My Family and I are moving to northeast,FL. Saint Johns County. My PN allergy daughter will be starting Kindergarten. Does anyone live in the area and can advise us on their policy regarding peanut allergic children? Also, are the schools aware and take in considerations children with peanut allergies. Thank you. Monte
By MomToThreeBeachBums on Oct 28, 2013
Hi there! I have lived in St Johns County since 2007 and have a non-PA child in the county school system. (Great school system, by the way!) I live in the heavily-populated northern part of the county and it is a great place to raise a family.
To my knowledge, no schools in the district are nut free. The schools are very aware of allergic children and have special tables in the cafeteria dedicated for those with severe PA. Additionally, all children who bring peanut butter products in their lunch or snack are required to wash their hands with soap and water before being allowed to return to class.
The schools also have a very strict no-sharing policy when it comes to food. My son got in trouble with a lunchroom monitor for trying to share a baby carrot with his friend!
At the beginning of the year, teachers generally send out an e-mail with what allergies there are in the class and most parents are very respectful of allergies and will send in birthday treats that everyone in the class can enjoy. Most come from commercial bakeries (Publix cupcakes are delicious!) and have an ingredient list available. Each school has a nurse on site who is trained on how to use Epi-pens and whatever the new talking injector is, he/and she keeps the Epi-pens in the nurse's station. I do not believe that children are allowed to carry their own Epi-pens at this point, nor are they kept in the classroom.
I hope this helps you! My impression is that they take food allergies very seriously. Given the size of the school district and the number of students in attendance, being nut free would be a logistical challenge. I think they do a pretty good job finding a balance between protecting the allergic child and maintaining freedom for the non-allergic child.