WWYD re: school and food allergy issue

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
WWYD re: school and food allergy issue
18
Tue, 09-22-2009 - 7:20pm

OK, this is a REALLY long story but I'll try to condense:


Em has a severe peanut/tree nut allergy.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Tue, 09-22-2009 - 7:46pm

Karen, is this Pre-K at a public elementary school?

Okay, this may sound extreme, but I think you should really try to get the school to enforce a no peanut rule. I'd talk with the principal about it, and if that doesn't work - you may want to take it to the Superintendent level. My mother worked at a public elementary school in PA and they had strict rules about what you could bring for lunch and what was served in the cafeteria. They had quite a few children with serious allergies and in order to keep kids safe, they have a no peanut rule. If you'd like, I can see if I can find the wording in their handbook.

It is terrible to think that Em should have to sit at a table by herself (or even with the ONE other kid that has allergies) during lunch.

***On a side note - I was very aware of peanut allergies even though Molly and Annie don't have them and I never packed peanut butter for them until I spoke with the school administrators first. She's in a montessori pre-school and because they don't have children with peanut allergies at this time there are no regulations about it, BUT, if they do have one child with that sort of allergy, they make a blanket rule that there are to be NO lunches containing peanut products/peanut butter.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
Tue, 09-22-2009 - 8:13pm

It is a Catholic School.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
Tue, 09-22-2009 - 8:15pm
PS - LOVE YOU for not sending peanuts in to protect the other kids!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2004
Wed, 09-23-2009 - 10:17am

As the mother of a child with severe allergies (and we go to Catholic school) I understand your concern.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2003
Wed, 09-23-2009 - 12:27pm

Karen,


this is the saddest thing I read. It infuriates me that they put her in seclusion like that with nobody to sit with. What an amazing child she is to see the positive in that situation ("my friends were at the table next to me"). That optimistic streak will take her far in life.


I think you need to rally a few other parents and lobby for the school to be completely nut free. Plenty of schools are (including Lana's). That means NOBODY brings pb&j - but that's OK in my book if it can save one life!


You can't be on the lunch duty all the time!


This is what I would do if I were you.


1) Inform everyone you know in school that she has allergy.


2) Teach her what foods to avoid.


3) Handmake a t-shirt with a picture of a peanut crossed out that she will wear during lunch time like an apron.


4) Put large stickers on her lunch bag, book bag etc that says PEANUT AND NUT ALLERGY


5) Get her allergy bracelet.


6) Give epi pen to trusted teacher/nurse.


I'm so pissed for you and Em that you have to deal with this, but I believe it's still early in the year and things will get better with time when people learn.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2003
Wed, 09-23-2009 - 12:31pm
Oh and it's really sad that YOU have to provide wipes for all the kids (that will become expensive). Why can't they all wash their hands after lunch?

calicosiggy.jpg picture by may_sunshine2004
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Wed, 09-23-2009 - 2:36pm

I understand not wanting to go in too hard when she still has so many years left and you want a good relationship with the school - but peanut allergies are so prevalent and severe that Steph is right - without a no peanut rule, eventually there will be a reaction and it's not going to be good. They certainly can have a no peanut rule, just like they have no weapons rules and no hats/chewing gum rules. Heck, my middle school had a "no hugging" rule.

I have a friend who is so allergic to peanuts, that if someone talks around her with peanut butter on their breath, she starts reacting...It's CRAZY, but true.

Kids with food allergies should not be secluded from other children. The school should be made safe for everyone.

Before you talk with the principal, maybe be in touch with your pediatrician to get some talking points, that way you can say, "I've discussed this with Em's pediatrician and he/she recommends XXXX." I think people sometimes don't realize just how bad these reactions can be until they see them happening.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
Wed, 09-23-2009 - 7:20pm

Thank you all SO MUCH for validating my concernts and reassuring me I am not acting like a freak.


Here's the update:


I guess the nurse got ahold of the PKB teachers today b/c they were kissing my A$$, however Emily was still required to sit alone, which just makes me cry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2004
Wed, 09-23-2009 - 8:13pm
I think you did / are doing the right thing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2003
Thu, 09-24-2009 - 8:44am

Morgan that's the stupidest and scariest thing I've heard!!! Playing with peanut butter? Why not sand table or rice table (like they have in L's class)?


Karen, I strongly believe that the most useful laws and rules in the society have been brought upon us by the persistant concerned moms.


The nerve of them to say that Em is not upset!!! I'm upset for her!


Did she make any friends yet? Maybe you can invite one of the kids she likes for a playdate and get to know her mom. Then maybe she can have a constant lunch buddy?


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