What Should I do?

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My 4 year-old PA/TNA daughter started preschool three weeks ago. I have been sending her own lunch and snack every day. She is the only kid in her classroom bring her own lunch and snack. The last two weeks, she only ate a little bit lunch everyday. Starting from this week, she begin to cry when they serve the lunch. She feels that she is differnt from the other kids. She get so upset and she doesn't eat lunch at all and doesn't want take nap either. Yesterday they servered pizza from a safe restranunt and the teacher told me she was so happy to have the same food as the other kids. This preschool is nut free preschool. They have their food in bulk from a lot of unkown companies. I tried to call some of the companies yesterday and for some of them I even can not find the phone number. What should I do? Should I let her have some of their low-risk food like canned vegetable, canned fruit? or should I just let her have their lunch?

Please share your experience.

Thanks

Lingling

On Sep 2, 2005

That is pretty much my expereince too. My son eats at the public school cafeteria daily. I made sure the cafeteria serves no peanut products of any kind. I would not even allow a peanut free table because I do not want my child seperate from his class and singled out. It was important to me that my son function just like everyone else. We too have the same policy for desserts and my son is more than willing to say no. Yes your food from home is safest. Does the school offer a menu so you can see your options and investigate where needed. Maybe just give a few days a try, especially pizza day if you know its safe. Preschool is a great opportunity practice and to get ready for the bigger worlds to come.

On Sep 2, 2005

If it is a nut free preschool, talk to them. My son is in a nut free daycare where they serve all the meals and snacks. No outside food or alternate lunches allowed. I talked to the food person and she is great. If it is even questionable, she won't allow it. My son has eaten without problem.

If they say they are a nut free preschool, they obviously realize the importance of it. Maybe you guys just need to talk more about it for you to feel comfortable

On Sep 2, 2005

My son is in daycare and we only send his lunch on the days they are having something that is off limits. They are very careful as they have several allergic kids and at least 1 allergic teacher. He's been in that daycare for a year now, and no reactions in that time.

On Sep 2, 2005

My PA & DA son is starting his second year of preschool. We supply all his snacks. It is much easier that way on the teachers and on my nerves. They do not eat lunch there, since it is only a 1/2 day program. He will not deal with eating lunch at school until first grade. I'm hoping that by then he will have outgrown the dairy allergy and perhaps can have a school lunch now and again. I don't think our schools are peanut free, but I have checked their lunch menus and have not seen any peanut products being served from the kitchen.

------------------ [i][b]Peanut Slayer[/b][/i]

On Sep 2, 2005

Well, I guess I am in the minority. The vast majority of fatalities from anaphylaxis in children occur due to the school making a mistake. Sabrina Shannon and Nathan Walters are two that are well known, but there are many others, about 100 every year due to mistakes the school makes. I have never let dd eat the school food, no matter how safe it seems. That is one statistic I just cannot ignore.

On Sep 2, 2005

I'm with you carefulmom -- my son just started 1st grade, and he will be coming home for lunch every day (this week was okay). Our school is being very responsive to our request for a 504 plan, but actually implementing things is a whole other ball game. When it comes to being around food, I'm not a gambler, and so far, knock on wood, neither of my boys has ended up needing an Epipen yet. There will be plenty of time for them to eat at school - eating some of the school food may never happen -, but when older, and better able to ask questions, self-administer, etc., things can be reevaluated. I'm always weighing, though, my hopes that my children can have as normal an experience as possible, against the reality that what I feel I need to do may not give them the same "normal" as their friends, in order to prevent them from becoming a part of fatality statistics. (6 yr. old - PA & TNA - 100 for P; off chart for walnut; 30-50 for all other nuts; 3 yr. old - Anaphylactic to Egg)

On Sep 2, 2005

I agree. And since I am not there with dd, that makes it even riskier. I went to a FAAN conference and the speaker (a physician) said that two thirds of parents do not use the epi on their own child when they should. If a parent is not going to do it, how do I know the school will? I would guess the statistic is about the same for the school. There are just too many hidden sources of peanut. Recently I was in a restaurant and I commented on how good the mushroom barley soup was. The manager commented that the peanut oil in it is the reason it tastes so good. Who would have thought? You just never know what food is safe. All it takes is one time.

