How do I approach??

Posted on: Fri, 12/03/1999 - 11:52am
bakermom's picture
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Joined: 11/30/1999 - 09:00

My son won't be going to school until 2001. He will be six years old. I happen to work for the district as a tutor and a sub. I work in K-12, so I really don't know any one school in particular. I feel that I need to approach them now. Is it too soon? and how should I begin? Also, I would like to get information to the local restaurants and vendors too, any suggestions? we had a tragic death here only a month or so ago involving a PA teen. He took a bite of his friends sandwich...cooked in peanut oil and he died right away. This is such serious business. thanks for your help!

Posted on: Fri, 12/03/1999 - 12:13pm
MaryLynn's picture
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Joined: 06/25/1999 - 09:00

The first thing you should consider is how your district decides which school to send the children. If you can be certain of where your child is going to go, you can certainly ask if they have had any history dealing with this allergy and what their current medication policy is.

Posted on: Fri, 12/03/1999 - 3:43pm
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

We are working on putting together detailed "directions" for how to approach this issue (peanut allergy) with your school. Anyone who has fought and won or lost the battle for a safe environment for their child please send in your notes and opinions!
Also let us know the timeline you used, example when to start with this process, when to educate the community, when to do training, when to do a local newspaper article etc. You can e mail them, fax them, send them regular mail and even call so we can discuss the issue. This will help us to compile data about what has and has not worked and what can be done to change the outcome. This is obviously a short post on a complex issue, but I want to keep it short and to the point.
Help to make a difference! There is strength in numbers! As you may know, we are working to organize people with peanut allergy. Together we are strong! Please be as detailed as you can on each step you took and what you had to overcome.
Thanks for you help! Know that your efforts will help many!
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Posted on: Thu, 01/06/2000 - 7:41am
Anne Parrish's picture
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Joined: 01/06/2000 - 09:00

I was just going to post this very question. My child will be starting 1st grade next September here in Fairfax County, (Reston, to be exact!) VA. She has done *great* these last 3 years in a peanut free preshool/day care center. In fact, her only 2 trips to the hospital have happened here in our peanut free (or so we thought!) home.
Anyway, I have watched how our older child's public school (in Herndon, VA) has handled the peanut allergy of a 2nd grader & I have not been terribly impressed. I have managed to contain my concern because I had hoped (hope against hope!) to find a private school in the area that is peanut free, but I have not found any yet. So, it looks like it will be public school next year & I am, quite frankly, terrified. I would appreciate all suggestions of things to ask for, be on the look out for, anything.
Many thanks for your help.
[This message has been edited by Anne Parrish (edited January 07, 2000).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/06/2000 - 9:42am
rilira's picture
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Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

I would approach the school now. My daughters school is already starting on plans for next school year ( she will be in 1st grade starting in Aug. ) Some issues involve funding and have to go through all kinds of admin. red tape.
The first meeting for us was about six months before school started and was very casual.I introduced myself to the principal and nursing staff. I handed out a small folder of general allergy info. and an emergency health care plan for my daughter. We made plans to meet again a couple of months later.
My daughters school does not usually assign teachers until a few weeks before class starts.Going in early also enabled the staff to be aware of my daughters situation so they specifically assigned her teacher to her.I knew my daughters teachers name a couple months before the rest of her classmates were even assigned. They picked a teacher who has dealt with other health issues and she also has a very low absentee rate.
By the time school started we had worked out a plan everyone was happy with. There has been many bumps along the way but i feel if you really get involved in the school and let everyone know you and your child it makes it a little easier when problems arise.

Posted on: Mon, 01/10/2000 - 8:56am
KayMarks's picture
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Joined: 01/10/2000 - 09:00

Hi! I need some advice! My daughter will be 3 in August, so I have decided to send her to preschool in Sept. I realize I need to approach schools now, but am having a problem- when I call, I ask their policy on life threatnening allergies and then explain my daughters'peanut allergy. I have been repeatedly told that they will not infringe on the rights of other parents and the like. I then ask to make an appointment with the principal and again, am told they will not change their policies. I have spoken to 4 schools. I guess I could just walk in, but I am new to my city and don't know anyone to babysit yet. Also, is there anything I can do when they say I will infringe on other parents rights and that only if they agree to a classroom ban, then my daughter will be allowed? I've explained calmly and nicely everything about her allergy etc. and all 4 schools said they would prefer if I sent her elsewhere or keep her home. UGH!! thanks

Posted on: Mon, 01/10/2000 - 9:34am
CVB in CA's picture
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Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

I approached my son's school in early winter. I spoke to the principal and was very discouraged. "we have no peanut allergic children now and no specific policies". I was referred to the district nurse, but could not get ahold of her at all. I visited the school in December to get registration dates (January) for this fall and left a note for the nurse. This time she called me. It was a pretty reasonable discussion and she had some aquaintance with the subject. Apparently this was not new to the district, but to the particular school.
I picked up my package last week for kindergarten registration and had a discussion with the health aide at the office. She was already aware of my call. They had set a special registration package aside with miscellaneous forms for medication, emergency instructions, etc., for my doctors signature. Many things the principal was unaware of were being dealt with. They were actually checking into how often peanut butter was served, etc. in the cafeteria as to whether they might be able to get by without it. This doesn't seem likely, but I was very heartened.
Interestingly enough, the nurse was very concerned about maintaining my child's right to confidentiality about his allergy. I said I thought this was a bit unlikely to stay a secret as long as he wore a medic alert bracelet. I would rather every parent volunteer in the place knew which child it was and not to give him peanuts. The more eyes the better!
A down side is it seems they will prefer to assign him to an older teacher who maintains a rather "disciplined and organized" classroom. Some of the other mothers have referred to it as the nazi boot camp room....
He's a small kid with a gentle disposition. I hate to think of him in such a rigid and harsh enviorment for kindergarten.
Based on this experience, I would go through the nurse or health staff of the district first. Try and contact them during the school year- ours is off in the summer, and solicit policy information. Then you will know if there is anything in place and how various schools have been handling it. The FAN web site has a link to a school nurses association, this seems to lend it credibility if you refer then to FAN for information.

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