Acceptable Compromise

Posted on: Tue, 08/31/2004 - 10:39pm
turlisa's picture
Joined: 08/29/2004 - 09:00

1st of all, let me say good luck to you all as school is starting. I hope everything goes well and continues to go well all thru the year. I cant even imagine what you all must be going thru. (but keep in mind, not all of us peanut moms are bad) [img][/img]

Ok, I need some help. I am still going to the school board to fight the ban that was put in place (hold on hear me out) But I want to try and get to an acceptable compromise.

let me list here the foods that the school has banned.
* All peanut/tree nuts
* All item that contain or may contain nuts or trace amounts of nuts.
* Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds etc will not be permitted.
* Fresh fruit that contain pits (peaches, nectarines, plums, avocados, cherries etc)
* Legumes (dried peas, beans lentls etc)

I understand the importance of the peanut butter residue, I can compromise on that and if I should give my child peanut butter with her breakfast I will make sure I do it before she gets dressed and she will wash up after eating.

Now as for items that contain nuts, may contain nuts or may contain trace amounts of nuts, Is a PA child in danger by say...cookie crumbs that came from a chocolate chip cookie that may have nut contamination from the packaging plant? or does a PA child actually have to ingest that cookie for it to harm them?

As for the seeds. Is sunflower butter residue as dangerous as peanut butter residue? soynut butter? or does it have to be injested. and seeds in general, does the allergic child actually have to eat them?

Now the fresh fruit ban is just beyond me, I think that is just crazy and honestly I have no compromise for that other than the school should back off that one.

and lastly Legumes. will bean dust cause a reaction? are their some that are more allergy causing than others? do they need to be eaten to cause a reaction?

Thank you in advance for any help.


Posted on: Tue, 08/31/2004 - 10:50pm
synthia's picture
Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Hi Lisa,
Thank you for educating your self on the Peanutallergy.
To answer one of your ?'s
[b]Now as for items that contain nuts, may contain nuts or may contain trace amounts of nuts, Is a PA child in danger by say...cookie crumbs that came from a chocolate chip cookie that may have nut contamination from the packaging plant? or does a PA child actually have to ingest that cookie for it to harm them?[/b]
It depends on the child!
Love this site

Posted on: Tue, 08/31/2004 - 11:58pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I think the school is making unreasonable demands on the parents. This would be hard for any parent to comply with. When I think of kids who are vegetarians or who may have other special needs to deal with, it seems impossible.
I think it is reasonable to ban peanut butter. The other foods are just too much, IMHO.
Please keep us posted!
[img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 12:18am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I did a lot of research this summer since my son is beginning first grade, partially to alleviate my own stress (although it didn't entirely work, I must confess). From all that I read, peanut residue tends to be one of the few items where contact could lead to anaphylaxis. There are a few exceptions (shellfish, milk in a few individuals, etc). I personally have never had a problem with "may contains", although peanut and nut containing products such as cookies and granola bars can be an issue as they are often oily.
I'd be concerned about the cookies not because of the crumbs but because it might leave oil that could be smeared. Most peanut allergic people can react to nuts as well.
"May contain" items really shouldn't pose a health threat unless ingested. Again, personal opinion based on what I've read and my child's own history.
As for the rest, I have two questions. Do the kids eat in their classroom? You have to be far more careful if they do, because they are eating in the same area they spend their whole day in. People often ask if recess should be banned because of bees, but what if the situation was that the allergic person was being forced to spend a day in a room full of them? That's kind of what happens in the classroom setting. That being said, I could see where seeds could potentially be in issue in the classroom, but I truly don't see where fresh fruit and legumes would be a danger.
What the school needs to do is remove the foods that pose a true hazard to the child's health from the classroom and work out a plan to reduce the risk for the other foods he's allergic to but not likely to have a reaction to unless ingested.
I think it's all in how you approach the matter. Perhaps you could simply ask for someone to explain in detail to you why such a large number of food items are being banned? Mention it seems excessive and you need to understand the rationale behind it, and then you can begin to question the rationale. Does that make sense?

