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Old 11-12-2019, 02:10 AM
 
58 posts, read 9,185 times
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Do you think this is safe for kids? 3 schools my kids have attended used air freshener that made them sick. One principal wouldn't remove the classroom air fresheners that half the teachers were using. My son had asthma issues, and daughter suffered migraines from these air fresheners. We made phone calls and visits to principals attempting to have them removed from classrooms. Nobody really cared. They acted like WE had the problem. My kids came home reeking from head to toe, needing showers to wash the stink out of their hair. They had rings under their eyes, congestion, fatigue and just felt sick on days they attended school. Their backpacks and lunch boxes even stunk. I disenrolled my asthmatic from 2 schools after trying unsuccessfully to have air freshener removed. My son hasn't needed his inhaler since he was 2, and we were going to have to start using it again if he hadn't stopped attending these schools. They even requested we bring his inhaler to school! Many schools use air freshener nowdays and I dont understand how it's legal. They act like it's no big deal and that we're being demanding for asking to have it removed.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:24 AM
 
12,995 posts, read 10,310,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Withinpines View Post
Do you think this is safe for kids? 3 schools my kids have attended used air freshener that made them sick. One principal wouldn't remove the classroom air fresheners that half the teachers were using. My son had asthma issues, and daughter suffered migraines from these air fresheners. We made phone calls and visits to principals attempting to have them removed from classrooms. Nobody really cared. They acted like WE had the problem. My kids came home reeking from head to toe, needing showers to wash the stink out of their hair. They had rings under their eyes, congestion, fatigue and just felt sick on days they attended school. Their backpacks and lunch boxes even stunk. I disenrolled my asthmatic from 2 schools after trying unsuccessfully to have air freshener removed. My son hasn't needed his inhaler since he was 2, and we were going to have to start using it again if he hadn't stopped attending these schools. They even requested we bring his inhaler to school! Many schools use air freshener nowdays and I dont understand how it's legal. They act like it's no big deal and that we're being demanding for asking to have it removed.
Have you tried getting a doctor to write them a letter insisting that they remove the offending chemicals?
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:53 AM
 
58 posts, read 9,185 times
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We sat with the school nurse who requested we bring in my child's inhaler. She and another staff member told us they were also bothered by the air fresheners and had been trying to have them removed from the school as well. We had no response from the principal, other than she would bring it up at their next school board meeting.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
45,604 posts, read 43,853,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Withinpines View Post
We sat with the school nurse who requested we bring in my child's inhaler. She and another staff member told us they were also bothered by the air fresheners and had been trying to have them removed from the school as well. We had no response from the principal, other than she would bring it up at their next school board meeting.
That doesn't make sense. Removing an air freshener should be a site-based decision by the principal. It's not a school-board level issue.

I've never experienced an air freshener that caused people's hair and clothing to smell. If it was that extreme, I would have started with the teacher, asked why s/he had air fresheners in the classroom (if it's middle school, I KNOW why) and explained my situation there.

If the principal ignores you, then YOU contact your school board rep. But yes, I would think a doctor's note would take care of it. Olfactory migraines are not a new issue. My doctor has a note posted requesting that patients not wear perfume to appointments.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:31 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,264 posts, read 21,187,914 times
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Asthma and severe allergies are disabilities. As a parent, you can request a 504 plan for your child. The 504 plan is an accommodation for disabilities. My daughter has one even though she goes to online school, because she's got to attend several days of state testing each year and we have to make sure she's able to function during testing. Part of her 504 plan is no air fresheners, diffused essential oils or cleaning chemicals to be used while she's in a room, she may change seats as necessary without having to explain why (because she'll react if she sits next to someone smelly, but she feels rude trying to explain to a teacher that another student smells bad), she may go to the bathroom without having to sign out if it's an emergency (because part of her reactions is sudden, uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea), and she's allowed to keep her rescue meds and a battery operated fan on the desk during testing. They also have to allow her into the testing room early if the lobby is hot or dusty. She reacts to ink too, so she's allowed to test on the computer rather than using a printed booklet.

