Pre-K & Peanuts

Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2017 - 12:27pm
pnot09's picture
Joined: 08/07/2013 - 13:19

My son just started pre-k last week and is severely allergic to peanuts. We spoke with the principal about it who stated that there would be signs put up and that my son would be safe, which doesn't seem to be so. There has yet to be signs put up, and today my son came home from school stating a girl in his classroom had peanut butter cookies! I instantly felt like I had been punched in the gut. I am so worried to send him back.

I am unsure of what to do. I know that he's only 4 and could be wrong, but if he's right I'm pretty upset and mad. Any suggestions on what to do or say? Do I talk to the teacher or the superintendent?

Posted on: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 4:18am's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, is answering one of the questions posted on our community page.
Our Answer:
Dear pnot09,
You have every right to be upset! Schedule another meeting with the principal, the school nurse, and your son’s teacher(s) to work out a plan. It may be the case that, with so much going on at the start of the school year, the principal simply forgot to put signs up. Or there may have been a simple misunderstanding. However, if the principal is not taking your child’s food allergy seriously, you may have to consider switching schools and finding an administration that will better cooperate.
At the meeting, discuss with the principal and your child’s teachers about the severity of your son’s allergies. When it comes to food allergies, education is key! Explain to them that your son has a life threatening condition, and you do not feel comfortable sending your son to school if his health is in danger. Put together a folder with a picture of your son, emergency contact information, an Emergency Action Plan signed by your physician, a description of what symptoms to look for and instructions for how to use an EpiPen. You could also ask your child’s teacher to send out a newsletter to ask other parents to be considerate and not send food products containing peanuts to school. It is important to be an advocate for your child. Check in with the school continually during the year and educate other parents and the administration about food allergies.
You could also implement a 504 plan. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights lists an allergy as an example of a hidden disability for the purpose of Section 504. A 504 Plan, is a written management plan outlining how the school will address the individual needs of the child, and allow that child to participate safely and equally alongside peers during all normal facets of the school day. This may be your best option!
Best of luck!

Posted on: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 7:46am
noosmom's picture
Joined: 09/29/2012 - 05:51

My heart goes out to you. My 16-year-old son is severely allergic to nuts. When he started school,my biggest problem was making people understand how dangerous exposure was. He went to a school that didn't have a nurse. Suggest that they set up a nut-free area for him. I am sure his good friends will agree not to bring any nuts to school and so they can sit with him at lunch. Also, I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at the school at lunchtime. I think it helped me more than it helped my son. Good luck!

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:33am
kricar's picture
Joined: 07/23/2013 - 09:10

My daughter also has a peanut allergy and is about to start pre-k but I enrolled her in a peanut free school to avoid moments like that. I just don't trust others enough to chance it. My school doesn't allow any outside food the school has a chef and prepares all meals on site. I'd this type of school is not an option in your area then yes you have to speak to your child's school immediately and make sure they are keeping your child safe. Best of luck!

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:36am
jenibop's picture
Joined: 08/07/2013 - 13:25

Is he going to a public or private school? Last year my son was in kindergarten and I too was paralyzed with fear that he was going to come into contact with PB! What my school did for me was put into writing the expectations they had from me and what the expectations I had for them. This was his emergency action plan. He also had under the 504 plan a "shadow" during lunchtime that sat near him at the PB FREE table.

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:48am
Lolo430's picture
Joined: 09/14/2012 - 10:44

I too have a son with a peanut allergy who is in preK. His daycare is supposed to be completely peanut free and there are signs everywhere stating so. However, we have had issues in the past with them allowing things "processed with peanuts" and I even walked into the classroom on his first day in a new room to find the children playing with peanut-filled candy like they were toys! I could not believe my eyes and was even more shocked to learn that his caregiver didn't know he had an epii-pen and they couldn't find my son's epi-pen for 15 minutes. Needless to say, we called the daycare's corporate office to make them aware of the issue and then had a meeting with the director and caregiver to discuss the situation. Everything has been fine since and I feel much safer taking my son there.

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 2:20am
ketial's picture
Joined: 06/05/2013 - 18:09

I am so sorry to hear that, my son is starting kindergarten and we had the same fear, I would contact your school superintendent's office and try to set up a meeting with them, principal, nurse, and classroom teacher. I would also suggest asking for a 504 plan this is a federal documentation which will help the school to meet your child's individual needs to his food allergy. Remember that the school is legally responsible for your child's well being while he is in their care. It would be to their advantage and yours to work together to get something in place to make sure your chd is as safe as possible. Also get your pediatrician and allergist involved, ask them to write letters explaining your sons severe peanut allergy and also ask for lab results to provide to the school administrators. The more information you have to back you up with, the better. It was a battle for me with my school district but with the help of my district nurse, my son now has a one-no one aid in his classroom who carries his epi-pen for him, she is also in the lunch room, playground and is trained to recognize anaphylaxis symptoms and to give the epi-pen if need be. There are signs placed in the school, peanut free table in cafeteria, no peanut products served in the cafeteria anymore. The school will listen to you, but you have to make them listen. Good luck

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 2:36am
kricar's picture
Joined: 07/23/2013 - 09:10

After reading the posts I should have added that I arranged for my daughters allergy doctor to visit her new school to show her new teacher how to properly administer the epi pen if she ever needed too. One important thing to remember don't get worried if you're offending anyone or annoying anyone this is your child's safety and no one will look out for them like you.

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 2:40am
kricar's picture
Joined: 07/23/2013 - 09:10

Private school. I won't consider public due to the fact that they aren't peanut free. Maybe when she is older and can look out for herself but that won't be for a few years. My daughter is only 2 1/2 so she has a while.

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2013 - 8:52am
Ayso's picture
Joined: 09/01/2013 - 14:55

When my son started daycare he was 1 year old with PA and nuts. The director and all staff took it very suriously and show a lot of interest in learned how to use the epipen. There are signs everywhere and also they took out of the menu things that may have peanuts. I also work with children and the first thing I ask the parents is about any allergy. I suggest that you have another meeting with the director and the teacher and if they can not guarantee that you son is going to be safe just change daycare.

Posted on: Fri, 06/05/2020 - 2:00pm
Robinb616's picture
Joined: 09/01/2013 - 20:34

I am also having a difficult time with my daughters school. How did you go about getting he 504 plan ? They try to tell me that teachers are not authorized to give the epi pen and they keep her epi pens locked in the nurses office 2 floors away. She is 11 and he doctor doesn't feel confident that she could self administer. I am constantly worried while she is in school an cannot get them to understand how serious this could be. I appreciate any advise you could offer.


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