For those of you who have children in peanut/tree nut free schools, how does your child's school go about enforcing this?
On Feb 1, 2006
On Feb 1, 2006
We began preparing for our school to go peanut free a year ahead of time. There was one school in our district that was already peanut free so it was not a new concept to our school board. I took all of my son's medical records of his testing , all the pictures of his reactions (best thing I ever did) and had a meeting with school officials and then they took all the info before the board. Our board voted to make all schools peanut free in our district!!! There was a public outcry believe me but the iggnorance they showed at the meeting made the board want to pass it even more. Good luck!
On Feb 3, 2006
How does you school go about making sure there are no peanuts? Are there people monitoring lunch etc.? I'm wondering about the logistics of it all. Thanks, Dana
On Feb 5, 2006
At the two schools my 2 PA children have attended so far (they are now 6), the contents of the classmates lunches were checked either by an assistant -- in one school, two grade 8 students, who were also present to help with handwashing on entry -- or the teachers themselves as children sat down to eat.
In the remainder of the school(s), we rely on teachers keeping an eye out for foods that contain or may contain peanut ingredients. I heard repeatedly over the last two years that the students themselves are the best at checking -- quick to "tattle," pointing out that so-and-so has something that's not safe to have in the school.
It's also regular reminders to parents -- and staff: periodic mentions during school assemblies, in school newsletters; having an info kit sent out at the beginning of the year (I created it) and having it available as a resource during the year, usually outside the office; training staff on avoidance, recognizing and treating; having posters on administering Epis in hallways and staff rooms (the FAST poster).
It really just becomes part of the routine.
Hope this helps.
On Feb 5, 2006
Forgot to mention: when a child had brought in food that had a peanut/nut warning, it was sent home with a note from the school, and the child could pick something safe to replace it out of a snack bowl the school kept full at the office.
On Feb 7, 2006
On Feb 7, 2006
Your school does not allow "may contains" either? It seems like so many products have a may contain label. Did you meet a lot of resistance to that?
On Feb 20, 2006
Hi, Dana. Sorry, I just checked back now to see how the thread was doing.
It includes may-contains because I insisted on it due to the less-than-contained eating habits of all kids their age -- 4 when this policy was initiated. It meant I had a lot of meetings first with the principal and then, when she started getting annoyed, with the superintendant of the school board. When you document how little peanut protein it takes to cause a severe if not fatal reaction, and you include letters from doctors and allergists, it makes them more receptive. And when you keep coming back...
At the current school, the principal stated at the first staff meeting, at which I presented a Epi training session, to a question from a staff member that food with *any* warning should be treated as unsafe and returned home with the student.
I have not heard of any backlash, but I suspect the principal would deal with it directly and not involve me. I think if it were a huge problem with parents, he would come to me and ask if we could work together to solve it.
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On Feb 21, 2006
I was so happy to see this thread. My post may get kind of long, so bear with me... I didn't use to think that peanut free schools were the solution. That is until my son started participating in sports. This year, he was on the wrestling team, he is in second grade. The matches are usually held at a high school. Well, i was already a bit unsure about him even participating in this sport because of the close contact and because who knows what's on the mats! Well, the matches take at least half the day on Saturday mornings. Not only are the vending machines in these high schools full of peanut stuff (snickers, m&m, reeses, trail mix, peanut chews etc., but the hosting school has mom's selling stuff in the hallways. PB&J sandwiches, more peanuty candy, homemade goods full of nuts, it is a nightmare. So, by making schools, peanut free, these things wouldn't be allowed in the building and i think it would raise great awareness to parents in all school related activites. I also had a moment of panic thinking about my son in this really large high school, having a reaction and not getting help quickly. Anyway, I am thinking about starting with my PTO president and the principal at my son's school and seeing if we can approach the Board of ED for our district. Let me know how you do in your area. It seems like it would be very easy to do this especially with the good labeling on food now.