preschool class no longer peanut free

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 11:58pm
MayaLily's picture
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Joined: 07/01/2004 - 09:00

Maya went to this preschool last year with no problems, the teacher is wonderful, and seemed to be a perfect fit. It is part of the public scool system, and is the only one we can afford right now.

Last year the teacher provided the snacks and it was a peanut free room. This year because of the multitude of allergies (3 peanut, several egg and dairy, a couple gluten and soy, etc) they are having the parents provide the snacks for their own children. My first reaction was...good...now I know she'll be eating safe food when she's at school (I didn't really worry last year, but this seemed like a good idea) but then she says that they can't ban peanut butter because the allergy list is so extensive in the class that some of the kids don't have many other options.

I've given the nurse an epipen, and have now gotten another epi to have in the classroom since the risk is a lot higher.

There are 3 teachers for 15 students...can they be sure that these 4 and 5 year olds are not sharing food? Maya has a good grasp on her allergy, but it's still only a 4 year old's understanding that she can't eat anything with peanuts or peanut oil and that labels need to be read...she can't grasp the concept of cross contamination.

We don't know if she is contact reactive, and she has not yet had an anaphylactic reaction to trace amounts due to cross contamination (knock wood)(she got a pretty bad rash on her face from x-cont. in a blueberry pie once)

I'm scared...I did not think I would have to deal with this until kindergarten next year...I missed parents visiting day, so I didn't get to chat with any of the other PA moms about the new policies

I am looking for any reassurances, advice, anything to make me feel better and also help me decide which hill I want to die on...I have no idea which battles are worth fighting, and with so many other allergic children in the class, I don't want to make things more difficult for them.

I just want to cry...

Kristen

edited to add...I'll send Maya with healthy snacks that won't conflict wioth any other of the allergies...she loves grapes and apple slices for example...I'm just afraid the temptation of a cookie or peanut butter cracker would be too much for her if she doesn't realize it has peanuts in it, even though she knows she's not supposed to take food from anyone but me her dad or her teacher.

[This message has been edited by MayaLily (edited September 17, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2004 - 12:19am
ElleMo's picture
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Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

My DD just started preschool this week, so I don't have a lot of practical experience. But I can tell you what they do at my preschool. PB is banned, but they do allow parents to send in snacks for the kids b-day. I supply a snack for my DD. Each child has a napkin and they are allowed only to eat from their napkin and not to share or take anything from anyone else.
There are no peanuts, just may contains, so I feel very comfortable with this. There are 2 teachers to 14 three-year-olds.
Perhaps you could sit with the teachers and discuss the logistics of this with them? Perhaps they could do something similar with the caveat that they would also sit the PB eaters at one table? & make sure they have a plan to wash all the kids hands after snacks.
Elle
------------------
Ellen
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA

Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2004 - 12:22am
ElleMo's picture
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Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by ElleMo:
[b]My DD just started preschool this week, so I don't have a lot of practical experience. But I can tell you what they do at my preschool. PB is banned, but they do allow parents to send in snacks for the kids b-day. I supply a snack for my DD. Each child has a napkin and they are allowed only to eat from their napkin and not to share or take anything from anyone else.
There are no peanuts, just may contains, so I feel very comfortable with this. There are 2 teachers to 14 three-year-olds.
Perhaps you could sit with the teachers and discuss the logistics of this with them? Perhaps they could do something similar with the caveat that they would also sit the PB eaters at separate table? & make sure they have a plan to wash all the kids hands after snacks.
Elle
[/b]

Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2004 - 6:55am
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Kristen, my son was in pre-K last year, and his class was not peanut free. (Two teachers for 22 kids.) What the teachers did was, if anyone at his table was eating pb, they moved that child to another seat, and had him wash his hands before returning to his regular table. We had absolutely no problems [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]. In your daughter's class, with three teachers for 15 kids, they should be able to be on top of who's eating what and do the same thing. We also had the same kind of 'eat off your own napkin, no sharing' rule that Elle described. With each teacher essentially just watching over 5 kids each, I think this is a reasonable request and totally doable. (If they seat the 3 PA children together to eat, that should make it *really* easy, too!)

Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2004 - 8:59am
MayaLily's picture
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Joined: 07/01/2004 - 09:00

Thanks for the reassurances [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I talked to the teacher after class and she says they check all the snacks and keep a peanut free table. she did say that on wednesday a couple of kids brought in PB crackers, scary, but if they're as careful as they say they are, it should be ok.
we'll be getting a class list with phone numbers and addresses...my husband wants to call the parents and ask that they please not send in peanut products for snacks.
It was interesting today because when I told her about the snacks and how she could only eat what I sent in because some of the other kids will be bringing in peanut butter, she really wanted to talk about the allergy again and actually asked how the epipen works. I'm so proud of how well she is accepting the restrictions that are placed on her.
ugh...it just makes me so tired...
kristen [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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