peanuts in classroom

Posted on: Thu, 02/16/2006 - 5:25am
beachfan's picture
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Joined: 02/15/2006 - 09:00

Hi, I'm new to this site and love the information that is out there already. My question is, does the teacher allow peanuts/peanut products in the classroom of your child and how severe is your child's allergy? My daughter's throat hurts and her cheeks flush and she usually throws up when she gets peanuts.

I asked the teacher to check the ingredients of snacks around my first grade daughter at snacktime (only those desks that touch hers). Well, guess what, as the year progressed (fortunately I was helping out) and there right next to my daughter's desk was a girl eating peanut butter crackers and some had gotten on my daughter's desk. So I intervened and later had another discussion with the teacher. My daughter is fine, my concern is that this may slip through again. The kids can eat peanut snacks on the carpet and I know there are crumbs, the teacher tries to help, she said she sprays the area with Lysol. I don't think that that will eliminate the allergen, but at least she is trying.

Posted on: Thu, 02/16/2006 - 10:03am
pitterpat's picture
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Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

My dd teacher would probably allow pn products in the room, but no parents send them because they know of dd's allergy. There area actually 2 more pa kids in her class, but their parents don't do anything to protect them, in my opinion.
Dd gets hives and throws up at a small amount of pn exposure.
No, Lysol will not help eliminate pn from the carpet.
Last year before we even knew about dd's allergy, but were avoiding due to family history I made a big sign that said, "No PN for Sara" to help her teacher remember. In first grade the other kids are old enough to help your dd, too. Maybe you can read them a story and teach them about pa to help protect your dd.
Good luck!
------------------
Patty
mom to
Sara (7/02) allergic to pn, grass, trees
Julia (9/04) allergic to eggs?

Posted on: Thu, 02/16/2006 - 10:47am
JRsMami's picture
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Joined: 08/08/2005 - 09:00

My DS's class is PA free- meaning no peanut products will be distributed during snack time in the classroom. We do allow "may contains" provided they do not have peanut in the ingredients- I supply alternative snack in these instances. They eat lunch at cafeteria where children can bring peanut products and upon returning to class they wash with soap and water. I have supplied the school with baby wipes which are used to wipe down DS desk and various objects that can be easily cross contaminated.
I would be worried sick if his classroom was not PF- I still worry knowing that there's chances of exposure throughout the schools common area- still working on that fight. My DS's reaction was vomitting, hives, and asthma. But I know that his body will react differently each and every time- so I consider any risks airborne, contact, etc. a threat and never under estimate his allergy. We also have his Epipen travel with him in his class and another at the nurses office. We have written this, plus more, into a 504 plan with formal accomodations and I know no one will forget my son has a life threatening allergy.

Posted on: Thu, 02/16/2006 - 10:03am
pitterpat's picture
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Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

My dd teacher would probably allow pn products in the room, but no parents send them because they know of dd's allergy. There area actually 2 more pa kids in her class, but their parents don't do anything to protect them, in my opinion.
Dd gets hives and throws up at a small amount of pn exposure.
No, Lysol will not help eliminate pn from the carpet.
Last year before we even knew about dd's allergy, but were avoiding due to family history I made a big sign that said, "No PN for Sara" to help her teacher remember. In first grade the other kids are old enough to help your dd, too. Maybe you can read them a story and teach them about pa to help protect your dd.
Good luck!
------------------
Patty
mom to
Sara (7/02) allergic to pn, grass, trees
Julia (9/04) allergic to eggs?

Posted on: Thu, 02/16/2006 - 10:47am
JRsMami's picture
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Joined: 08/08/2005 - 09:00

My DS's class is PA free- meaning no peanut products will be distributed during snack time in the classroom. We do allow "may contains" provided they do not have peanut in the ingredients- I supply alternative snack in these instances. They eat lunch at cafeteria where children can bring peanut products and upon returning to class they wash with soap and water. I have supplied the school with baby wipes which are used to wipe down DS desk and various objects that can be easily cross contaminated.
I would be worried sick if his classroom was not PF- I still worry knowing that there's chances of exposure throughout the schools common area- still working on that fight. My DS's reaction was vomitting, hives, and asthma. But I know that his body will react differently each and every time- so I consider any risks airborne, contact, etc. a threat and never under estimate his allergy. We also have his Epipen travel with him in his class and another at the nurses office. We have written this, plus more, into a 504 plan with formal accomodations and I know no one will forget my son has a life threatening allergy.

