non-peanut free schools

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 12:44am
CarsonsMom's picture
Joined: 02/11/2001 - 09:00

Here is my situation:

My son will be starting kindergarten next Tuesday. I put him in a Catholic school due to our public schools are under average in tests scores.

Neither the school or classroom are peanut-free. I met with his teacher yesterday and she told me that in the last 4 years she has had a child with a peanut allergy in her class and that they are very careful as far as dealing with the situation. He will be sitting at a table along with 5 other childrens. They have a morning snack in the class-room and if someone at his table has a snack which contains peanutbutter they need to move to another table. Once done with their snacks they wash their hands and the teacher wipes down the tables. As far as I know no one should be eating peanut butter at his table which is were he will be sitting all day. As for the cafeteiria, there is a peanut free table.

There is an epi-pen in his classroom along with benedryl and an epi-pen in the cafe. and at the nurses station. There are about 3 or 4 other children in the school with a peanut allergy and other's with other food allergy's. I feel a bit better after talking to the teacher but am still nervous. Not sure if he is contact sensitive or small sensitive. I have been at a couple of parties that had for example a peanut butter pudding/pie. My nieces and nephews had eaten it and then went to wash their hands and my son had no problems being around them.

I know that there are other parents in my shoes as far as not having a peanut free school just wondering if any of the kids eat in the classroom?

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 1:31am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I can understand why you are worried. [img][/img] Kindergarten was the only year my dd's class ate in their classrooms. I did ask for a peanut free classroom that year. I was worried about messy kids and contact with the desks, chairs, equipment, etc.
Like you, at that point I was also concerned as to whether my dd might react to contact.
If you definitely can't have the peanut free class, then I hope the teacher does stick with making sure the kids all wash up really well and that the desks are wiped down well.
It's so scary sending our kids off to school with all of these unknowns.
If it's any consolation: my dd is now nine and in 4th grade. She only had a peanut free classroom that one year, and then sat at a peanut free table in first grade. Since then she has eaten with other kids with no restrictions.
She has never had a reaction of any kind at school.
Good luck!!!
[img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 1:43am
CarsonsMom's picture
Joined: 02/11/2001 - 09:00

Thank you for your reply. It actually does make me feel better knowing that your daughter has been going to a non-peanut free school for the past 4 years with no reaction.
During the orientation yesterday the teacher mentioned to the parents that there are children with food allergies in the class. I do feel better knowing that the kids in his table (in the class-room) are not going to be eating peanut butter and that is were he will be sitting during the day. It also helps to know that they have had a few other children in the same situation without any incidents.
Thank you again.

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 2:18am
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi CarsonsMom:
My son is in 2nd grade (Catholic school as well) and has been going to a non-peanutfree school/classroom since kindergarten. They eat their snacks in the classroom, but lunches in the lunchroom.
Our teachers handled the situation much like you described and we have not had any problems. On the plus side, my son feels confident in handling the situation when he sees others eating PB products (outside the school). He knows to move or ask them to move, and watches to make sure hands are washed, tables are wiped, etc.
We have not had any problems with this set up. It works for us, as well as other PA children that are in the school.
The one thing that we do ask is that parents refrain from sending a treat for the whole class (for bdays, etc) that is an obvious peanut product (ie, pb cookies,etc) as we don't want 20 pb cookies in the class at once.
Hope all goes well.

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 3:00am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Carson'sMom, we also don't have a nut free class room. Last year when one of the kids had a pb snack, they moved that child to another table, then washed his hands and table. We didn't have any problems. I considered asking for a nut free class this year (he's in kindergarten now) but decided just to have the teacher send a note home informing parents that there was a PA child in the class and to keep that in mind. There have been (and are now) other PA kids in the school, and this is how they have always handled it, and they have never had an incident. Btw, his school is for grades PreK through 2, so all small children. Everyone is very aware and vigilant, so I feel comfortable with it.

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 3:18am
CarsonsMom's picture
Joined: 02/11/2001 - 09:00

Thank you all for you responses. It truly does help me feel better hearing your stories. In reading the posts on the boards so many kids have a peanut-free classroom so I didn't really get much of a feeling on what to expect in a non-peanut-free classroom.
Again, it has helped me more then you think in hearing your stories about how your children have been able to keep themselves safe in school.
I have had many conversations with Carson in regards to other children being able to eat peanut butter in his class (he went to a peanutfree pre-k). I don't want him to be stressed out or anxious about his allergy but I do want him to be aware how serious it is and how to react to certain situations. He is very aware of his allergy even though he is only 5 years old. He surprises me sometimes.
I mostly try to keep a positive attitude for both his and my sake.

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 7:48am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by kelly01:
[b]The one thing that we do ask is that parents refrain from sending a treat for the whole class (for bdays, etc) that is an obvious peanut product (ie, pb cookies,etc) as we don't want 20 pb cookies in the class at once.
We do the same thing and haven't had any negative backlash (that I am aware of). I always send out a letter at the beginning of the year. This year I went so far as to write that "Krispy Kreme donuts are a great choice since they are all nut free."
Guess what?! There have been two birthdays so far and they have both sent in Krispy Kreme!!!
The teacher is just wonderful; she said that she feels much safer without treats coming in that are unsafe for my dd. She said that they would do the same thing for any allergy a child may have.
I thought that was incredibly sweet for a fourth grade teacher. We have gotten very lucky this year - I can feel it in my bones!
CarsonsMom, I'm glad we were able to offer some comfort. You are going through the hardest part right now: sending your "baby" off to "real" school for the first time.
I hope it all goes without a hitch!!!
[img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 10:56am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Carson's Mom,
My son had a similar set-up in kindergarten. They ate in the classroom and it was not peanut-free. His area, his little pod of desks, was peanut-free but other kids throughout the classroom were eating PB. There were always plenty of kids with hot lunch or no peanuts who could sit with him. A couple of his good friends went without PB all year so they could sit by him.
My son never had a reaction all year. It was the first time he'd really been around PB since his diagnosis, so it was good to see he could tolerate being in the vicinity without any problems. In the long run, it was a good experience, since we no longer feel he's in danger just from being around it. I would have loved a peanut-free classroom, but in the end, in our case, it worked out to our benefit.

Posted on: Fri, 09/10/2004 - 6:04am
CarsonsMom's picture
Joined: 02/11/2001 - 09:00

I want to thank everyone who replied to my post.
The first week of school has ended without any incidents. We had another conference with his teacher yesterday and everthing seems to be going well.
I was asking the teacher how the peanut-free table was working out and another mother overheard me and said "you must be Carson's mom, my son came hom and told me not to make a peanut butter sandwich so he could sit with Carson". I was pleased to hear that, Carson is in Kindergarten.
I still worry but I don't find myself as anxious about the whole thing. I try to keep positive.


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