What is your opinion on this? Warning! This will be a hot subject.

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 11:58am
mkruby's picture
Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

In a couple threads there are references to schools banning peanut from their schools, but NOT just for one kid. They decided to ban it ONLY after there were a few kids to contend with.

Are they doing it for our kids or for legal issues? Are they doing it because "we" press the issue? I myself had made a comment about how banning from a school was extreme, and then turned around and said it was okay if there were a high percentage of pa kids...but I was called on that and rightfully so, because ONE child's life is as important as TEN.

So what is the answer to this. I know in MA they have a separate area where kids eat peanut anything, and they are guarded and then brought to wash up, and even had a separate drinking fountain in the cafetaria. Another public school in that same area banned it completely.

It seems that if there are a high number of kids, like in MA, the schools react..including the pre-schools. If it is one kid, it is not reacted to with such intensity..that seems to be the political side of it.

How do we, as parents, dealing with this, consider the politcal end of it, our own personal end of it, and the ramifications it all has on our pa kids and their psyche. Do we be over-protective or do we go through it clenching our teeth?

* Please keep in mind that opinions are going to vary on my statements and thoughts here, and to answer or voice opinions without attacking please...I am very curious as to how everyone feels about this issue...I am not even sure how I feel about this issue myself.

I am a mom of two anaphalactic PA boys and my daughter and myself also have allergies. You may e-mail me at: [email]YippidyDoDa@aol.com[/email] ...I know, I know...an interesting e-mail address...*lol*

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 12:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, I know that you had mentioned that you have read a few of my other postings so you know I have the tendency to babble. In Canadian literature regarding PA, it has been strongly suggested that in the early grades peanut products be banned entirely from the school. In the higher grades, when the child is much more aware and other children are also, then it would be okay for the school not to be peanut free. However, my son is the first child this particular primary school had to deal with with PA. They did not have a program in place to deal with "it". I had to call the Board of Education for this district and get the information about the protocol that the school is supposed to follow. What I got was a "peanut free" classroom. You know what? I have not had an incident this year with Jesse in school at all, as far as him having a reaction that is, but I feel the school should be "peanut free". What about gym class where residue could be left? What about playground equipment, etc.? His teacher his been great. I didn't feel I got a really positive reception from the principal and was not pleased when they allowed Quaker Oats to distribute "may contain" cereal bars in the school, which directly affected us because the children we ride home with immediately started eating them as soon as they came out of school. I don't know. It is a very contentious issue.
I was told at the beginning of the school year, by the principal, that if any parents complained her standard reply would be:-
Would you like your child to experience watching another child die right before their eyes?
Do you want to bring up your child with the values that his/her life is more valuable them someone else's?
I just read an article where they suggested that banning peanut products was ridiculous because children are also allergic to milk, etc. etc., but the whole thing is, peanut residue can remain on a surface that has been washed for up to six months. Milk can't. Wheat can't.
I would like a "peanut free" school. At present, I have a "peanut free" classroom. I think it depends on where you live - in a large city or where there is a large PA population, or if you're "Stuck in Stayner" as I am (originally from Toronto) where my son was the first PA student to be dealt with. My thoughts anyway. And oh, I'm so hoping that even though this is a "hot topic" that we don't get nasty here. I had this experience with another discussion group I was in about a totally unrelated topic, where I ended up being personally attacked and I could not deal with it. I don't want to lose this site because of anything like that. I think we all need to be supportive and being supportive means whether you agree or disagree.

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 1:12pm
mkruby's picture
Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

Cindy...I appreciate your response, and I too don't like being "attacked" either and that is why I wrote that liitle side note.
My two boys are the only kids in the school with peanut allergy and the first children they have had to deal with this type of an allergy; and I have had a positive experience with All personnel. I live in a very rural area of PA and I even had to train the nurses on what to look for and how to handle my childrens' medical needs, we have more than pa to deal with.
You know though, with all the thoroughness I thought I had accomplished with getting a peanut free classroom, and teaching the other kids, etc., I never thought about the residue..so now I am nervous and am wondering if I should press the issue and go after getting a peanut free school, that is why I posed these questions...to see what others think about it, and to help form my own opinion on the subject..I tend to be leaning towards the peanut free school and not just the classroom after reading your response.
Thank you very much for your thoughts and information on this.