Posted on: Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:13pm
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Joined: 07/17/2014 - 22:44

No, you are not wrong and don't doubt yourself. Our very first encounter was, "This is the way we do things and we've never had a problem". To which my response was, "Then without changes, your due, because your process is completely lacking".
My advice: Learn EVERYTHING you can about the allergy and be prepared to educate with facts (in black and white). Seriously - hard copies, for some reason, they find much more reliable. Make sure you understand, at a high level, even the science behind how a reaction occurs - I mean, things like the fact that it is immune system based and extremely unpredictable (and why it is so unpredictable). When you are strong with your words, confident of the truth you speak, my guess is that they will begin to ask questions. Be prepared to say, "My child could die" (hardest words to say, but there is strength in them). Do not show any emotion whatsoever. Deal in facts. With emotion you get labeled as a crazy person...an overreacting helicopter parent. Made this suggestion on another post - if you need help - consider enlisting EMTs at the fire department from an education standpoint. They DO help out. They do not want to get these calls.
Do you have a 504? I would highly recommend one. There are threads on this going on now.
HTH

Posted on: Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:25pm
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Joined: 03/13/2014 - 16:46

Second that!
Be as clear as possible about the consequences and the complete extent of her symptoms. FARE has a new action plan that describes various symptoms and classifies them to help caregivers administer the correct medication. Complete the form with your doc and review the form in person with the nurse and teachers.
http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=234
With 504 accessibilty issues, most schools think 2D: substitute a ramp for stairs, clay for PB. They may miss that the steepness of the ramp and the PB being in the classroom also will cause accessibility issues.
To make this as clear as possible, our 504 explicitly prohibits use of products that contain or may contain peanuts as instructional aids or rewards.
Along with EMTs, enlist the school nurse as an advocate. They have the freedom to move about the school and observe practices and can give you a heads up.
There are blips, but our MS nurse used to make the teachers sign the inside of the red folder with the 504 Plan. When the teacher says. "Oh I didn't know ..." the Nurse can show them their signature! Awkward.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:43am
thisisnuts's picture
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Joined: 08/27/2014 - 11:34

Both of these comments were very helpful! Thanks for your time and advice.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2014 - 6:45am
Nottus62's picture
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Joined: 08/28/2014 - 13:28

I too had conversations with both the nurse and my daughter's kindergarten teacher. I also had to call the principle and discuss cafeteria seating. I convinced him to isolate her (sequester) to a table by herself. As not to alienate her, I had her twin brother (not allergic to anything) sit with her and eat their lunches (which their mom and I pack for them). Yes, what is common sense to us is NOT common sense to the non-allergic world. This truly keeps me up a night. I have done everything possible and must (as much as it pains me) let her live and hope to God her teacher, the nurse, the principal, other teachers, faculty all do the right thing. I feel your pain. Communication is our friend. Me must preach the word. A peanut/tree nut anaphylactic child truly does have a disability and we need all the help we can get to ensure our children are safe.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:15am
mom1995's picture
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Joined: 11/09/2004 - 09:00

I am sorry for your daughters bad day. It can be very scary when they are so young. First how in depth were you in defining her allergy, second what do you have in place on her 504 (hoping you have one) third exclusion of any kind is NOT acceptable accommodations. You have to decide what guidelines you want and then require them to put it in a 504 plan to ensure they comply. We required no nuts or nut products in her classroom in elementary, that she have a safe zone of two people on either side of her and four across the table as the nut free eating area, that the table was wiped clean everyday just prior to her sitting down, that class snacks or parties were nut free, kids that bring nut stuff from home at lunch we're given time (asked ) to go wash their hands after lunch. I get the whole cant control everything however at this age and till about 5 or 6 grade kids touch everything they walk by. So keeping the possible cross contamination to a min helps.
Hope those ideas help. And NEVER feel bad wanting to ensure the safety of your child. I use to tell the teacher or parent or who ever "how focused would you child or you be if the person sitting next you were holding a loaded gun?" It is the same thing. Coming from hunter land and gun crazy they got that. That pbj sand which is a gun to my child.
Speak up, speak out and educate. That is how our daughter made threw 13 years in public schools. When all this nut allergy was knew.