The 504 plan can be made very specific for your child's needs and could definitely be written to require the school not to use air freshener in your child's classroom. The only documentation we needed from my daughter's doctor was her anaphylaxis action plan.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,820 posts, read 18,155,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
Asthma and severe allergies are disabilities. As a parent, you can request a 504 plan for your child. The 504 plan is an accommodation for disabilities. My daughter has one even though she goes to online school, because she's got to attend several days of state testing each year and we have to make sure she's able to function during testing. Part of her 504 plan is no air fresheners, diffused essential oils or cleaning chemicals to be used while she's in a room, she may change seats as necessary without having to explain why (because she'll react if she sits next to someone smelly, but she feels rude trying to explain to a teacher that another student smells bad), she may go to the bathroom without having to sign out if it's an emergency (because part of her reactions is sudden, uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea), and she's allowed to keep her rescue meds and a battery operated fan on the desk during testing. They also have to allow her into the testing room early if the lobby is hot or dusty. She reacts to ink too, so she's allowed to test on the computer rather than using a printed booklet.

The 504 plan can be made very specific for your child's needs and could definitely be written to require the school not to use air freshener in your child's classroom. The only documentation we needed from my daughter's doctor was her anaphylaxis action plan.
Thank you for the great post. I am sorry that your daughter has so many difficulties.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:25 AM
 
1,247 posts, read 1,577,838 times
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Former teacher here and I also have severe chronic migraines. Yes, this can be a real problem on some campuses. I never used air fresheners in my classroom (they would have triggered me, as well as the asthmatic kids), but sometimes I would need to visit the classroom of another teacher and some of those rooms were awful. I taught middle school and would overhear kids complain about having to sit in those teachers' classrooms because the reek of so much "potpourri" type air freshener overload was so intense.

It was so strong that it bothered ALL the kids, even the ones without serious medical conditions/disabilities like asthma and migraine disease. For those with medical conditions, it was dangerous and harmful. One of these teachers walked into my classroom once and announced that it "stank." I smiled and said, "Why yes, it smells like air." She got huffy and left.

My suggestion for any parent in a similar position would be to get a doctor's note stating that strong smells like air freshners and potpourri and candles can trigger your child's medical condition. This can fall under a 504 plan. The moment you put it in writing and start that formal process of requesting accommodation, the school is going to have to take reasonable action to accommodate your child's medical condition. Migraines or asthma trump a teacher's personal desire to have air fresheners, and no way does the school want to be in a situation where they were notified in writing and failed to take action, which could mean a lawsuit. Over a stupid $5 air freshener.

Last edited by kitkatbar; 11-12-2019 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:36 AM
 
Location: planet earth
5,714 posts, read 2,218,522 times
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Air fresheners are "hormone disrupters."

Completely unhealthy.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:38 PM
 
6,861 posts, read 3,209,030 times
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My brother (former navy engineer-think submarine air systems), does the air quality control systems used in hospitals and public systems (libraries, college,schools). AlerGen filters and air cleaners are standard to deter "micro " airborne pathos.
Maybe what your kids are reacting to is actually clean air.
Few schools douse the building . Although our lower level had an ammonia smell it was mostly from our janitor mopping areas.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:52 PM
 
4,458 posts, read 1,153,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Withinpines View Post
Do you think this is safe for kids? 3 schools my kids have attended used air freshener that made them sick. One principal wouldn't remove the classroom air fresheners that half the teachers were using. My son had asthma issues, and daughter suffered migraines from these air fresheners. We made phone calls and visits to principals attempting to have them removed from classrooms. Nobody really cared. They acted like WE had the problem. My kids came home reeking from head to toe, needing showers to wash the stink out of their hair. They had rings under their eyes, congestion, fatigue and just felt sick on days they attended school. Their backpacks and lunch boxes even stunk. I disenrolled my asthmatic from 2 schools after trying unsuccessfully to have air freshener removed. My son hasn't needed his inhaler since he was 2, and we were going to have to start using it again if he hadn't stopped attending these schools. They even requested we bring his inhaler to school! Many schools use air freshener nowdays and I dont understand how it's legal. They act like it's no big deal and that we're being demanding for asking to have it removed.
Where is the freshener located? It sounds like they're sitting right under it!

Administration will probably see this as: "if you are the exception, you are the problem". Unless there are other cases reported, children all belonging to the same parent will be viewed as "one" case.

Most cleaning products are scented, as well. It would be difficult (and likely more costly) to switch from Jani-King's house blend to something like Simple Green in all the schools. It is not normal to have such a strong response to fragrances, they may very well have special environmental needs. The schools may not be obligated to accommodate them, I'm afraid.
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