Question about Peanut Free Classroom - Peanut Allergy Information

Question about Peanut Free Classroom

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Hello, My DD starts Kindergarten this week. What has been put in place at this time is she will be in a peanut free classroom and lunch table. Now, the school has suggested the parents not send peanuts at all but are not forcing a ban. So, the children in my DDs class can bring in PB for lunch, so is it truly a Peanut free classroom? They can't eat anything with peanut in the room, however it can be in their lunch box. There is a referral to have a 504, but because we moved here over the summer the actual plan is not in place as of yet. But, is it truly a Peanut Free classroom? At orientation, there were already two parents complaining "my kid" only eats PB. What are your thoughts? How would you suggest to the teacher where to keep peanut lunches or backpacks with it, if it's in the classroom?

On Sep 6, 2005

We have a peanut-free classroom, heavily enforced. My son has an extensive 504 as well. We do not place a ban on what is in lunchboxes since the kids eat in the cafeteria, and they're backpacks are placed in a closet but Ryan stores his backpack and lunch bag in a separate location. I never minded the fact that PB sandwiches may be in their lunchboxes because they simply are not opened in the classroom. If a student ever goes to their backpack to get a supply or book, they must use wipes after doing so. Snacks must be either A: raw fruit brought from home like a peach, banana, apples, grapes, etc., or B: parents send in a peanut-free snack from a list (no peanut warnings or may contains) once/month to feed entire class. I send in 5 snacks/day for Ryan to pick from to try to match what the class is eating on any given day. The plan works with very few complaints over the last 4 years.

Just as long as kids are monitored and the plan is enforced (that lunchboxes are never to be opened in the classroom--ever!), I don't really care what parents pack for them. Is it still a peanut-free classroom? IMO, yes. Lunches, coats, bookbags, etc. are stored in a closed closet all day.

On Sep 6, 2005

Thank you Ryan's mom for replying. Good suggestion about making sure lunch boxes are never opened, but I don't know how that works with snack time. Just another thing to find out. Like this isn't stressful enough, the 504 is not in place yet, but things are in place in order for my DD to start. However, one thing has not been dealt with is trying to get the Epipens in the classroom. I have not been given an answer and school is tomorrow!

On Sep 7, 2005

Well, with our snack time, since the snacks parents send in snack once/month for all students are in sealed, commercial packages with clearly labelled ingredient statements, this ensures that no one will be going back to their lunchboxes for snack time.

The kids give these sealed packages to the teacher first thing in the morning for her snack cupboard as they are putting their things away in the closet. After going in the bookbags for their morning things, they go right to using wipes. Their lunchboxes are simply not to be opened in the classroom for any reason, nor do they get their snack (if it is raw fruit) at that time. Everything is done once in the morning.

On the rare occasion a child may have to go back to their bookbag for a supply, they must use wipes.

I didn't know if I was clear enough on this topic.

This whole issue of lunchboxes with pb&j or whatever peanut products came up in our Kindergarten 504 planning several years ago. We worked out what we all felt comfortable with and proceeded from that point. If you don't feel comfortable with this, and think there might not be follow- through with the teacher and/or principal, then, of course, this probably wouldn't work in your child's classroom.

Your child's health needs come first, and you know your child best. Whatever you decide will be best in your situation. [img][/img]

On Sep 7, 2005

My son has a peanut-free classroom and noone is allowed to bring in nuts or peanut butter in lunches or snacks. However, the kids do eat in the classroom.

On Sep 7, 2005

Okay, I may sound a bit extreme. My idea of a "peanut free" classroom means that NONE of your child's classmates brings any peanuts products to school to eat, whether it be in the classroom or a lunchroom setting.

Now, I was fortunate, in a lot of ways, in that my son ate in his classroom for the first five years of school.

Last year, a letter was sent home asking the parents not to send in peanut products even though they have a lunchroom setting now and my guy sits in a totally different room at a peanut free BENCH.

Having said that, this year, the BENCH is going to be replaced by a "peanut free" table in the regular lunchroom and I would like to think that means that no, his classmates will not be bringing peanut products into school.

Last year, when I asked about the classmates' lunches being "peanut free" and why my son still had to eat at the BENCH, it was basically a double whammy of protection for him and also probably a little less stressful if a child did bring a peanut product in that was one of his classmates.

But no, to me, a "peanut free" classroom has always meant that his classmates would NOT be eating peanut products.

However, we do not have the measures in place that ryan's mom does (i.e., wipes, etc.) to ensure my son's relative safety should someone eat a peanut product.

I have also found that through the years, I have lightened up on this a bit - I think mostly after Grade 2 when we had such a battle about "may contains" and "made ins", one that we had never had before.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 7, 2005


Originally posted by csc: [b]Okay, I may sound a bit extreme. My idea of a "peanut free" classroom means that NONE of your child's classmates brings any peanuts products to school to eat, whether it be in the classroom or a lunchroom setting. [/b]


I think my view on a peanut-free classroom was based on technical language being that we're dealing with what is printed in the 504. In an elementary school of 1400+ kids, then it was maybe 1200), I didn't want to pursue the route of a "peanut free" school. I just didn't think it could be monitored and enforced to my satisfaction. I thought a strictly enforced peanut-free classroom would be a better route for us. Although we decided that the closets were like separate rooms altogether being that they are closets with closed doors.

In our case the peanut-free classroom meant that there would be no peanut or peanut-based products in the classroom, and we figured technically there aren't. Whereas, the peanut-free school is a different type of designation altogether.

Am I making sense?

On Sep 7, 2005

ryan's mom, yes, you made complete sense, especially, as I posted above, given the precautions you have in place should a child go into the closet area to get something out of their knapsack (wipes).

To me, it's just more of I wouldn't want Jesse's classmates eating peanut products at all, but only because we don't have a handwashing routine in place, so they'd be coming in and contaminating the classroom.

I must say I did prefer it a lot better when he ate in his classroom and I knew that for the most part the lunches were all "peanut free".

As far as a "peanut free" school, it has never been something I have required for him. Would I like one? Sure. But I've never pushed for one. The first school he went to, I did work with the principal so that eventually we had a "reduce the risk" school, but I've never felt the need to ask for a "peanut free" school (and not clear why). Especially since I would love one - knowing that his relative safety is even *better*.

But I do have to add that this is now Jess' 7th year of school and he has never had a reaction at school (except in the breakfast program I ran). And I consider him a pretty sensitive guy PA wise.

Yesterday it ended up he still sat at the BENCH - the lunch monitor had not been advised of the change to a peanut free table in the lunchroom and then thoughts about his cleaning methods came into my head and I guess I just need to know the *rules* for being able to sit at the peanut free table. I mean, you could only be PA to sit at the BENCH. You couldn't bring a friend or a sibling that had a "peanut free" lunch and that's why it was so upsetting to me.

I'll find the details out later this week when things settle a bit and I can meet with the principal.

But no, I completely understand where you're coming from.

Best wishes! [img][/img]