On Sep 2, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Carefulmom: [b] The vast majority of fatalities from anaphylaxis in children occur due to the school making a mistake. Sabrina Shannon and Nathan Walters are two that are well known, but there are many others, about 100 every year due to mistakes the school makes. [/b]

I wish there was a statistical compillation similiar to this, so I could put it in perspective:

[url="http://www.uni.edu/playground/resources/statistics.htm"]http://www.uni.edu/playground/resources/statistics.htm[/url]

General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness or content of the link in this post.

On Sep 2, 2005

Carefulmom:......is there a [i]documented[/i] resource that could be cited regarding those statistics you supplied, I mean, let's say if I wanted to share that in an IEP meeting (or for those who have a 504, a [i]504 meeting[/i]? I think it *might* be taken more seriously and carry more weight if there was.

I like how the playground statistical study I cited broke down and categorized the information.

see in the link I mentioned in my previous post: "[b]Where do these statistics come from?[/b]"

ie, to quote:

[i]"Data reported in Tinsworth, D. and McDonald, J. (April 2001). Special Study: Injuries and Deaths Associated with Children's Playground Equipment. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission."[/i]

On Sep 2, 2005

Count me in with Carefulmom and gvmom. My son is entering 6th grade and has always taken his own food. For the most part, so did his non-PA brother. PA aside, the food they bring from home is way healthier than what is served in school, despite the improvements they've made.

That said, this year he is entering middle school and wants to eat some choices from the cafeteria. I'm working with the food service people to tease out one or two items he may order (like pizza, which is a big thing for birthdays) once in awhile.

Amy

On Sep 2, 2005

Momma Bear, I read about the 100 kids per year in a FAAN Newsletter, and I have also seen it on the internet. I could not tell you what link on the internet had it---it was a few years ago. I really think if you do a google search on something like "number of food allergy deaths", you would find it. Or you could check the AAAAI website. I`ll bet it is in there. It really struck me that the number one location for deaths from anaphylaxis due to food was restaurants for adults, and school for kids.

Also, want to comment for those who don`t know the specifics about why Sabrina Shannon died. She was milk allergic and pa, and she ate fries at school that had safe ingredients, however the tongs they used to serve the fries had touched an item that was not safe. I really don`t think one can count on minimum wage cafeteria workers to remember things like this every time. To me it is tempting fate. My dd is 10 and has never eaten school food. I am thinking before she graduates in June, I might allow it one time with me there, so she can see what it is like. That is about as far as I can go with that. Her school has a salad bar, so I am thinking I could allow that if she goes first ahead of all the other kids, but only with me there, just in case it is not as safe as it seems. If I did this I would arrange this with the principal for dd to go first and just do it once so she can have the experience.

On Sep 2, 2005

My 4yr old daughter is also going to school. I'm still in the process of finding out how allergic she is and to what, and some days I swear I have no comfort level. Other days I have quite a bit more comfort. My daughter also did not like eating different food.

So the director handed me their menus, which are printed out well in advance and for now, I just make her my version of those meals at home and send them in. When the school's menu says "chicken nuggets", I send in the brand I trust (or make on my own). The menu is pretty simple, I can make the meals all at once and put them in the freezer. She doesn't seem to mind that they are slightly different from her friends's, although I don't know how long that will last.

There is another nut allergic kid at the preschool, and he's gone for years and his mother is okay with letting him eat there. I am eager to talk to her and get her take on it. I know the preschool has gone a long way to make it a nut-free place for this other boy, and I'd like to feel better about the food. Until I know more about my daughter's allergies and about the preschool's kitchen, I'm sending in food from home.

