New to Board. What to expect from Pre-school?

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:19am
RobS's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

Hi,
I just found this board and am glad I have a place to ask questions of other parents with PA kids.

My wife has two brothers with a peanut allergy and decided to have our son tested back in April to be safe. Though he has eczema he has never had a bad reaction to any foods. We had never read food lables to screen for nuts, but never gave him peanut butter as per his Pediatrician's recommendations for kids under two.

The test he was given (at 19 months old) was the skin needle stick type and he reacted very quickly, within 10 minutes instead of 30 as the doctor had told my wife it should take. He got hives on him from head to toe, but no breathing problems (that I know, since I wasn't there) and they were able to clear him up with Benadryl. Since then, we read every ingredient label religiously.

I later called the doctor asked what precautions we should take beyond the obvious one of not allowing him to eat or handle anything with nuts in it, or ones that have the "Processed on equipment shared..." However, he also said he [i]could[/i] have a reaction if peanut butter is just in the same room.

Now, the big dilemma. We are trying to enroll him in part-time Pre-School. The first place he was accepted to said their policy was just to make sure he wasn't sitting next to another child who was eating a peanut butter sandwich. I told her our doctor warned that just being in the same room might be dangerous, but she said she wasn't going to make her facility peanut-free. Scratch that one off the list.


The second pre-school that has room for him is contemplating their policy. The director sounded like he was taking the issue seriously, but that 50% of the children bring peanut butter [i]every day[/i]. He is supposed to make a decision in October.

At a picnick yesterday I spoke to the director of another pre-school about their peaunt allergy policy. She said they did have three kids with PA and was well aware of managing it, but their facility was [i]not[/i] peanut-free. As with the first school, they just seperate them from anyone eating peanuts, and they had never had a problem.

We are having a tough time so far finding anything totally peanut-free, and don't want to pass up an otherwise good pre-school just because it's not. I obviously don't want to experiment on our son to find out at what point he has an extreme reaction. But, I don't want to be unreasonable either. He has never reacted to anything other than a skin test, though it was a quicker reaction than the doctor anticipated.

Are we nuts (no pun intended) to put him in a Pre-School that seperates kids at snack time and knows to keep peanuts away from allergic kids, [i]but[/i] is not peanut-free?
We hate to see an entire facility go peanut free just for us (that's if they are even willing to do so) and deny everyone else PBJs. I also don't want that to cause discrimination or give him a complex by labeling him "the Peanut Kid". Also, is there a more accurate test than the skin test to safely judge his sensitivity?

Thanks!

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 1:44am
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

In our last town and in our new one there have been a number of 'peanut free' preschool options already in place. Head to toe hives from a scratch test sounds like your child is pretty sensitive. IMO your bigger concern is that if there is peanut butter in the room, your young child could make a mistake and eat the food when nobody is paying attention AND there would be peanut butter residue all over everything the kids touch. Then your child puts his fingers in his mouth and you end up with an ingestion reaction rather than just contact or inhalation.
At my ds#2's preschool, it is peanut and treenut free and ds brings his own snack every day. All the kids wipe their hands upon entering his class with a handiwipe. He wears his epi on him since there are multiple rooms in use quite a distance apart and the 2 teachers often split the class when using these rooms. They would have to remember to pass the epi back and forth between the teachers, so the director felt this would be best.
Good luck. I know it's frustrating but you need to make your son's safety top priority. BTW is this just a part-time preschool or a daycare center where lunch is served? Sounds like people are eating an awful lot of peanut butter!
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 7:51am
alwaysonmymind's picture
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Joined: 09/14/2006 - 09:00

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[This message has been edited by alwaysonmymind (edited September 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 8:42am
alwaysonmymind's picture
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[This message has been edited by alwaysonmymind (edited September 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:06pm
RobS's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

