A dose of Reality

Posted on: Tue, 11/30/1999 - 3:57am
Ginger's picture
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Joined: 11/17/1999 - 09:00

I had a taste of the real world today. I had been talked into,by a friend, to go to the gym where she teaches and I decided to go. I have been wanting to start again. I was told the daycare room was peanut free due to another child w/ PA. I was thrilled!! I thought it would be great for me to do something for myself and for my son (18 mths) to develop some social skills w/ out mommy.
I walked in and my DD was happy as can be, her best friend was there but my son forget it!He was terrified!I have NEVER left him before. There was food everywhere! I went to the caregiver to tell her our situation and she took it so lightly and said there are no peanuts in the room. After being there 30 minutes on the floor w/ my son, a little boy walked up to us w/ a oversized peanut butter cookie in his hand reaching for my son!!
I couldn't believe that the people I spoke with assured me it was peanut free. They seem to understand the severity of PA but instead,shrugged off my concerns. It could have cost my son his life had I left him alone!
How will I have piece of mind when he goes to school on his own? I did everything I should have done. Spoke w/ the manager& caregiver, explained our PA and they assured us my son would be just fine .This whole day has left a terrible knot in my stomach!!
Sorry to ramble but I needed to vent!I can't believe they state that it is Peanut free place. If only I could worn others. Had my son been more willing to go play and I went to exercise, I don't know what would have happened!

Posted on: Tue, 11/30/1999 - 1:35pm
Lu Randall's picture
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Joined: 10/14/1999 - 09:00

I don't know how your school would be, but print this out and save it to show them when the time comes...
I obsessed for a couple of years before my son went to kindergarten. I scared the whatever out of his K teacher (good for me, I guess.) I dropped off articles in March before he began in September, and then began my campaign again with the principal in August. Our team consisted of teacher, gym teacher, nurse, and principal. They let me train them, with the nurse adding some medical stuff.
They were great about listening. My son now eats in the cafeteria (I read all freezer labels, they have a separate cutting board for pb sandwiches, he has a peanut free table.) My principal let me train all cafeteria staff and lunch ladies, starting with a meeting in May before he started eating there in September. Those ladies are very caring and alert.
He has always had a box of treats in his classroom to substitute for birthday treats. He can read his own labels now anyway, but prefers his cool stash.
I sent a letter home with other kids. The parents mostly have been great, not even complaining when their kids refuse to bring pb so they can sit at the special table.
All in all, we have been given flexibility and support. Our keys have been: Start early to get them used to the idea, and raise awareness. Everyone I have talked to tells me weeks later "I notice labels and articles about this all the time now."
2. Go in with a plan (Safe Classroom, Safe Lunchroom, etc.) List what you want to be policy. If you do the work, it is easier for them.
3. Be positive (I know this is hard.) I tell them if they get Epi-trained, they get to eat from the treat box all year! 4. Try explaining that it is just like a bee sting, that tiny amount can be deadly. They seem to understand that.
There is a start! But I hope you lose less sleep than I did in the years before school. School personnel, for the most part, are much more professional and truly understand disabilities more than we know (how many kids are diabetic, asthmatic, have seizures, ADD, etc.) They also truly understand LIABILITY. That is why I have put so much in writing.
Sitters, daycare people in casual situtations, etc. often don't get it and don't have to. They are not always professional nor educated to the point that other people must be to at least teach. Some teachers and administrators are jerks, I have heard. But I haven't met one yet.
Keep posting here. There is a lot of help.

Posted on: Tue, 11/30/1999 - 1:46pm
Renee's picture
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Joined: 09/02/1999 - 09:00

I attend a Health Club 3-4 times a week. They have a policy against eating in the Child Care center, but I noticed right away that it was loosly enforced. I typed up a copy of the Emergency Healt Care Plan (EHCP) from FAN, with a picture of my child, laminated it. I talked to the head of Child Care, and she made it the topic of her next staff meeting. They posted the EHCP behind the check in desk, and when I sign her in I point to her picture and remind them. My daughter is almost 5 so I also tell her to go to one of the workers if she sees anyone eating.
Hope that helps.

Posted on: Wed, 12/01/1999 - 4:02am
CathyT's picture
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Joined: 07/11/1999 - 09:00

I have a 2 yr old with PA, and I myself am PA. Gym daycares are very dangerous places for kids under 3 who cannot speak up for themselves. The girls working there are not trained well (in general), underpaid, and young. The way I get around it is I have a babysitter come to me after she is done with school. She is not allowed to bring any food into the house. Then, I go to the gym alone. There is plenty of time for socialization in preschool, which will be hard enough to educate everyone. I have been dealing with this allergy for a long time, and now with my son. Unfortunately, the reality is that it is difficult to change people and educate them, and sometimes, it is not worth the fight (like in the case of gym daycare).

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