On Sep 3, 2005

[url="http://allergies.about.com/cs/anaphylaxis/a/aa012201a.htm"]http://allergies.about.com/cs/anaphylaxis/a/aa012201a.htm[/url]

[b]"Food allergy surpasses insect stings and patient administered medications as the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions and it is estimated that such reactions result in 150 deaths annually in the United States alone," said Dr. Sampson. "The fact that all but one of the individuals for whom we had information, believed they were eating something safe, clearly indicates the life-saving potential of improved labeling and education."[/b]

[url="http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/artic/allergy_statistics_niaid.htm"]http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/artic/allergy_statistics_niaid.htm[/url] [b] Experts estimate that food allergy occurs in 8 percent of children 6 years of age or under, and in 1 to 2 percent of adults.[13] Approximately 100 Americans, usually children, die annually from food-induced anaphylaxis.[14] [/b]

the [14] refers to AAAAI Board of Directors. "Anaphylaxis in schools and other childcare settings." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 102 (2):173-6. 1998.

[url="http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymai/home"]http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymai/home[/url]

On Sep 3, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by darthcleo: [b] [url="http://allergies.about.com/cs/anaphylaxis/a/aa012201a.htm"]http://allergies.about.com/cs/anaphylaxis/a/aa012201a.htm[/url]

[b]"Food allergy surpasses insect stings and patient administered medications as the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions and it is estimated that such reactions result in 150 deaths annually in the United States alone," said Dr. Sampson. "The fact that all but one of the individuals for whom we had information, believed they were eating something safe, clearly indicates the life-saving potential of improved labeling and education."[/b]

[url="http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/artic/allergy_statistics_niaid.htm"]http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/artic/allergy_statistics_niaid.htm[/url] [b] Experts estimate that food allergy occurs in 8 percent of children 6 years of age or under, and in 1 to 2 percent of adults.[13] Approximately 100 Americans, usually children, die annually from food-induced anaphylaxis.[14] [/b]

the [14] refers to AAAAI Board of Directors. "Anaphylaxis in schools and other childcare settings." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 102 (2):173-6. 1998.

[url="http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymai/home"]http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymai/home[/url] [/b]

specifically: I'm looking for doumentation that states something similiar to about "100 (food allergy deaths) every year due to mistakes the school makes".

Can you imagine the weight that would carry at a school meeting?

Anywhoooo, when I tried to look in the last article thinking that is where I'd find it, it's one of those "subscription only" articles. I'm just some schmuck without a subscription. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] I can't access it. [i]OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I hate it when that happens[/i]. In some ways, I sure miss the library. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (I wonder if that journal article would be in our town library?)

On Sep 3, 2005

Hmmm. I am not sure how you should handle it. I send my dd's food, and when her preschool provided snacks, there were occasionally mistakes. Things that were nut free, but not on my lists and not approved or checked out by me(I call manufacturers and they didn't tend to get that).

I am happy to be in charge of all of dd's food this year in K. And the teacher prefers it that way as well. But that does not help you. Your dd is sad.

I have always allowed my dd alot of say in what she brings, helping to buy it, pack it up, talking about it as we do things. She has very little interest in having things that might make her sick(except sweets). I always emphasized from a young age that her snacks were special just for her. Her theacher this year is right on that band wagon too. I got a not asking to send a special snack(as opposed to ordinary) for the dates of a few upcoming birthdays).

Just ideas to make it more acceptable for your dd. The other choice it to try to work out her having the school meals. I just would not be comfortable with that, but we also have egg allergies.

I do think my 19 m.o. ds would be like your dd. He wants to try everything we have, and can be very insistent when I cannot give it(he is restricted due to his age and prevention here and there). So, I empathise.

Can you try to make her happier with her lunches by putting a surprise small treat each day> Wrap it or tuck it in a loving little note. And she can feel very special with her own lunch. She might get all the other kids asking to carry lunch! becca

On Sep 3, 2005

My son isnt in preschool yet but I bring his snack everywhere we go. Even if he is having the same thing as the other kids he eats his. He is only 2 1/2 but I am hoping by doing this that when he is older he wont be upset by having different food. The preschool his brother goes to has the kids bring their own snacks.. that is probably where I will send him too.

