Playground bullying vs. teasing

April 28, 2007 at 10:51 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, education, food, kids, nut-free, Products, safety, school, social issues)

There have been a lot of blog posts in the allergic community lately about kids bullying allergic classmates.

This calls to mind a post I left on a local message board over the weekend, about being teased. Here’s an excerpt:

being made fun of

 

Submitted by lmharmon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:09 pm

 

Take this for what it’s worth, but being made fun of can be so character-building. I’m not saying it’s something I’d seek out for my kids, but it’s not the end of the world.

I was at least a foot and a half taller than every second grader at my new school, the beginning of second grade. Add to the fact that I had (first) buckteeth and then (worse) a headgear. I was called Radar Head, and openly attacked physically by little boys on the playground that were intimidated by my size.

Amazingly, I quickly made friends and endured the teasing with no lasting damage. I only recently even remembered being called Radar Head. I do remember the teasing a neighbor boy got on the bus for taking up for me! They accused him of being my boyfriend! Rolling Eyes Embarassed Very Happy

Oh, did I mention my mother dressed me funny? Knee socks and tartan skirts and other very feminine clothing, for me, the total tomboy. It was a nightmare.

But I actually enjoyed school a lot, became one of the most popular kids in school, was a cheerleader, etc.

The whole time, I was taller than everyone, and went through not only the headgear, but a functional appliance, braces, etc.

…I think I was the living dictionary of “awkward stage” all through those precious years.

My point being, on this topic, that being teased is something that will happen to most kids (some of us more than others!), and I think we actually grow from the experience.

As the mother of a child with peanut allergy, I have been called “Peanut Lady” in a moment of insensitivity by an administrator at my son’s school. Again…an opportunity for growth on my part, and education for him. (He was immediately apologetic, but how revealing that slip was of his heart, at least at that moment.)

The reason I post this today is because I want to make something crystal clear: teasing is not the same as bullying. Bullying can employ teasing, but name-calling and rough-wrestling (which is probably outlawed now that kids aren’t typically free to skin their knees on the playground) are common parts of child development. Most kids will be on both sides of that experience at some point before they begin adolescence. They had better be!

Bullying takes teasing too far. Bullying takes the wrestling and makes it mean. It is a kid who is three times bigger, and old enough to know better, pushing another kid around. It is the little girl who knows that the special needs child in her school is mildly retarded, who still openly mocks and makes fun of the differently-abled child. Words and actions can be used mildly, or they can be abusive.

Bullying is abusive. Teasing really is not.

If my kid gets called Peanut Boy (not likely at his current school), then that’s teasing, right? But if someone holds a peanut butter and jelly sandwich over his head unawares, that’s not teasing. That’s dangerous. And then we’re getting into bullying issues.

Personally, I think life is too short for bullying amongst adults, but even that occurs. I have experienced it with food allergies, very often. People are sometimes openly resentful that we do not eat nut products (why they take this personally, I will never know), sometimes passive-aggressive about it, testing us and trying to get us to “slip” and eat something that might endanger our nursing child, or via contact, cause a reaction in Sam. Why do they do it?

I can only presume it is for the same reason the playground bully chases a classmate around with a handful of peanuts in his hand: it’s a short-term power trip without thought for the long-term ramifications on others.

sam042607.jpg

Sam models his Nut Free Zone hoodie.

iamloved.jpgcutelittlesamallergyshirt.jpg

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“Care” provider

April 25, 2007 at 7:03 am (kids, shots, social issues)

I am my child’s advocate. Responsible for teaching them, guiding them, loving them, nurturing them, disciplining them, and, yes, protecting them, I believe I have reasonable expectations from my children’s physician. I expect a physician and his staff to be kind, caring, patient, and helpful. That’s about all I expect.

Suffice it to say, we are in a situation where that trust has been violated. Not by a direct act of the Dr., but by the direct acts of one particular staff member. This staff member is so troubled, that since I alerted management about the situation, she has become even worse.

