NON PA mom has an opinion on birthday celebrations in schools

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Hi there, for what it's worth I am a mother of a 1st grader, none of my children have peanut allergies, this year will be the first year that my daughter will be exposed to a child that has peanut allergies.

I was reading one of the other threads and I was kind of taken aback by what was posted.

I always bring in cupcakes for birthday celebrations and... I WOULD BE PERFECTLY HAPPY TO HAVE A NON FOOD CELEBRATION!

Seriously, kids eat too way too much junk, birthday celebrations at school are a privilege, not a right, we never even had them in school when I was a kid.

We had to take turns bringing snacks every week in my daughters kindergarten. None of the kids had PA and I did bring in pudding for one day, but the rest of the time I brought in fresh fruit. Fruit was more expensive than buying boxes of graham cracker, teddy grahams, etc... but I push fruit so much at home I felt like I had to be consistent.

I volunteered alot in her classroom and the younger kids LOVED peeling a banana or tangerine. There is a whole different vibe with fresh food in the classroom too.

I bring in the cupcakes because that is what my daughter asks for but I would have no problem telling her that everyone gets a little trinket or stickers and she could have her cupcake at home.

I apologize to all of you with PA kids that have such struggles with school parties.

By cervonil on Aug 31, 2010

Oh My Gosh, I have goosebumps reading this. It really brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for being so understanding. I wish every parent the Grace that you have shown :)

By Rita Rothans on Sep 1, 2010

As a grandmother with a grandchild with deadly P.A. I would like to say you can't let your guard down for even one second. EVER!!! The school my granddaughter attends has done a great job keeping her safe untill this school year, She is in 6th grade and it is as if the teachers are from outer space. My daughter who trys to remaine as calm as anyone can when someone is holding a gun to there childs head. Had a meatting with the teacher's, councler, principal,nurse, the people that should be most concerned that a child in their care is safe. My daughter was met with such resistance that she had to remove my grandchild from school. I am not the smartest woman but these people are supposed to be educated!!!! THEY ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR CHILD"S CARE AND SAFTY MOST OF THE DAY!!!!If You think you can trust them to protect your child you are too trusting... What people who do not have somone in there life with a deadly allergy can't or won't understand is PUTTING NUT PRODUCT'S ANY WHERE CLOSE TO A PERSON WITH THIS ROTTEN PROBLEM CAN AND WILL KILL THEM!!! As a Grandmother I can not understand why anyone can set back and let this be OK. WHY!! Is it so dificult to ban nut's from school's? There is no hesitation on anyones part when that question is ask of the school's concerning knives, gun's or medication's. Those thing's are not allowed or they must be locked up because of the potential harm they can be to student's. In the case of deadly allergy's the school's concern should be just as, if not: more protective!!!


By PANewbie on Sep 2, 2010

Thank God for you, and parents like you!

By haveaquestion on Sep 2, 2010

Honestly, if your child does not have a peanut allergy and you haven't been exposed to PA kids, you just don't *think* about the exclusionary aspect of providing a separate snack.

I can imagine a PA Kindergartner watching a kid munch down on those garish cupcakes (which the PA and non PA kids love the look of) while they have a couple of crackers. It's a pretty crappy outcome when the intent is to provide something that is special and festive.

I'm also a pretty lazy mom, and I think being able to send in a non food birthday item would be easier than driving to the grocery store to pick up crisco shortening iced cupcakes.

I think some good points to stress to non PA parents are...

The PA reactions, which can be life threatening. Also explain the differences in PA severity. One thing I didn't know a thing about was contact and airborne allergy reactions.

Do we want to teach our children that having a high sugar,high fat dessert is the only way to celebrate a special occasion? Can sharing your birthday with a healthier snack, trinket or sticker be just as festive?


The last comment was my "lightbulb" moment, I would not want my OWN child excluded or singled out more than they had to be, and I don't think that non PA parents really understand what the situation would really look like.

By PANewbie on Sep 3, 2010

Again, thank you for being so understanding.

Parents of PA kids have all experienced, I'm sure, a scenario where everyone else gets the Spongepop/Princess/Highly Frosted yummy cupcake, while the alternate snack provided for the allergic child is a canned fruit cup. You know, the really appealing kind with the grey grapes :)

It's nice to know other parents are sensitive to the dissapointment a little one can feel, and are teaching their children to be sensitive too.

Thank you!

By dorry85 on Sep 12, 2010

A big thank you to all of the understanding parents, teachers and administrators. Living with a Peanut/Tree Nut or any food allergy is very stressful and frightening for parents and children. Our family rests easier because our school health assistants and nurses are trained by a nurse supervisor on using an epipen and on allergy awareness. All allergic children, diabetics, etc. must have an action plan signed by a physician approving the medical procedures necessary if a reaction occurs. There will always be fear involved when an allergy is present, but at least some school systems are making efforts in the right direction.