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RE: Safety / Allergies


From: Kimberly Herbert (kherbert_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 05 2003 - 09:20:36 PDT


     You are exactly right children with allergies need to know the
signs of a problem and to speak up even defy adults if there is a
problem. If my Mom and Dad had not taught me to take matters into my own
hands I would have probably died in 3rd grade when the school refused to
call my mom about an allergic reaction (they thought I was
hyperventilating) or my Junior year when I had a second reaction 24
hours after my first reaction to peanut oil in the popcorn at a football
game. Both times my parents got me to the hospital just in time.


When you are told a child is allergic, ask the parent to describe the
reaction. For example when I touch peanut oil my palms turn bright red,
then I have trouble breathing. I crave caffeine when my allergy meds
need adjusting. The parent could tell you exactly what to watch for.



Kimberly Herbert


No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it
without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having
passed through it.

- George Washington Carver

-----Original Message-----
From: Tammy Parker []
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 12:01 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Safety / Allergies


As a person who has a "huge list" of allergies, I would agree with what
Sidnie said for the most part with a couple added notes.

Children who are "allergic to life" (my favorite way of explaining my
allergies in under 5 minutes) should either know their own limitations
or parents should give a detailed list at the beginning of school. *Be
especially alarmed if the list includes any chemicals.* If they are
senstivie to chemicals, they might not have a list of specific products,
so you might have to do some research of your own to find out exactly
what is in certain products. My experience is that everything from
tempera paint and wax crayons to rubber cement and aerosol sprays can
trigger a reaction, depending upon what chemicals are most bothersome to
an individual. I've had quite a time finding out what all I react to
and what I can tolerate. I know my own limits and can test out some
things by trial and error, but I do not recommend this for elementary
children who are chemically sensitive!! If you w! ant to test something
out for a child, at the very least communicate with the parents exactly
what you will be doing so they can provide suggestions. It may very
well bother a child just to be in the same room as the other children
who are working with a product which triggers a reaction for her/him.
If you teach "art on a cart" in the regular classroom, be especially
careful to work within the child's limitations since fumes from some
supplies can linger for several hours to several days, thus interfering
with the student's ability to learn for the rest of the day.


Hopefully most of you will never have to work with a student who is this
severely allergic/chemically sensitive. Unfortunately, a growing number
of the population does react to chemicals found in everyday products, so
I think it is important that we be aware of the possibility. In the
event that you would have a student who reacts to most art supplies (and
there are a few out there), I encourage you to try to include him/her in
class as much as possible. I know from personal experience that being
"allergic to life" makes a person an outsider in many places, and
hopefully art class need not be another one of those places. At the
same time, the other students should be able to try all the wonderful
projects that many of you have posted to this list, so it's a tough
balance to strike between inclusion in activities and alternate

Thankfully most of you should never have to worry about most of the
concerns that I am talking about, so you can read this and then look in
your art cabinet/store room and revel in the fact that you can use any
of the supplies you see!


Tammy in AZ