Just when I thought things were going well...

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2000 - 2:05am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I had been feeling very pleased with the way our school was handling the pa situation, until I happened to witness something rather disturbing today. First of all, my daughter is in kindergarten, and the nurse sent letters to all the kindergarten parents asking them not to send in any peanut products in their children

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2000 - 2:34am
Kathy Spencer's picture
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Joined: 08/17/2000 - 09:00

I would call this to the school nurse's attention. There is no reason for these children to be eating and playing at the same time. I know of two contact reactions at my son's former school (from playground equipment and a classroom table), in spite of the fact that the school had sent letters to parents, taken peanuts off the menu, and kept a peanut-free lunch table for the PA children.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2000 - 4:12am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

California Mom,
Your post was really interesting to me. I sympathize with your dilemma. If you do talk to the nurse, I guess you should just tell her what you said here--you don't mind if they eat PB, as long as it's confined to an eating area and the kids' hands are washed. Peanut bans are great as long as they're enforced. If they aren't enforced they're worthless and maybe even dangerous. Much better to have handwashing strictly enforced than to have a peanut ban in place that is ignored.
I understand your feelings about your child's behavior. After all I went through with the school to put safety protocols in place, I now feel like my son had better be on his best behavior. The other day I saw him push another kid down and I cringed, thinking how I've been so concerned about my own child's safety and now here he is hurting someone else's child! Our kids shouldn't be held to a higher standard, but it's impossible not to feel like we need to prove how reasonable and easy-to-get-along-with we are. Good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2000 - 4:35am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

I imagine this was outside? I don't feel kids should be eating outside at school at all, not just because of what could be wiped on the equipment, but that food also will attract bees - another cause of anaphylactic allergies.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2000 - 6:32am
Lisa M's picture
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Joined: 03/07/1999 - 09:00

Not only that but it is a choking hazard to have kids eating and playing at the same time.
When I was meeting Brett's pre-K4 teacher for the first time before school started and met with her and the administrator, I did the whole spiel of info, epi, etc. and then didn't have the nerve to go into how he is delayed in speech, acts young for his age, etc. lol. I thought that might put them over the edge. Like it's not enough to have the food problems but she'll probably have to spend more time teaching him some things. I waited til the first day of school to say, 'oh by the way, Brett's in speech therapy for delayed speech development'. Of course she was great and said if his speech therapist wanted to give her advice on what to work on she would be glad to. The woman is practically a saint in my eyes.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2000 - 9:47am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

CaliforniaMom, I would definitely speak with the school nurse who originally sent the "peanut free" letters home. I know that if a child brings a peanut product into Jesse's classroom, they are removed from the classroom to eat it (and I feel kinda bad about that) and a note is sent home with the child that day saying that they brought a product containing parents (perhaps I'll let that Freudian slip stay in there) (I mean) peanuts, etc... I was appalled last year when I learned that kids were eating in the schoolyard too. Also, during the summer when we went to a local park, my husband and I actually had to put a mini-plan into our heads because I had left Jesse's Epi-pen at home in my purse. What if there had been residue on the playground equipment and he had a reaction? We went through what we would do if that happened, my husband was a 3 minute bike ride away. It's the residue thing that is really scary for me although Jesse, so far, has not had a reaction in that way. However, because his classroom is "peanut free", there are also special cleaning procedures that the janitorial staff has to do differently than other classrooms. I would be really concerned if I were you. Jesse attends school full days two days one week and three days the next but even the alternate class attending the days that he doesn't have to be "peanut free". I did ask the principal at the beginning of the school year if she had received any complaints about the "peanut free" classroom last year and I told her that I would appreciate an honest answer. She told me that she hadn't received any complaints from parents at all. What they also did when they sent the "peanut free" classroom letter home to parents, they also sent home an extensive list of alternative healthy snacks and lunches that was taken from our school board's policy on the PA issue. I well understand your concern and feel you should follow-up in some way. Also, I know, for some reason, it seems to be more embarrassing for us PA parents because we've made what seem to be special requests of the school in terms of accommodating our child (even though they are legally required to) when they misbehave. Jesse was fine his 1st 4 days of school this year and on the 5th day his teacher called me over to talk to her when I picked him up - he had had 5 time-outs that day. Great, eh? Anyway, keep us posted on what happens as I really think a lot of us forget about the residue issue or because our child has not had a reaction to residue do not consider it a issue but it is an important consideration. Oh, I can just see it, peanut butter smeared all over the playground equipment. I would be totally freaked! Best wishes.
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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited September 28, 2000).]

Posted on: Fri, 09/29/2000 - 3:37am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Thanks so much to all of you for responding. I so much appreciate the support - this board is a wonderful resource for all of us. I will definitely talk with the nurse. I realize that she felt that sending out the letter would take care of everything, but it obviously didn't. I agree that peanut bans are great if they work, but in this case it clearly has provided a false sense of security, since the "ban" has not been strictly adhered to by at least one teacher. I think my major hesitation at contacting the nurse stems from the fact that the teacher will obviously know that I was the one who "spilled the beans". Now I wish I had kept my mouth shut and had just called without talking to the teacher. I'm also so relieved to know that my pa daughter is not the only one to have some other difficulties. Sometimes I feel that all the other children on the board are little angels, lol. Maybe I'll start another thread about pa children with behavior difficulties! Thanks again to all my "invisible" friends out there!

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