Earlier this year, a 7-year old child attending a Virginia school died after suffering an anaphylactic reaction to a peanut product. Teachers and school staff failed to respond to save Amaria’s life (see TV report).
Elizabeth Goldenberg, one of Canada’s leading allergy safety experts, wrote in her blog One Spot Allergy some of the troubling questions we all ask as parents of children with severe allergies:
Case after case of catastrophic injury and death involve teachers or school nurses who failed to recognize an allergic or asthmatic emergency. Once they did realize what was happening, they responded slowly and inadequately, by failing to inject the patient with an EpiPen or choosing to call parents instead of 911. How many deaths will it take until every State and Province in North America has mandatory allergy safety provisions for schools?
These tragic stories keep us up at night.
Not wanting to see further headlines like Amaria’s death drive the families of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative.
As families dealing with the realities of anaphylaxis, we want to ensure Canadians with life-threatening allergies have safer environments to live, work and play. There are a growing number of families in Canada who are directly affected – and, together, we can make a statement for the health and safety of our loved ones.
Want to help? You can. Here’s how:
- Connect with the CAI and join our advocacy efforts
- Write a letter of support for Motion 230
- Contact your local MP and share your family’s concerns
- Contact CAI’s list of MPs to voice your support
And if you are not sure exactly what to say, visit CAI’s “Take Action” page and surf through the information on the organization’s website.
We hope and trust that in this Parliament we can raise MPs’ awareness and the level of debate, prompting action with Health Canada and other federal departments and agencies that deal with allergy concerns. Every single voice lends itself to our chorus of families who seek a responsible response to anaphylaxis.
Speak up, join us, and be heard.
Chris George is a father of a 9-year old son, who has severe peanut, tree nuts and legume allergies. The George Family are members of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative : http://cai-allergies.ca .