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Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 2:03am
jenlil's picture
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Joined: 04/01/2010 - 18:21

My daughters school only allowed store bought products so the teacher could read the ingredients. I don't let my Dtr eat anything processed in a facility with nuts so that limits certain stores, which can be difficult. That excludes Walmart and target.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 3:35am
thekilij's picture
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Joined: 03/27/2011 - 09:35

My daughter is five and I do not allow other parents to feed her. I loath schools that rotate parents bringing in snacks. In fact, I pulled my daughter out of a private school that refused to eliminate this kind of snack program. I provide all of the snacks and meals my daughter requires and prefer she be in an environment where other parents are doing the same, so she doesn't feel left out. I also ask teachers to give me notice if there will be a party, event, etc., so I may provide my daughter with safer and healthier alternatives.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 5:30am
jiffycansuckit's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2012 - 11:20

I'm torn with this post. I'm slightly offended, and I'm on your side at the same time. Does that make sense? I'm a little offended because I'm a teacher. Teachers are very educated people. That's why they are teachers. Every year we are trained how to use an epi-pen. The week before school starts, that's what we are doing. We are in training. Training for the peanut allergy kids, training for the diabetic kids, training for blood borne pathogens, training for the newest way to teach all learning styles simultaneously. Training, training, training! That's not to say you shouldn't talk to your child's teacher. They don't get it. I was one of them before my son was diagnosed. They don't understand the cross-contamination, the trace amounts, the "no store/generic brands", the "when in doubt, don't give it". This training, they don't receive. The nurse needs to start incorporating this into the epi-pen training. The nurse at my school needs to start doing this, but I don't think she really gets it either because she doesn't have a child with a pa. And whatever you do, do not ask for a meeting to train the staff. It won't go over well. There are better ways to handle this.
I am very guilty. I didn't get it. I would even eat peanut butter in the classroom with the pa student in there. I thought, "Ok, don't give him peanut butter or peanuts. Done!" I don't teach elementary, and I don't deal with classroom snacks so it was a little different but still wrong. I wasn't being mean, I just didn't understand. So I say all of this to say, know that the teachers have been trained, but also know that they probably don't get it. They've most likely only been trained how to use the epi-pen.
Maybe approach the teacher with this attitude: "I know you've been trained on this, but for my peace of mind I have to say this," and then make sure she understands that even her snacks have to be peanut free. Definitely give her a list of unsafe foods. Better yet, why don't you create a daily or weekly rotation chart for the teacher (she's got a ton to do right now!) and then the parents can sign up for which day or week they want to bring one of the approved snacks. The other parents won't be deciding what to bring, it will already be decided for them! That's a great idea! I would create a chart for you if I could upload documents. But don't be all like, "Hey I've created this chart for you to use." Ask her if it would be ok. She'll say yes. It's all in how you approach it. Teachers like to be the ones in control of their classrooms. It gets the year off to a bad start when parents come in trying to call the shots. I'm just being honest and trying to help you navigate this situation in the best possible way so you won't be labeled a "high-maintenance parent".
Maybe you could talk to the principal and find out which teacher would be the best for your child. A teacher is not going to be hurt because you pulled your child from her class. It will be one less kiddo she has to worry about!

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 5:42am
jiffycansuckit's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2012 - 11:20

I'm confused about your Walmart and Target comment. Maybe this is something I need to be doing? Please explain!

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 7:55am
Traci_J's picture
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Joined: 04/10/2013 - 08:20

Thanks so much for your post. To clarify, maybe the situation will make a little more sense if I mention that this is a private preschool at a local community center. There is no nurse there for sure. The teachers do, I assume, receive teacher training from the director, but based on conversations with teachers and the director there, I'm not really sure how much, if any, training they get about allergies and how to use an epi pen. They have had "a few" children with allergies attend there over the past few years, but I get the impression that they decide on how to manage the child's allergy on a case by case basis as directed by the parent. The one time I left my son at the day care at that same facility (which has some of the same preschool staff) I had to give them all a quick training on the epi pen because they had no idea how to use it. If it were a public school, I would feel a lot more confident that they received great training in regards to allergies and epi pens. I have worked in public schools myself and am familiar with the extensive training received there. I did try to get my son into the preschool at our local elementary school, but all of the self-pay slots for his age are full with a waiting list as long as there are slots!
Anyways, I do appreciate your feedback! I will take care to find out how much training the teachers and staff have already received before I throw my two cents in :). My main concern is that in this case the teachers will be asking me what I want to do and I want to be prepared to know what to tell them.
I chose this preschool because my daughter attended there and the program was great and mostly because they expressed the most willingness to work with my son's allergy, whereas other preschools I contacted said things like "we'll make sure that he has his own peanut free snack, but Suzy sitting next to him might be eating peanut butter." So I guess this is my best shot :). His preschool is actually NOT a peanut free school. Yikes. Just his class will be peanut free. There are other classes that use the same classrooms throughout the day that do allow peanuts. I'm hoping that with great communication we'll all be able to work out a safe environment for my son.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 8:03am
TanyaDawn's picture
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Joined: 07/08/2013 - 11:36

