It took the death of a 6-year-old Montreal schoolgirl, but parents and support groups are putting pressure on Quebec legislators to institute emergency measures to deal with potentially lethal allergic reactions.
If you think those with food allergies are few and far between, consider that around 72,000 students in that province alone are thought to be at risk.
Little Megann Ayotte Lefort was a tragic example of what not to do in the face of an allergic reaction. In September 2010 she took a quick bite of a store-bought sandwich. When the daycare staff at Saint-Germain Cousin elementary finally called 911 -- 40 minutes later -- paramedics rushed Megann to the hospital but it was too late to save her.
“The school was well aware of Megann’s allergies and her asthma. ... Everything about that night was wrong. Everything,” Megann’s father Sylvain Lefort told Allergic Living magazine.
Ever since 2005, legislation exists in Ontario requiring emergency training for teachers and school staff. Now the Quebec Association of Food Allergies, Allergic Living and Asthme et Allergies Québec is hoping for a similar law.
In severe allergic reactions, the airways can swell or blood pressure can drop, causing a potentially fatal condition called anaphylaxis. Because of the speed and severity of the reaction, it's crucial that caregivers and teachers know how to react. It is up to parents to fully inform schools of their child's allergies and provide them with two EpiPens.
If Quebec doesn't yet have an overarching law in place, then it's because not enough has been done to push for it. Hopefully Megann’s needless death will change that.
Parents can now campaign for an anaphylaxis law for Quebec schools via Allergic Living magazine's website. It is hoped the magazine will generate 2,500 letters to Education Minister Line Beauchamp and Health Minister Yves Bolduc. So far, only 855 have been sent.
He may wear the pants in the house, but if we left the Christmas shopping to the man, it would a sorry occasion indeed. So says the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). There would be little under the tree, and who knows if there would even be a tree!
Though it will likely come to little surprise to the likes of you and me, we yummies are responsible for a whopping 73 per cent of the yuletide shopping, with not a single man out of the 500 surveyed on Nest.com taking the initiative when it comes to present buying.
But what about all those modern egalitarian couples out there? Nope, only 27 per cent split shopping duties down the middle.
So much for the portly fellow in red. It seems his missus is the one cracking the whip in the elves workshop, the one staying up late to wrap and label all the treats.
And chances are, she's not doing it with a smile on her face, either. She's likely stressed by gift-buying, which has become yet another item on her lengthy December to-do list.
“Some 42 per cent of women in the survey wish their partners would help more with holiday preparations – especially with presents for the in-laws," says the WSJ. "Some 62 per cent of women polled said those were among the most difficult and annoying presents to choose.”
Maybe so, but personally I'm too much of a control freak when it comes to gift shopping to simply send my hubby out with a list, and blindly hope for the best...
Are you feeling the strain of the festive season yet? Does the brunt of the 'work' fall on your shoulders? Do you resent or relish the spirit of the season?