field trip lunches

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2007 - 2:48pm
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Ds's second grade field trip is to a museum in NY (we are in NJ). We missed the field trip last year, but I know the policy for lunches is a brown bag lunch, with everything inside disposable, and they are kept on the bus (no cooler). I'm pretty sure the majority of kids, especially at this age, take pbj.

First of all, I am not thrilled with taking seven year olds to the city (the school actually stopped for a few years after 9/11). Second, if ds is surrounded by 80 other kids eating pbj, I am afraid I won't be able tio keep him safe. Where would the kids wash hands on a trip like that? And would there even be time to make sure they did? I cant; see handwashing being effectively carried out in this situation. Then they all get back on the bus? It scares me. Plus I hate to be so far from home, with no transportation to get him out of there if he started reacting.

I plan to ask the school nurse her thoughts (she will likely go on the trip, we have a diabetic child in our grade), but I really, really don't want to go on this trip [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2007 - 12:48am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I totally understand your fear, but I'd encourage you to try and figure out ways to make the trip safe. I still remember my trip to NYC as the highlight of my elementary school career, and your son's at an age that he will probably start resenting being left out of things.
I don't know what your son's reaction history is, but for my son, who is very sensitive to ingestion but hasn't had any contact reactions, I'd feel okay with the following:
- I would go with the group and carry his lunch separately from the bags of pbj.
- Kids use wipes after eating and before going on the bus.
Just my thoughts - hope it helps!

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2007 - 2:35am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I have first dibs on chaperoning DS's field trips, and have seen how it is handled.
Yes many kids do bring PBJ, since it all does have to be disposable and can get warm.
DS's lunch is kept separate from the others (if I go, I take it). DS sits away from anyone with PB (on a trip 2 years ago, that meant he sat with just me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ). Wipes are handed out to all kids toward the end of lunch, and they are expected to use them. So far he has only had teachers that take his safety very seriously, and are more likely to err on the side of caution, and has had classmates that really seem to care as well. I think that does make a big difference.
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[url="http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle"]http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle[/url]

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2007 - 2:51am
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I am hoping my 504 will address this, so it is more the school responsibility then mine...but until that is done....
we went on 1 field trip so far this year, to a pumpkin patch. I drove seperate, behind the bus actually(with my other 2 kids in tow). I walked with Jake around the pumpkin patch, we went on a wagon-type ride etc... but I stayed with him and wasn't expected to watch any other kids, which was nice. His buddies still ran around with him, but other moms were in charge of the other kids.
When it was lunch time, we all sat at picnic tables, and I just told the other kids, you can't sit here unless you have something other then pb&j...and a few we opened and looked(they didn't know what mom packed). He had his brother with him and one other friend....but they ate quickly and then we're off again.
Now here is where it got a bit ugly to me, no one wiped their hands, and it started blowing horrible so they all jumped back ont he bus. I don't think they were allowed ot eat, I'm not even sure where all the lunches ended up....I didn't know what to do(I wanted to make him ride with me, but he would have been so upset) so I just followed the bus back. Once they got to school, I saw he was fine so I went home.
I came to find out later htough(which upset me) they ended up finishing lunch in the classroom(I took Jake's lunch in all the comotion) so they sent him to the office while the others finished eating. This is where his 504 will help, they should have gone to the lunchroom to finish and he should have been given one of his back-up snacks to enjoy at his peanut-free table.
Anyways, I plan to go on future field trips(or meet them there). I know he won't want me to go as he gets older, I will address that then. I know not everyone can go with their kids...this is just one area I would make darn sure I did though...a comfort level thing. I would never make him miss it though, I would try, we always try...if it was just too scary or unsafe, I would be there and the option to leave.
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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 March 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2007 - 4:44am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by chanda4:
[b]
I came to find out later htough(which upset me) they ended up finishing lunch in the classroom(I took Jake's lunch in all the comotion) so they sent him to the office while the others finished eating. This is where his 504 will help, they should have gone to the lunchroom to finish and he should have been given one of his back-up snacks to enjoy at his peanut-free table.
[/b]
Oh, I have soooooooo BTDT!!! The only time dd`s food free room got violated was on a field trip day. For some reason that day the teacher decided to let the kids eat lunch in the classroom. However, this was in clear violation of dd`s 504, so the school took it very seriously (a child was allowed to eat pbj at dd`s desk while dd sat outside). The allergist wrote a letter to the school that this must never happen again, I wrote a letter about dd`s 504 being violated, and there was a huge meeting about it. About the field trips, dd`s 504 states that I would be allowed to attend all field trips, and that a note would go home requesting that parents not send peanut products on the field trips (this was stated as a request, not a "ban"). Because of this being in her 504, there would be at most one or two kids on a field trip who brought something with peanuts, and I would take them to the restroom myself to wash hands. Really there are lots of alternatives besides pbj.
Now that dd is in 6th grade and does not want to be seen with me, I don`t go on the field trips any more. She takes her epi, zyrtec, lunch, wipes, and cell phone herself. But all through elementary school I went on all of them. The note still goes home about no peanut products. On the first field trip in 6th grade I went to make sure that dd was ready to go without me (I had her pick an area to sit, kids to sit with, use her wipes, etc.) and not a single child brought anything with peanuts.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited March 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2007 - 7:35am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

Lunches can stay cold if the parents pack a frozen juice box inside, which (sometimes)partially thaws by the time they have lunch, depending what time that is. You could ask the teacher to suggest that in the letter giving them all the details on bringing a disposable lunch and such. It would make people feel better about sending a non-peanut butter lunch.
We actually had a peanut-free picnic table at the field trip to the orchard last fall. And the PA kids' lunches were kept separate from all the others. At the zoo, we all eat wherever we want (high ratio of chaperones). It is scary to be without independent transportation, but bring meds and a cell phone, and you can always call an ambulance.

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