My 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?? 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.
On Mar 14, 2001
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.
On Mar 14, 2001
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.
On Mar 22, 2001
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.
On Mar 22, 2001
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?
On Mar 22, 2001
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!