Milk at school.

Posted on: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 6:23am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Continuing discussion from this thread:


Quote:Originally posted by mommyofmatt:

[b]The first week of school, my youngest cub had an "encounter" with the principal because, in the heat of the moment, in the crowd, whilst attempting to throw away a half full milk carton, he got overwhelmed and tossed it straight up, ten feet into the air over the garbage can. A few kids got sprayed, but what would you suggest? Ban milk, or teach him some social skills?[/b]

MB and all,

I'll start by saying I understand that some kids need snack to keep them going through the day or they need it for a break. Both my guys are this way. Ironically, I think it's because of their diet that they get hungry faster and need small snacks throughout the day. They're missing some higher calorie nutrition since we can't do dairy or eggs or obviously nuts.

I quoted you MB because that part of your post made me cringe...if my ds was one of the ones getting sprayed by milk, he could have needed the epipen. I know it's totally unrealistic to ban milk...wouldn't dream of it. But the incident you described could have posed a danger to a child highly allergic to milk.

I think this thread illustrates some of the conflicting challenges teachers face today, and there are no easy answers as far as I can see. Meg


The incident was in a lunchroom of around 350 kindergarteners. Not snack in a classroom. Even under the most orderly of circumstances, transitioning from lunch back to class is difficult for him. Lots of hub-bub going on. I've volunteered during that time, and I find it [i]crowded[/i]. Nerve wracking. Hate it. I've said it before, but merely entering a crowded school breaks me into a nauseous sweat. So many voices, flourescent lighting, slaming doors, people bumping each other. The smell of musty sweat. [img][/img]

Anywhooooo, he wasn't being malicious, just responding to the transition. (transitions are an area we work on)

[i]Maybe in an attempt to get through the crowd to the small area of the garbage can, while he first graders were piling in, and the kindergarteners (he was K at the time) piling out, it seemed like the *appropriate* thing to do. Maybe he was trying to be as rowdy as they felt to him. [/i]Maybe it was a pressure valve. Like I said, having been there, and even under the most orderly circumstances, it's pretty wild. . .

I'd have to say, having been a lunch volunteer for "treat day", there is [i]milk everywhere[/i] --- all over the tables, benches, floor, all over the garbage cans after 350 + kindergarteners start slurping out of cardboard containers (not including pudding cups, yogurt, etc. I won't even get into McDonald milkshake day. The bit he spilled in his toss was a drop in an ocean. It's probably something *any* child is capable of at that age.

So, I wonder, what suggestion/preventative "medicine" do people have for an incident like the one I described?

Posted on: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 6:41am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

Oh MB, I totally understood him throwing the carton wasn't malicious and could have been done by any child, and in fact probably is done every day. shudder.
The small private school I'm looking at is looking better and better. I've never had the "fun" of seeing a public school cafeteria in action, so thanks for the description. Seeing the cafeteria in action is on my list of things to do to further assess the situation...
In answer to your question, I don't know of a remedy to the situation other than milk free tables and let food allergic children enter and leave cafeterias first??? I'll think more...Meg
Thanks for starting a new thread too so the other one doesn't get too off track [img][/img]
[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited April 11, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 7:09am
Naturemom's picture
Joined: 09/30/2004 - 09:00

