what would you have done

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 10:59am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I would like to know how others would have handled this situation, especially since it may happen again. I started my daughter in a weekly ballet class about a month ago. It was a place where she had been to summer day camp in the past, and they were very familiar with her food allergies and her Epipen. At summer camp, I asked that she have a peanut free table, and that they wash the hands of any child who had eaten peanut butter or peanuts. This was not a problem. Anyhow, they were very familiar with her peanut allergy. So I enrolled her in a ballet class for six to nine year olds. At the end of the class, they usually pass out a graham cracker. I read the ingredients, no peanuts, but my daughter is taught to only eat her own food, so I said next time I would bring one for her, no graham cracker for her today. They decided they would stop passing out the graham crackers in her class, very nice of them and not really necessary for them to stop, but I said thanks. In the room next door is a cooking class full of two and three year olds and their mothers. The lady who runs the cooking class is the same lady who was in charge of my daughter during summer camp and she was great, the same one who washed the kids hands if they ate PB. In summer camp, I asked my daughter if the kids hands were getting washed and she said yes. Anyhow, the cooking class is in the room right next to the ballet class, and after they cook the two and three year olds wander all over the place, hallway, play area etc with their food. When my daughter gets out of ballet class there are crumbs all over the floor of the hallway we have to walk through to leave. So on the first day, I asked the teacher of the cooking class if they ever cook anything with peanuts, she said no, because so many people these days are PA. So today, I take my daughter to ballet class, long drive, my daughter was very excited and gets into her tutu, and I poke my head into the cooking room to tell the teacher I would be outside making a call on my cell phone and that my daughter would be playing in the gym until ballet class started. For some reason I asked what they were cooking, not that I was concerned, really just out of curiosity. She said monkee bars. I asked what they were. She said cracker jacks, peanut butter...I said are the kids going to be wandering around eating these after the class. She said probably. I said my daughter can`t be around it, and usually when she finishes ballet class, there are crumbs all over the floor of the hallway from whatever was cooked. I said would she be willing to ask the moms not to let the kids eat it until they got outside and she said no, she wouldn`t. My daughter was so excited about ballet class, and I knew she would be very upset if we had to leave. I looked to see if there was any exit from the ballet room without having to go through the hallway where the floor would have peanut crumbs (not intact peanuts, actually the crumbs of these monkey bars with obvious peanut ingredients). There wasn`t any other exit. I thought about letting my daughter stay for ballet class and than carrying her out so she wouldn`t get any peanut crumbs on her shoes. However, crumbs can be small and hard to see, and I could still have a peanut crumb on my shoe. I was afraid about bringing a peanut crumb into my house by way of my shoe. I had to make a fairly quick decision. I decided it was unsafe. I took my daughter and we left. My daughter was so upset that she couldn`t stay. I think the teacher of the cooking class should have called and said they were cooking with peanuts since she had been in charge of my daughter at summer day camp and knew she couldn`t be around peanuts. I think they thought I was overreacting when we left. I think they all figured it wasn`t that unsafe. I never asked them to notify me if cooking class would have peanuts, because the teacher had told me they never cook with peanuts. What would the rest of you have done? My daughter was so upset. She understood my reasons, but said it`s not fair, and it isn`t. Any advice?????? Does anyone think I overreacted by leaving???

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 11:42am
Tracey's picture
Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

You definatly did the right thing. You should congratulate yourself on making a tough decision. We as parents have to put our child's health first and foremost being the deadly nature of this allergy. I have gotten past feeling sorry for my son when he gets disappointments like your daughter's after seeing him react a few times from just being near peanut traces. Try not to feel sorry for her as I believe that in the long run these children grow up to be very strong, independent, and caring adults.Obviously the cooking teacher (or the parents who thought you over reacting) do not understand why we have to take the pre-cautions we do or care to understand why. You sound like a very smart mom to me!

