Question about allergies....

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Question about allergies....
42
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 9:44pm
and DC, preschools, etc. My DS goes to a preschool 3 days per week, from 9:15-1:15. He will be in kindergarten next year so I feel it is important for him to go to preschool. Anyway...for the past 2 years there has been a strict rule that NO children bring any peanut butter, or peanut butter products. It somewhat irritates me because my son has a severe case of acid reflux and has a very limited diet. Peanut butter is one of the things he can tolerate, although he doesn't ask for it alot. Does anyone else here have this rule at their DC, preschool, etc? Does anyone here have a child with a PB allergy? I guess I wonder what will happen when these children enter kindergarten? I think that the children will have to be around loads of PB. I am not trying to be hard about this, and I have always worked around this rule. Although near the last day of school last year one mother sent her son with a *special treat* Twinkie, and he wasn't aloud to eat it at the school, because it is a PB product.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 9:50pm
PB allergies are very severe. Even deathly. So I can understnad the need to keep those products from the children with allergies. All the centers I've been involved with have a rule/guideline against serving pb.

However, none of those centers have ever allowed parents to bring/send food. So it wasn't an issue. They didn't serve it. Parents didn't bring it because parents never brought food anyway ...

Hollie

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Registered: 12-12-2002
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 10:08pm
My kids school (a private school that offers a full day "preschool" program for kids 2 years old and up, then Kindie through 8th grade) does not havea rule against peanut butter. Good thing too, because we ALWAYS pack the kids lunches because buying the school lunch is $3 a DAY, and my kids LOVE peanut butter sandwiches.

While I understand the severity of some peanut allergies, I also wonder what these kids are going to do when they hit Kindie or 1st grade. And if they ban peanut products from elementary schools, then what happens when they go to middle school? And if they ban peanut products from middle school, what happens in high school? And if they ban peanut products from high school, what happens in college or out in the "world". Are we going to start banning peanut products at restaurants?

Beyond that, am I REALLY supposed to know that a twinkie is a peanut product? Well, I don't. Nor do I wish to educate myself on every product that contains or is made from/with peanuts. So, if it ever comes to that in my kids school, we will either find another school or start homeschooling.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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Registered: 11-22-2000
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 11:48pm
The DC's I've used have always had rules against outside food, and the elementary schools I've dealt with have all had peanut-free zones in the cafeteria. In addition, children with peanut allergies are asked to use a water bottle at school so that they don't risk contact with peanut products when using water fountains.

Peanut allergies can be very dangerous. I used to work with a lady who suffered from it and it requires hypervigilance in regard not only to what she eats but what surfaces she touches, etc. If there were a child in my child's class who was allergic to peanut products, I'd do whatever I needed to do to help protect them...in much the same way that other parents in my son's class help my child, who has a latex allergy (another really dangerous one), by not sending latex products to school with their kids.


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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 9:36am
More and more elementary schools and daycares are establishing no-peanut product rules wrt foods brought in to the building, because the consequences of peanut allergies are deadly.

Small children simply don't always have the presence of mind to remember not to share food, or to adequately clean off a table (or prevent peanut butter from getting on the table) and such measures are necessary. As the kids get older, those kids with the allergies can be expected to take on more personal responsibility for protecting themselves (bringing wipes to clean their immediate table area as just one example), but especially at the preschool age, it's not reasonable to expect a child with allergies to take on that kind of responsibility him or herself.

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Registered: 03-29-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 9:49am
A bit OT, but the owners of the at-home daycare where DS1 went for two years could have gotten state money to help start their business, but they turned it down because of the PA issue. If they'd accepted the money, they would have had to sign a non-discrimination agreement, which means they would have had to accept PA kids (and all the work that would have entailed for their own home -- getting rid of all products made in factories where peanuts are made would be very tough, and they also have their own child, who is young now but might like to eat peanut butter in his own home one day). I thought that was kind of interesting.

I'm all for peanut bans in schools, though. We're thinking that DS1 may have a latex allergy, so we may have to ask our preschool to ban latex balloons.

Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear it. I just heard the good news and popped back over, just in case you were still checking in.
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Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 1:08pm


Peanut allergies can be *very* serious, and as Hollie said, can even be deadly. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that parents don't bring peanut products to K or elementary school. Beyond that, the kids are older and is more likely to be able to stay away from peanut products. As for "out in the world" -- no, PB is not banned in the world, but these kids grow up to be adults and avoid PB. My dh's best man at the wedding has a "near-deadly" allergy to all nuts. We had salad with nuts at the reception. We just made sure that he got a salad without nuts.
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Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 1:24pm
But that doesn't answer my questions. As a mom who sends lunch to school with her kids, how am I supposed to know all the products that contain peanuts? Am I REALLY supposed to know that twinkes are a peanut product? Well, I don't, nor do I wish to know that. I have no interest in combing through every piece of food I send to school with my kids to insure they are not a peanut product, or made with a peanut product.

So, then you are looking at the school providing all the meals and snacks for the kids. Well, I REFUSE to pay $3 per day for each of my kids to eat lunch! It will not happen!

I do recognize how severe peanut allergies can be. And I truly feel for the people affected by them. And I can see where it could be important for them to find a daycare or school that is peanut free, but that doesn't mean EVERY school needs to be. And it doesn't mean I need to send my kids to a peanut free school (personally, I choose not to). And it doesn't mean that my kids school should change their rules and policies just because someone with a peanut allergy wants to attend.


Edited 8/20/2003 1:32:18 PM ET by okmrsmommy

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 1:29pm
Totally agree.

I've heard of kids having a terrible allergic reactions from being exposed to latex from balloon at a birthday party. Parents may groan but there should be no balloons or any other latex products if there's a kid with an allergy to it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 1:49pm
Peanut products can give a reaction just from touching them or even airborne smell in severe cases. That is why it is being banned--the problem just isn't that the peanut allergy child might swap sandwiches or other food with another person. The problem is if it's on a child's hands or gets wiped on a toy the peanut allergy kid could have a reaction--or like I said the smell.

I guess it's easier for some parents to just say well let them be homeschooled & never leave the house. I have sympathy for these families--if my child's peanut allergy was severe I'm sure that would be a big consideration--which you also have to balance against how a child is going to live--never leaving the house.??????

BTW I had a child w/this allergy but she outgrew it--something that only happens in 20% of children.

Also peanut allergies could be avoided in large part if ob/gyns gave pregnant & nursing women the info about avoiding peanut butter while nursing & pregnant. But I digress . . .

Vickie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 2:04pm
Also, peanut butter is one of the few low cost things that have a lot of protein and are quite nutritious you can make a sandwich out of. I know we eat a lot of peanut butter on those "lean" weeks... how can a school expect me to afford lunchmeat all the time, or pay the high cost of school lunches when I could just send a PB sandwich?

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