I also saw that post and shuddered. My ds would probably need his epi-pen if doused with milk. But additionally, how would a child who is anaphylactic to milk feel to have another child fling their milk in the air. I know that it was not done maliciously, but I would hope that the situation was addressed seriously (ie teaching the child that the flung milk could cause harm to another child). The same as if a child flung their peanut butter crackers, only it would actually be more splattery.
I do not feel that snack is necessary for my kids, although I can respect if another child needs one for whatever reason. If a child needs to work on their sitting and eating skills, this should be addressed, but why would it be mandatory for the whole class. In the activities that my kids participate, Sunday school, sports, camps, and homeschool activities, there is often a snack but rarely one of much nutritional value. Really, for most activities that last under 3-4 hours, is it really necessary or even beneficial for most people to eat that often? I think that for the majority, it sets up bad eating habits for life.
The lunchroom chaos should be addressed, for the benefit of all children. I know that feeling of too much energy that often happens in lunchrooms. I also feel it at the mall during holiday shopping.
I don't know the answer, but don't think that ds would have been happy in a lunchroom at that age. We do attend a homeschool co-op almost weekly, which he calls "hazard training", as there are these kinds of situations with his allergens. Fortunately, it is a situation where he is in control. He always can decide to leave a certain room, not participate in an activity, etc.
Edited to add that whenever we have done something in an elementary school cafeteria, ds winds up with itchy skin (sometimes hives), runny nose, sometimes "that cough", and sometimes needs to use his inhaler.
[This message has been edited by Naturemom (edited April 11, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 9:45am
luvmyboys's picture
Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Not to suggest that this is a great solution, but we do have a boy at our school anaphylactic to milk. He sits in the seat closest to the cafeteria exit (at a peanut free and I would hope at least liquid milk free table?) and if milk is spilled he has blanket permission to get up and immediately walk to the nurse's office while his classmates are supposed to notify the monitors, etc...
Additionally I have read here of allergic kids having their own trash can or not being permitted to throw out their own trash. I would think the trashcans should be OPPOSITE the exit near which the allergic child is seated. I remember myself getting bumped and spilling my milk on my way to the trashcans in elementary school...small private school by the way...50 kids converging on the trashcans all at once gets crowded regardless of the school size!

Posted on: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 11:15am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

at our school, you can have any food allergy sit at the peanut-free table, so I guess my milk allergic will be sitting there, probably among the milk?? Haven't decided how to handle that. But anyways, the PF table has their own trash cans(because on the first day of eating lunch my PA son was pushed in the back by pb&j's while trying to dump his tray)...solution, more trash cans. Now my son walks up with 3 kids and dumps their trash(in the PF-trash cans) opposed to 80 kids pushing and shoving. Anyways, just an idea to offer!! HUGS
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 2:03pm
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I was trying to picture this as I read it. The whole thing was happening in slowmo--and I was shuddering in fastmo,too. And my kid is only ana to peanuts. [img][/img] Hey--he feels personally slighted if someone steps on his toe.
Having been in his lunchroom lately (MB--I won't say what for--just that it was DS' birthday and I live in Texas--I'll let you draw your own conclusions [img][/img] ) and more often in the first and second grade years, I've really seen a lot of orderliness--so much so that I've been astounded.
(There's so much overall orderliness at this school that I've told one of my best girlfriends who's a teacher in another Texas town how we do pickup with twice as many kids in half the time as in her school--I've even drawn her diagrams and everything).
Each table at DS' school has a trash can at the end of it.
This year I noticed something different: alternating tables have trashcans on opposite ends, so kids, as they move in line to throw away their stuff as they exit, are not all moving in the same direction at once. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance. But watching the choreography of it all gave me a migraine.
There is still completely the chance for a kid with a little extra [i]vavoom[/i] to make his milk go ballistic. But I think you described having to head somewhere to throw the milk away, and kids are not having to do that.
It's an idea--like it's something you could push over on your school in your spare time. But there it is anyway.

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2007 - 12:09am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I give you all such credit. How does anyone manage in a lunchroom filled with 350 kindergarteners. Is that 10 or 12 K classes in one school?
I can't even imagine volunteering there. I'd go insane.
I can see how that changes everything I ever taught my son in his early years about his PA.
So many kids and so many variables for things to go wrong.
Then again so many chances to find companionship. That was missing in the small private schools my children attended throughout their school careers.
Hats off to you folks who handle this every day.

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2007 - 12:46am
stephi13339's picture
Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

My friends dd had a similar situation. She was told to clean up quickly, and proceeded to do so, throwing her scissors across the room.

Posted on: Fri, 04/13/2007 - 7:34am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

You know, even with all the reading I've done, I still feel so naive about my ds' entry into school. There are so many possible scenarios to consider that might be a problem -- right down to the trash cans.
I went to a small private school with no cafeteria, we ate in our classrooms. My first cafeteria memory is high school, whole different ball game from Kindergarten.
And I feel like the administrators have an advantage, they've dealt with so many parents of kids with special needs and they seem to have their game down.
They can say absurd things completely calmly and convincingly, and if I didn't know better, I would totally believe them. I'll find my way and hopefully won't drive you all crazy in the process.
We're considering 3 options for school right now, and methinks it's time to call Rhonda to help get a game plan and get my head on straight [img][/img].


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