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 11:35pm
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

I think you did the right thing as well, and agree with Tracey, whenever I make a decision like that, my son usually doesn't complain anyway, but if he did, oh well, at least they are alive and complaining.
P.S. my Dad always said "Complainers live longer"

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 11:36pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I wanted to respond last night when I read this for the first time, but I didn't want to come across wrong, which is easy to do on a discussion board. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I still don't know how this will come across, but here goes:
If I remember correctly, your daughter attends public school. I don't know all of the safeguards you have in place for her there, but if she eats in the cafeteria around a lot of other kids eating PB, etc... then I would think that the situation you described wouldn't be much different.
Can you maybe point out to me the specifics of why this was such a different situation? Why this situation made you so much more uncomfortable than her attending school every day?
Again, I am hoping this doesn't come across with any 'tone'.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 12:19am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Lam, I am not offended, and really want everyone`s opinion. This situation was totally different from school. Her classroom is totally peanut free. The cafeteria serves peanut butter only five times per year. On those five days, I leave work early, and pick her up at 11:45, before the children go to the cafeteria. So she is actually never around peanut butter at school. The school normally passes out the lunch menu the first of the month, but it is in her 504 that I be given the menu two weeks earlier so that I can make arrangements way in advance to miss work and bring her home. We just did it yesterday. I truly believe that if she was there on those five days a year the cafeteria serves peanut butter, she would have a reaction. It is also in her 504 that on those five days the cafeteria serves peanut butter, the teacher takes them all into the bathroom and watches them scrub their hands before coming back to class. The nurse had all this put into her 504 at my request. I am not upset at you for asking your question; it was very logical. It is amazing all the things one has to think of to put into a 504 to keep our PA kids safe.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 12:39am
BENSMOM's picture
Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

I'm going to add my 2 cents which is the opposite of what the others said, but first let me say a couple of things. I usually don't answer posts like this bcs it would not be an issue with my son--he's not sensitive like that. Also, you did the right thing because you did what you felt comfortable with. But since you want to think about it in case it happens again, I wanted to add some points to ponder.
It sounds like your main concern was tracking peanut crumbs into your house. I would consider staying for class, and then leaving the shoes outside the house until I got a chance to carefully carry them in and clean them off. I'm not sure if you were worried about smell. As far as smell or any other chance of reaction, I guess I always feel it's better to stretch the limits when you're with them so you can see how tight they really need to be, than to have them find out at school or when they're older and out with friends. I don't know if that makes sense or not. But since you were there at dance class with your daughter, if she felt her throat was itchy or she got sniffly, she could tell you and you could get her out of there. But there's a good chance there wouldn't be a problem. Letting her stay would also put just a tiny bit of power and responsibility on her shoulders--stay, but be aware of what your body is telling you and let me know if there's a problem. I guess I always like to look at the long-term. Better to have "training" while I'm around. If you whisk her out of any potentially harmful situation, she'll learn to avoid everything and be afraid of everything, rather than learning her body's signals. Does that make any sense?
As I said, I don't have to deal with a high sensitivity, so I don't want to come across as preachy. I just wanted to give you a different side to think about and you can take it or leave it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 2:43am
CVRTBB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

You did the exact thing that I would have done with my son because he is touch and smell sensitive and could not be near the fumes even. If it were my PA daughter on the other hand I probably would have stayed and carried her out because she is not as sensitive and has never had a reaction worse than eczema. I think it mostly lies with what your child's sensitivities are and where your comfort zone is. IMHO I feel bad when my children say "its not fair" but try not to let them see that I feel bad... usually I just say "life's not fair, get over it." Sounds harsh but they usually accept things fairly easily.
Take Care,

Posted on: Sat, 02/09/2002 - 8:55am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

Ditto to BENSMOM.
Does your daughter have a history of reacting to smell or touch?

Posted on: Sat, 02/09/2002 - 11:39am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for trying to clear that up for me. I'm still left wondering if there are students eating PBJ at school every day regardless of the school serving it.
Anyway, I think that if you were uncomfortable enough to feel like you needed to leave, then you did the right thing for you. We all have our "comfort zones".
Take care,

Posted on: Tue, 02/12/2002 - 8:40pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I think I would have been the most upset about the fact that this woman had lied to you before when you confronted her about the PB being used to cook with! She told you NO and then she is using it. that makes NO sence to me.
Chris has a penpal that was just telling us she has to keep her Epi closer than ever because she had a bad scare. She was at an event where there had been a party and the people had eaten PB products on the gym matts. She had bare feet and stepped in crumbs. Her feet were immediatly covered in hives and she had to be given adrenalyn at once. She said she normally sweeps the matts before a competition but didn't just this once.
The girl is fine but she had a reaction just from getting PB crumbs on her.
Carefulmom,if the teacher will not speak to the mothers about running around with food maybe you could pass out some literiture.
What I would love to know is why are kids not being taught to Sit down and it properly. My kids have always been taught that eating is something done with manners.
For petes sake choking occurs from running around eating. OK that is another subject. take care and good luck. claire

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