Their response to us was basically “so what?”

That’s…bad business, at best, bad medicine, definitely. But this woman’s response…? Pick up any psychology text book, turn to “sociopath,” and there you’ll have it.

I feel sorry for her, for the whole organization, which proudly posts a sort of Code of Ethics that they obviously don’t adhere to.

In that vein, the one time I have seen “my” allergist, he referred to me as What’s Her Face in conversation with a staff member in the hallway. I should have known then that patients aren’t people and don’t deserve respect, in this practice. But I forgave it. I actually didn’t realize he was talking about me.

I suppose the thing that really screams RED FLAG is that we expected to be treated with civility and respect by everyone in that office. We did not expect to be run down, either behind our backs or in front of our faces. The woman mentioned previously mistreated my son, lied to me, and now is absolutely scary to be around. Well, she was always scary but now she is really Scary Mary, if you know what I mean. The corporate culture in that place is sick.

And I don’t go to someone who is sick to help me get well, you know?

I want to stop going there immediately, but we are waiting for insurance options to open up. Sad, isn’t it? And believe me, they understand that they’re the only allergist in town. It completely affects their “care.”

I’ve never been treated this way in my life. I have to pray before every visit into their offices. The kids have to pray. We have to pray for strength to make it through.

I just don’t think it has to be like that.

Additionally, I was disturbed that this situation was treated so dismissively by the same of group of doctors that manufacture and sell the air filters I promoted and had begun to sell from my website. I was so impressed with these air filters that I was willing to get into the business of selling them.

Now that the intregrity of their medical practice has proven to be what it is, I certainly can’t stand behind their consumer products. The whole idea just makes me sick.

I realize that medicine is a business, just like anything else. However, if the lady at the counter at McDonald’s is hateful, the manager will do something about it. Not for “revenge,” (which is the word their manager used to describe our concern – how caveman is that?), but for common decency, common sense, and for the betterment of the out-of-line employee as well as the health of the business. That’s the selfish side of customer service – I will take care of the business for the business’ sake, and by doing so, I must take care of the customer.

In a more sophisticated market, such as real estate, law, accounting, and, yes, medicine, a higher level of professionalism than what one finds at McDonald’s is expected.

Sadly, I’ve had better customer service there – and I rarely even go there – than I got from our allergist and his team. We went out of our way to make sure they understood our hearts. We were called liars, and they currently “work around” the problem. The work-around isn’t working, though. You can’t work-around the culture they’ve empowered and encouraged by condoning such abuse. Period.

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If your child has peanut allergy, he/she may react to SOY, as well

April 22, 2007 at 12:46 pm (Allergy News!, asthma, Blog & Websites, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, Science, soy, tree nut, USA, Websites)

Dear AllergyKids’ Friends,

Soy Induced Anaphylaxis in Children with Asthma and Peanut Allergy
As many of you know, soy is one of the top eight allergens. What you may not know is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction after eating a food that contains soy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Resource Center.

How could soy cause an allergic reaction in my child with peanut allergy?
In scientific terms, soybean allergens are “homologous” to known peanut allergens and can be recognized by 44% of peanut-allergic patients.

What that means is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction and even go into anaphylaxis after eating soy. Because this cross-reactivity is rarely mentioned in the press, many parents are unaware of the potential health risks that soy may present to children with peanut allergies.

What are the Signs of a Cross-Reaction to Soy?
According to Ingrid Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, these deaths initially appear as an asthma attack, with no or very mild symptoms for the first 30-90 minutes after the consumption of food containing soy. Then, the children suffer fatal asthma attacks.

What Can I Do to Protect My Child with Peanut Allergy?
According to Dr. Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, “If your child is allergic to peanuts, you should consider eliminating soy as well as all peanuts from your child’s diet, even if your child has never reacted poorly to soy in the past. Some sensitive children have “hidden” soy allergies that manifest for the first time with a severe – even fatal – reaction to even the low levels of “hidden” soy commonly found in processed food products. Those at the highest risk suffer from asthma as well as peanut allergy.”

