more expensive nuts, such as almonds. And if someone passes you a snack, just politely refuse unless you can read the packet.

Meanwhile, here’s an excellent resource for parents:

Deep in the last millennium, Dear Reader, your fearless reporter scraped a mediocre degree in English and Theology at a then rather unprepossessing English red brick University. The fact that it is now one of the top educational institutions in Europe makes my CV look much better than it really should.

Scraped? Mmhmm. Too much time altogether spent on ale, women, song and politics

Today, the fruit of one’s loins fronts up for a double Science and Arts degree with Distinctions in both. One of only four people in her year to attain that honour. She has simultaneously achieved maturing into a kind, unassuming and well socialised individual with a great bunch of friends, and a new role as Artistic Director of her own Improv troupe, appearing in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Am I impressed? Hell yes I am! Just as I am impressed by the cheery optimism of all the young people I see around us today.

Something happens, sometimes, as we live our lives. We forget the “I can do that!” attitude that comes naturally in youth. Today, the middle aged audience around me is buzzing with pleasure and excitement at the success of their children and grandchildren. Let them remind us all that with belief and application anything is possible.



After writing yesterday’s blog, for which I have copped some praise but also a lot of furious criticism, it struck me that the hugely popular Hunger Games is really a fable about the triumph of the human spirit over fascism, wrapped up in a mythological society and love story that it’s mainly teenage audience can grasp.

If you’re a fan of the books, or the films, here’s the trailer for the next movie, which has been released now even though the film isn’t out till Nov 22. Presumably we’ll have a bunch more by then, a la the Twilight series. Sometimes it feels like we’ve seen the whole movie by the time it ends up in theatres.

Anyhow. Enjoy. And ponder…

I think this is a meaningful, timely and heartfelt article that we would all do well to read. I urge you to click the link below, right now:

Grinding poverty, poor social provision, perpetual disadvantage. These are the unseen people, and they are our children. Unseen, not because we can’t see them, but because we don’t look. We choose not to look. We look away.

This is what America’s election in 2012 should be about, not pettyfogging issues of who gets a tax break, who pays for a woman’s contraception, or all the other nonsense.

This is a FACT. Millions of American children are abused, or are injured or die unnecessarily, or remain essentially uneducated, or have basically zero life opportunities, in the world’s wealthiest nation.

The world’s WEALTHIEST nation. Consider this simple NCCP stat: 21% of children in the U.S. live in families that are considered officially poor.

Oh yes, and the average age for the sexual exploitation and trafficking of a runaway child in America is 13.

Well done, Val, keep it up.