Simon kirchner suffers from anaphylaxis, milk and nuts are life-threatening for him. Only the skin contact is dangerous. In order for him to be able to attend school as safely as possible, the community of sandberg and the elementary school had to organize a number of things in order to integrate simon. Simon kirchner from waldberg is seven years old. He attends the first class of the sandberg elementary school. The fact that he suffers from anaphylaxis is not obvious to simon. "Anaphylaxis is an acute, severe and life-threatening allergic reaction", explains mother melanie kirchner. This means that simon reacts very strongly to certain foods and ingredients. "Extremely strong reaction of simon to cow’s milk and nuts. In the worst case these can have a lethal effect if consumed."
For the kindergarten visit alone, this means that a whole series of precautionary measures had to be taken to ensure simon’s safety. The kindergarten in waldberg has implemented this in an exemplary manner and has given the kirchner family excellent support. The transition to school was just as successful. Since touching and physical contact with the products can also lead to wheals, redness, swelling of the skin and respiratory distress, there is always a basic danger for simon when he eats together with his playmates. All those working at the school have undergone extensive training to be able to help effectively and quickly in case of emergency. Not only principal jutta spee and class teacher georg schafer, but the entire staff, secretary, janitor, lunch supervisor and bus supervisor.
Telephone in the classroom
The costs of the training, which cost around 800 euros, were borne by the government of lower franconia and the municipality of sandberg. The training is refreshed once every six months, but simon’s mother takes care of this herself. In addition, all parents of the sandberg elementary school were informed about the problem and asked for help. In concrete terms, this means that you don’t give your children any food containing nuts and that dairy products are avoided.
Since the parents in waldberg were already familiar with the topic from kindergarten, it was no problem to continue this at school. If there are any questions or uncertainties, the parents consult with simon’s mother. "The fast contact via whatsapp makes it possible and it goes very well." But also the schoolmates were informed about simon’s allergy and they take care of him.
Emergency is being practiced
Class teacher georg schafer, whom the principal asked in advance if he could imagine being the head of the class under these conditions, is in turn responsible for raising awareness among the pupils. In consultation with simon, the serious case is practiced at irregular intervals. "This is important so that when it really does come to a serious incident, the schoolchildren react calmly and don’t panic." There is an emergency phone in the classroom so that the teacher does not have to go all the way to the secretary’s office and leave the students alone. Written instructions on how to start the rescue chain can be found in the classroom as well as in the teachers’ room and in various other places in the school building, such as the gymnasium and the lunch room. The costs for the additional telephone are borne by the municipality of sandberg. For mayor sonja reubelt, it is a matter of course: "it is very important to us to accompany simon well through his school years here in sandberg. It is absolutely necessary to organize everyday life in such a way that an allergic reaction can be avoided as much as possible, and if an emergency should occur, the rescue chain must be able to be set in motion immediately."
Emergency bag always with you
The rector agreed wholeheartedly. She had been studying the subject of anaphylaxis long before simon went to school and had become extensively familiar with the material. And simon himself? He carries a small gray and black fanny pack with him at all times. The label shows what it is: simon’s allergy emergency kit. He knows exactly what his bag contains and unpacks it routinely: an adrenaline pen, antihistamine, asthma spray and cortisone juice. Thanks to the training, the adults around him know how to apply these things in case of emergency. His mother melanie is proud of her son: "for simon it is normal. He does it great." He knew exactly what he could and could not eat. If anything is unclear, he asks for clarification or leaves it alone in the first place. The kirchner family is very grateful to the teachers, parents, fellow students and the mayor for their support. There has been no emergency so far, neither in the kindergarten nor in the school. The disease first appeared at the age of three months during breastfeeding. Initially, it was not clear what led to the rough, open patches of skin and wheals. In the university hospital in wurzburg, the diagnosis was then made. The family adjusted to the requirements and learned to manage the allergy.
Instead of cow’s milk, there is oat milk, nuts in the cake are replaced by oat flakes, instead of chocolate icing there is sugar icing and instead of colorful smarties there are colorful gumdrops. The allergy has to be taken into account in the entire nutritional area. But with imagination and creativity, he says, a completely normal family life is possible.