The Swedish National Food Administration study analyzed severe food allergy reactions of children that died after consuming soy. These children had known allergies to peanuts but not to soy.

What products contain soy?
Soy can be found in soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, baby formula and other soy products.

Soy is also used in many processed foods, as soy lecithin, soy lectin, soybean oil and other soy derivatives.

Soy is commonly used as animal-feed in livestock.

It is only within the last nine years that soy has become one of the top eight allergens.

Soy has recently been genetically engineered to contain new proteins and potential allergens.

Are there other facts that I may not know about soy?
According to Daniel Sheehan, PhD and director of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) National Center for Toxicological Research, soy-fed babies are taking part in “a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment.”

The British Dietetic Association now warns parents to avoid soy formula given the results of a 2003 study conducted by Dr. Gideon Lack from St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK.

The French Food Agency will soon require warning labels on all soy foods, soy formulas and soy milk so that consumers will be aware of the risks that soy poses to children under the age of three, those with hypothyroidism, and women with a family history of breast cancer.

In January 2006, the American Heart Association reversed its position on soy.

Why haven’t I heard this before?
AllergyKids is one of the first independently funded food allergy organizations in the world. We highlight all food allergy research that relates to the health and well-being of children and their families.

Being independently funded, AllergyKids is able to avoid conflicts of interest that funding ties may present – the importance of which is detailed in the work of Dr. Susan Linn of Harvard University and Marion Nestle, former editor of the Surgeon General Letter on Nutrition and Health.

What can I do to learn more?
AllergyKids would like to highlight the work of Kaayla Daniel, PhD. In her book, The Whole Soy Story, Dr. Daniel details the cross reactivity between soy and peanut, specifically addressing in detail the risks that soy poses to children with peanut allergy and asthma.

In the United States, the Weston A. Price Foundation is spearheading efforts to address children with peanut allergy who were fed soy as infants and toddlers.

What else can I do?
If you believe that the consumption of soy products or soy formula may have played a role in the development of your child’s food allergies, please contact:

Sally Fallon, President
The Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20016
Phone: (202) 363-4394
info@westonaprice.org

How can I support AllergyKids’ Independent Research?
To support AllergyKids’ independent research, even if you don’t have a child with food allergies, please consider purchasing products for your child or your child’s school or preschool so that we can continue to provide families with the tools to help protect children.

We invite you to follow the lead of Linda, a nurse in upstate New York who conducted a fund raiser with her association of school nurses and purchased custom-designed AllergyKids Kits for every elementary school in the district.

Please forward this email and encourage friends to sign up for our FREE newsletters
Please consider forwarding this email to your friends and family in an effort to spread this previously unhighlighted information about the risk that soy poses to children with asthma and peanut allergy.

If you would like to include this letter on your website or in your blog, please refer to AllergyKids as the source of this information and encourage your readers to sign up for our free newsletters which will continue to provide leading research.

If we can ever answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at http://www.allergykids.com or 1.800.671.1525.

As Robert F. Kennedy said, “Some men see things the way they are, and ask ’why?’”
For our children, we see things the way they should be, and ask ’why not?’

In our quest for a cure for these children, no truth is too complex. We must simply have the courage to pursue it.

With hope for our children,
Robyn O’Brien
Founder, AllergyKids
Mother of Four
1.800.671.1525

About Robyn O’Brien: Prior to launching AllergyKids, Robyn was in the process of applying for a PhD after drafting her first book, Sugar Mamas: Nutrition’s Impact on the Health and Well-Being of Mothers and Their Children. When her fourth child was diagnosed with potentially life threatening food allergies, she curtailed her personal pursuit in an effort to create greater awareness of the millions of children with food allergies.

Prior to motherhood, Robyn worked as an analyst on one of the nation’s largest mid-cap portfolio management teams. Her team was responsible for $20 billion in assets, covering everything from Enron, to Ebay to Martha Stewart. Robyn received an MBA in finance on a full scholarship and was a Fulbright Fellow.

