library activity not recommended for FA kids

Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2006 - 8:03am
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

We just moved to a new town and went to check out the new library. We picked up
a sheet on summer activities for kids. First of all, everything seems to have an animal theme...mostly dogs. It surprised me they would bring dogs into a library but I think they are! (a seeing eye dog and a retired k-9) plus a petting zoo and pet parade outside on different dates...but here's what got me....
THEY HAVE A KIDS CRAFT DATE THAT SAYS "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR KIDS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES"

Are you kidding! It's called Kibbles n' Bits and is some kind of food treat they are making. Are they making it in the library? If it's not safe for kids with allergies then how is the library safe? What is food doing in a library anyhow? And if I have say a shellfish allergy is it still unsafe? After all they don't say WHAT food allergy...talk about CYA.

Wonderful that my (high) tax dollars are at work making our public library unsafe for my children.

Luvmyboys

Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2006 - 9:24am
2BusyBoys's picture
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Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by luvmyboys:
[b]We just moved to a new town and went to check out the new library. We picked up
a sheet on summer activities for kids. First of all, everything seems to have an animal theme...mostly dogs. It surprised me they would bring dogs into a library but I think they are! (a seeing eye dog and a retired k-9) plus a petting zoo and pet parade outside on different dates...but here's what got me....
THEY HAVE A KIDS CRAFT DATE THAT SAYS "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR KIDS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES"
Are you kidding! It's called Kibbles n' Bits and is some kind of food treat they are making. Are they making it in the library? If it's not safe for kids with allergies then how is the library safe? What is food doing in a library anyhow? And if I have say a shellfish allergy is it still unsafe? After all they don't say WHAT food allergy...talk about CYA.
Wonderful that my (high) tax dollars are at work making our public library unsafe for my children.
Luvmyboys[/b]
Looks like an opportunity for educating the library staff on food allergies.
Best of luck!

Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2006 - 10:26am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

the thing that gets me about situations like this is....that they could have easily altered the activity IF THEY WANTED TO so that kids with FA's could participate. just my opinion.

Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2006 - 1:01pm
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Exactly! My old zoo, requiring private membership or tickets, SPECIFIED that for the preschool classes they held, activities were peanut free!!! (For example, making those pine cone bird feeders) I was sooo impressed. With this, a public place, I am SOOOO unimpressed.
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2006 - 2:10pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

WooHooooo... do I ever have experience with this one!!!
Write to the library director and complain. As a [i]taxpaying citizen who expects at least [b]one[/b] place in town to be reasonably safe with respect to [b]food.[/b][/i]
Just nicely explain that this "activity" may well make the library INACCESSIBLE to your child. They'll see the connection if you use that word, I'm pretty sure.
You could also try the "honey" approach... write and tell them how dismayed you were to see this and offer to "help make future children's events accessible to [b]all[/b] children..." you know, since food allergies are covered under IDEA and this is a public institution and all...
DUH. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Works like a charm. Trust me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
It also helps if they get to know you well... we're in our library at least once a week and usually have about 100 items out at any one time. So "we've met." [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] We've spent four years ingratiating ourselves in the most insidious manner possible with one of the world's cutest, most well-behaved, erudite children would be more like it, but y'know....
They wouldn't dream of doing anything that they know would limit DD's access at this point. And I [i]know[/i] it comes up at times.
As for the dog thing, you can [i]probably[/i] relax a bit about that. Often these are therapy dogs, and there is a protocol for how they must be groomed, etc. before they come. Even [i]I[/i] don't have any trouble at all when they bring them en masse. And the kids just [i]love[/i] reading to the dogs. It is totally worth it. There are kids who really blossom in their reading skills because of programs like that. I take an extra snort of my nasal steroid and let it go, in other words. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
But no PB pinecones are getting made in my DD's library. No way.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited June 15, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2006 - 6:04pm
notnutty's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Kibbles n' Bits...I think it is basically Chex mix, pb, powdered sugar. We make it all the time with Sunbutter and you cannot tell the difference. Perhaps you can tell them...make your Kibbles n' Bits, but can you make it "peanut free" so the whole library is not contaminated?
Good luck...what a bummer...
Donna

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 1:27am
pgrubbs's picture
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Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

We have had the same issue. We don't do story time. I'm just tired of fighting about EVERYTHING! It's usually not developmentally appropriate anyway (in our library).We get books and go home.

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 2:56am
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

OK I should know what IDEA is by now but I don't. Does 504 fall UNDER IDEA or vice versa? For 504 we had to qualify with the school so how does this work?
As soon as I get a library card I will write a letter =) People need to be better educated. Peanut butter in a library? I like the sun butter idea too. It's always a good idea to point out that there are alternatives, for those who will think that NOT making kibbles n'bits infringes on their freedoms - LOL! Anyone have a similar letter to work from?
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 3:08am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I'm obviously not an expert in disability law, but if you have a 504, then your child is legally classified as a "disability" and therefore a public library shouldn't be doing anything to LIMIT HIS ACCESS. The library director probably just doesn't realize that this is the case.
Any letter that I have is too old to be of use, I am afraid.
I would definitely point out what a hazard this will make of the [i]entire library[/i] for your child. Recall that most people don't ever stop to think that contact might be dangerous.
A kid shouldn't have to feel afraid of going to the library, for crying out loud.

Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2006 - 10:16am
iansmom's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2001 - 09:00

Hi,
I'm a librarian as well as the mom of a PA child, and I've fought (and lost [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ) the food fight in my own library. Something else you can throw into the mix is the traditional reasons that food is not allowed in libraries: a)it can damage materials directly, and b)it can invite pests (rodents, insects) into the library that in turn damage materials. But definitely point out that by having any food activity in the library, they risk excluding someone with food allergies from participating due to their disability.
As for my own situation, I was going up against a deputy director who didn't like me, doesn't have kids, and whose mantra always seemed to be "but we've always done it that way". She's now retired, so I'm going to be more proactive on this front and hope to set new guidelines for the library system.

Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2006 - 11:32am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Yes, our librarians were on our side, but the director definitely was not... initially.
Until another parent advocate (someone else in our community that I enlisted to help us, I was so apalled...)
mentioned the L word. (Litigation.)
I pay taxes for public services, and my child has a disability. A federally recognized limitation on her major life activities.
Would they make the library off-limits to wheelchair access for an event? Of course not. Would they tell those with service dogs that they can no longer enter the building? Certainly not.
If they make crafts/food with peanut butter as an ingredient, and it is spread elsewhere in the library, will they pay medical expenses if your child anaphylaxes in two weeks? AFTER the event?
Because residue is the "gift that keeps on giving..." they are removing access for children who are contact or aerosol sensitive.
This was one fight I wasn't going to back off from. The library is special-- and I pointed out that for my child, this is one of [i]few[/i] places that they shouldn't have to feel wary.
They have an obligation to meet the needs of their community. And your child is part of it. (Go to the newspaper if you have to.)
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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