Is anyone else happy with their non-peanut-free class/school?

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 3:57am
Grateful's picture
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Joined: 04/10/2002 - 09:00

My pa son, who scored >100 on the CAP-RAST and 4++ on the skin test, is now in his 4th year of school in non-peanut-free classes and schools and is doing great! My son has not had any reactions since his allergy was diagnosed and is a champ at following the rules that keep him safe. (Mainly, don't eat anything unless it comes from home!) His friends have learned that if they eat pb they can't sit near him and need to wash their hands afterwards. I am hopeful that all of this will carry over into middle school and beyond and they will automatically wash up, etc. to help keep him safe. My son is not at all embarressed about his allergy and has rarely been bothered by having his own food, etc. and has never been teased or bullied or excluded. Anyway, I feel that non-peanut-free school has been a great education for him and his friends. Am I alone in this or do some of you share the same experiences? I would love to hear from you if you do!

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 7:43am
Jana R's picture
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Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

We've also never requested peanut-free classrooms and not had a problem. My son is now 14 so nine years ago it never occured to me that I could request such a thing. The kids that eat around him know about his allergy - if someone has to eat peanuts and the smell starts to bother him, my son would just eat somewhere else. Once a kid in sixth grade started to taunt him with a PB sandwich but the teacher was quite alert to it and immediately really "let him have it"! My son (and the friend sitting next to him) was shocked and pleased simultaneously to have her protect him so vehemently. I asked him recently (because I was feeling guilty that I had not kept peanuts out of his classroom) if he was mad at me for not doing so - he said absolutely not, that he would feel weird if people couldn't eat their favorite food because of him - he felt it was up to him to deal with PA.

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 10:57am
BoysRUs's picture
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Joined: 09/07/2002 - 09:00

I'm so glad to hear that you're children are doing so well in a non-peanut-free school. My child is in his second year of preschool & it is not peanut free. I really didn't see how I could request this, since he is the 5th child at the school to have pa (all pretty severe) and no child has had a reaction at school. The school has been wonderful about initiating pa education for the teachers & I feel very safe with him there. He eats at a peanut-free table & his teacher even sits beside him to make sure he doesn't grab anyone else's food. They do not serve pb for snack, but do allow children to bring it in their lunch (there are separate storage areas for pa/non pa lunch). It made me nervous at first, but the track record for keeping all 5 kids safe is wonderful. It really makes me hopeful that he won't have to be singled out too much in grade school -- the age when children start teasing each other. I lucked out in being one of the popular kids in school -- and (regretfully now) we teased everyone who was different. Kids can be cruel & the least different he is, the better it will be. Although I think you can't go overboard in making sure all adults at the school understand the seriousness of pa & exactly what to do in an emergency, I seriously worry about kids who have been made to appear different. PA is definitely not a laughing matter, but I know if kids are constantly hearing about someone's medical problems, they're going to tease or even try some very harmful pranks. My plan is to make a big deal out of the pa to the adults who will be around my child, but stress to the children how normal he is. The less he stands out, the less likely someone's going to chase him with pb. I would give anything if all schools were pb-free, but I know even if they were, there would still be violators.

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 11:09am
BoysRUs's picture
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Joined: 09/07/2002 - 09:00

I dont' think this came across in my post, but I am totally in favor of pb-free schools & I do understand that some children can't even smell pb & therefore definitely need pb-free. I was just saying that for now, pb-free zones & lots of hand washing seem to be working for us. He does have contact reactions, but so far has had none at school.

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 11:15am
BoysRUs's picture
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Joined: 09/07/2002 - 09:00

One more thing -- my comments about kids teasing other kids were not in any way a reference to the children in the above posts. Occasional teasing is going to happen to every child & I'm so glad the situations above were handled properly. In mentioning trying to stress the normalcy of the child, I was referring to people (and we've all met them at some time in our life) who interject pa or adhd or hypoglocemia (etc) or whatever into every single sentence about the child, where the "ailment" (for lack of better word) becomes more prominent than the all the wonderful things about the child. These are the children who will be picked on.

Posted on: Fri, 09/27/2002 - 9:48am
EmilysMom's picture
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Joined: 09/03/2002 - 09:00

The pre-school that I have put Emily in this month is working great. I yanked her out of the last one because of an insensitive director.
The school made sure to get training on the Epi before Em started at the school. We have dealt with two B-days and parents bringing in food for the kids to share. Nothing has happened. I am extremely thankful for this school.
I don't think that I will be asking for a peanut free class next year in Kindergarten. I think that what is happening now with my daughter will work in the public school. I have the added plus (as I stated before) of my Mother working at the school Emily will attend next year.
I can certainly see where other parents request peanut free zones, classes, schools. This allergy is one of the scariest things I can think of when you are a parent.
I think that taking in what others do and using it as needed in your own life is the best way to approach things.
Grateful, this was a great topic to start. It helps parents see another option for dealing with this unfortunate life experience.

