conflicting allergies in the classroom

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:08am
Flounder's picture
Joined: 09/02/2006 - 09:00

My daughter with MFA entered JK in the fall. So far we've been lucky.

Now I've learned that another parent is insisting her son be allowed to have certain dairy products for snack (cheese, yogurt tubes or milk cartons to drink). My daughter has had an anaphylactic reaction from contact with milk.

The room is supposed to be nut and milk free. Her logic is that her son's diet is restricted due to peanut/egg/wheat allergies and an exception should be made for him re:milk so he can have the things he likes/can eat. She doesn't seem to care about anyone else and it's glaringly obvious that she is another obstacle instead of a possible ally.

I'm afraid I might just snap at her if I try to plead my case. Last week I was preoccupied with my youngest and her ongoing health issues and I let it go. But today she put chocolate milk in a water bottle and her son taunted my daughter about it.

Has anybody experienced a similar situation with conflicting allergies (and obtuse parents) at school?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:26am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Flounder:
[b]My daughter with MFA . . .
My daughter has had an anaphylactic reaction from contact with milk.
The room is supposed to be nut and milk free. [/b]
So your daughter is allergic to nuts and milk? Anything else?
And the boy is peanut/egg/wheat?
What about only fruits and veggies with no dip?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:28am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

This is why banning doesn't help "all" kids...there are too many allergies to ban certain ones and not all! In this situation, they need to set up a safe eating area for everyone. I will be discussing this same thing with our principal, the lunchroom is very safe(set up that peanut-free tables and those eatign pb also sit all together at a table, and wash after) when my next son enters Kindergarten, how will they protect him, milk allergy. I hate to do it, but he'll need to sit at a milk free table(most likely alone, everyone drinks milk at lunch)...but that is the only way I see him staying safe. I think ALL kids need to wash hands after eating, so I will address that(the pb-eaters do now). There are just situations where not every one can win, so you need to make changes, make adjustments to keep both of these allergy kids safe.
In this situation, I don't think any food should be allowed in the classroom itself, it's too risky. And not fair(apparently) to the parent of the other allergy child(or your child either), his diet is very restricted, I would respect that(I have a similar child at our school, allergic to SOOOO many foods, he can actually eat pb sandwiches though, who am I to insist it's taken away from him....he just eats it safly at the pb table now).
I of course am the minority here...and I also don't know your school set-up(if they can eat in another area of the school, safely, wash hands etc...)
this was just a suggestion. But I can see your point and hers(the other mother). Good luck
EDIT, I just saw Greenlady's post...I can agree with her as well, if it is the policy, the school needs to address it, not you. And I have to agree also, the taunting needs to be reported and handled VERY seriously!!!
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited February 26, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:30am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Oh, what a terrible situation! It's bad enough when ignorant people are thoughtless, but to have someone who should know better be so unsympathetic must be very disheartening.
My solution would be to work through the school and not deal with the other parent directly. It shouldn't be your job to police the school's policy.
I would specificly bring up the taunting incident with the school administration - that kind of bullying could grow ugly fast. If you'd like, I can post a link to a picture of a boy having a serious allergic reaction after a classmate blew a strawful of milk in his face that you could share with the administration. (It was in Dr. Wood's 2005 presentation to the FDA).
As far as a peanut/egg/wheat allergy, it seems like there are still plenty of possible snacks that don't contain milk. It doesn't sound like a case that he NEEDS to have milk products in the classroom (I'm presuming he can get his dairy group at lunchtime?)
Good luck to you, and let us know what happens!

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:31am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:31am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

This makes no sense what so ever. She claims to understand the need to keep allergens affecting [i]her[/i] child out of the classroom, but is unsympathetic to the needs of your child. Nice.
The evil in me would insist that your daughter be allowed to have egg enriched wheat noodles because [i]your[/i] daughters diet is restricted. heh heh. This parent is not only incompassionate, but plain stupid.
As far as her son taunting your child. I would jump on that one hard and fast. Do a search on bullying on this board to get some good insight on why you need to seek to make an example out of anyone who tries to do this to your child...and quick. Shall the rest of our children bring guns to school to taunt others with death?? Because that's what this behavior amounts to.
I hope things get resolved for isn't easy...

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:33am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Hey, how about chocolate soy milk for her little bundle of joy?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:20am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Edited to add: the pictures in the link below are very distressing, especially for a parent of a child with food allergies. Please feel free to skip if they cause more stress!
Just in case it's helpful, here is a link to Dr. Wood's powerpoint presentation. The child with the reaction to milk blown at him is on slide 7.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Wood's transcript (p. 28-29), describing this slide:
DR. WOOD: The first couple of patients I am going to show you have urticaria or hives. This is a total body hive reaction that this boy is experiencing, a patient I have known since he was an infant.
He is school age at this point. This reaction occurred when he was in the grade school cafeteria, was being teased about this food allergy, another child blew a straw full of milk across the table into his face, and he had this really significant reaction.
Here's the link to the whole transcript:
[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:25am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Turn it around-- this child has already violated any grace that might have been granted regarding a [i]food preference[/i] by taunting your contact-anaphylactic child with an allergen. In a [i]preschool[/i] setting, no less.
End of story. Time for a surgical strike with the school-- agreed, too-- [i]NOT[/i] with this obviously idiotic other parent. It wouldn't be the other family who would be liable if something dreadful [i]were[/i] to happen. It would be the school.
Your poor daughter. She must just dread interactions with this other child. He sounds rather mean-spirited from your description. My daughter would happily give up [i]anything[/i] she eats for another child's safety. Happily.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:51am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I can think of any number of snacks to send for my kids that are dairy free, we avoid PN/TN/Soy and egg (due to our nephew with egg allergy and asthma- there is no egg in our house). It's only one snack right? As long as the child can consume his dairy products at lunch, what's the big deal?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 6:38am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

I'm glad to see you posting!
Just a question before I jump in here - is your JK full or half day?
If it's half day, I really can't see why this should be an issue at all; fruits or veggies should be adequate to get them through the morning. If it's full day, I can see where the diet restrictions would cause trouble. I also think there should be [i]no[/i] food in the classroom, and a safe place for snacking with provisions for washing up afterwards.
Without all the info I'll also join in by saying the school should address it, not you. I hope they will be supportive. The bullying has to be addressed - swiftly.
Chandra, I'm with you - I'm not a big fan of out and out bans, and this is a perfect example of what can happen when there are conflicting needs. I am, however, a fan of imagination and flexibility and I'm sure if the school is willing to work with both sides, they can come up with a solution.


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