Banning peanuts in school

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I am about to go in front of the school board and ask them to remove peanuts and tree nuts from the school menu. I am also going to ask them to try to make the school system nut free. Has anyone else tried to do this? If you know of any information to help me, PLEASE let me know. We just had a 504 plan put into effect for my son that has LTA's and asthma. He just started 1st grade. I wish I had known more information about a 504 so that I could have one put into place before he started school. If he had one put into place before he started, there would not have been the problems that he faced last year. Thanks for listening and please help if you can!

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 11, 2007

I don't have any specific info for you, but I would point out to the board that these allergies are on the rise and they will have to deal with it eventually -- why not be proactive and do it now?

An article on the rise of nut allergies would be a good handout. Good luck, you are really brave to do this!

------------------ mom to Ari(7) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (10), mild excema

On Aug 11, 2007

Be sure the person who makes financial decisions about the schools knows that sunflower butter is now on the FDA list of foods that schools can buy at a subsidized rate. So, for the school, Sunbutter will cost the same as regular PB. Knowing that may make their decision easier, as some schools rely on PB as a "cheap" food for when kids forget to bring their lunches or are delinquent in paying for lunches.

My school cafeteria does not use peanuts or PB, but they do allow kids to bring PB in their lunches (though it is discouraged in a letter). My child always sits with kids who are eating the school lunch, as a natural way to provide a zone. Tables are always wiped down with soapy water.

Good luck.

April

On Aug 11, 2007

Oh, and if you're wanting to pour on the charm, make a batch of sunflower butter Special K Bars with melted chocolate on top and take them in. (I can't eat them anymore but I remember when I could - yum.) The flavors go really well and will help convince the staff that the kids don't have to give up much.

On Aug 11, 2007

Right now there is a peanut and nut free table in the cafeteria. But my question at the 504 meeting was that when the whole school was eating pb, pb cookies, or nuts in the cafeteria, the nut free table was not an option. What was he to do? Their solution was to serve his class a different sandwich and let them eat in the classroom. Then implement school wide hand washing. The school superintendent, 504 cooridinator, director of student services, the nutrional supervisor(a better name comes to mind), and the principal attended this meeting. I asked all of them would it not be easier to just remove it from the cafeteria in its entirety? They said they could not do this for reasons like other fa like milk and eggs, they could not ban it all. My son also is allergic to eggs and he can avoid them. He cannot avoid nut oil that leaves a unseen residue on everything. I do not agree with them so that is why I am going in front of the board.

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 11, 2007

See, now I am the minority...a peanut/nut ban might be nice, but it wouldn't help my kids. I wouldn't want sunbutter or peanut butter(in a perfect world) in the lunchroom(my son is anaphylaxic to both). So I am on the MFA stance....how would a peanut/nut ban keep my kids safer??? When eggs, seeds(sunflower, sesame), and milk could cause anaphylaxis as well(and has, I might add). I think focusing on serving it safely would be a better idea. I could see the schools not serving peanut butter, that would be great, but they shouldn't ban what kids bring to school(cold lunch). Becasue when it comes down to it, someone is going to be allergic to EVERYTHING brought into/served by the school at some point, and I don't think peanubutter allergies are anymore dangerous the seeds, milk, eggs etc... when it comes to reactions that could kill. JMHO

I do wish you luck with your ban...I guess if our school had one, it would be one less thing to worry about, but I have ALOT to worry about.

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, seeds(all-sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut(also avoiding legumes), trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)

On Aug 11, 2007

Chanda - I have read your sig and never noticed the sunflower thing before. I wondered if there were people who were ana. to sunflower - guess that answers that question. Yes, if there were a child allergic to sunflower seeds, then suflower butter would not be a satisfactory alternative at school.

