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  • Food allergies

    Recently a few new Scouts joined our troop and have food allergies. This has caused my troop to reevaluate how we should handle Scouts with allergies. How does your unit deal with meal planning, food buying and preparation when there are Scouts with allergies in a patrol?

  • #2
    That's all part of the menu planning process. Are there foods that need to be avoided? A running list needs to be identified and the list posted and reviewed every time a meal is planned. This might also include foods that the patrol will refuse to eat whether they are allergic to it or not. Sever allergies need to be identified and all efforts on the part of the patrol need to be a high priority. It might mean looking on labels when shopping, making sure the food doesn't get cross contaminated during prep, etc. It's an vital lesson for the boys to be learning at this age, these kinds of things are becoming more and more prevalent and dangerous for those who suffer from these problems.

    Basically if the food is avoided during the planning stage, then shopping is far easier, but still need to read labels, and if no allergens are present, cross-contamination should not be a problem.

    Stosh

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    • #3
      Our Troop website has a list of foods that are to be avoided for the very same issue. It also has brands of certain types of items that we know to be safe for use (labels say that they are nut free, etc.)

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      • #4
        If the boys are aware of food allergies, at least in my troop, they are pretty good about reading labels, etc when they are grubmaster. I'm actually surprised about how aware they are of things like that. Ironically, we had one of our peanut allergy kids as grubmaster, and HE bought the wrong type of food.

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        • #5
          Take a look at the first resource on this page: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/..._Policies.aspx


          Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies http://www.scouting.org/filestore/He..._Allergies.pdf

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          • #6
            As one that has life-threatening food allergies, and has a daughter with them...the avoidance can be a little tricky.

            Peanut allergy is the biggest bummer....because there are what you would think are unrelated foods that can be an inconvenience, or just as deadly at the peanuts themselves.

            If you have the peanut allergy, you have to know if you are also allergic to tree nuts, beans or peas as well. (Peas being the most common I believe.)

            Quiz the allergy kids, and the parents.

            Also, because accidental exposure is inevitable, you have to know how severe the reaction will be (rashes/runny nose/anaphylaxis) and how to treat an exposure... anti-histamines, Epi-pen....
            Last edited by Engineer61; 03-20-2014, 06:39 PM.

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            • #7
              Regarding the Epi-pen, what do these things cost these days? What is their shelf life?

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              • #8
                Not sure of the price, but they also make a "practice" model that is very useful in teaching the proper use of the epi-pen. We trained all of our Junior Leaders, Patrol Leaders, and ASM's the right way to use the epi-pen.

                Dale

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                  Regarding the Epi-pen, what do these things cost these days? What is their shelf life?
                  You need a prescription for it. My doctor is a backcountry traveler, so he doesn't ask questions when I ask for a script.

                  I only have to pay my co-pay, which is $10, but if I recall from the last time, the full retail price was about $200 for a twin pack. The expiration date is usually about 18 months out. They are sensitive to heat, so be sure to check the little window on them to see if the drug has become cloudy, even before the expiration date.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                    Regarding the Epi-pen, what do these things cost these days? What is their shelf life?
                    Not sure. In our troop, we have two boys that have epi-pens. They carry it themselves and are responsible for them. We have trained most of t he older boys in the use of the epi-pen. It helps that one of their parents is a paramedic.

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                    • #11
                      They took away the peanut butter table at summer camp because of a single kid with peanut allergies.....


                      Just doesn't seem right.

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                      • #12
                        In our Troop the parents of the Scout with food allergies has open communication with the troop before events. Camping trips, the parents touch base with the PL to see what the menu is, and if the Scout needs to bring some of his own food, he does so. His patrol is aware of his food allergies and in general plan their menus around him and if not 100% then he will supply some of his own food. It is a good lesson for the Scouts to be generous and helpful towards a fellow Scout.

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                        • #13
                          My son has life threatening food allergies. He is allergic to egg, dairy and tree nuts. It is not always easy to plan meals around those restrictions for me, so I don' put that responsibility on others. My son brings his own food and cooks his own meals using his own chuck box that we have provided him with. He plans meals with his patrol, tells me what they are having and we plan his meals as close to theirs as we possibly can. He might need a different brand of pasta sauce or hot dogs than the boys would normally buy and it would no doubt be more expensive for them. The boys in his patrol know about his food allergies but I am not quite ready to trust them with his life. The added benefit of him cooking his own food is that he is getting pretty good at it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by perdidochas View Post

                            Not sure. In our troop, we have two boys that have epi-pens. They carry it themselves and are responsible for them. We have trained most of t he older boys in the use of the epi-pen. It helps that one of their parents is a paramedic.
                            As a former EMT-A, I would caution the use of invasive treatments provided by lay people. Yes, it's a case of life and death, but as a EMT-A, I was taught how to provide epi treatment without leaving finger prints on the syringe so to speak.

                            Troop "rules" may run counter to BSA policy or local law, find out how it works if you have members of your group that carry eip pens.

                            Stosh

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                            • #15
                              The cost on Epi-pens varies with insurance...our's were like $10 then when to $30.

                              Incidentally, the Epi-pen trainer is NOTHING like the real thing! The real injector has a HUGE recoil from the spring loaded injector...and if you don't apply it with enough pressure, it will bounce out before completing the injection....basically wasting the shot.

                              The Epi-pens typically last 1 year, but I ditto a previous poster they are heat (and also cold) sensitive...they will crack if frozen and the medication doesn't like high temperature...a drag in the desert southwest.

                              Also, depending on the extent of the reaction and the metabolic rate, the effect of the Epi-pen can wear off ...but the max duration is usually only about 30 min. Most people care two...and they are packaged that way now.

                              Also, a little known issue.. I believe the Epi-pens are shock sensitive as well. When my daughter was is school, we found one injector spent in it's container...it apparently fired when she dropped her backpack.

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