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 12:24am
nancy023's picture
Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by nancy023 (edited September 01, 2004).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 1:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

turlisa, this is a school wide ban, right? Not just a ban for the classroom for the child that is allergic?
My son has had a "peanut free" classroom for five years (he's entering his sixth year of school next week) and in his written school plan that has included no "may contains" in the classroom. There are some members here who believe it does increase our children's exposure to peanut products (the 1 in 5 chance of a "may contain" product actually having a peanut thing in it). I have always stuck by that, but for this year, I've told the school that I am taking the "may contain" and "made in" clause out of his "peanut free" classroom guidelines.
To me, it really proved too difficult to work with. Now, it didn't for the first three years he went to school, the non-PA parents seemed to be able to deal with this complete (if you will) ban, quite well. In Grades Two and Three, it was just a horror show.
I, personally, don't have "may contain" or "made in" products in my home and I don't ingest them even though I'm not allergic, my son is.
However, it may be a clause that that particular child needs.
I'm not sure about all of the other things that have been listed for the ban. I know that we had one member here last year, katiee, and her non-PA child was in a class where there were all kinds of food allergies, and so it was a chicken-free, peanut-free, egg-free, etc. classroom. But only classroom, not the whole school.
It is the issue of residue and reactions to it thereof that make many of us (although not all) ask for a "peanut free" classroom and certainly dream of a "peanut free" school.
Even though I have been dealing with PA for 7 years now, I don't know enough about other food allergies to really comment on the school wide ban of legumes and fresh fruits.
Personally, I could see it if it was just in the classroom for the child that is allergic.
I'm wondering if the school just hasn't been presented with enough information to form their own decision about what to do.
If I'm confused about the other foods and their potential seriousness, then I'm sure a school administrator, not dealing with food allergies at all in their life, would be confused as well and they may very well have looked at the child's plan and said, okay, this seems do-able, it's been presented well, and that's it.
I would think also that there must be some kind of medical documentation with the school to support a ban like this.
I can see a peanut/tree nut ban for the whole school, but again, at this point, I am really unclear about the other foods. I don't think the school was presented with anything else that seemed work-able to them and they just ran with what they were given.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 4:41am
KatiesMom's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

Having a peanut allergic child, I'd support the peanut/tree nut ban - even those with 'may contain'. We don't have any 'may contain' items in our house although I know parents who do allow the 'may contain' items. I would ask for explanation about the other items. If someone had a sever sesame or poppy allergy I could see that. The fresh fruit one is beyond me.

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 4:51am
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

I would encourage those that wish to respond to read a more detailed accounting of the situation in the various media reports prior to responding.
For example, it has been represented that pitted fruits are banned. Latest media reports indicate that "...While pitted fruits have also been eliminated from the school lunch line up, Ray said children bagging their lunch would not be forced to leave those items off their lunch menu.

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 5:33am
turlisa's picture
Joined: 08/29/2004 - 09:00

Miller bans nuts, seeds
by Kelly Michaud
WALDOBORO - When classes resume Sept. 1 at Miller School, students and teachers will enter a nut- and seed-free school to help protect a fellow student's life.
The school, which serves children in kindergarten through sixth grade, is banning any food and craft items that contain nuts or traces of nuts, including peanuts, all tree nuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and legumes like dried peas and beans. The ban also includes fresh fruit that contains pits like fresh peaches, apricots, avocados, plums or cherries, according to SAD 40.
That is just part of the article. If you wish to read the whole thing, it is at:

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 5:37am
darthcleo's picture
Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

Nutternomore, where did you read an article about this?
My son is contact sensitive to chick peas. And humus makes a mess just like peanut butter. I can see a reason for a chick pea (a legume) ban *in my son's case*. I don't know anything about the particular case being discussed.
As far as offering a compromise, this is what I would do. Get the school, parents and doctors, to select the least dangerous items on the banned list. Have an "allergenic" table in the cafeteria for kids who bring in these less dangerous products. Kids with these items would sit at the allergenic table. Ask the parents to limit those products to a few times a month, or something like that. Sending in those products should be an exception, not a norm. Kids would need to wash hands, face, and teeth properly after eating those products.
More dangerous items like peanut butter would stay banned.
*Personally*, I don't have problems with *my son* being around people eating "may contain" products. It's like a Russian Roulette. The item may or may not contain peanut protein. The allergic kid may or may not come into contact with crumbs of the product. The probablity of said crumb having peanut protein is debatable. Some people on this board did have serious reactions from this Russian roulette. Was is Helen in Australia who took a sip from Geoff's coffee cup where some may contain chocolate was on the cup? It *does* happen. Just like people playing russian roulette do die. Since my son is not contact sensitive, and I know he doesn't eat crumbs, in our *personal* case, I can deal with this danger. Were he contact sensitive, I would react differently.

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2004 - 5:45am
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

I posted the [b]latest[/b] article in the "Wow" topic in the Media Thread.
It would seem the other article offered above [i]may[/i] be based on [i]older[/i] information (it matches what was being reported back on 8/25). Gee, for me to see direct quotes from the principal that pitted fruits, for example, [b]are allowed[/b] is pretty compelling, and doesn't seem to be ambiguous...
Also, [i]has anyone considered whether the family involved either lurks here or is a member?[/i]


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