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
Offline
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
Offline
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
Offline
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).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 7:15am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I agree with Carefulmom. DS sits at a peanut-free table. It was the school's idea, but I agree for him to sit there. I don't think our school would argue if I said no. But they also allow non-PA kids to sit there, as long as they have nut-free lunches. So DS is not segregated, can sit with friends, and is still safe.
I do understand the school wanting a doctor's note saying they do not need to sit at the peanut-free table. But they should accept the note as written.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 8:33am
Lindajo's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

This seems like another one of the CYA warnings from the school. "If you want your child to sit in the general population, hey put it in writing for us and we're done with it." That's how I interpret that statement from your school.
Personally, just like Carefulmom and Jimmy's Mom, I'm in favor of the peanut-free table. Its more in my comfort zone. My DD sits at a peanut-free table with all of her friends as long as they are not eating any pnuts/nuts. It just keeps her safe from a table that has PB. But, if she wanted to sit with others at the other tables, she can. We both just feel safer knowing that PB is not so close.

Posted on: Wed, 03/22/2006 - 2:47am
tidina's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/26/2005 - 09:00

im pretty sure im going to let my son eat at the peanut free table when he starts first grade. i worry about after lunch when kids have peanut butter hands and touch everything like door handles, computers, chairs, etc.

Posted on: Wed, 03/22/2006 - 6:33am
TarynsDad's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

I agree that its a perfectly acceptable letter. In fact I think the school would not be smart to take that last line out because it almost puts the responsibility on the student and not the school.....I wouldnt take it out.
Tim

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 3:35am
Carefulmom's picture
Offline
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
Offline
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
Offline
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
Offline
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
Offline
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).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 7:15am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I agree with Carefulmom. DS sits at a peanut-free table. It was the school's idea, but I agree for him to sit there. I don't think our school would argue if I said no. But they also allow non-PA kids to sit there, as long as they have nut-free lunches. So DS is not segregated, can sit with friends, and is still safe.
I do understand the school wanting a doctor's note saying they do not need to sit at the peanut-free table. But they should accept the note as written.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 8:33am
Lindajo's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

This seems like another one of the CYA warnings from the school. "If you want your child to sit in the general population, hey put it in writing for us and we're done with it." That's how I interpret that statement from your school.
Personally, just like Carefulmom and Jimmy's Mom, I'm in favor of the peanut-free table. Its more in my comfort zone. My DD sits at a peanut-free table with all of her friends as long as they are not eating any pnuts/nuts. It just keeps her safe from a table that has PB. But, if she wanted to sit with others at the other tables, she can. We both just feel safer knowing that PB is not so close.

Posted on: Wed, 03/22/2006 - 2:47am
tidina's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/26/2005 - 09:00

im pretty sure im going to let my son eat at the peanut free table when he starts first grade. i worry about after lunch when kids have peanut butter hands and touch everything like door handles, computers, chairs, etc.

Posted on: Wed, 03/22/2006 - 6:33am
TarynsDad's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

I agree that its a perfectly acceptable letter. In fact I think the school would not be smart to take that last line out because it almost puts the responsibility on the student and not the school.....I wouldnt take it out.
Tim

Posted on: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:24pm
loriradakovich's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2010 - 06:24

My daughter has had the exact same issue. If your child isn't already on a 504 plan, get her on one. I was told 11yrs ago that I didn't have to put my kid on a 504 plan to keep her safe...I argued til I got her on a 504 plan. It has helped in MANY ways to keep my child safer in a public school system where nut products are still served. When you have a 504 in place you have yearly meetings with the school nurse, principal, school counselor, etc...all to come up with possible problems and possible solutions to problems at school. Not only the lunch table (BTW_ a big problem for us was that the same rags to clean the nut-free table were also used on ones for the other tables. Also, sometimes the kids were "helping" clean the tables and cross-contaminating the other tables. Problem was sort of solved ny having a sep. bucket and sep. rag/sponge for the nut-free tables. I've made hm-made cookies for YRS. that I put into individual bags, and then into a Tupperware and write in sharpie NO NUTS-and my child's name, that are given for b-day parties or 4 "snacks". My oldest Peanut Allergic/Tree-nut allergic child is now 13. She's still alive and I count my blessings everday that she is. A person once told me when they found out my kids were severely allergic to peanuts and tree-nuts that I would have to fight forever to keep them safe. They were right. Along the way I have found both people who have doubted the diagnoses, teachers who were afraid to use an epipen, and people who didn't want to invite my kids for play-dates or b-day parties. However, I stood by my kids and their lives. AND, I (and most importantly, my KIDS) now have wonderful friends(who know how to use epipens and aren't afraid to use them:)People who love my kids and even me for who we all are warts (or allergies) and all! We have found friends who are as close as family (and in some cases closer and more understanding of the food allergies). It's a tough road at times. It is. Like I said before, I have a 13yr-old, we found out she was allergic to peanuts at 15mths when she got ahold of a pb&j. One lick and hello what I call "death-watch" for 3 days. Horrible. But, she's a healthy and wonderful and ornery 13 yr old now. So, it is what it is. Hang in there! I hope I've helped a lil bit. I feel your pain. But keep fighting for your kiddo!

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2013 - 2:51am
cdnsmith's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011 - 09:45

What is a 504 plan? Sorry I should probably know this, but I don't. My 3 year old will be attending pure k this year. The school is not peanut free, but they have a peanut free table, and her class us peanut free. Thanks for any help :-)

Posted on: Tue, 07/02/2013 - 5:27am
Cali1530's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/15/2012 - 10:14

Hi there - I grew up with the exact same situation. I'm now 27 and hear about schools being completely nut free, which while very tolerant is not always the case. Mine certainly wasn't growing up and I was the only child in my grade also with an allergy. I find children are much more attentive and understanding of allergies as opposed to adults. I never personally had an issue sitting at my own table and was usually allowed to have 'a buddy' sit with me. When treated as a special table kids always seemed to be respectful. I hope the kids in your child's class are the same way and if so I don't think you should worry about them being left out. It's life, not everything goes as we want, I grew up that way and don't have any resentful memories from it.

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You no doubt have your own way of teaching people about your child’s food allergy, a way that suits your temperament, and style of communication....

Reliable peanut allergy statistics are not that easy to come by. There is a lot of available research on food allergies in general but not too...

Most people know that to enjoy whatever food safety accommodations an airline offers they need to inform the airline of their allergy prior to...

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

If there is a child at your children's school allergic to peanuts, the school probably discourages or may not allow peanut products to be brought...

If you are on a budget, but you need to wear some sort of notification that you have a peanut...

Unless we consciously carve out time for self-care, constant food allergy management can slowly erode our sense of well-being. Signs of allergy-...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...