Problems w/Peanut-free tables?

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 12:47am
MJMD's picture
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Joined: 07/18/2003 - 09:00

I'm getting ready to go to my son's new school Wed. morning to discuss his PN allergy w/the school nurse & his teacher. He will be in K (they're class will be contained in 1 room, lunch included), and I'm trying to get his room to be PN-free (which they're thinking about). As of 1st grade though, they'll eat in the cafeteria. They've already told me they've taken a stance of not being a "nut-free campus" in their handbook (private Catholic school). So, they've suggested a PN-free table for him in the cafeteria. Has anyone had any trouble with this in the past? The nurse at his preschool suggested a table be labeled his & folded up each night so even if it's not cleaned properly, he uses the same one each day. Problem is there is only one other PN allergy in the school - which I find so hard to believe, coming from a school (w/420 kids) that had 20 kids w/epi-pens - the majority nut allergies!

Just wondering if there are problems w/the nut-free tables? Reactions? Is it hard socially on the PN-allergic child? Thanks for the input.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 1:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

MJMD, I've got to think about this one a bit longer to-day. My son wasn't presented with a lunchroom situation until he entered Grade 4 - previously they always ate in a "peanut free" classroom.
My experience was NOT great and my son was older.
Let me think about it some more.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk up to heaven and bring you back home with me.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 2:20am
sacena's picture
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Joined: 07/31/2006 - 09:00

My son sits at the nut free table at school. The school does not serve anything with nuts or peanuts in it, so anyone with a school lunch may sit at the table with my son. No home lunches are allowed at that table unless, of course, it is my son or someone else with a nut allergy.
He never had a problem sitting at the nut free table, but, this past May, it rained out for days so the students had indoor recess where they shared the same supplies at the activity table. My son had a reaction immediately after using a crayon at that table.
The principal asked how many kids had peanut butter for lunch that day and 4 of them did! That is when we found out that he is contact allergic to. We always thought he was only in danger if he ate peanuts or nuts.
So, the nut free table works out okay. I'm worried about the rest of the lunch room and the playground. Maybe a plan should be made to have everyone wash their hands after they eat.
I hope this helps. Good luck.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 6:45am
MJMD's picture
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Joined: 07/18/2003 - 09:00

Thanks for your replies. I'm not too concerned about him consuming it at the table, it's the contact w/others that have eaten pb that I worry about. Last summer we had our 1st contact reaction while at our cousin's house. They hadn't had pb for 3 days before we were there, but there was residue somewhere b/c as we were leaving, his nose & eyes started running & he developed a large hive under his eye. I gave him benadryl, but the eye ended up swelling shut for almost 2 days. Poor kid looked like he lost a fight [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] We were just glad it didn't go systemic. Not that it wouldn't next time, I guess...

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 9:45am
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Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

DD is in preK so she doesn't stay for lunch, but I would feel comfortable if she did. There are several pa students at her school (private pk-12 with 575 students) and a pn-free table. That table is labeled as such and everyone knows. It is cleaned with its own towel from its own bucket that is a different color and never mixed with the rest of the school. I am told that other students respect this table and the pa students. The school does serve pbj every day though which concerns me, but we are working on handwashing rules before dd stays for lunch.
Good luck
Patty

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 10:17am
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

the only issue i have had is that i realized a month or so into first grade that a random table was set up in the allergy area every day. we use the gym as a lunchroom too, so the tables are put away every day.
I insisted that they choose the table that will be the allergy table, mark it and use it every day to avoid a problem.
Also, his first grade teacher used allowing him to invite a friend to the table as a punishment if he misbehaved during class. I protested loudly and won.
We have a new principal, this will be his second year, I am considering asking him to make a PB table, where if you bring PB to school for lunch, you sit at the other table. They do this at a school nearbly where my friend's children attend. I am going to call and talk to them about it.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 10:54am
punkinsmom's picture
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Joined: 12/07/2000 - 09:00

Our experience with peanut free table was not good in the sense of socialization. In first grade DD started at peanut free table. She was only PA kid in school. She did not get to sit with her friends and it made her very upset. What we worked out is that she eats at the end of a table, out of her lunchbox. The lunch moms know who she is and what her condition is. That has worked for us for the past 3 years with no problem. Our school does not serve peanut products. DD usually will move away if a kid sits by her with PB but that is her choice. Good luck.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 12:17pm
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My son sat at a PN-free table from K-middle of 5th grade. It was absolutely fine; in addition to the couple of PA kids, they were able to have a couple of friends of their choice sit with them. DS was very lucky in that many of his friends didn't take PB so they could sit with him.
During the middle of 5th grade he really wanted to branch out, and sit at a regular table. AFter much discussion I decided this would be good practice for middle and high school. I figured since it was right across the hall from the nurse's office, it would be OK. I wanted to see how he would handle things since he was leaving his cacoon, KWIM? Anyway, the experiment was a failure, because all his friends at the regular table decided not to bring PB to protect him. Lucky kid to have such good friends. They've continued looking out for him in middle school, too.
Best of luck in your new school situation!
Amy

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2006 - 12:46pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My ds is starting K this year as well. He is 41/2 with severe PA and also discovered soybean. We just met with the principal and head nurse (she was a godsend to help explain to the ignorant principal about how severe pa are!) So anyways our school is a large public school and he will be eating in the cafeteria. His classroom will be peanut free. They have snacks in there. They also have PB&J on the menu everyday and we asked about getting it removed but the principal said we had no chance. The other parents would be upset. I told him "no kid ever died from not eating a PB sandwich but my child can die from eating it" We are having a p free table. His class has 2 tables and his will be peanut free and anybody who will not be bringing pb or peanuts will be assigned to that table as well. I told them I did not want him sitting there alone. But in one of the posts I just read stated a good point. Our tables as well are randomly set up and we use the gym as well. So now I will have to request his table marked and washed seperately. Didn't think of that! I am a complete nervous wreck. His preschool was completely peanut free. Even the "may contain" and "traces of " were excluded! He also cannot eat or touch p and we don't know about smell since he has never been exposed to it like he will in the careteria. I am going to talk to our superintendant about removing the PB&J from the menu to help cut down on the exposure, but since my child is the only one in K, (hard to believe) it probably won't happen. Will keep you informed!
Mary

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 9:01am
Vigilant Mom's picture
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Joined: 08/15/2006 - 09:00

Has anyone had any trouble with their school allowing their PA child to invite a friend (with safe hot lunch) to sit at the Peanut free table? If so what was the reasoning on not allowing them to have a buddy at lunch? We've just had our first day in the lunchroon experience and my son was lonely at the Peanut Free table!

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 10:46am
maddiesmom's picture
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Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

Our school has a peanut/nut free table in the cafeteria and her entire class (that is peanut/nut free) sits at it. They are the only ones who sit at it-it gets cleaned and folded up after lunch is over. The school has the classes sit together, allergy or no allergy, so this worked perfectly for us, you can't pick who/where you sit.
If anyone from her class brings anything in, which has NOT happened so far because the parents signed and agreed to be in the peanut/nut free classroom and have peanut/nut free lunches and snacks, BUT if anyone did bring something in with peanut/nuts they would be moved to the back of the cafeteria and made to wipe afterwards with anti-bacterial wipe.
This has worked so far, and DD is VERY touch sensitive. She does not have the issue of being alone at the table because she eats with her whole class. And her table is labeled and marked as being peanut/nut free and the school will not use it afterschool or for any activites except DD's lunch time. So far so good and no problems (knock on wood) with the peanut/nut free table.

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