April

On Aug 11, 2007

Mom of L&C,

I wrote this letter a couple years ago when the elementary school my daughter was about to attend went nut free. I was one of those moms all of you worry about, but quickly educated myself about peanut allergies and now try to educate others who dont have to walk in your shoes. If it will help you at the school board meeting, feel free to copy it into a word program and print it out.

_____________________________________

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing this letter to you because your school has decided to implement a ban on peanuts, tree nuts, and/or other foods that have been associated with life-threatening allergies, and I know the initial reaction you may have regarding such a ban.

I am the mother of a little girl who started school this year. About two weeks before school started I read in a local newspaper that the school she will be attending has decided to put such a ban into effect.

My first reaction was one of shock, but it quickly turned into complete ANGER! I couldn

On Aug 11, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by April in KC: [b]Chanda - I have read your sig and never noticed the sunflower thing before. I wondered if there were people who were ana. to sunflower - guess that answers that question. Yes, if there were a child allergic to sunflower seeds, then suflower butter would not be a satisfactory alternative at school.

April[/b]

April, we just found out 2 weeks ago, my sons throat was closing up from a cross-sesame reaction at McDonalds....we tested 4 other seeds and all were positive, class 3! My son had been bugging me all summer to let him try sunflower seeds too(all the boys were eating them at baseball) but I was too nervous. After the sesame reaction, and testing him the allergist aboslutly NOT!!! So I would be just as nervous having a lunchroom full of peanut butter as I would sunbutter. I've always taken the stand that ALL food allergies are serious, life threatening, so banning 1 doesn't matter to me(IMO)....if they banned peanut butter, yes it would be 1 less thing to worry about, but then it tells the children anaphylaxic to milk, or wheat, or sunflower seeds, or eggs.... that they don't count, only the pb allergies are worthy of a ban. Which I know is not true....but that's just how it reads to me, being the mother of MFA children...they ALL matter to me. I have to figure out a way for my child to navigate in this world, at school being severly allergic to many foods.

I don't want people thinking that I am against bans, that I would fight against them....if another parent thought it was important enough, I would never stand in their way, but I would ask them "don't my kids matter too"?? (again, JMHO)...HUGS

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, seeds(all-sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut(also avoiding legumes), trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)

[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited August 11, 2007).]

On Aug 11, 2007

I think this great that you are doing this. I see also that your child is allergic to eggs but the allergens are not the same and a ban on peanuts/nuts helps reduce the risk for all nut allergic children.

I would focus on combating the 'false sense of security arguement' and I'll find a good response to that and post it in a few minutes.

I would also focus on reducing the risk vs eliminating it.

The 5 out of 21 meals is a good statistic to use.

I have been watching this thread and hoping for others to jump in with some help and hope that they will soon.

Again - I think this is great - it is valid - and I hope you knock it out of the park!

On Aug 11, 2007

ok...well it's not as profound as I thought...but still addresses the point well...

a peanut-free policy does not eliminate risk; it is a strategy for managing risk. Even when you have the peanut ban in place there will be trace amounts of peanut in other kids' lunches, some bleary-eyed parents will make mistakes packing lunches, and so on. Banning peanuts manages risk by ensuring half the student population doesn't come to school with PB&J every day. When peanuts are banned, risk isn't zero but is considerably reduced. You still need to have emergency protocol in place and folks on alert.