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 2:28pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Until now I have refrained from entering any discussion on peanut bans because I frankly don't know where I stand. I guess I'll use this post to begin to sort out my feelings on the issue.
First of all, I am PA and the idea of any kind of peanut ban or even peanut free cafeteria zone was unheard of when I was in school. To be honest it never even crossed my or my parents' minds. I survived and only had one incident EVER in school. That wasn't until 9th grade and was limited to asthma and facial swelling from peanut products being eaten near me. Because *I* survived school with minimal problems, when I first heard about peanut bans I felt they were too extreme. That's not to say that I wouldn't LOVE it if my PA son's school offered to go peanut free. LOL
I think that an all out peanut ban would give the teachers, caregivers, etc. a false sense of security and could lead to a child getting into trouble because their guard was down. I think that schools should not serve anything peanut, but to expect them to take the same measures against manufacturer cross contamination that we as parents do is unreasonable. I think that craft projects involving peanut butter should be banned from schools - there are other options even for those infamous birdfeeders (like Crisco). Besides that, peanut butter kills the birds. I think that a peanut free table should be offered during lunch in elementary school. I think all the parents of children in a PA child's class should be made aware of the allergy and asked to not bring anything with peanuts for classroom treats but that the parents of the PA child be asked to send something for their child anyway to avoid the cross contamination issue.
I guess basically I feel that cross contamination, may contain labels, etc. should be the responsibility of the PA child's parents not the responsibility of the whole school. Even those children who are touch and smell sensitive (including myself) shouldn't have many problems with the minute amounts in cross contaminated items unless they are ingested. PA children should be taught to NEVER eat anything unless it was sent by their parent.
This got kind of long and rambling and I'm still not firm on where I stand on the whole issue, but for now those are my thoughts/opinions.
PS As far as the whole one PA kid versus many PA kids issue. It is *relatively* easy to protect one child without a school wide ban, but if there are many children in the school it is probably easier to just instigate a school wide ban. I don't think it's an issue of one child's life being any more or less valuable than another's.

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 3:21pm
Cheryl's picture
Joined: 09/08/1999 - 09:00

Definately a hot topic not only on here but at the affected to schools. I am too having a hard time deciding what is the right way to go.
I think the idea of a false sense of security is right. A total school ban on peanut products does not eliminate the possibility of peanuts or peanut containing products coming into the school. My oldest son had attended school with PA children and I had been deligent about not sending peanut butter cookies, sandwiches and such, but I had never read a lable until my youngest was diagnosed with PA. Was I ever shocked with regards to the number of products that contain peanuts - some that you would never even consider.
I have felt very uncomfortable about asking anyone to refrain from bringing peanut products to functions that we attend. Rather I have chosen to stay home with my youngest. We dont even have a babysitter for him. Dad and I take turns on who stays home. Our home is safe.
With regards to schooling I am considering the home schooling option. I am homeschooling the oldest right now and feel this will protect the youngest. Protect him to what extent I am not sure. I have talked with one mom who never insisted on a peanut ban to high limits as she felt that her son (who was in gr 1 when diagnosed) needed to learn. But what limit do we put on learning. This isnt really something where trial and error will work. One error can have drastic results.
The school that my son attended had a peanut ban except for one room that was allowed to have peanut products eaten in it. The children were tought to be very careful and wash with extreme care before leaving. Most parents were very open to the ban. One mom that I had spoken to whos son's only protein is peanuts (he doesnt eat meat) said that if it were a complete ban that they would deal with it and would not raise a fuss. This was very comforting to hear. The whole world is not full of cruel, heartless people.
I guess my answer to the whole thing is probably going to be run and hide from the real world. Terrible attitude I know but I just dont want to take a chance with my son. I know I can protect him if I am vigilant.

