What is a Nut-Free Classroom?
While every school will have its own policies, generally a nut-free classroom is exactly what it sounds like: a classroom, for everyday use, which does not permit peanuts or products containing peanuts to come in contact with the students.
Lunches and snacks should be peanut- and nut-free
Students in a nut-free classroom are not allowed to bring a peanut products into their classroom. It is even more advisable that the students in the classroom not consume peanuts at all during the school day. Peanut butter residue can trigger an allergy attack. Only bleach destroys peanut protein, so bleach hand-wipes should be used frequently to clean all work surfaces children touch.
Snacks are included. Any snacks for the class as a whole should be prepackaged with ingredients listed so the teacher can see that they are nut-free. For this reason, snacks should remain in their original packaging and not moved to a baggie or serving bowl.
More and more classrooms are discouraging party food which is not prepackaged. No birthday cakes, cupcakes or cookies which are homemade. It is better to see a list of ingredients from a commercial kitchen. A better option for a birthday is to bring a book to donate to the school library or some kind of recreational toy like a jump rope or sport ball for the playground.
Protecting students from accidental exposure
Peanut-free classrooms are also free of solvents and oils which use peanut or other nut products. Lotions and body oils are also included. There are some furniture cleaners and waxes which contain these products and they will not be used in the peanut-free classroom. Additionally, craft projects and classroom activities will not utilize any products which contain nuts.
The peanut-free classroom may also stocked with an EpiPen where it is allowed by school policy. There is usually at least one student in the room with a known severe allergy to nuts. This child must be protected, and the students around that child need to uphold a policy which will keep them from accidentally hurting their friend. The peanut-free rule should never be broken or bent. The room should be a safe place for young children to learn and play.
Source: Onespot Allergy, HBCSD
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