On Sep 6, 2005

I'm with Carefulmom and the other cautious sorts. Ian was at a nut-free preschool last year, and parents took turns bringing snacks. DH or I always checked out the snack of the day, and if it was a "may contain" or we weren't comfortable with it, or if there was a birthday and parents brought in a treat he couldn't have, Ian was fine with his own safe snack. It never bothered him in the least if he had something different as long as it was something he liked. He's starting kindergarten now, and he will always bring his lunch from home. I'm trying to include him as much as possible in selecting what he takes so that he won't want what he can't have. Time will tell if this approach will work for us.

On Sep 9, 2005

Unless your child attends a peanut free school I don't know how you can trust the food. Unfortunately my PA daughter's school serves PB&J as an alternative every day. I just can't trust the cafeteria workers to not touch peanut butter and then other food. Also, the school was not comfortable with her eating at the table with the rest of the kids since little kids just can't keep their hand to themselves. It would be very easy for a child to be eating something containing peanuts and then touch my daughter. Maybe when she's older and the kids know to keep their hands to themselves.

On Sep 10, 2005

Well Chris just graduated high school and never in all of those years did he buy a lunch. He never had a reaction because of a mistake and I must say that I would never change things around. Never once did he feel different. One of the things i tell my kids is that God did make us all different and that is a good thing because the world would be so boring if we were all the same. I used to try and always give chris a similar thing to what the school was having and they were very accomodating about letting him warm things up in the microwave. I feel that by me not allowing him any school food that it taught him how careful we had to be. Now he is in college and he still will grab safe food from home as he leaves. Don't worry IHUA your dd will be ok and keep being very strict with not allowing her other peoples foods. You will give her mixed messages by letting her eat at different places. Best of luck Claire

On Sep 11, 2005

My girls just started kindergarten the last week in August, and although the school is peanut free (meaning they will not serve any peanut or tree nut items, and will not allow any to come into the school-the lunch para checks all home packed lunches and the teachers check all snacks) The school has a stash of snacks at the school to offer someone if they do bring in a peanut/nut related item, and if they bring in a lunch that is not safe they are offered the school lunch. In both cases the school will notify the parent and remind them of the new policy. Even with all of these precautions, I would still not be able to allow my daughters to eat the school lunch. For example our cook wanted to check on some of the foods that they serve prior to the school meeting of training staff. The buns that the school uses for hamburgers, sloppy-joes, and sub sandwiches say right on the package-made on the same line as peanut/tree nut products. They get these from a local bakery. I know that many people view this differently, but that is out of my safe zone, especially being that I am not there, but everyone is different. What I do though is try and get my girls lunches as close as possible to what the school is serving. The kindergarten para heats up my girls lunches for them on the days that they bring a warm lunch. So far it hasnt been an issue for my girls, but I am sure that it really helps that they are there together so they dont feel completely alone. But the kindergarten para did tell me the other day that some of the other children said that my girls were"so lucky they get to bring their own food, and they have such cool lunch bags and placemats". I thought that was kinda cute.

On Sep 11, 2005

When my PA son went to daycare, they provided snacks and lunch however, we always sent my son's lunch and snack from home just in case. When he was really little, they actually served PB and made some things that had nuts but eventually they got rid of all nut containing items although they did serve some cookies that I'm sure were "may contains". I felt more comfortable with him bringing his own.

Now that he's older and in school (2nd grade), I do let him eat from the cafeteria. They do not serve nuts foods that contain nuts. The only exception is Little Debbie snacks (which are individually wrapped) and some ice cream items that are "may contain" (also ind wrapped of course). When he puts his card through the machine, "peanut allergy" and "no desserts" comes up on the screen. Even if it didn't, he knows not to take those things anyway.

He only gets pizza, hot dog, cheeseburger, and chicken nuggets. Not the adventurous type by ANY stretch of the imagination!

I feel like this is within my comfort zone. He did this all last year without a single reaction. Yes, there is some risk involved however, any time he eats something made anywhere that is not our kitchen there will be some risk. I don't want him to grow up thinking that he can never eat out without me being there. He knows that he has Epipens and Benadryl present if anything should ever happen.

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