Mum's plea to keep dogs away from school or her son could die

A parent has put out a plea on a Sleaford school's website calling for people to keep their dogs away due to her son's potentially fatal allergy.
William Alvey Primary School, Sleaford. EMN-150416-154537001William Alvey Primary School, Sleaford. EMN-150416-154537001
William Alvey Primary School, Sleaford. EMN-150416-154537001

In the message posted on William Alvey Primary School’s website yesterday, the mum warned other parents to try to be considerate and keep their dogs off the school premises as they could bring on a potentially fatal anaphylactic allergic reaction.

The mum, who wished not to be named, says: “He is allergic to numerous things, one of which is dogs.

“When he was four years old he was in a garden of a friend who has a dog, the dog was indoors and not around him. However this wasn’t enough, and for the next three days we watched him struggle to breathe and almost die. It appears the dander in the garden the dog played in was enough to trigger this life threatening anaphylaxis.”

She added: “It’s so tough in everyday life to get him through the day without needing medication for one allergy or another, as he gets older his school life is getting easier for him as he understands more his condition.

“The teaching staff are fantastic in ensuring his safety to the best of their ability, however by bringing your dog onto the school grounds you are potentially inadvertently risking his life.

“When we see a dog outside of school we avoid it at all costs, we move wherever we need to to get him away and keep him safe. When he’s at school we would like him to feel as safe as every other child in the schools care.”

Despite all the difficulties she described her son as ‘amazing’, saying: “He deals with so much in his life and lots of people work hard to keep him safe from harm’s way. So I plead with you as a parent to a parent to not bring your dog into the school, but to walk up the driveway or wait at the bottom of the ramp. So our son can make his way safely to us from his classroom at the end of his day.”

The mum told The Standard: “William Alvey staff past and present have been fantastic in aiding our son a normal school life since he joined in reception. Problems in school which have arisen have been overcome as soon as possible.

“This dog issue is not one so easily solved, most parents remember but every so often a dog is brought onto the premises and it is worrying.”

She admitted: “We are not asking parents not to bring dogs to school, we have friends with dogs and their only chance of a nice long walk is the school run; there is a track at the side of the school and they are welcome to use it. We are simply asking that they are kept off the grounds.

“We are concerned about our son’s allergies but we also know the school doesn’t want dogs on the premises for a number of other reasons. This is so important to us and my son’s health so we do ask the school to do everything they reasonably can to help.”

Headteacher Stephen Tapley said this is just one of the reasons why the school is keen to keep dogs off the school premises.

He said: “We try and do everything we reasonably can to meet the needs of all the children in school. I love dogs myself (I have a flat coat retriever at home) but there are a number of different reasons that we do ask our parents to keep dogs off the school premises. The extreme allergic reaction to dog hair of this particular pupil is one of these reasons and our parents have been very sympathetic towards this issue.

“I send a reminder home regarding dogs on the premises once a year and it helps everyone understand why we ask for parental co-operation.

“We emphasise the fact that this is something that we can’t enforce but that we do appreciate any extra precautions that can be taken.”

He thanked parents for their understanding of the situation.