Education On Food Allergies In Schools & Mandatory EPI PEN Training
I wanted to share somethings with our community and wider audience on what Archie's Allergies has been doing 'behind the scenes' on trying to help not only families with children living with allergic disease but schools too.
We started our petition Education On Food Allergies In Schools & Mandatory EPI PEN Training calling on the Welsh Assembly in October 2019 to re-look at the way food allergies are handled in schools across Wales. Something we know is a wider issue also.
Our petition that was submitted states:
" There is currently no law in place anywhere in the UK that offers education on food allergies in schools from primary age and up.
We want to change that! Offering educational sessions in schools will benefit children at risk of anaphylaxis. It will help others to understand food allergies, a medical condition that unless you know someone with this disease you wouldn't be aware of the side effects it carries.
We hope introducing educational sessions on food allergies will also break the stigma around them, eliminate bullying and offer more support to children living with this disease.
All it takes it one touch or one bite and without administering an epi pen you could be faced with a very tragic situation.
Introducing mandatory epi pen training will also eliminate the worry for families living with food allergies. Teachers and school staff will know the vital signs of an allergic reaction meaning anaphylaxis can be spotted sooner.
Archie's Allergies is a new charity offering support, advice and information on the importance of being allergy aware."
I, along with so many other families in Wales and within the UK agree that educating children in primary schools and older will help in keeping our children safer in classrooms and remove the stigma surrounding food allergies as well as reducing bulling.
It gained over 170 signatures and last week (Tuesday 14th January 2020) I went along to the Senedd in Cardiff to meet with the head of the committee and hand over the petition.
It was such an experience that I wish I'd prepared more for it, we chatted for a while and had a photo taken and they answered any questions I had with the next steps.
Along with this I had to reply back to a letter sent from the Minister of Education, Kirsty Williams. She'd outlined the policies currently in place that keep our children included in educational activities and safe in schools. Something we know that doesn't happen on a daily basis, something that has never happened in Archie's school alone, even to this very day I am battling his school over his food allergies.
You can view her letter and my reply HERE.
Tomorrow, it's actually going to be discussed at the welsh assembly and apart from biting my nails over what the outcome will be, I'm scared that nothing will change because it has too. For not only Archie but your children too.
If I could tell you only a third of the things that we've been through as a family, you would wonder how am I sane? Well, I'm not HA! Archie's Allergies came from Archie's schools awful attitude towards food allergies. Since we set the charity up we've come along way.
Our focus changed from solely focusing on how badly schools are to giving support to other families in the same situation, to be that mum you could talk too, to be there on the ground with you. I created allergy badges and stickers and allergy packs for children so they didn't have to worry about telling anyone about their food allergies, so they didn't need to feel different but special instead. To feel empowered by this medical condition and not like there was something wrong with them, because there isn't.
I genuinely believe that it isn't just the children and their families that need support but the schools need it, they really don't know or understand food allergies because they haven't had too and it's never been put it into a training session, teachers are only eps-pen trained they don't know anything else about food allergies.
Archie's Allergies stands for PREVENTION. My son will not be the example used because he tragically died due to someone else's negligence or ignorance, he will be the example of why we have to make positive changes in our schools so these tragedies are less likely to happen.