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2014 - 7:36am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Hi there! First of all, your anger is justified. It can be extremely difficult to educate others about the severity of peanut allergies. As you know, even indirect contact with peanuts and peanut butter can cause reactions.
Education will be the best tool in your arsenal to fight ignorance. Unfortunately, because there are not consistent laws in regards to peanut allergy policy, voluntary compliance by non-PA families is necessary. One powerful way to ensure the safety of your child is by appealing to emotion.
Many people are unaware of the severity of peanut allergies. They do not understand that even a tiny trace of peanut can be life-threatening. By informing them of this and other facts, they may change their stance. This is a good article to learn more.
Getting a 504 plan for your daughter might be the way to go. A 504 plan guarantees your daughter will have access to a safe environment at school. The school administration may be breaking ADA laws by not taking this issue seriously. To read more about a 504 plan, this is a helpful community post and this is an informative article.
Also, be persistent in regards to the school administration. Continually remind them of your daughter’s allergy and safety precautions that are necessary for her well-being. Inform them that when she is at school they are liable for her and other children’s safety.
We asked our Facebook fans to share their thoughts on your question. You can read their helpful feedback here.

Posted on: Sun, 08/31/2014 - 1:21am
MBorelli's picture
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Joined: 01/05/2014 - 14:33

You need to be as specific as possible when dealing with the school. Schools, generally, will play dumb until they are educated and mandated to change. You would think that a school administration team would be up-to-date, but sadly a lot are not. You need to have your child's allergist advocating for specific accommodations. If your daughter used clay, why couldn't all of the kids use it? That's sloppy leadership. Get a 504 Plan, asap. Don't let anyone tell you it's not needed; it's your child's right to have one.
My son has a 504 and as a Kindergarten student, his Epi Pen travels with him from rook-to-room, he will have a para to monitor the activities, wipe down his tables, and make sure that their is no food sharing. I don't know how long we will keep the para but definitely for this school year and maybe next year as well.
You need to educate the teacher and work with the teacher to ensure a safe environment. Safe doesn't mean peanut-free, but it does mean smart, educated choices.
Good luck.
I'm a school administrator in NYC and as progressive as this city is, people are still in the dark about food allergies.

Posted on: Sun, 08/31/2014 - 2:15am
jap's picture
jap
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Joined: 08/11/2013 - 08:33

School is ridiculous
You do not have a right to a peanut free school, your class room is a place of learning and must be safe and peanut free. Your child was basically sitting next to a poisons snake.I will inclose a link to my daughters school plan for you copy and paste http://japmrp.tumblr.com/
I do not want to appear rude but i find it mind boggling that the question has to be asked, no school , organization or club has ever put my daighter around peanut butter, it is like glue and oil. If something seems off to you it usually is and trust your instincts and advocate. Peanut is at number one out of worlds most dangerous foods, 3 Million Americans have tis allergy, they should be banned from schools.

Posted on: Sun, 08/31/2014 - 2:32am
dkdkdk's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2013 - 20:23

It is very difficult sometimes because most people do not truly understand that a severe allergy can be fatal. They have not been educated and probably have not been exposed. I believe you should gently speak to the teachers/principal and educate them. Tell them in person the signs/symptoms and that what can occur if your child is exposed, and all it takes is another child with peanut butter on their hands. Send them an email and have it printed on paper. Have them show you how to use the Epi-Pen (you should have a trainer in the box) and when in doubt it should be used. Let them know there is a very short duration between exposure and treatment and that you don't know how severe it could be. Go to their music, PE teachers, etc and do the same. Your child's life is in their hands and they should respect your concern. You have every right to be angry but venting it will not change things...educating them will. Show them a video of what could happen. There are videos I believe on this website (or you tube) acting out a scenario of an allergic reaction. If they choose to do nothing, you need to take further action or remove her from the school. You cannot totally keep your child from being around peanuts/butter, unfortunately, but you can try your best. Educate your child as well. My daughter is a 2nd grader also with a severe peanut allergy. She will not eat anything from anyone if she is not completely sure what is in the food. If she knows there are peanuts/butter in the room, she removes herself completely. She will sometimes have kids tell her "there are no peanuts in this" because they do not physically see peanuts. I have told her do not eat any food unless it is ok'd by an adult we trust (not by kids). She needs to have her Epi Pen (and Bendadryl)on her at all times...not in the office. Another thing to think about is having the teacher notify you if there is going to be a substitute to make sure they are aware and how to handle it. Having a couple of teachers near her classroom Epi trained might be wise as well. I am so sorry this has happened. I know it is so scary. You can never rely on someone having common sense regarding this issue because like I have said, most do not understand. I will pray your school and teachers will learn about this and take great precautions and for your child to have protection over her.

Posted on: Sun, 08/31/2014 - 4:30am
evanone's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2013 - 09:53

Teacher should be fired that simple !

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