Should I send my PA son to preschool?

Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2002 - 9:15am
barb1123's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Hi all,

Haven't posted in a while but am now struggling with this issue and could use a little help.

My son Ronan just turned 3. He is PA and also has anaphylactic allergies to dairy and egg and many, many other allergies. He also has asthma.

We live in a small cul de sac with a lot of young kids. He has 4 friends who are 3 and 3 of them are starting preschool in September. I called the school and they said that I would have to sign a waiver. They said they would get trained on how to administer his medications, symptom recognition, etc. However they would not be held responsible if something happened.

Well, this worries me. How important is it for a child to go to preschool? If I look for another preschool, I suspect I'll get the same story. BTW, I live in Ireland though I don't think they're many fundamentals differences here. I'm a SAHM mom so I see preschool as preparation for "real" school.

They have a system in place for training teachers in primary school AND Ronan will be older then and understand even better than he already does that some foods can make him very sick and even kill him and he should never take food from anyone else. But am I shortchanging him if I don't send him to preschool with his friends? He's very well socialized but still a bit clingy (he's fine playing outside or if his friends come to our house - which they do EVERY day. But he won't go to their house without me along). He knows his letters, numbers, shapes, counting and can even read a few short words!! (Mommy brag).

What do I do? What have you done? Help.


Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2002 - 10:31am
Renee's picture
Joined: 09/02/1999 - 09:00

I teach preschool for 3 year olds. The main focus is social interaction. Learning to play with other, taking turns, following rules. Academics such as counting, colors, shapes ect can be taught at home. Get a copy of the curriculum from a local preschool and enjoy teaching him at home. As parents we are the most important teachers.
However, if you feel the social interaction is important try to work with the preschool. I became a preschool teacher after developing a program for my daughters safty in preschool(she is now 1st grade). Remind the preschool that your child will not be the only one with food allergies who walks through their door.
Good luck, and if you need advice on any eductional websits let me know.

Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2002 - 11:16am
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

We struggled with this same issue last summer and after meeting with the preschool director here in the US, I decided that the risk was much too great compared to the benefit. My DH said it was like sending a child into the woods in the dark with a flashlight when there were wolves out there. Years ago, children did not go to school until they were 5. I am so happy with our decision, especially since fewer exposures early in life and fewer reactions may increase the likelihood of outgrowing some of the allergies. Instead, we have enrolled our son (turned 3 in August) in numerous activities that we take him to and can be there with him and each is each week (gymnastics, library class for an hour, art class, two play dates with friends each week, soccer)---he is busy! and he has an older sister who keeps him in line.
Why put him in harm's way at such an early age? I also thought that I wanted to be the one to mold his outlook on his food allergies early on, as much as possible. I find that others, including teachers, say things in front of a child with food allergies that i normally would not say, such as "oh, that is too bad" "oh, can you eat ice cream?" oh, what DO you eat? or all sorts of comments that he does not need to hear yet.
At this young age, children don't know when or if they are 'supposed' to go to school and it is all up to the adult.
Anyway, just my two cents. hope it helps.

Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2002 - 1:16am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

There is no right or wrong with sending our children to preschool or not. I decided I would have to battle with schools for 13 years, and I would enjoy the peace of looking after my preschoolers myself. My opinion, they grow up SO fast, if you are able to stay home....enjoy your time with your child. If he has children he interacts with on a regular basis, I wouldn't worry about it. When I was trying to decide, several people scolded me and told me MY children would be "behind" the other children. That made me feel guilty. I worked with them at home. They have done fine. They both get good grades and did fine without preschool. Best wishes in whatever choice you make. I WOULD NOT SIGN A WAVER!! That takes all of the responsibility off of them!

Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2002 - 1:37am
n5vox's picture
Joined: 04/17/2001 - 09:00

I agree with the NO WAIVER SIGNING! That only protects them! Who is protecting your child? I live in Texas and our school here does not even offer preschool and they only have half day kindergarten. If you want your child to interact - maybe you can find a Mothers Day out program or something that is only a few hours a day? They will probably be more willing to accomodate the special needs. This is a tip off for you of how your school may react as well - if I were you I would start now on getting a plan ready for the first day of Kindergarten. I wish you the best!

Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2002 - 2:51am
CVB in CA's picture
Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

Don't sign a waiver. It's an excuse for them to be careless. If they take goverment money or facilities it ought to be illegal anyway- even in Ireland
How many hours a day is preschool and do they serve a snack?
You should try and arrange to observe an entire day at the school to spot potential problem areas. You could also gauge the attitude of the staff.
Schools may have the same policy, but it can make a world of difference how the policy is implemented and how the teachers deal with it. They may plan to banish him to a seperate table all by his lonesome, which is sad and upsetting.
As he is a boy, he may not quite be ready to go anyway. They mature a bit slower than girls and are only beginning their social interactions at this age. Waiting a bit would do no harm in the long run. Preschool is not vital. Sometimes it's really to give the mom a break for a few hours!
At this stage, with so extensive a list of allergies, it may be more trouble than it is worth. Give yourselves a little time to work on self protection- no food except from home, lots of handwashing, saying no to party food or snacks, etc. Also, if he has a nasty reaction at school, he may never want to go back there or trust a teacher again.

Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2002 - 5:16am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Barb1123-I have been reading other threads. If you want to fight for your child to go to daycare, go to the Main Discussion Board and look at "Day Care Issue" or something like that. Those parents have given all of the information you need if you REALLY want your child to be accepted into that daycare program. A couple of parents have laid down a road map on how to get it done. WOW!

Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2002 - 5:59am
BS312's picture
Joined: 09/05/2001 - 09:00

Barb- We didn't send our daughter to preschool even though it seemed as safe as possible: the director's husband has tree nut anaphylaxis. We found out later that another PA child (who would have been in our daughter's class had she gone to that school) was rushed to the hospital from the school due to a reaction during a craft project. So we feel that we made the right decision!
Instead of preschool we're doing dance and swimming classes which truly are safe because the teachers are great and I am there every minute. I don't think she is missing much and my anxiety level about her this year is as low as it can be. You have to be able to live with your decision.
Good luck-

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