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Posted on: Sat, 05/07/2005 - 5:57am
Darkmage's picture
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Joined: 10/01/2004 - 09:00

My PA and DA son started preschool last fall (at age 3 1/2). I was a nervous wreck until I was able to sit down with his teachers and the owner of the school. They actually requested the meeting, which was nice. We explained his allergy, showed everyone how to use the epi-pen, and learned how snack time was arranged for those with food allergies.
We ended up providing all of ds's snacks (which is what we wanted to do, rather than trust a busy teacher's label reading), and he got apple juice instead of milk. He is seated next to another boy who can't have milk, and a teacher sits next to him. I have been very comfortable with this school. They also went peanut-free this year due to the increase in PA kids they get. He has had no reactions. *whew*
I have had such a good experience with this nursery school, that I can only assume the move to the public school system will not as easy. I have heard that our local school district is good with dealing with allergies, but I'll be the judge of that !
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[i][b]Peanut Slayer[/b][/i]

Posted on: Sat, 05/07/2005 - 10:41am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Some advice for public school. Before I put dd in elementary school, I interviewed the school nurses at three excellent schools, and used that as the main factor in making my decision. It really is the difference between having the law followed, versus having to fight for your child`s rights. At one of the three schools, the school nurse said she would never administer the epi without calling me first, so that one thing told me she just didn`t get it. It is one of the best public schools in L.A., but based on that I knew I could never send dd there. If it takes the nurse five minutes to call me, that is five minutes wasted. At dd`s current school, the school nurse was very aware of the law, and very willing to accomodate the pa. She trained every single school employee on the epi, all teachers, all aides, all cafeteria staff, all office staff, the janitor. At one point the after care wanted me to sign a release, and before I could respond the school nurse said that was illegal which it is. The school nurse got transferred last May and we got a new one who is the opposite. She was not willing to train anyone who did not want to be trained. She felt it was good enough to train the teacher and no one else. She said if the cafeteria staff did not want to learn the epi they did not have to. I said if dd has a reaction, that is probably where it will be----in the cafeteria. Fortunately at the same time the prinicpal retired and we got the new principal who is ana to be stings and carries an epi herself. So she wanted the school to be totally prepared for an ana emergency. But if she were not there, and if I had started with this school nurse, dd would not have been safe there.
So, bottom line is for public school, interview the school nurse before you decide to send your child there, and get an idea of what accomodations will be made. You are going to be there for six years. Our current school nurse did not even know how to use the epi correctly. Thank goodness for the principal. If I started with a nurse like that, it would have been an uphill battle every step of the way.

Posted on: Fri, 05/13/2005 - 2:15am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My severely allergic (nuts, peanuts, other things!) and asthmatic 5 year old has been in preschool 5 days a week since he was 2. The teachers are aware of his allergies and have been epi-pen trained. I prepare his lunch and since they only have water, fruit and crackers for snack everyday, I pretty much know what he is getting. The scary part is all the pbj sandwiches that the other kids bring in! My son does not sit next to those kids and he is very aware of his need to stay away from peanuts, wash hands, etc.
That being said, he starts kindergarten this fall and things will only get harder -- more kids, more "special treats", more chances for exposure. As someone said before, look at preschool as a good testing ground for how you will handle things in the future.
Also, preschool is so great for children -- new friends, social interaction, learning new skills, preparation for "big school" --and limiting your child because of allergies now will set a pattern in the future. Your son will love preschool and learn to deal with the non-allergic world at the same time.
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mom to Ari - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya, mild excema

Posted on: Fri, 05/13/2005 - 5:05am
lalow's picture
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Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

I havent descided about preschool for my 2 year PA son but I am leaning toward skipping it because of other things than allergies. However, I have been following the advise of some on here by giving him a lunchbox when he is in sunday school, or his playgroup with his snack in it. He only eats his snack from his box and I really think this has helped. The teachers and church say that he will stand there while the others get their snack and wait until she gets his lunch box down. He is only 2 1/4 but because we have always done this I think at some level he understands. I dont ofcourse trust him not to eat something if is handed to him but the lunch box has helped.
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Lalow
James 3yrs, NKA
Ben 2 yrs, PA and MA and SA