In her efforts to create awareness of children with food allergies, she has received encouragement from Erin Brockovich and parents around the world.

Robyn asks that you please consider forwarding this email to others who are looking to protect the health and well-being of their families.

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What is an allergic reaction? (video)

April 19, 2007 at 10:41 am (Allergy News!, video)

Click to watch

cutelittlesamallergyshirt.jpg

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Allergy Conference Call

April 19, 2007 at 10:14 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, almond, Blog & Websites, cooking, food, labeling, medical, USA, Websites)

Have a listen.

I could not get into the conference call, but it is a very educational conversation.

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Allergy Alerts – wheat, peanuts, tree nuts

April 19, 2007 at 10:06 am (alert, Allergy News!, almond, cooking, food, labeling, nut-free, peanut, tree nut, wheat)

WHEAT ALLERGY ALERT
April 18, 2007

Patrick Cudahy, Inc. is recalling “ROSELI SOPPRESSATA” (salami) products
due to undeclared wheat.

The salami products were distributed to restaurants, caterers, and the food
service industry in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida,
Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, and Texas.

The product was sold in 10-lb. cartons (containing 4 packages each)
of “ROSELI SOPPRESSATA.” Each label bears the establishment number “EST.
28” inside the USDA seal of inspection. Each package also bears a packaging
date code of “6313,” “6346,” “6356,” “7003,” “7018,” “7026,” “7047,”
“7058,” or “7086.”

Consumers with questions should contact the company at (866) 534-0197.

PEANUT, ALMOND, PECAN, WALNUT, AND CASHEW ALLERGY ALERT
April 16, 2007

Harry & David Operations Corp. is recalling five types of candies because
they may contain undeclared peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews.

The candies were distributed throughout the United States through Harry and
David Stores.

All lot codes of the products listed below are being recalled. The products
were sold in 6-oz. paperboard boxes with a folded over top. The boxes are
striped in several color variations.

• “Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence”
candies in green and cream striped boxes

• “Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Peanut & Peanut Butter Indulgence”
in red and cream striped boxes

• “Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Pecan Cranberry Caramel Indulgence”
in dark red and cream striped boxes

• “Whole Almond Confection” in brown and white striped boxes

• “Whole Cashew Confection” in dark red and cream striped boxes

Consumers are requested to return product to the place of purchase for a
full refund. Consumers with questions may phone the company at (800) 233-
1101.

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And another milk allergy alert

April 11, 2007 at 9:52 am (alert, Allergy News!, cooking, food, labeling, milk, recalls, safety)

MILK ALLERGY ALERT
March 30, 2007

Acapulco Bakery is recalling packages of Lorenzo brand “Conchas de Sabor
Vainilla,” “Cuernitos de Canela,” “Hojaldras,” “Croissant,” and “Sweet
Mexican Bread” varieties due to undeclared milk.

The products were sold in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

The recalled Lorenzo brand “Conchas de Sabor Vainilla,” “Cuernitos de
Canela,” “Hojaldras,” “Croissant,” and “Sweet Mexican Bread” varieties come
in an uncoded plastic bag, lacking a weight declaration.

Consumers who have purchased the affected products should return them to
the place of purchase.

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Allergy alerts! 3! US and Canada – Harry & David, Tickleberry, Greenleaf

April 11, 2007 at 9:49 am (alert, Allergy News!, Canada, labeling, milk, nut-free, peanut, tree nut, USA)

Harry & David Issues Nationwide Allergy Alert on Harry and David Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence for Undeclared Peanuts And Cashews
Contact:
Harry & David Operations Corp.
800-345-5655

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 6, 2007 — Harry & David Operations Corp., of Medford, Oregon, is recalling approximately 65 – 6 oz. boxes of Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence because they may contain undeclared peanuts and cashews.People who have an allergy to peanut or cashew products run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Harry & David is recalling all Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence boxes with a “Best Before” date of 071123. These products are: 6 oz. paperboard boxes with a folded over top. The boxes are green and cream striped. The “Best Before” date is printed in black ink and located below the Nutrition Facts panel on the back of the box.

