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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Flu Shots and Egg Allergies - Don't let your child be an 'accidental exposure'

It is well known to those in the allergy world that certain individuals with egg allergies should NOT get the flu or H1N1 shot.

S.A.F.E. Article - Flu Shots, Vaccines and Egg Allergies 

My 6 year old was allergic to eggs and I did return the consent form stating that she could NOT receive the H1N1 shot on the day it would be administered for free at school.  No, my daughter did NOT receive the shot and thank goodness she was well aware of the fact that she shouldn't get it. However, she was at one point in line to receive it. Once she realized what she was in line for, she was quickly overcome with fear and panic and came running to find me.

As fate would have it, I was assisting in her classroom that very day.  

I praised my daughter for doing the right thing and speaking up. We discussed again how even adults can make mistakes, parents and teachers included. Thank goodness we talk so openly about allergies and how we need to remind others about them.

I understand that oversights can occur.  I did follow up with several school personnel.  The unnecessary anxiety created for my daughter was my greatest frustration. 

More importantly, what did I learn that I could share with others?

Better prepare ourselves as parents

If shots are being offered at your child's school, I would take the following precautions.
  1. Sign the form according to instructions. Make a personal copy.
  2. Have the conversation with your child that under NO circumstances are they to get this shot by a school nurse or anyone else claiming they have the authority to administer it. She/he is to call you immediately, if necessary.
  3. Find out the day the shots are being administered.
  4. Call to remind the school the morning of the shots that your child is TO BE EXCLUDED.
  5. Need extra assurance.. BE THERE at the school in some capacity.
Arm your children with knowledge
  1. The better educated they are, the better they can educate their friends and classmates. You'll find these kids will be your children's best allies. Their friends are often more aware of what your children can or can't eat than their teachers.
  2. Let them know it is okay and sometimes necessary to remind an adult of their allergies. If allergies aren't a part of your world, they're easy to forget about.
  3. Tell them they can say NO to anyone at any time trying to give them something they're not sure they can have.
  4. Most importantly, give them a number where they or anyone else can call you if they have any allergy questions.
Best of luck!

Arm your children with knowledge and they can help others to navigate their allergy world with them.

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