Banning peanuts in school

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 2:08am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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!

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#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

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:12am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:18am
April in KC's picture
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Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:21am
April in KC's picture
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Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 4:19am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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.
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#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

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 5:41am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

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.
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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)

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 10:26am
April in KC's picture
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Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 11:14am
turlisa's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2004 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 12:23pm
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

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
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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).]

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:15pm
Sarahb's picture
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Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:20pm
Sarahb's picture
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Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

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.

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