These products were distributed throughout the United States through Harry and David Stores since March 15, 2007. Sales of this product have ceased.

There have been no injuries reported to date. Anyone concerned about a potential illness associated with this product should contact a physician immediately.

The recall was initiated after it was determined that the product contained peanuts and cashews. Investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Consumers are requested to return product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions about the recalled product may phone the Customer Service division at 800-345-5655, 24 hours a day.
________________

ALLERGY ALERT
UNDECLARED MILK, SOY, SULPHITES, PEANUTS AND WHEAT IN TICKLEBERRY’S CHOCOLATE COVERED DRIED FRUIT PRODUCTS
OTTAWA, March 28, 2007 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Tickleberry’s are warning people with allergies to milk, soy, sulphites, peanuts and wheat proteins not to consume Tickleberry’s Chocolate Covered Dried Fruit products described below. The affected products contain milk, soy, sulphites, peanuts and wheat which are not declared on the label.

The following Tickleberry’s Chocolate Covered Dried Fruit products, sold in 100 g packages, are affected by this alert. These products have been distributed nationally.

Product Undeclared Allergen
Chocolate Dried Blueberries Milk, Soy, Peanuts
Chocolate Dried Cherries (Pastel) Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Cherries (Dark) Milk, Soy, Sulphites
Chocolate Dried Strawberries Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Raspberries Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Apricots Milk, Soy, Sulphites, Wheat
Chocolate Dried Cranberries Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Cranberries (White) Milk, Soy
Chocolate Cherry, No Sugar Added Milk, Soy

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to milk, soy, sulphites, peanut and wheat proteins.

The manufacturer, Tickleberry’s, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Dale Hoy at Tickleberry’s
250-490-5281

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

For information on Milk, Soy, Sulphites, Peanuts and Wheat, five of the nine most common food allergens, visit the Food Allergens web page at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/allerge.shtml.

For information on receiving recalls by e-mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at http://www.inspection.gc.ca.

– 30 –

Media enquiries:

Dale Hoy at Tickleberry’s
250-490-5281
Shashi Kulkarni (English)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall and Emergency Response
613-368-1622 Julie Lacoursière (French)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall and Emergency Response
613-760-4044
_______
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/recaltoce.shtml

___________ALLERGY ALERT
UNDECLARED SESAME SEEDS IN NINO D’AVERSA BREAD CRUMBS
OTTAWA, March 23, 2007 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies to sesame seeds not to consume Nino D’Aversa Bread Crumbs. The affected product may contain sesame seeds which are not declared on the label.

The affected product, Nino D’Aversa Bread Crumbs, is sold in 375 g containers bearing UPC code 0 65763 00120 6. All codes are affected by this alert.

This product has been distributed in Ontario.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to sesame seeds.

The manufacturer, Nino D’Aversa Bakery Ltd., Downsview, Ontario is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Armando or Domenic, Nino D’Aversa Bakery Ltd., at 1- 416-638-3271;
CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

For information on sesame seeds, one of the nine most common food allergens, visit the Food Allergens web page at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/allerge.shtml.

For information on receiving recalls by e-mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at http://www.inspection.gc.ca.

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Media enquiries:

Shashi Kulkarni (English)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall and Emergency Response
613- 368-1622 Jean-Louis Michaud (French)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Operations Co-ordination – Quebec Area
1-866-806-4115

MILK ALLERGY ALERT
April 3, 2007

Greenleaf is recalling “Lemon Bars” due to undeclared milk.

“Lemon Bars” were sold to consumers in a single retail store, Elevated Ice
Cream Company in Port Townsend, Washington. The product is not packaged and
therefore not coded. The bars are sold individually at the retail store’s
counter.

Consumers who have purchased the product may return it to the place of
purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the
company at (360) 379-0989.

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