PA son starting preschool - need to write parent letter

Posted on: Tue, 07/22/2003 - 4:33am
leslief's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2003 - 09:00

I'm new here and new to PA so feeling very overwhelmed and frightened for my son who's starting preschool in Sept. I met with the Preschool Dir. on Fri. to discuss his allergy and was suprised that although they said they had others with peanut allergy and I thought they'd be pros at handling it, his allergy isn't at all severe and they still serve peanut butter even to the 2-yr olds!!! I insisted that his room be peanut-free and they were totally agreeable to that. Because they seemed to lack experience in this area, I offered to write the letter to the parents of his classroom (a draft to director to send out) and put together materials to educate the teachers, etc. Here's the list I've put together. Can you offer me any other suggestions?

1.

Posted on: Tue, 07/22/2003 - 12:43pm
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

[url="http://www.aaia.ca"]www.aaia.ca[/url] has a link to their Calgary chapter that has lots of info including the sample letters that I have adapted. My letter is here. I write it but it goes out under the signature of the principal and teachers of the classes affected. Nothing comes out as a letter from me. The request is from the school and states the school's expectations which naturally mirror mine!
Dear Parents and Children
We have a child in Grade 3 this year, ]name of child], who has life-threatening, anaphylactic allergies to all tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds etc.), to peanuts, to kiwis and to bananas. To help keep him safe, we are requesting that these items not be brought into Mr. x's classroom. We are also requesting that Grade 3 students not bring nut or peanut products to school for recess snacks and lunch. Asking your children who have eaten nut or peanut products at home, before coming to school, to thoroughly wash their hands and faces, is another way you can help make our school safer for [name of student]. We ask this because [student] might react to very small amounts of peanut/nut proteins. Peanut/nut proteins, if they are transferred to hands or clothing and then to other surfaces, are very stable and durable which means that they can remain active for quite a while. This can create problems for [name of student] if he touches contaminated surfaces and rubs his eyes or puts his hands to his mouth.
Bananas and kiwis do not pose the same risk to [student]. The allergens in these items are not very durable, easily break down on surfaces and are, therefore, less likely to create problems. [name of student]cannot eat these foods but he is less vulnerable to surface contact with them. Because the lunchroom is in Mrs. X's classroom and because [student] eats separately from his classmates in another area of the school, [student's]parents are comfortable with other children eating these foods as part of their healthy lunches.
[Student's]food allergies are very serious. He must avoid any contact with the foods he is allergic too. Anaphylaxis can begin within seconds of exposure and can cause death within minutes. Allergic individuals have been known to react to microscopic amounts of food proteins that they have eaten, smelled and/or touched. Smelling peanut butter or touching items (like desks, pencils, computer keyboards, sports equipment etc.) contaminated by the proteins he is allergic to can be harmful to [student]. For these reasons he carries epinephrine in a pre-loaded device called an Epi-Pen. Epinephrine when administered, gives an individual some time to reach a hospital emergency room where doctors will try to stop the anaphylactic reaction. An Epi-Pen alone does not stop a reaction.
Please read food labels carefully because surprising things contain nuts or peanuts. Groundnuts, goobers, and arachis are other names for peanuts. Vegetable or plant protein should be considered a nut or peanut unless the label specifies that it is another protein. Nut and peanut flours, oils and extracts must be avoided. Please also avoid foods that are labeled

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