preschool with peanut allergy

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 4:15am
triplets4us's picture
Joined: 06/06/2001 - 09:00

My sons will be starting preschool in the fall. The preschool that they will be attending has never had a child with a severe peanut allergy. I am looking for any information that anyone can give me as to how they handled snacks, training the teachers to use medication/EpiPen as well as any other pertinent information. There will be 10 children in the class, 3 of which will be mine! The teacher has suggested that I provide a list of snacks that are "safe" and then she will send that list home to parents and tell them to send those snacks to school. The problem with this is that the teacher would have to read each package to make sure that it was "safe" (i.e. Oreos). I would appreciate any advice that anyone could offer. Thanks!

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 4:33am
KarenD's picture
Joined: 01/11/2003 - 09:00

Three starting??? You have your hands full!!! Why couldn't you send the list of safe snacks and also provide the manufacturer of that snack (i.e.fritos by frito lay). If you have already done the research on which manufacturers you trust that might take some of the guessing away from the teacher. Although she will still have to double check to make sure none of the ingredients have changed. Or maybe you could start a snack group where one person provides the snack for that day and all ten moms take turns (even two could participate in one day). Someone could bring the chips and someone could bring grapes.....Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 11:38am
kellyd's picture
Joined: 05/20/2001 - 09:00

My son started nursery school this past Sept. and I was a wreck in the beginning. He is allergic to wheat and milk products in addition to peanuts. This is what we did: 1) WE had a meeting before school began with the director and teachers discussing all and any questions about food, medicines, art projects, emotional aspects, etc. The room was made peanut and milk free and parents were told that at the open house before school began. 2)Because of his multiple allergies, I really didn't trust other parents, so I had "safe snacks" at the school at all times. 3) Parents were encouraged to bring in fruits or vegetables (of course warned of cross contamination) along with a milk/peanut free snack. But we have had the most supportive parents. 80% of them bring in snacks he can eat. THe teacher has an extended list of safe and dangerous ingredients and checks any food brought in. 4) the epipen and benedryl are kept in the classroom and go with him (a teacher) out in the playground etc. I was soooo anxious at first especially because they use cooking a lot. I also stressed that K should not be made to felt different, etc. They have been awesome! the parents too! I've been sooo happy and relieved. Oh, yeah, extra appreciation to the teachers/directors doesn't hurt. I gave them small tokens with thank you cards after three weeks thanking them for all their effort. Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2003 - 10:29pm
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

I have actually gone thru this 3x so I may be of help.
What I did was write a letter to all the parents of the preschool identifying myself, my daughters and explaining our allergy. I would be more than happy to send you a copy of you would like to email me!
Secondly, I discussed it with the nurse and all the teachers involved so everyone knew what we are dealing with. At the first school, I provided about 8 boxes of safe snacks for the kids. Since this preschool provides snack (parents pay a set fee each month) this enabled them to have total control over the food brought into the room. Once I gave them the food, they would just continue to buy the same brands and same kind!!
At this new preschool, parents supply the snack. I provide the snack for my daughter but all the kids sit at a peanut free table. None of the children are permitted to have any food containing peanuts, tree nuts or pb. It has worked out really well so far! The teacher and her aide stand right by my daughter holding her red medic alert bag while she has snack. They are very aware and take it very seriously.
As for training... education takes work I am afraid. This is my 3rd year of getting my voice out there. I will say the teachers and staff are a lot more receptive to me now than when we were first diagnosed in 2000.
I have supplied the staff with info about peanut allergies and have given them an epi pen trainer to use. I also made up two emergency sheets for them .. laminated them with magnets so they have their info right at their finger tips. My one child's nurse at the first grade has it right on her filing cabinet! These sheets contain HOW TO USE THE EPI PEN step by step and how to look for signs of a reaction.
Again, I'd be happy to send you the info I have. Lisa

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 1:19am
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

At our preschool, they decided to delcare a no nuts policy upon admitting 3 PA children this past fall(for the first time).
They provide snacks. I provided safe snack lists, so there is always a safe snack provided each day, and there is a constant alternative(saltines) that is safe for any child who does not like or want the chosen snack for the day.
For us, and I mention this as a thing to address, there is alot of *other* food activities. Tons! Crafts, field trips, parties, etc..., where foods come in from home. When you have 12 people sending in food from home, there is alot fo risk, even with no nuts. We also deal with egg allergy, and our teacher always advises egg salad(duh!) and tuna for sandwiches for parties. My dd is not going to touch them anyway(and is not as sensetive to it being around like with peanuts) and I am always there for events, so I allow it and provide what I think she might eat.
My point is to address all eating/food scenarios and discuss how to deal with the situations. It has been tough here and there for me this year, but they do try to be safe. It is really just a big education process for those not familiar with food allergies.
My best friend has 7 year old triplets, 2 boys and a girl! You have your hands full. Will be nice to send them to school for a couple of hours if you can feel that they are safe. I wish you well. becca

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 5:12am
Shawn's picture
Joined: 09/07/1999 - 09:00

The Epi-Trainer is a great idea - everyone who might have to use it should try it out to be sure they know where to position it, etc. However, clicking the trainer feels nothing like the real pen when it goes off. Take as many expired Epi-pens as you can - ideally one for you and for each teacher/principal, show them how to do it, then have them actually inject one of the things into a grapefruit or orange. We've found that seeing that real needle seems to help drive home the point of how serious the allergy is.

Posted on: Fri, 02/28/2003 - 6:59am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

This is my sons first year attending preschool, fortunately our school is "Peanut Free" but some of the things that I did to ensure saftey were, I gave each parent a letter explaining that we have a peanut allergic son and a short explanation of what and how allergic he is. To my surprize parents were very receptive, they always ask me if what ever they plan to bring is safe. you may want to try to get the teacher to purchase the snacks instead of each child bringing in their own, that way you can check it upon arrival to school. good luck.

Posted on: Sat, 03/01/2003 - 3:26pm
LisaMcDowell's picture
Joined: 12/06/2002 - 09:00

Hi Missy,
You may want to try going to the list of all boards under "Schools" for "Preschool took the ball & ran with it". Maybe Lindsey's Mom can offer you some help also.
Good luck & stay safe!

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