peanut free table

Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2001 - 3:56am
Chrissi's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2001 - 09:00

pMy 4yr old daugh will be in the elementary school next yr/ I am so thankful for their peanut free lunch table, but is it me??br /
I feel that isolation may the wrong avenue. She is an educated child around her life threatening allergy, Is it me/ please let me know. Do any of you utilize an alternate table. Her yrs in preschool/2 yrs have been safe. I am at the school often./p

Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2001 - 4:06am
CarolynM's picture
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Joined: 03/27/2001 - 09:00

Chrissi, I think is all in how you set it up. My daughter sits with the "buyers" at her school, whether she packs or buys her lunch. The only peanut item available to buy is a PB&J sand. If someone buys this, they sit at the "packers" table. If a packer wants to sit with my daughter, they have to have a note from home stating their lunch is nut-free. The principal just didn't feel comfortable with checking lunches to see what is in them. This has worked out well. My daughter never has to sit alone, and she is always safe. The kids all know where they should sit, according to what they are eating. The school nurse comes in at the end of lunch and gives them all a wipe for their face and hands. They felt they could not ensure that the kids would wash their hands thoroughly if they all went into the restroom to wash.

Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2001 - 7:15am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

My child's classroom doesn't have a peanut-free table but it does have "peanut tables" where the children who eat pnbj always sit.
I move the trashcan right beside the peanut tables during lunch and these tables are right beside the wash basin.
He never sits alone and the children (5-6 year) are now sufficiently aware that they make the move to the pnb tables themselves.
I (or occassionaly my husband) am in the classroom everyday for lunch since some of the younger pnj eaters are very messy and it can get over their clothes, on the tables etc(some parents use a lot of pnb which does make me anxious). Each child wipes down the place where they ate (with wipes I provide)
I bring in soap and wipes since I am trying to fight the big battles in school and not the little ones. The teacher was originally "cool" on the idea of the kids switching seats for lunch since none of the other pn parents at the school consider it necessary (and describe the children's symptoms mild and their children as only mildy-allergic). The school nurse backed me up on this one, I have found an understanding supportive school nurse is a great person to have in your camp.
In preschool we were lucky enough to have a pn-free room. I was very anxious at the start of kindergarten but he has not had a reaction at school.
I will probably modify for first grade once I have got to know his new teacher.
Good luck determing what is best for your child.

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2001 - 12:49pm
SusanMO's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2001 - 09:00

Chrissi....I had to respond to your post when I found it. My kindergarten son sits at a nut free table in his lunchroom. Trust me......he does not feel isolated. The school he attends has been wonderful in dealing with his allergies. Before he comes to lunch, one of the custodians wipes down his table with a solution and rag that is used exclusively on his table. A sign is then placed on his table with a purple elephant that says "Nut Free Table." There are children who not only sit with him everyday, they look out for him. The lunch aides also inspect all the lunches of the children at the table. They do serve PBJ sandwiches on Mondays and Fridays and trail mix shows up on the salad bar regularly. I know for a fact they are very careful in dealing with him and I feel very safe sending him there. Kids can be incredibly receptive to things that aren't the norm. The kids in my son's class are all understanding of his allergies and want to ensure his safety. The kids who do eat PBJ sandwiches go to the bathroom immediately following lunch to wash their hands without being told. Depending how you daughter's school handles the situation, I think your daughter will do just fun. The educational materials from FAAN are also very helpful.

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2001 - 1:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I posted this question in a different area, but now realize this may be a more appropriate spot...have any of your children (or do you know of anyone) who has had an airborne reaction when eating someplace that has tables for kids eating p-nut butter sandwiches, etc. and tables for kids that do not eat it?

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2001 - 1:40pm
Head Cook's picture
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Joined: 11/19/2000 - 09:00

When the kids are younger the separate tables are fine and fun and nobody seems to have a problem. But older elemetary age is when the teasing comes in and you can not legislate compassion or kindness!! We no longer have designated tables (4th grade) but the nice kids that have been around for the distance automatically say if they have pb to let him know. Social issues get much bigger with age and the responsibility shifts over to your child. Its hard though!

