Camp serving Peanut Butter


I just received a call from my sons camp. It was his counselor introducing herself. We went over Nicks PA allergy and some of my concerns. I was aware that everyday at lunch PB was going to be an option. But she told me that they make 500 YES 500 PBJ sandwiches a day. Looks like EVERYONE has PBJ sandwiches!!! I am so upset and nervous about this. She said they eat outside on picnic tables.We have agreed that he will eat with the EMT and not with the children. I hope I am making the right decision about sending him. I really want him to have a normal life as possible. I am really worried about the amout of PB in the air. He is athsmatic and I think he is smell sensitive. This is the first time he is attending camp. Does anyone have any advise on this!!!! Am I being overly cautious??

On Jun 16, 2001

There is some amount of anxiety sending your child to his first camp, let alone dealing with the peanut allergy threat. My initial thought as I read your post was that cross contamination would a problem. I don't think that it would be reasonable to expect all those kids' hands to be thoroughly washed up, and that cross contamination would be a possibility in preparation of the other foods. If you think he may also be smell sensitive, I would be apprehensive even if they were eating outside for the same above reasons. Perhaps you have already discussed this with the counsellor. I think I would not be comfortable with it, speaking for myself.

On Jun 16, 2001

That just sounds kind of scary. Yes, Nick can eat away from the other kids, and he could stay far enough away that the smell didn't bother him. But can the camp guarantee that each and every child will thouroghly wash their hands AND faces after lunch? What about the smears on their clothes, because most people have a tendency to wipe their hands on their clothes, especially when eating something oily like PB. Because if they have any residue on their skin and touch Nick or Nick touches something they've touched, he could have a reaction. I don't think there's a strong likelihood that he would have an anaphylactic reaction, but it's possible, and he's at least likely to get a nasty set of hives and maybe a bad asthma attack. I don't want to scare you out of letting him go, but I would ask if there isn't any possibility that they could serve something else for lunch. I mean, for Pete's sake, PB&J every day? What kind of a cheap outfit are they? Sorry, just my first thought. I don't think I would let my child go given the circumstances. Maybe you should print out all the articles on Nathan Walters and let them read them. Perhaps a good scare is in order.

I hope it all works out for you...


On Jun 16, 2001

Thanks for your replies. I have had MANY discussions with the owner of the school. They know my son very well. He has gone to the school during the year for pre-k. During the school year they are completly peanut free. It is just the summertime they make PB sandwiches.His current teacher will be his counselor. Did I mention I will be providing his food. The owner said they have had PA kids before and they are all trained in knowing what to do. I am very nervous about this. I don't know exactly what they do during the day. One thing I know they have swimming 2x a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The afternoon one scares me. The school/camp is family owned and has been around for 50 years. They are well respected in the neighborhood. I AM comfortable with the owner. She is on her toes, but this amout of sandwiches really makes me nervous. I am going to have the same problem when he starts Kindergarden. A whole lunchroom with kids eating PB. That school(a different one) will provide a peanut free table for him. This is a stressfull time. For the past 5 years he was with me and I ALWAYS made sure he was safe. This schooling thing makes me so nervous. I really need to search for answers. I would appreciate anyones thoughts on this and previous experience.

On Jun 22, 2001

That scenerio would make me way too nervous for my comfort. Its one thing if some kids had it, but all the kids eating it everyday, is a surefire recipe for an accident! We're lucky our city's camps are nut free. And having a nut free table doesnt alleviate my he can eat there, but then must step around all the possible landmines (other tables) thanks to that.

But on the bright side, if he does go, and does get thru it well, that will give you a great boost of confidence.