Posted on: Sun, 08/07/2005 - 11:43pm
mommyofmatt's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

Now it's crunch time with this decision. Yikes! We've given our deposit, they've been accepted. I still have a few things to work out with the teacher.
Even if everything works out to my satisfaction, I just don't think I want to send him yet. Would it be so bad if I had him wait until he's 4? I'm looking for reasons why it's better to send him at 3 and take the risk. Anyone?
I've gotten a little more paranoid (if that's possible???!!!) after a little boy who had eaten pb earlier took a sip out of ds' cup. Then, when I forgot to change his cup, ds started drinking it an hour later. He had a reaction, it was subtle, just starting when I caught it, and gave him Zyrtec right away and he bounced right back. But it scared me that this could happen from someone drinking out of his cup. And one of the symptoms was sluggishness/ weakness. Now of course he's still a toddler, so the way he was acting didn't necessarily mean a drop in bp...but still.
They're going in the afternoon, right after lunch. The teacher's going to ask that no one eat pb before...but who knows.
I just don't want a teacher to hesitate or miss a reaction starting and not treat in time. I might feel better if he didn't have MFA, I don't know.
So, through my babble, what would the compelling reason be to send him this year when he's 3 (assuming all my safety concerns are properly addressed)? Thanks. As you can tell, I'm struggling with this just a little, tiny, incy bit.... and I'm starting to talk like my toddlers [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] Meg

Posted on: Sun, 08/07/2005 - 11:59pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I only put my dd in preschool at that age because I had no choice. You saw in my emails all the unsafe situations that the babysitters put her in, so that was out. As a single mom, I had to go to work. Also, when I put dd in I did not know she was pa---she was not diagnosed until age 5, as we were avoiding peanuts anyhow due to her milk and egg allergy. If it stresses you out that much, and you don`t have to put him in, it does not seem worth it. If you decide to do it, I would put him in with the 4 year olds. That is what we did. 4 year olds are less messy, understand the rules better, etc. Ultimately it is the school`s responsibility to watch the kids and make sure that another child does not drink from your ds`s cup. Of course, that can happen in a split second. But if you put him in with 4 year olds, it seems like that is unlikely to happen. They just follow the rules better.

Posted on: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 3:33am
Ree's picture
Ree
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Joined: 12/31/2004 - 09:00

I'd feel the same way. My ds will be 4 in Sept, so he's going. But he doesn't have the milk allergy...if it were my MA ds, I'd probably be more apt to wait. But it depends -
- are they itching to be out of the house and be social?
- are they doing well with potty training?
- is your PA ds able to communicate about his allergies?
- are they still napping in the pm?
- are you going out of your mind b/c they drive you crazy between noon and 5? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (yes, that's me!)
I don't think you could go wrong either way. And, if there's an option to send them Jan06, that might be the way to go.
Good luck with you decision, and keep us posted!!
Ree

Posted on: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 6:00am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

I'm struggling with this also! However, I feel better reading all the posts of what everyone else is doing or has done. The suggestions are great. It is hard, but I do feel this will better prepare DS (and me!) for kindergarten. Love this site!

Posted on: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 11:49pm
julieneaman's picture
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Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00

Meg,
It sounds like there are a number of us facing this decision in the next couple of weeks. I've been asking myself if some of my anxiety might be about sending my youngest baby off to preschool and my happiness/sadness at his growing up so soon. I think I've picked the best school I can for ds. I think I've prepared ds the best I can as well as the teachers and director. Sooo, I'm sending him off after Labor Day. And, if it seems unsafe or I become uncomfortable with anything about the experience, I can always pull him out. He is so excited to go. He will be wearing an epi belt. And, I will OK all snacks. I'm taking lots of deep breaths and praying.
JUlie

Posted on: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 2:09am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I never sent any of my kids to preschool. Not because of food issues just because I was and am a very selfish mom. I was a stay at home mother and was able to do what I needed to get them ready for school. They leave to soon for school that I just wanted ot cherish the days.
As far as the kids I sit for they all went to preschool and the had kids with food allergies in there classes. However the schools never made them nut free so the parents just had to pray nothing happened. Not good enough for me and my kids.
Where I am from people are very stingy and ME people so it would have been very hard for us.
Best of luck in your decisions. claire

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