On Aug 12, 2007

Thanks for everyone's input so far. I AM NOT at all saying that one LTA is worse than the other. I AM NOT saying that peanut or tree nut allergies are worse than the rest. Both of my kids are also allergic to eggs, but because "Peanuts and tree nuts leave an unseen, unfelt residue from the nut oils that are not visible to naked eye" I am concentrating on that. Their school does not serve shellfish or that would be another matter. Futhermore I would like to say that I am asking the school board to remove it from the school menu first and foremost. It was only served 4 times last year. Who would miss it? My childs biggest problem was when everyone was eating it for lunch. 10-20 people eating it is better than 300-400 all at the same time. I am not saying that kids cannot bring it for lunch, just not as a classroom snack or to parties. Then I was going to suggest that the ones that do bring it to school for lunch, let them sit at a table for just the ones that want to eat peanut butter and make them wash their hands. This will keep the ones that are allergic to peanuts from being singled out. And it is also much more of a controllable situation than being throughout the lunchroom. During our 504 meeting (which I could kick myself over and over for not having this done before he started school!), I asked what was my child to do when the peanut free table was not an option when the entire lunchroom was filled with people eating pb&j. Their suggestion was to serve his class a ham sandwich or such and make the rest of school wash their hands. Are they going to monitor this? Would it not be easier just to remove it from the menu instead of making accommodations for one class? Then for the rest of the day will my son be in constant fear to get a drink of water out of the water fountain or wash his hands after someone in the bathroom. What about on the playground or in related arts or p.e.? Just by simply removing it from the menu could prevent all of this. These are my thoughts on it and one of the reasons that I posted this topic was to get more. I do know that the times last year that my child had a reaction at school and all the times he had to sit outside the lunchroom by himself could have been prevented simply by reducing the risk of exposure. I do know that how he was treated in many respects when he was in kindergarten last year was discrimination and I will not stand for that anymore. No child should be discrimanted against due to a food allergy no matter what the allergy is. I am sure my name is or will be MUD, but as long as my child is safe and not discriminated against I do not care. Also there is another child that just started school there and he is worse than my #1 son and then my #2 son will be there next year.

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 12, 2007

Thank you turlisa. That is an awesome letter and I would be honored for you to let me use that at the school board meeting! I might enclose a copy in the packet I am preparing for them. Thank you! Thank you!

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 12, 2007

Lisa,

Taking your letter in with us when we meet with son's teacher Monday. It will be [i] on the top [/i] of the packet.

Thank you for remaining a part of this PA community. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Eliz

On Aug 12, 2007

Well, I wish you luck, if this is the route you want to take, then I do hope it works for you. Our school has the pb eaters(hot lunch serves pb Uncrustables every Monday) and then all the cold lunch eaters sit together at one group of tables...then those kids all wash their hands prior to exiting the lunchroom. The allergy kids also have peanut free tables(at the opposite end) that they sit at. Here is a link to the story, an upset parent called the local news...because the school supported having the pb-eaters all sit together(much like the allergy kids do, I might add)...and you should have seen the uproar over this decision. Their kids could STILL eat pb, order it on Monday's or bring it any day of the week from home...

[url="http://www.thedenverchannel.com/education/10512488/detail.html"]http://www.thedenverchannel.com/education/10512488/detail.html[/url] (the video is off to the right). And this still only protects the PB allergic...what about the others???

And I agree, NO allergens should be in any allergic child's classroom, I would like to see school systems wake up and keep classrooms food free(that would be a fight worth fighting).

I don;t want to fight a fellow allergy mom, that's not my intent...I just don't think bans make life as easy as it seems it would. Maybe if peanut butter was the only thing that could possibly kill my child, I would feel differently, I would worry mroe about just that. But my son Jake has had several *life threatening* reactions from peanut butter, pistachios, sesame seeds, eggs and sunflower seeds. Peanut butter scares me, but so do the many others that can kill him.

I don't have an solution to keep all kids safe, I don't...so I guess if banning peanutbutter helps a few, then that's great...but in the back of my mind I continue see that milk allergic child amongst the 100+ cartons of milk each day, or the wheat allergic surrounded by any sandwich/bread/roll/muffin(I couldnt' imgaine dealing with that allergy...and I have a friend, who's daughter is entering Kindergarten in a couple weeks(at our school) who is anaphylaxic to wheat...I just worry about ALL these kids, that's all. edit...personally, I don't know what to do for my MFA kids, there is no milk free table, no egg free table...I have exhausted every scenerio so I am not sure how to keep my kids safe without going overboard. As it stands the MFA kids sit at the peanut-free table, but that doesn't protect them from the milk cartons, the drippy hot cheese(for nachos), the yogurt that's served, the fried egg/ham sandwich(like a McMuffin)...just examples of what we have to avoid each day at lunch. The only solution I have is for my child to sit alone at a desk....maybe next to the pf table, but not close enough to come in contact with the other *unsafe* foods that are eaten there.

