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Food Allergies, Asthma and American Schools in Hong Kong?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Food Allergies, Asthma and American Schools in Hong Kong?

    Hi everyone, I just discovered this great forum!

    First off, thank you so much in advance for any help you can lend on any of my below questions!!

    A bit about us: We are a family of 5 and live outside of Boston. We are planning to relocate to Hong Kong for a short duration. We will be on a full expat package (will include housing and school fees). My husband will spend 2 years in HK and the rest of us will be there for one academic school year. My kids are ages 12, 9, and 7.

    One of my children (age 12) has severe food allergies (dairy, soy, nuts and eggs) and controlled asthma (we need to use an inhaler every once in a while).

    Here are my questions:

    1) ASTHMA: To avoid my child's asthma from being triggered, what suburbs do you recommend for cleaner air?

    2) FOOD ALLERGIES: How are food allergies handled in HK schools and HK in general? Are there stores for me to buy products that contain no dairy, soy, nuts and eggs? Are school teachers/nurses aware how to handle an epipen? Recommended hospitals or doctors (just in case)!

    3) SCHOOLS: I'm sweating thinking about this! Everything I have read tells me that I may not get the kids into any school for the upcoming academic school year (August/September 2016 through June 2017). They will be in grades 3rd, 4th and 7th grade for the next academic year. My inclination is to send them to an American school (esp my oldest child).

    4) SPORTS: Two of my kids are soccer fanatics. Can they play soccer for a school team? Are their competitive soccer teams that they can try out for and join? Where can I find out information for those more competitive teams for my oldest child? I worry about him missing tryouts and not getting to play a sport he loves next year. What about American flag football or basketball?

    5) PLACES to live: I understand that we need to figure out the schools before figuring out a suburb (please correct me if I am wrong!). We need a 4 bedroom place with a yard (the yard is a must). Also, we'd like to be accessible to public transit for my husband to travel into the city. And, less pollution is important due to my child's asthma.

    Thanks for your input on any of the above!!!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Have you been to Hong Kong before?

    What is your budget for housing (per month)?


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Going to have challenges working out issues 1 and 2. Hard to find refuge anywhere in HKG if you have respiratory problems - perhaps your apartment armed with a couple of high-end air purifiers.

    There are threads about food allergies on GXP. Here is one below. Use the search function to find others. Good luck with the move.

    https://geoexpat.com/forum/211/thread274309.html


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    4,001

    For American schools it's Hong Kong International School and two new ones, Stamford American and American School Hong Kong. I've heard to avoid American International School.

    HKIS and Stamford prioritize kids who are moving from US schools or have American passports, respectively. I don't know much about ASHK. There's another school that's not American curriculum but similar to US schools called Hong Kong Academy. You will want to choose your housing after you have a school place as these are in very different areas of the city.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    SoCal
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    Quote Originally Posted by emx:
    Have you been to Hong Kong before?

    What is your budget for housing (per month)?
    A little taken aback seeing you wearing a new avatar.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    5,972
    Quote Originally Posted by huja:
    A little taken aback seeing you wearing a new avatar.
    New year, new look. :-)
    huja likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    Asthma and food allergies - much of HK is in the dark ages. I had a friend with allergies who moved here, got much, much worse while here and had to leave. She's now home in NZ an absolutely fine - she's sure she would be dead by now if she had stayed in HK.

    Clean air - non-existent. All of HK is bathed in the pollution generated by China; much of HK has additional fun with local pollution. The best you can hope to achieve is to stay away from main roads and ports.

    Sports - HK is not big on sports, but they can be found with persistence. It will depend on the school you manage to get into (rather than the one you choose... not much choice in schools!).

    Ditto where to live - sort the school out first then the accommodation. I can't help on schools.

    To be honest, with the special needs of your child, HK is going to be a nightmare. I love living here, but I wouldn't if I had those kind of allergies or asthma.

    Skyhook likes this.

  8. #8

    I would NOT bring a child with asthma anywhere near Hong Kong. Or China.

    Food allergies - dark ages here.

    I'd reconsider. It's just not a child friendly place.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4,732

    not all asthma are caused by the environment.
    you can almost forget about going out for food. if you cant find it at the stores, iherbs.com and other online retailers will have it.
    there are no suburbs here with less pollution. hong kong is a very small city.
    HongKong Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    4,866

    @skhkhk

    Welcome to Hong Kong! I would look at Stamford American School. It's opening in September 2017 and they should be able to accommodate your 3 kids. Stamford American School - Hong Kong

    However, being a new school they may not have their sports facilities and teams sorted. If that's the case, you can join one of the many soccer schools across Hong Kong.

    There are a number of other sports available across HK, from ice hockey, baseball to rugby. The only thing is, it's going to cost you $$.

    I believe the other new American school that Merchantms mentioned, doesn't have a middle school yet. American School Hong Kong

    The established American school, HKIS is on HK island. https://www.hkis.edu.hk/ Would contact them as well and get added to their waitlist. Last summer we saw the departure of a number of long-term expats. A few schools emailed parents to spread the word that spaces were available. Which is highly unusual. Could happen again this year.


    If you decide on a school in Kowloon/NT, there are some lovely houses in the New Territories. Hong Lok Yuen, Clearwater Bay etc


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