*Different* Notice in PA Child\'s Class To-day - What Do You Honestly Think?

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 6:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

To-day, I end up having to physically go into Jesse's classroom when school was over to hurry him up. He is the last one out of class every day. While I'm standing there hoping that he'll focus on getting ready, I look up at the chalkboard and just beside it.
Just beside the chalkboard is where information about Jesse's peanut allergy is posted (not his emergency medical plan or pic, but a newspaper article with his pic).

Now, a new thing is up there. It is a typed notice from a parent of a child. It's entitled BAD FOODS FOR (CHILD'S NAME). The foods included all prepared meats, hot dogs, peanut butter, Cheez Whiz, processed cheddar cheese, regular cheddar cheese with the provision that white cheese (don't know if that means Mozzarella) is okay. It goes on to say that if the child ingests these foods, they will become ANGRY AND EXCITED.

So, to me, I look at the luncheon meats and hot dogs and think, okay, MSG. I can't eat MSG either because it's one of my migraine triggers. The cheese, perhaps lactose intolerant, but then why would some white cheese be okay? The peanut butter, I don't know.

In Ember's class near Christmas we received a notice home saying that there was a child in her class that was allergic to red dye. Her symptoms are that her blood pressure INCREASES. The principal sent the letter home without having medical documentation from the parent.

At Valentine's Day, Ember was adamant with me about not sending chocolate in (treat size Smarties). Why? Because there is supposed to be a child in her class allergic to chocolate. However, I haven't received notice about that.

If our schools are food obsessed, as they do seem to be here, perhaps it is appropriate that parents send these types of lists into the school so that their children won't be fed things they shouldn't be fed.

If I wasn't a PA parent, could I send a list in saying that my children are not to be given anything with red dye, sugar, or chocolate because it makes them bounce off the walls?

Can you see where I'm going with this one?

I am having great difficulty with this particular school as far as Jesse's peanut allergy. To have parents popping out of the woodwork with lists of food like this is actually undermining to what I am trying to do.

The child next door to me is lactose intolerant. Have her parents sent in a note to the school saying that she is and they would like it posted in the classroom? No.

Do all of us not have foods that we see our children eat that we would prefer them not to because of the adverse effects (i.e., my two are now bouncing off walls after trying the great new "safe" Rolos by Nestle and having a hot chocolate)? Does the school have to be aware of this situation? How large of a part of feeding our children should the school be taking?

Because it's Jesse and Ember's classes that have been affected by these things, it really does make me look like Psycho Mom from He**.
I am serious. I am not saying that the parent does not have the right to say they don't want their child to eat something or other, but can anyone, besides me, see how this could be potentially undermining to my efforts and actually belittles Jesse's PA?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 11:19am
katiee's picture
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Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Well Cindy, for myself anyway I would "question" a school that posts such "requests" that have not been sanctioned by a medical doctor otherwise, if every Tom, Dick and Henrietta is making demands like this because they don't want their child to eat this particular food for anything other than specific medical reasons to me anyway is undermining the efforts of parents like us who have children who could die if exposed to their particular allergens.
There is a world of difference between eating a food that would "sugar up" a child or agitate them and a FA/PA child eating something that could kill them. Apples and oranges to me. Are you (parents of kids in the class) being asked not to send in the particular food or are you only being told that this child can not eat this food? Either way, I don't think this belongs on the wall of the classroom. Sounds to me like someone might be messing with your head. Just my opinion.
Take care,
Katiee

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 1:07pm
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Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Cindy:
I am sorry, but based on your above post, I don't agree that this parents list is undermining your efforts.
I think it is dangerous to make assumptions about how other parents are handling their situations. It might not seem important to you that certain foods make this child anxious, but apparently it is important to someone.
You have mentioned before that this teacher seems lax when it comes to your sons PA...perhaps this list is posted as a reminder to her.
Regards,
Kelly
P.S. your daughter Ember sounds like she is a sweet, empathetic child. Lots of parents choose not to send notices home regarding food allergies. The fact that she is aware and adament about making sure not to exclude a child from her class is very gracious of her.

