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Pre-K & Peanuts

My son just started pre-k last week and is severely allergic to peanuts. We spoke with the principal about it who stated that there would be signs put up and that my son would be safe, which doesn't seem to be so. There has yet to be signs put up, and today my son came home from school stating a girl in his classroom had peanut butter cookies! I instantly felt like I had been punched in the gut. I am so worried to send him back.

I am unsure of what to do. I know that he's only 4 and could be wrong, but if he's right I'm pretty upset and mad. Any suggestions on what to do or say? Do I talk to the teacher or the superintendent?

By kricar on Sun, 09-01-13, 16:40

Private school. I won't consider public due to the fact that they aren't peanut free. Maybe when she is older and can look out for herself but that won't be for a few years. My daughter is only 2 1/2 so she has a while.

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By kricar on Sun, 09-01-13, 15:33

My daughter also has a peanut allergy and is about to start pre-k but I enrolled her in a peanut free school to avoid moments like that. I just don't trust others enough to chance it. My school doesn't allow any outside food the school has a chef and prepares all meals on site. I'd this type of school is not an option in your area then yes you have to speak to your child's school immediately and make sure they are keeping your child safe. Best of luck!

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By noosmom on Thu, 08-29-13, 21:46

My heart goes out to you. My 16-year-old son is severely allergic to nuts. When he started school,my biggest problem was making people understand how dangerous exposure was. He went to a school that didn't have a nurse. Suggest that they set up a nut-free area for him. I am sure his good friends will agree not to bring any nuts to school and so they can sit with him at lunch. Also, I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at the school at lunchtime. I think it helped me more than it helped my son. Good luck!

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By PeanutAllergy.com on Thu, 08-29-13, 18:18

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted on our community page.
Our Answer:

Dear pnot09,

You have every right to be upset! Schedule another meeting with the principal, the school nurse, and your son’s teacher(s) to work out a plan. It may be the case that, with so much going on at the start of the school year, the principal simply forgot to put signs up. Or there may have been a simple misunderstanding. However, if the principal is not taking your child’s food allergy seriously, you may have to consider switching schools and finding an administration that will better cooperate.

At the meeting, discuss with the principal and your child’s teachers about the severity of your son’s allergies. When it comes to food allergies, education is key! Explain to them that your son has a life threatening condition, and you do not feel comfortable sending your son to school if his health is in danger. Put together a folder with a picture of your son, emergency contact information, an Emergency Action Plan signed by your physician, a description of what symptoms to look for and instructions for how to use an EpiPen. You could also ask your child’s teacher to send out a newsletter to ask other parents to be considerate and not send food products containing peanuts to school. It is important to be an advocate for your child. Check in with the school continually during the year and educate other parents and the administration about food allergies.

You could also implement a 504 plan. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights lists an allergy as an example of a hidden disability for the purpose of Section 504. A 504 Plan, is a written management plan outlining how the school will address the individual needs of the child, and allow that child to participate safely and equally alongside peers during all normal facets of the school day. This may be your best option!

Best of luck!

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