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 9:57pm
mkruby's picture
Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

This is true..hot false sense of security does bring up another issue...I guess why this is such a hard subject to form a FULL opinion on, is because there are soo many points to it as well as view points.
I guess what I am trying to do, is to look at this from all angles, all perspectives (including the non pa people), and see where exactly I stand on the issue. I know I waver back and forth, but that is my thinking process as I do not have any conclusions drawn on this.
I appreciate everyone's KIND thoughts and viewpoints, it makes it easier to express one's views and ideas without fear of being attacked. Besides, if we all thought the same thing we wouldn't need this board or this site for that matter...lol Thanks and take care. Kim

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 10:16pm
mkruby's picture
Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

Well, here I go ,waverng again..lol You all bring up some very interesting points and I guess that is why it is so hard to form an opinion on this and be 100% comfortable with it. There are so many angles and so many viewpoints, and not just with pa people too.
With grade school, I don't know where I stand for sure...with pre-school..I don't think it is too much to ask to have other kids NOT have peanut butter for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, 3-4 times a week. The other kids can live without it for that small a time frame...for pa kids, it could kill them in a fraction of that time frame..plus with the 3 and 4 year olds...the hand washing techniques are not down yet and they touch everything. I will say though, that I HATED it when the kids had to bring in snacks for everyone...I think that each kid should bring his or her own snack in for themselves. If the schools want to have share time..then let the kids bring in a favorite toy to share with the class...why food? (By the way I did fight this particular battle and lost..guess I am still bitter...*lol*)
I would like to thank everyone for their responses and for being respectful of everyone's different views etc. If we all thought the same, we wouldn't need this board or this site for that matter. Thank you and take care. Kim

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 11:21pm
Sandra's picture
Joined: 03/21/2000 - 09:00

In the younger years, I believe it is important to have a ban on peanut products in the classroom. I have an 18 month old who does not have the mental capacity to know what he can't eat. It scares me everyday to think that my son might grab another child's food and eat it, since this is what they do at this age. Also, at this age they are teething and placing all items like toys in their mouths. This presents a hugh risk to a pa child. I believe our responsibilty is to protect all children, especially those who cannot make decisions for themselves. I don't think it is too much to ask schools with younger children to protect our pa children too. I know this could cause a false sense of security, but it is a start. There will never be a total acceptance or adherance to any rule, but it sure helps.
As for the older children, whereby they are more aware of their situation and their surroundings, I, like many of you, am still not sure where I stand.

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 11:41pm
morgansmom's picture
Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

I know many of the people on this board's major concern is peanuts but can we please not minimize other allergies like milk and compare them to peanuts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Milk and other allergies are as serious as peanuts. We're in this together and need to educate the community that all food allergies can be anaphylactic and very serious! Thanks!!
In fact my daughter is anaphylactic to milk, tests very allergic to peanuts also but has never had one. A smear of milk on the table is going to be as dangerous to my daughter as peanuts are to yours.
As far as the ban, it's difficult for mothers of multiple allergic children to understand bans, because it's impossible! Safe and clean eating habits are key if you're doing the school thing, and that includes the whole school because you're right there are communal items, like computers, gym equipment etc...
My daughter carries wipes with her always and uses them before using tables and equipment. School kids should be washing their hands after eating, all kids!!! Have you ever noticed how the school always makes sure the kids wash their hands before lunch but never after lunch. That's my beef, and probably yours!
There are some kids who are airborne allergic and for me without a doubt the school should be peanut free! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 11:49pm
mkruby's picture
Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

Morgansmom, you know you are right..maybe that is why I struggle with an opinion on this, as we have all food groups covered as far as allergies. My one son is also allergic to milk, but not to the extent your child is. I am curious as to the severity of your child's milk allergy. I am assuming she can not touch it, yet alone eat it? (basically the same as peanuts)? Until your posting on the life threatening milk allergy, I had never heard of it. Please educate me on it and also what wipes do you use, are they wrapped individually?

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 11:50pm
latymom's picture
Joined: 05/21/2000 - 09:00

I agree completely with Sandra. Who knows what is right and what is wrong when so many different people are involved. (meaning all the children of the school)But it sure does sound like a good/sensible idea to ban peanut products from schools with younger kids. My daughter is smart but she is also very naive and trusting of others. She can't tell a peanut butter cookie from a sugar cookie. Would anyone expect that from a 2.5 year old? Also, there is the whole residue issue. So far I've never seen my daughter have an airborn reaction (or maybe I have and didn't recognise it) but I certainly feel for you mothers that have seen this. That might make my standpoint even firmer if that was the case for my daughter. I still don't see any harm in "trying" to get a school/classroom to ban peanut products, just simply "asking" parents to conform a little to help our children. Obviously the less peanut products the less chance of a deadly reaction. We're not idiots. We're not going to trust that hundreds of parents are going to check every label. Our children will still have to know that. But it's the REDUCTION OF RISK that we're looking for. Right?



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