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 2:00pm
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Joined: 10/12/2001 - 09:00

Cindy
I don't intend to sound harsh or judgemental, so if my reply comes across this way, it's just because it is late at night and I want to type this in quickly and call it a night.
I know you have had a lot of trouble with your kids' school this year, and I think perhaps this is affecting your interpretation of this issue. It seems to me that for health reasons these parents simply wish to have some control over what their children are fed at school -- something that we as parents of PA kids should understand. While there may not be fatal reactions involved, it is not our place to judge the severity of someone else's heath concern. Also, the actions requested are not as "drastic" as those we request for our kids, the note doesn't ask others not to consume the items. Perhaps in the one case, these foods trigger hyperactivity in the child -- which would affect the child's ability to learn and possibly interfere with all the children in the class.
As far as not providing medical proof of allergies, I don't feel we have the right to demand to see proof from other parents, that is up to the school to request if they feel it necessary.
This reminds me of something Mommabear asked in a completely different thread -- are we willing to "give as good as we get?" or words to that effect.
As far as the Smarties for Ember's class go, many people have posted here wishing treats were not always food items, maybe this would have been a good time to send a non-food treat?
Sarah
PS at my daughter's preschool there is a child with many food allergies that can trigger very serious reactions, including one to red dye.

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 9:29pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Just a question as to this situation? Are the parents just saying their child can't eat such and such a food without impacting other children about what they can/can't bring in? That would opposed to our situation in which PA kids really can't/shouldn't be exposed to peanut products in the classroom because of anaphylaxis.

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 11:04pm
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Joined: 10/12/2001 - 09:00

Ryan's mom, I'm not sure I understand exactly what you mean in your post, so I may be misinterpreting it. But, no I don't think this situation is "opposed" to the view of parent with PA child, just different from it. These children may react on ingestion only, not by contact or smell, and perhaps not even by trace ingestion. This doesn't mean their parents don't also have a valid concern.
Sarah

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 1:50am
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by hannah mom:
This reminds me of something Mommabear asked in a completely different thread -- are we willing to "give as good as we get?" or words to that effect.
[/B]
hannah mom:
You made my day. You will probably never know how much it meant to me that you remembered. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
MommaBear

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 2:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Harsh and judgemental? Yes, everyone but Katiee was. I think somehow I must have posted so that people were not looking at the *big* picture. Or, perhaps I should also have posted again about how Ember's teacher sent home rice krispie squares with the parent who made them saying that there was someone in the class "allergic to rice krispie squares". Not rice, not an ingredient in rice krispies or the marshmallows, but the actual rice krispie squares.
I did speak with the principal yesterday regarding this and she agreed that it does undermine those of us whose children have a deadly allergy, especially when they pop out of the woodwork mid-year.
The principal cannot or is not supposed to send out notices re an allergy, i.e., the chocolate, until she receives written medical documentation. Once she receives that, she is required to say that there is an allergy to a particular food item in the classroom.
I'll have to re-read my original post later and see where I came across as not caring about how other people deal with their children's health or food issues. In the mean-time, I'm going to send a list to the school asking that my children not be allowed to eat chocolate, red dye or sugar because it makes them hyperactive and they crash badly.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 2:13am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy - you asked what people "honestly" thought and they all tried to put their thoughts on this issue as nicely as possible. We can't all agree on everything, can we?
My thoughts are that if a parent takes the time to detail behaviour changes in their child through a food diary (I don't know if those parents have done this, but it sounds carefully detailed) then they certainly have the "right" to have it posted in the classroom as a reminder to the lunch staff. Any negative behaviour in the classroom affects the entire class - it sounds like this child may have a behaviour problem and the parents are trying to avoid medication. That's all. Not undermining your efforts at all - 2 different ballgames, IMO.
Carolyn

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 2:14am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]
I'll have to re-read my original post later and see where I came across as not caring about how other people deal with their children's health or food issues. In the mean-time, I'm going to send a list to the school asking that my children not be allowed to eat chocolate, red dye or sugar because it makes them hyperactive and they crash badly.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[/b]
I have found P!$$!#& contests to be nonproductive and exhausting.
MommaBear

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 2:23am
ABreitner's picture
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Joined: 07/02/2002 - 09:00

Cindy, I am not in agreement with you on this one [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
My daughter is lactose intolerant. The worst reaction was one day she ate something with cheese at school and while I was braiding her hair she leaned over and threw up in her own lap. Even when she does not vomit or have diarreah, it cause her huge discomfort. Other people are always trying to get her to eat things with milk and it is very hard for her to get them to take it seriously. She is not allergice but very intolerant.
Ben reacts to red dyes by screaming and pulling at his hair. When I tell the doctor about this he says "hmmm". Hardly the reaction I would need to get this documented. Ben can't eat uncooked tomatos, black grapes, raisens, watermelon, as well as his medically confirmed allergies to peanut, dairy, and egg. Of course the one that I worry to death about is peanut but the others are quality of life issues. There is something in teddy grahms that makes him break out in a rash that you can't see but feels like sandpaper. I know that the few times I try to tell people about the reactions that are not peanut, they look at me like I have lost my mind.
I don't think having these intolerances posted undermines the severity of your son's life threatening reaction.
Ann

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