A very positive experience

Posted on: Fri, 08/16/2002 - 1:12pm
mpeters's picture
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Joined: 10/28/2001 - 09:00

pMy daughter started public preschool this year and I'd like to share my positive experience. I have the advantage of working in special education in the school where she attends, so I have a friendly relationship with the teacher, assistant, nurse, and principal. I think that if you have time to be a school voluteer to establish a good relationship the year before your child goes to school you should do it. /p
pI had been telling stories of our dramatic and traumatic PA experiences in the staff room for the past three years, so the teacher was quite familiar with the issue. When I learned my daughter would go there, I started preparing the teacher by telling her how we handled it at home and at her previous preschool. I pointed out changes that would occur in class projects and snacks. I gave the principal basic information about PA including tips for teachers last year. I also talked to the nurse to find out how to handle the meds. and plan. /p
pI was still nervous. /p
pThings have gone beautifully. I wrote a letter informing the other parents about the issue and talking about snack etc. This letter was included in every parent's packet (even the other class) and discussed at orientation for both classes. The teacher invited me to talk about in and take questions. The parents were extremely supportive and I was extremely grateful. I will send reminders throughout the year. I trained the teacher and assistant in use of the Epi-pen and gave them the food allergy action plan. They posted a copy, put one in the substitute folder and one in her file. The nurse (RN) also has it. The nurse keeps all the medicines. I wrote an IHSP (Individualized Health Services Plan) which simply outlines the goals, actions, and people responsible. I included: information sharing - my responsibility; peanut safe environment - teacher and assistant; treatment for mild and major reactions - nurse; and trained staff and meds for field trips - me and nurse. I have provided a plastic container filled with safe snacks. Thay are to be used for my daughter if an unlabeled or "may contain" snack arrives, and for the whole class if a peanut or peanut butter snack arrives. The peanut snack will be returned with a kind reminder note about the allergy. This was discussed at parent orientation also./p
pWe all feel happy and confident with the arrangements. I feel very fortunate and wish similar experiences for all of you. I am so sorry for those of you who have had difficult roads to hoe. Please hang in there and know you are doing the best you can for your child, and accept a written HUG from me. /p
pTo anyone who has been told it is not "real world" to eliminate peanuts from school, I like to compare it to guns. There are guns in the real world but they are strictly banned from school for the safety of the children, so they can learn in an environment free of undue risk./p
pM. Peters /p
p[This message has been edited by mpeters (edited August 16, 2002).]/p

Posted on: Sat, 08/17/2002 - 3:46pm
Dawn's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

That is really wonderful! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Congratulations!!
I'd also like to share my positive experience.
My 2 oldest children attend a small parochial school. We just moved here about 9 months ago and everyone has been very welcoming. At one point last year, the preschool teacher introduced herself and told me that she'd heard that I was not going to send my PA son there next year and hoped it wasn't because of his allergy. She let me know that everyone at the school was very familiar with all it takes to keep him safe as there is another child in the school with PA and they are very diligent about keeping a safe environment. I told her that the main reason was because they only offer a 5 day, full day program and I prefer Joshua to be in a part time program at this age. I have found another preschool which has dealt with PA before and is 3 days. Fast forward to Friday night...My older kids' school had an open house with refreshments afterwards. The preschool teacher found me and told me that they are getting ready for Josh to join them next year (they know we are sending him there for K thru 8th grade) and have already sent out notices to the current preschool parents that no peanut snacks will be allowed. Today, one of my friends, who's son will be attending the preschool, repeated it when she said "I see they are getting ready for Joshua for next year!" The head of the cafeteria also spoke to me and asked me get together with her to go over foods that I have found to be safe for Josh and to let her know about what to look for in the labels. She is new to the position this year and is eager to use peanut free foods. She also has food allergies, though not peanut, and understands that it is a serious issue.
I have been scared to death about this whole school thing and having to give up control. But there really are people out there who get it and I feel so blessed to know some of them. Now I just hope the other parents are as accomodating as the school!
Best wishes to everyone for a very safe year.
[This message has been edited by Dawn (edited August 18, 2002).]

Posted on: Sat, 08/17/2002 - 10:58pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

So far, we have also had a very positive experience. Our last meeting was better than we could have hoped for. But we will see. I am always cautiously optimistic but still SCARED!!!! Our DS is ready---we have role played etc. I will pull up an interesting thread about the very first day of school.
some of the parents I met at playdate aren't so with it though! One of their kids was eating a power bar!!! What is a 4 yo doing eating a power bar!? one of the mom's is a psychiatrist and she thought this food allergy stuff was in people's heads! I have to work on her.

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2002 - 10:51am
dhumphries's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

I too have had fairly positive experience - bether than I expected. A note is to go home to parents (it wasn't in our folder, hope that was not because it didn't go but instead because he would not need it) explaining that the room was to be peanut free. I also took a box of safe snacks in case some had to be confiscated. My sons class is first to lunch so the tables have been cleaned the night before, and he is seated at the end and only kids with lunch trays will sit next to him. The food service director for the district personally met me at the cafeteria today to assure me that the cafeteria was committed to being peanut free. I am also apprehensive, but feel that the school is working toward the goal of keeping my son safe. I trained his teacher on the use of the epi which he wears on him in a fanny pouch. There is also one kept in the nurses office at all times. I too have an individual emergency plan on file so that everyone will know my expectations in case of an emergency. So, things seem to going along ok. Good luck to all.

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2002 - 11:56am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I'd like to add another positive experience.
Our school principal is quite worried about the Kindergarten playground equipment and my son's exposure to peanuts, so he decided to implement a new snack policy in Kindergarten. All Kindergarten classes (AM and PM) will have recess BEFORE snack. This way it will reduce the chance of exposure to oily peanut residue. Nothing is 100%, and he can't control who is on the playground during non-school hours, but this new policy was his idea, and I thought it was a great way to help reduce a possible exposure to peanuts via shared playground equipment.

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