Thursday, 12 July 2012

Allergy Angst - starting school

Keani will be starting school in September.  Once upon a time I would be looking forward to the event with a large amount of glee but since Keani was diagnosed with life threatening allergies, the thought of leaving her at school all day makes me anything but gleeful.

I wish I could be one of those mums who has the 'bog standard' worries.  Will my child fit in ok? Will she enjoy it? Will she be bright? Will she be happy?  Of course I have those worries but my main concern is, will the staff keep her safe? Will she be kept away from nuts, eggs and shellfish?  Can I really trust the school to do that?

Anyone with an allergic child knows how I feel.  The majority of people will never understand.  A life threatening allergy is just that - a threat to a life.  Keani could have a trace of nut on her lips and go into full blown anaphylaxis.  On the flip side, of course, she may never face a serious reaction at school.

As a mum I think you always run through the 'what if' scenarios.  My 'what ifs' are probably a bit scarier than most.

I thought I was feeling ok about her starting school.  I thought I was managing the fear just fine.  Turns out I'm not really.

Possibly I'm having a bad week.  I was going to allow her school dinners (the catering service seem fantastic and have assured me no traces of nuts).  However upon speaking to the school nurse team at the Health Centre, they have advised me that it is safer for her to take in her own lunches.  Maybe it is, but the school does not have a 'no nut policy'.  So potentially she could be sitting next to a child with a nutty cereal bar.  Keani is only 4, she knows she shouldn't have nuts, but if she's offered a chocolate coated bar, who knows?

I'm hoping the angst I'm feeling is normal for the mother of an allergic child about to start school.  I'm fairly sure it is.  I'm just so envious of other parents who just have the 'bog standard' worries.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.


  1. My heart goes out to you Lisa. I hope you get the support and reassurances that she needs to keep her safe and you happy. xxx