Sioux Falls Argus Leader (SD):Brandon Valley elementary schools ban treats - Peanut Allergy Information

Sioux Falls Argus Leader (SD):Brandon Valley elementary schools ban treats

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--------------------------------------- [b]Brandon Valley elementary schools ban treats[/b] [i]Rule is to keep kids allergic to nuts safe; applies to holidays[/i]

Mom's homemade treats have been expelled from Brandon Valley's elementary schools.

By Jill Meier Argus Leader

Mom's homemade treats have been expelled from Brandon Valley's elementary schools.

No longer can children treat classmates to suckers, cookies or even apples, as district officials strictly enforce a "no shared treats" policy this year.

The policy does not affect middle school or high school students.

Karen Heyden, principal at Robert Bennis Elementary said the purpose is to keep kids with allergies - most notably peanut allergies - safe.

A protein inside the peanut can trigger a fatal reaction if the peanut is swallowed.

Skin contact with peanuts can cause a lesser reaction, such as an outbreak of hives.

Although the district no longer allows shared treats, elementary students may bring their own snacks from home.

Students in classrooms with a child with peanut allergies are asked to not bring food with peanuts in them.

Tanya Czepull, Valley Springs Elementary School principal, said some students have allergies to other foods, such as shrimp or gluten in wheat, but those foods have not been banned yet.

"We have lots of different allergies, and if a student has a special diet, we try to take care of that," she said.

Gay Anderson, child nutrition director, said she's received notification from more than a dozen parents about their child's severe peanut allergy in the opening days of school.

Each of the elementary school lunchrooms has reserved a table for students with peanut allergies.

Only students who take hot lunch may sit with their classmates at that table.

Heyden said the peanut allergy table is wiped off with a special cleaner and towel that's not used on any of the other lunch tables.

Kids who grab a snack that contains peanuts from home without their parent's knowledge will not be allowed to eat it at their morning milk break.

"Our teachers will take it away and replace it with something that doesn't have peanuts," Heyden said.

Shared treats also have been banned from classroom Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's parties, as well as student birthdays.

Students who still wish to share a treat with their classmates at a birthday or holiday party are encouraged to bring pencils, stickers or other non-food items.

Published: August 30. 2007 1:55AM --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited August 31, 2007).]

On Aug 31, 2007

I was going to forward this to my school as we have requested non-food birthday celebrations to show them that it can be done, but I would hate for him to read the posted comments at the end. Did you read them?!?!? Good grief! There are some cruel people in the world these days. Too bad they don't pick up a book and actually educate themselves on these issues before they open their mouths! (Can you tell I'm in a mood today?)