School \"safety\" drills and peanut butter crackers

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2003 - 12:27pm
Jandy's picture
Joined: 05/21/2001 - 09:00

Draft of letter to principal...

First, I want to thank the school for focusing on "school safety drills." But I have just been informed of something that inadvertently makes one sixth grader feel unsafe. Apparently, food is now a part of that safety- peanut butter cheese crackers delivered to all classrooms today.

It is scary to think that school children might in an emergency have to stay longer at school and be shoulder to shoulder with one another. It's is very good that the school thought about this and that the kids might need food and to already have it in the classrooms a wise move- but this results in fear for a peanut allergic child.

In an emergency everyone else will be eating peanut containing food and breathing out peanut protein in very close area. Peanut allergic reactions can occur without the peanut allergic person eating the food- either by contact or by breathing in the protein. No one can say when a life-threatening reaction will happen.

But it becomes more concerning if a food allergic child would have a life-threatening reaction at a time when it may be difficult to get the emergency medical care needed. An EpiPen only buys about 15 minutes of time. It would be much safer if the food in the classrooms didn't contain peanut or tree nuts as these are the foods most likely to result in death....

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2003 - 1:06pm
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Boy, someone sure dropped the ball on that one. Good letter, I'd love to hear the response. Is your school peanut free?

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2003 - 8:00pm
Jandy's picture
Joined: 05/21/2001 - 09:00

Thanks for your reply,
School is not peanut or nut free. They have been very helpful and have gone the extra mile in dealing with my son's health. He does carry epiPen, inhaler, and benadryl fast melts on him. Nurse has always called, coordinated field trips. Caferia manager was willing to not re-order little bags of peanuts for sale at lunch snack bar re my requesting this based on son's allergist stating potential for reaction- also helpful re his other food allergies. (son had a contact reaction to peanut and/or cashews at relatives home-we think- son is very multiply off the charts allergic to foods(5) and environmentals(9)- I treated it at first as asthma to environmentals- but as it progressed gave benadryl-looking back one allergist thought it was environ but could have been contact other one thought I should have used epiPen and ER)

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2003 - 11:02pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Thank you for bringing this up. I am going to ask our school nurse about it today.
P.S. I like your letter, too. Nicely put.

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2003 - 11:09pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I like the letter, too. Hopefully the school won't want to have to deal with a life threatening emergency during an "emergency" either! Have you thought of suggesting some pre-packaged safe alternatives? Maybe Kellogs nutrigrain bars, or boxes of raisins? Good luck with this one. Please keep us posted. [img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2003 - 11:21pm
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I became a charter member of the schools emergency program. We have big ones here in CA due to earthquakes.
I had full control of all the food that went into the packages. Still to this day there is no Peanut products in their emergency kits.
If you cannot do this then maybe find the person who is in charge and explain your case to them.
Good luck

Posted on: Tue, 03/11/2003 - 12:26am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Wow, Jandy, good thing you found out about it! I wonder if the crackers were donated? Seems very thoughtless of them to knowingly buy something like that when there is a pa child at school.
I think your letter is great. I hope they will work with you. Keep us posted!
Be safe,

Posted on: Tue, 03/11/2003 - 1:23am
arachide's picture
Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

Good letter Jandy.
Hope the pb crackers can easily be substituted with something else. Talk about an "oversight"!
Please post any response you receive.

Posted on: Tue, 03/11/2003 - 3:22am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

What is a benadryl "fast melt"?

Posted on: Tue, 03/11/2003 - 10:03am
Jandy's picture
Joined: 05/21/2001 - 09:00

I softened the ending a little and added my son's name per his request and he chose to hand deliver it to the school rather than me emailing it.
Later I called the school nurse. She mentioned they are rethinking what type of snack to have in the classrooms where PA might be. The peanutbutter would be best for some of diabetic kids. I believe it will be worked out nicely given some more time.
I'm glad to learn that in my non PA son's classroom one of the kids asked about PA kids- teacher saved face by stating no PA in that class.
Our boyscout Troop has gone almost PA free for my PA son- we still bring his own foods re other allergies- that why we allow some may contains-PA son doesn't eat it.
Fast melt Benadryl is type of Benadryl that is dissolved under the tongue so no need to have water to take it. It is easier than carrying little bottle of liquid Benadryl.

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