Thanks for the replys everyone. My reaction to the first Pre-School we were accepted to was "if you aren't willing to make your school safe for my son, I wouldn't want him there anyway", and we started talking with the second one about their policy. However, in talking to the director of another center on Sunday, it sounded like the whole seperation of the PA kids worked OK for their school, [i]without[/i] having to go totally nut-free, so I thought maybe Nut-Free isn't totally necessary.
I live in San Francisco where there seems to be a bit of a Baby Boom going on and getting him into a Pre-School isn't easy. They are also private businesses and can just say "If you don't like our rules, go somewhere else", so without some kind of regulation, I feel like I have no power to change their rules. Pre-School is not manditory, so people could say "Just don't put him in".
That's not so easy to say. My wife must work part-time to make ends meet, and our 70+ year old parents are not going to be able to keep up with our son much longer. We also want him to get the development and social skills.
I did email our local County Supervisor to see if there wasn't [i]some[/i] kind of city code, but he said he is waiting to hear back from the Department of Children Youth and
their Families. We will see where this goes.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 10:09am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

Hi Rob, how did you go with finding a pre-school? It is quite commom place in Australia for kinders to be fruit only. The kinder where we have our daughter is nut free and they manage the policy and process very well, even the boxes they have for playing (kitchen area) are nut and egg free (eg. cereal boxes). Can't be too sure.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 11:57am
RobS's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Heather:
[b]Hi Rob, how did you go with finding a pre-school? It is quite commom place in Australia for kinders to be fruit only. The kinder where we have our daughter is nut free and they manage the policy and process very well, even the boxes they have for playing (kitchen area) are nut and egg free (eg. cereal boxes). Can't be too sure.[/b]
Hi Heather,
We are still waiting to hear from a preschool we have spoken to that was still formulating their policy. I spoke to the director once since I posted the question and he seems to be willing to consider a nut-free facility. We'll see...in the mean time, we have two more places to tour in the next month. Hopefully at least [i]one[/i] will work out.

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 1:44am
luvmyboys's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

In our last town and in our new one there have been a number of 'peanut free' preschool options already in place. Head to toe hives from a scratch test sounds like your child is pretty sensitive. IMO your bigger concern is that if there is peanut butter in the room, your young child could make a mistake and eat the food when nobody is paying attention AND there would be peanut butter residue all over everything the kids touch. Then your child puts his fingers in his mouth and you end up with an ingestion reaction rather than just contact or inhalation.
At my ds#2's preschool, it is peanut and treenut free and ds brings his own snack every day. All the kids wipe their hands upon entering his class with a handiwipe. He wears his epi on him since there are multiple rooms in use quite a distance apart and the 2 teachers often split the class when using these rooms. They would have to remember to pass the epi back and forth between the teachers, so the director felt this would be best.
Good luck. I know it's frustrating but you need to make your son's safety top priority. BTW is this just a part-time preschool or a daycare center where lunch is served? Sounds like people are eating an awful lot of peanut butter!
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 7:51am
alwaysonmymind's picture
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Joined: 09/14/2006 - 09:00

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post deleted
[This message has been edited by alwaysonmymind (edited September 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 8:42am
alwaysonmymind's picture
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Joined: 09/14/2006 - 09:00

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[This message has been edited by alwaysonmymind (edited September 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:06pm
RobS's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

Thanks for the replys everyone. My reaction to the first Pre-School we were accepted to was "if you aren't willing to make your school safe for my son, I wouldn't want him there anyway", and we started talking with the second one about their policy. However, in talking to the director of another center on Sunday, it sounded like the whole seperation of the PA kids worked OK for their school, [i]without[/i] having to go totally nut-free, so I thought maybe Nut-Free isn't totally necessary.
I live in San Francisco where there seems to be a bit of a Baby Boom going on and getting him into a Pre-School isn't easy. They are also private businesses and can just say "If you don't like our rules, go somewhere else", so without some kind of regulation, I feel like I have no power to change their rules. Pre-School is not manditory, so people could say "Just don't put him in".
That's not so easy to say. My wife must work part-time to make ends meet, and our 70+ year old parents are not going to be able to keep up with our son much longer. We also want him to get the development and social skills.
I did email our local County Supervisor to see if there wasn't [i]some[/i] kind of city code, but he said he is waiting to hear back from the Department of Children Youth and
their Families. We will see where this goes.

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