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 3:35am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ, I am speechless. I have been on this board a lot of years, and never seen a post where the pa child is sent away from the peanut free table so that other kids can eat may contains there. This wasn`t a peanut product, right, just a may contain? So there is really no risk to the pa child anyhow. That is just awful that they made him sit in the corner. It totally defeats the purpose of the peanut free table.
About your question, when my dd was going to start kindergarten, I requested an intradistrict transfer to one school and an inter district transfer to another school. I requested both to increase the chance of one of the districts saying yes. They both said yes, so I chose the school that was more pa aware. I advise you to try to appeal it. I am not sure what process you went through to try to get your son transferred back to the small school, but I would try writing a letter and including a letter from the allergist stating that he would be safer at the smaller school due to the pa. I find that I can get most things approved this way. For example in dd`s middle school, they made a mistake and put her in a 7th and 8th grade chorus class although she is only in 6th grade. They accidentally put 6 of the 6th graders in this 7th and 8th grade class. Once they realized it, they were going to move all 6 of the 6th graders to other electives. However, I loved the chorus teacher; her own kids are MFA and have epis. So I just wrote a letter saying that for dd to stay in this 7th and 8th grade chorus class was the safest option due to the pa and to please leave her in there. They said okay and dd got to stay while the other 6th graders had to be moved. I find that a letter explaining that _______ is safer for your pa child works wonders. A letter from the allergist in addition is even better.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 3:59am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i sympathize with your situation but i have to admit that i would not have a child eating a may contain near my two PA kids moved to another table or area. i only request that foods/snacks with peanuts or peanut products listed in the ingredient list be separated from my children. i find it sufficient in my situation and my two girls are extremely sensitive to peanut in every way possible (they've reacted to it in the air, in their general vicinity and by touch in addition to ingestion in the past).
maybe this is why i get so much cooperation from my school - the staff and students and parents - because my requests have not been too terribly difficult to follow. our school kitchens ARE peanut-free and nut-free and they also do NOT use anything having a "may contain" or "processed in" warning on the label because i want my girls, and other fa kids, to be able to eat at school if they choose (and apparently, so does my school). the lunch boxes and bags from home can and often do contain peanut products but are eaten in one half of the cafeteria and the lunchtrays and my girls (regardless of whether they order a tray or bring lunch from home) eat on the other half.
my girls do not eat breakfast at school so i am not sure what the procedures are for that although i'm pretty sure there are no peanut or nut products used because the same food service that agreed to the peanut-free, nut-free lunches runs the breakfast program too.
i hope this doesn't sound like i'm being judgemental or harsh but i try to pick my battles very carefully and getting rid of may contains and the like in the school setting doesn't rank up there high on my priority list. now, this might be different if we were talking about very young children who might eat from someone else's tray/lunchbox OR if food-sharing was allowed among the students of any age. at our school, the kids know they are not allowed to share food, period. even though my girls currently don't eat lunch near may contains (due to the way the lunchroom is set up), i would not mind it if they did. however, i WOULD mind if the school called itself peanut-free and continued to place may contains on the menu. that would NOT be a peanut-free lunch/breakfast.
so...i guess i have two main comments here:
1) may contains don't present a problem *for my family* in terms of PA. my girls don't eat them (and neither do the rest of us, out of consideration and practicality) but other people having them, even near my kids and even at school, poses me no concerns whatsoever.
and
2) however, if your school truly wants to have a peanut-free, nut-free school kitchen, they need to do away with the breakfast bar as this does not fit in with what they are claiming to accomplish. it would make things easier for everyone involved, particularly since your child orders a breakfast, to just go all the way and exclude may contains and such in the program altogether. it would make it easier for you, the kids and the school. no more need to worry about what each child can and cannot have for breakfast. i can't believe your school hasn't already figured out this is the simplest way to correct the problem.
hope i didn't come off sounding unsupportive. wasn't my intention at all. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] and, by the way, no matter what anyone's opinion on the subject, i think the staff member who attempted to move your child from the peanut-free table was
WAY out of line. never should have happened and i'm glad you were there to step in.
bottom line is that the school needs to go entirely peanut-free in its breakfast and lunch offerings (including may contains and anything with a similar warning) in order to truly offer peanut safe lunches and breakfasts. i can't imagine why they would even want to go as far as they have and then leave in one or two things to mess up all they're trying to accomplish.????????

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 10:37am
Christabelle's picture
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Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

Why do the kids eating the breakfast bar have to sit at the peanut free table? I really don't get it. Why not seat them at the other lunch tables.
I think this is the one safe spot that is designated peanut free. That is one teeny little haven, and it should remain may-contain and peanut item free, period.
My child would NOT be moved from the peanut free table. It's absurd. You are right to be upset.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 11:01am
hopechapel's picture
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Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

Okay - you can compliment them on their vigilance that they caught the "may contain" label. Often it is in tiny weeny writing.
You can tell them that your son, who already has some feelings of isolation from others, misunderstands and thinks he is being punished when he is banished. (I, personally, think it is hostility -- once again they are unconsciously mad to be bothered with food allergy). But -- most people are fairly un-self-examined. So, you can't point it out to them -- they don't see their own behaviour.
The good thing is you caught them. Sometimes it is hard to know what happened exactly when your kid tells you. How wonderful that you caught this moment. Now --may it not happen again.
Suggest a breakfast bar to them that is kosher for allergies.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 2:57am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Is segregation due to disability no longer against the law? Last time I checked it was. Sorry for the sarcasm, but that policy is SO illegal. My dd does have a peanut free table, but that was because her doctor said she needs one. It is against the law to require a pa child to sit at a table just for pa kids the same way it is against the law to require an African American child to sit at a table just for African American kids or to require a Jewish child to sit at a table just for Jewish kids. Again I don`t have a problem with the idea of a peanut free table, my dd sits at one with her two best friends who are not pa, but it was my decision, not the school`s decision. They cannot require it any more than they can require a special table for certain ethnic groups.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited March 17, 2006).]

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