Hi, I know how stressful this can be. I went though the same thing when my daughter started kindergarten years ago with her peanut/nut allergy. Up until that point she had always been home with me. We created a bin of snacks for her to keep in the classroom. We just bought a little Rubbermaid bin and put her name on it and filled it with peanut free snacks just for her. The teacher kept it in the classroom. Then when a parent showed up with cupcakes or treats for the kids that my daughter couldn't have or we didn't have any notice that the parents were bringing anything in or the teacher wasn't sure if our daughter could have them then she was able to go to her special bin and take one of her treats. It worked out great! Another thing I used to do when she would go to friends houses for birthday parties was I would try to talk to the parents and find out what flavor cake they would be serving, chocolate/ vanilla etc and then I would make cupcakes at home and send her with one. Then when all the kids were eating chocolate cake she was too! The kids didn't realize, nor did they care and everyone got their cake and ate it too. Btw my daughter is now starting grade 8 in the fall. Knock on wood we've never had to use the Epipen and she's been safe all these years in school. We have to always be watching but it's a bit easier now that she can help manage it. I also wrote and illustrated a children's book about kids in situations like going to school, parties, Halloween etc, It's called "Squirrel's Peanut Allergy. Check it out on line! Hope all this helps.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 9:04am
jenlil's picture
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Joined: 04/01/2010 - 18:21

Walmart and target labels their baked goods and even some breads that they are processed in a facility with nuts. I hardly ever look at regular bread labels but looked at Walmart hamburger bun label that had that statement on it. I don't let my daughter eat Walmart or Costco cakes either.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 11:19am
nutfreemee's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2013 - 17:59

It is too bad that this "teacher" is offended and torn about this post. NO teacher should think they are so educated that they should be making these decisions.
The parent needs to provide ALL SNACKS. Period. In the event of a class party where foods are brought in, the parent needs to be THERE in close supervision, not relying on the teachers or caregivers.
This is not an insult, it is an essential part of parenting a child with a peanut allergy.
This is essential.
The parent should never rely on any teacher or caregiver to have thoroughly researched all the ingredients in either homemade or manufactured snacks. Homemade snacks are the absolute worst because you have no control over cross contamination in someone else's home.
When my granddaughter (severe peanut allergy) was in nursery school, there was a valentine's party. I attended to make sure she did not eat anything other than what I had sent in with her. One of the mothers came up and said to her "I've made some chocolate chip cookies for you J. and there are no peanuts in it," my granddaughter was excited and took a cookie, which I immediately removed from her hand. I asked the woman if she had looked at the chocolate chip package to see if they were processed in a factory with peanuts, and she looked at me like I was from outer space and said "duh, it is chocolate, not peanuts!" This is what happens, even when people are trying to be good.
People do not understand that if something doesn't include Peanuts in the name, that doesn't mean there isn't contamination.
The bottom line: you need to send ALL snacks for your child to the school, and all teachers need to know that is all they can eat. Period.
If there is a party, you need to be there to monitor because the teachers might not be there at every slip of the snack.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 11:53am
DrCarol's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2013 - 18:38

My son started pre-school at 2 yrs old, and the school had had only a few students with food allergies. I made a notebook with my son's photos hours after his one and only peanut allergy reaction. I made an appointment with all my son's teachers just before the start of the school year and explained what a peanut allergy looks like, how to prevent an allergic reaction, and how to treat it. I showed them the photos and taught them how to use the epipens. I walked them thru the Allergy Action Plan, and "quizzed" each one of them on how to use the pens. I also made up a bag of safe treats for days when the school or a parent gives out treats. I also have been teaching my son since he was one year old (I gave him peanut butter on his first birthday :-( ) that he can ONLY EACH FOOD THAT MOMMY SENDS TO SCHOOL. I also check in periodically with his teachers and quiz them about how to give the epipen. I have also told select parents of other students about his allergy and they have all been very understanding and supportive, though most don't really understand the food restrictions. My best advise to parents is be proactive: 1) teach the teachers how to handle the situation; 2) that a food allergy, like peanut allergy, is LIFE THREATENING, very unlike an allergy to grass or dust. Check with the teachers periodically throughout the year and THANK THEM for teaching and for taking such wonderful care of your child. It really takes a village to care for a child with a peanut allergy. Hugs to all of you moms & dads out there!

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 1:37pm
dkdkdk's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2013 - 20:23

I would be very careful with food items brought to school by other parents. My daughter attends a peanut free school and a peanut free snack list is distributed to every parent. I have found that many parents dont pay attention or don't remember to check for peanut free especially if it comes from a bakery or specialty shop. We have a special cupcake kept in the freezer for her at the school for birthday or other holiday celebrations.

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