Posted on: Fri, 09/27/2002 - 11:18am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My son's school is also not PN free, and it is working out fine. In kindergarten his class was PN free, as much for the teacher (she was a nervous wreck) as for Kevin. In first and second, the teachers requested that parents refrain from sending in PN stuff for snack, but there were always a few who just couldn't handle that. The children were extrememly protective of Kevin, and would always alert he and the teacher to the "violators", and make sure they stayed far away. He has a PN free table for lunch, and they are very careful about craft and science projects.
I hope I'm not hexing myself by writing this, but I was thinking just the other day how miraculous it is that he's never had a problem in school (knock wood, salt over the shoulder, poo-poo-poo, etc.). Everyone in school has always looked out for him, and he has also never been bullied (heaven help the soul who tries - he does NOT suffer fools, LOL!).
His preschool was PN free, and I was deeply grateful for it. All those preschoolers smearing the dreaded stuff around - gives me the shivers.
For anyone who truly, truly needs a totally PN free environment, I'm all for it. But for Kevin the "least restrictive" environment is working out well.
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 09/28/2002 - 4:04am
Grateful's picture
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Joined: 04/10/2002 - 09:00

Thank you all! It feels great knowing this is working for other children with pa! Jana R, I especially liked hearing about your 14 year old - I think it is wonderful that this has worked for so long and that he wouldn't want to inconvenience others; this is the attitude I want my son to have as he gets older! I also feel that my son gains a lot of confidence from knowing that he can keep himself safe around the peanut stuff! And I worry that the bigger deal I make out of his allergy, the more he will be singled out for teasing as he gets older. Please keep the responses coming, reading these has really made my day! Take care, everyone!

Posted on: Sat, 09/28/2002 - 7:05am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We are also doing the "least restrictive" approach; for our son AND for others.
His classroom is PNfree, but "may contains" are allowed for snack. If the snack is totally PNfree and safe for DS, then he eats from what is provided by the teacher. If it is a "may contain" or otherwise questionable, then I provide the closest thing to it for him.
At lunch, DS sits at the end of the hot lunch table. All those with PB or obvious peanut products sit together (at the same long table with the rest of the class), mainly so it's easier to clean them up when they're finished.
So far things are going incredibly well. The school is being just great, and the parents of the K kids have been wonderful. They even put a note in to the teacher if there is PB in their child's lunch!

Posted on: Sat, 09/28/2002 - 12:44pm
Renee111064's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2001 - 09:00

In my son Drew's classroom, we have a peanut zone. Not a peanut free zone.
We did send letters to the parents requesting no peanut butter cookies or anything directly involved with peanuts.
Our 504 states we have a peanut zone in case there were something of peanut nature to come to his classroom.
Drew has his own table at school with a friend that sits with him. He is ok with this. I wanted him to be able to sit with his classroom, but the school doesn't feel he would be safe sitting at the tables.
Drew has reacted to touch only. He has never had any other type of reaction.
I could not ask the school to go peanut free since my own home is not peanut free. No, I don't feel that I am taking a chance with peanut butter in our home. Only I can touch the jar of peanut butter. I always also use a plastic knife and paper plates when using peanut butter.
This is my comfort zone. I know 99% of the pa parents will think that I am crazy having pb in the house but, I never ever threw out the first jar once we found out. I've always been extremely cautious.
Drew was 5 1/2 when I found this site. He was 2 1/2 when we found out about his pa. I have learned so much here and have made some friends too along the way.
well, best wishes to all,
renee [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 09/29/2002 - 12:32pm
Gadget's picture
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Joined: 10/01/2001 - 09:00

My son is in a "peanut-restricted" school (don't know what else to call it! LOL!!) All parents have been asked NOT to send Pb products to school. Of course, not everyone complies, but it cuts the amount of peanut products considerably. My main reason for seeking a school like this was that I thought he might have a better chance of outgrowing the allery if he wasn't constantly bombarded with minute exposures to peanut. I just had a nagging feeling that even if he never reacted at school, that being around peanuts might still be detrimental in that it still counted as "exposure". Perhaps I'm a crackpot (LOL!) but I really felt my son's best chance at outgrowing the allergy was to keep him in a peanut-free environment as much as possible. The public schools around here serve pbj every single day, and pb cookies on a frequent basis. Luckily for us, one of the private schools in town already had a no-peanut policy in place due to another boy at the school, so I never felt like "we" were responsible for inconveniencing others. The school decided the policy, not us or the other parents. I just wanted to post so you know that there could be other benefits to a peanut-free environment that go beyond just preventing reactions.

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