But I don't want you wasting your time arguing with me(and tone is hard to read in a post, I mean that, sincerly), save it(your energy) for your school board, your going to need it(school boards are tough). I do hope you get the end result you are after and wish you all the *luck* there. I was in your shoes once though, I wanted a ban, I wanted all the peanut butter out of the dang school....I was so focused on the pb I forgot to consider the other life threatening allergies that kids at our school had. It just made me realize, even with my own kids, that taking *one* food away isn't the answer, they still faced many dangers. (at least for us)....but that's not to say it isn't for you, right??!!! Good luck!!! (I do mean that) HUGS

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, seeds(all-sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut(also avoiding legumes), trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)

[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited August 12, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001000.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001000.html[/url]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by mom of L&C: [b]I am about to go in front of the school board and ask them to remove peanuts and tree nuts from the school menu. I am also going to ask them to try to make the school system nut free. Has anyone else tried to do this? If you know of any information to help me, PLEASE let me know. We just had a 504 plan put into effect for my son that has LTA's and asthma. He just started 1st grade. I wish I had known more information about a 504 so that I could have one put into place before he started school. If he had one put into place before he started, there would not have been the problems that he faced last year. Thanks for listening and please help if you can![/b]

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this!! I'm about to start on my own venture and in great need of similar advise. I've printed this for my records. Best wishes to you!!

------------------ Kimberly Wife to Joel (since 1999) SAHM to: DS1 (May 2003) PA since Feb 2004 DS2 (Jan 2006) no know allergies

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by artlvr: [b] Thank you SO MUCH for posting this!! I'm about to start on my own venture and in great need of similar advise. I've printed this for my records. Best wishes to you!!

[/b]

Good luck to you too! My oldest son is allergic to eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. He started out with excema and they warned us that he could have either food allergies or asthma or both. (He has both!) We found out the hard way about the eggs and then he had the rast test. That confirmed his allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. We have strictly avoided peanuts and tree nuts and he has never had an anaphylactic reaction, BUT he has had close calls with break outs and other symptons. Those were just from touching something else that someone else had touched who had eaten pb&j. I have another mother who has a child with allergies to wheat, soy, milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. We are concentrating on the nuts because of the unseen unfelt residue that it leaves behind. We provide all lunches, safe snacks and treats. The school has sent out letters asking parents to refrain from bringing in anything with peanuts and tree nuts. We are just trying to take it one step further. I have researched this for the past 3 months and have found many articles and info on the web. Put peanut allergies into a google search and see what you get. I wish you all the best and keep us in your thoughts too. If you have not done a 504 plan for your child I suggest you do that. I wish I had done it sooner!

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Sep 3, 2007

i just read dr. wood's, food allergies for dummies. in it, there is a great explanation of the molecular structure of the peanut allergen. it tells how the peanut is really like getting 3 allergens at once. i think that is a great argument as to why peanut is more critical to remove from schools. i, too, have a son with MFA, but i see peanut as the largest threat because it is so potent. check out the book for the explanation, i think it could help you.

On Sep 3, 2007

Thank you for the info p-nots. Any help I can get I glady take. I will see if I can find that book. Yes both of my children have MFA but I think peanuts and tree nuts are the worst for them. Thank you!

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Sep 3, 2007

Turlisa, Thank you for posting your letter....I can think of several people that I would like to send it to....GREAT LETTER!

Mom of L & C GOOD LUCK at the school board....Rhode Island has a new law that prohibits the sale of peanut/nut products ....

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