Daycare and Lunchtime

Posted on: Wed, 06/30/1999 - 6:38am
Kelly's picture
Joined: 06/30/1999 - 09:00

Does anyone know how dangerous it is for a PB allergic kid to be sitting by someone eating PB? I worry about some kid talking while eating and PB residue flying into my kid's eyes or being touched and then him touching his eyes. I try to have him not sit by a kid eating PB, but I'm not there at lunch and can't be 100 percent assured that he doesn't. Anyone know anything about that exposure or touching door handles after peanuts or PB on the handle?
Thanks for any info.

Posted on: Wed, 06/30/1999 - 8:53am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

There is always a danger of accidental ingestion if your child is close to peanut butter. In a daycare center where the kids are young and sloppy eaters, this is especially dangerous. The kids get it all over their hands, faces, tables, chairs, etc. They then get up and walk around touching toys, door handles. If your child gets it on him, especially the hands, it can easily get into the mouth or eyes, which then becomes an "ingestion." As we have all heard--it only takes a little bit to cause a reaction. Ideally, in a daycare center, peanut butter should not be served in your child's classroom, but if the center will not comply with this, your child should be given an area to eat separately and all the tables and chairs should be thoroughly cleaned after the meal, along with the children. Usually, if you tell the center this, they will opt to go peanut free because the cleanup is too time consuming. In theory, this all sounds wonderful, but I have many problems myself getting my son's center to comply. I just spoke with my director on Monday because my son just went from the 3/4 room to pre-K. The director assured me that all lists and been changed to the new room and the teachers had been briefed. There would be no peanut butter served in his classroom and all snacks would be reviewed before he was given them. Today, my husband went to pick up my son and they were serving celery and peanut butter. They gave my son plain celery despite the fact that I sent in a whole bag of treats for him. Guess it's time for another "talk".

Posted on: Wed, 06/30/1999 - 9:14am
Kelly's picture
Joined: 06/30/1999 - 09:00

Thanks, Christine for your info.
I guess my stress level stays up there. I keep hoping things will get easier. I do keep talking with the daycare and school and my son about being careful. Everyone seems to understand and they all say they're careful. I'm just worried about the "accident."
I do send a separate snack to school and daycare to have on hand so he rarely eats anything that's served to the other kids unless I okay it ahead of time. We found out he was PB allergic when he was eight months old and have literally brain washed him or trained him -- I like that word better -- to not accept food from others. He's real good at not trying new things -- sad for him -- but a must in his life, so I don't worry about him eating anything with PB in it. I just worry about contamination. I am going to ask my allergist about it in August and see if I can get more info about touching. I guess to train your child to wash, wash, wash will help, too.
Thanks for your help

Posted on: Wed, 06/30/1999 - 10:59am
Kelly Morse's picture
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

Kelly - I think the "secondary exposure" (e.g. touch and airborne) is very hard for others to understand because it usually is only related to peanuts. I spend an extra 15 mins each morning at pre-school talking about Spencers peanut allergy to his teacher. It is my goal to make sure she knows what I know. I am usually there before the other parents so I am not competing for her attention. She has been very receptive but it is too early to tell how much it has helped since Spencer has only been able to attend 8 days since we started the first part of June. The pre-school has made some very positive changes as a whole. Now if I could only get him healthy enough to attend!
Kelly M
Another Mom in Michigan

Posted on: Thu, 07/01/1999 - 12:59am
Kelly's picture
Joined: 06/30/1999 - 09:00

I think you're wise in spending the time talking with the teachers in the morning. My son is 9, and I've realized throughout the years, the teachers and caregivers seem to "forget" so I am constantly reminding them or sending them a note to wake them up again. That's also why I remind my son every morning to be careful in certain situations. I feel like I'm barraging him, but I think it's necessary to be always on top of it. A child naturally wants to be like all the other kids and do the things they do, and people that don't have a problem with PB -- it's just not a high priority in their mind. I can't blame them, but I know my job must be to constantly remind them. The stories I could tell of preschool teachers and daycare staff forgetting are many. It's amazing, especially when this is on my mind Every day!
But keep on.

Posted on: Sat, 07/03/1999 - 12:41am
ElizabethsMom's picture
Joined: 04/17/1999 - 09:00

Our daughter's second reaction - and the one that prompted us to see an allergist - occurred at her daycare. PB and crackers was served in her room, but not to her. She either touched the table the PB was on or a small amount of the PB itself - nobody is really sure - and broke outin hives from her elbows down. The best advice I received came from Nicole, also a member of this site. It is so practical, direct and most importantly cooperative rather than confrontational. It really helped me manage.... I'll put an excerpt from her e-mail here.....
E-mail from Nicole excerpt:
"What I do every morning before I leave my child at preschool is to survey the entire preschool room and see what projects and what snacks are going to be in the room for the day and I sign my name on a board. This step only takes a few minutes and this way, the teacher knows that I have addressed the nut issue. I personally read all labels for food before leaving the room. This plan has never failed me and I would recommend that you be extremely involved in the classroom. For instance, children bring in show and tell, 100's day things to count, and other non apparent risks like food for pets that might contain nuts, puppets stuffed with crushed nut shells, etc. I've also learned to do my homework when it comes to field trips. I've had to attend all his fieldtrips. Also, while I'm thinking of it, I welcome phone alls from other parents when they are concerned about bringing in something for their child. Alot of them (THEY"RE GREAT people by the way!) call me the night before school to discuss ingredients they are using for their child's cupcakes, or a Valentine treat, or anything that might be a risk in their minds. I've made myself very accessible to the staff and to the parents and they are comfortable with me. This is the key ~"
Hope this helps!

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