the good the bad the ugly vent

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2007 - 1:47pm
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

DS, 3 was just diagnosed last week PA. We pulled him from preschool and Dh went and met with them. He provided pages of detail on peanut free schools in the area. They decided that they were behind the times and would probably go peanut free. On Monday we brough DS back in and met again with the Administrator. We went over everything. She said that she was pretty sure that they would go peanut/nut free but she would have to speak with her DH and would get back to us.

It was a good meeting. She was super concerned and responsive and caring! Tuesday I emailed her saying basically that we covered a lot of ground and I just wanted to be sure that one thing was clear - NO ONE WAS to give him any food that didn't come from us *** We want it peanut free but we also need to teach him not to accept food.

I have already gotten emails from concerned mom's who are concerned for my ds but also telling me that thier kid will only eat PB for lunch...oh what will they do? This didn't really bother me.'s not my problem and we all have our own struggles.

So today was day 2 back at school. In questioning my 3 year old I find out that his best friend had a pb sandwich (deep breath) but they didn't eat at the same table. OK...I can deal no letter has gone out to parents yet...and it's ok. Next I get from him that one of the teachers gave him snack when they were outside. NOT the snack that I sent in. He described it to me - oval crackers. I was FURIOUS. I had specifically told the Admin that I know people will be confused as to why they can't give him an apple or cheese or crackers but the bottom line is that they can't because it will be too confusing for him.

Then after dinner I check email and have a great email (although late) response to my email that they will go peanut free and she will talk to all the teachers, etc. But it just kills me that this happened! I know all the teachers were told that he had an allergy. I verbally told the Admin - no snacks - she said she would take us off the snack rotation. I know she understood me she just didn't tell all the teachers and the one who gave him the crackers didn't know where his snack was or even that he had one.

I asked him what did you say when Mrs. X offered you crackers...he said "yes please"....I have drilled it into him " no thank you I have food allergies" and then the first time it happens he takes the crackers! I know he's three...but I just don't feel like we have alot of room for error.

I am so angry that this happened and yet thankful that he is fine and that the school will make changes...but I guess the deal is that people don't get it almost no matter what you do!

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 3:27am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Today.... I spoke with his teacher who seems to get it....she made the peanutbutter eating kid sit at a different table, wash hands, and disposed of the crumbs carefully and cleaned the table.
But the assistant who tells me that her child is PA ( I feel terrible but I don't believe her ) and her kid could certainly eat the snack provided. She looked at me like I have 3 heads when I told her NO my son CAN NOT eat the snack that the class parents bring in! Todays snack was oranges and Ritz crackers. The oranges where all quartered by some parent who at this point doesn't even know about the PA in the class. Why would I think that they took precautions? She said "I know you are concerned but I promise I am very careful when I prepare the snack" But she doesn't do it every day, parents do it and bring in all sorts of food for snack. I respect her right to feed her child any way she wants to but if she gives my kid anything I will have a fit. She is very headstrong and I get the distinct feeling that she thinks that she knows more about this than I do and that I am going way overboard.
Would any of you let your kid eat quartered oranges brought in by a parent who didn't even know about PA?
Why can't people just listen instead of trying to make thier own judgement?

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 3:51am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

NO!!!!! A friend of mine brought in jello squares one day(obviously no nuts) but I said no. She needs ot respect your level of comfort as well, I guess she'd change her tune the day her child has a reaction to oranges that were sliced up on a countertop previously used to make pb&j's!!! You never know! I would make it VERY clear you child can only eat the food that is brought in by you....period. It took me a couple months, but my sons K teacher finally understands it. I dont' care that it is a nut-free food, if it is made in someone elses home, my child does not eat it. Even with packaged foods, they teacher is now sending them home for me to make the decision, much easier. (son eats his snack he brought) and if the treat turns out to be okay, I let him eat it at home. I'd type up your requests now, get it in writing and go over each one with those teachers. Have a meeting with the director AND the teachers, however you need to to make this clear. If the teacher kept giving my child food even after I made it clear not to, I'd be pulling him out, now! Jut my opinion, sorry.
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 3:53am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I have [i]sooooo[/i] been there. {hugs}
Your personality is about to do a full 180.
I know it will seem VERY abrasive to do things this way-- but you are going to have to address the problem that you see with this other "PA" parent immediately.
We had the same problem with my MIL, and she refused to concede that she was overstepping boundaries by feeding our DD food that didn't come from us.
You need to make it clear that this is NOT HER DECISION. Not open for discussion. Ever. And if that isn't clear enough, then put your foot down and be brutally clear that if she is wrong about how safe something is-- even ONCE-- she could KILL YOUR CHILD. Why take that chance? It doesn't matter if she feels comfortable taking it with [i]her own[/i] child. Irrelevant.
I would also address your concerns about this situation with the director. She/He may hem and haw about "learning as we go" but you will need to insist that this incident only highlights how CLEAR and urgent the communications must be on the matter with all the staff. It will also be a heads up that this woman seems to be intent on bucking the "plan" as well.
But speaking from experience, having a center go "nut free" when parents provide the food? Not happening. Oh, they may [i]try[/i] to do it. But the other parents will continue to send things in that are dangerous. If I were you (and I'm not) I would begin looking for a center that has an FDA food program. They don't allow parents to provide food (other than for approved exceptions, which you almost certainly would be). This (in our experience) was [i]much[/i] more successfully implemented since it isn't up to other parents to comply.

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 4:24am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Thank you guys.
Corvallis Mom.... You assume I am shy and nice...NOT! It was all I could do to not FLIP out on this woman...but we are trying to persude everyone to go nut free...although I suspect that you are correct. With parents sending lunch/snacks it just can't happen.
But let's say I switch him to a nut free school...that provides food...that scares me terribly too. I want him to eat what I give him period.

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 4:37am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Yeah, well, I wasn't ever Ms. conflict-avoidance either. [img][/img] I've just gotten better about speaking my mind.
We got the center director to allow it. Easily. Allergy training scared the crapola out of them, as DD already had convincing contact sensitivity to both pn and egg, and a life-threatening anaphylactic episode in her history....
They were [i]THRILLED[/i] to have us provide her food. THRILLED that we [i] didn't want them to have to worry so much about HER food.[/i] It helped that she was at that point MFA, including wheat, egg, and soy.
After we scared them sufficiently with cross-contamination risks and scenarios, they were pretty pleased when we pulled that rabbit out of a hat at the end.... "We understand that you ordinarily don't allow outside food.... but we are willing to provide all of XXXXXXX's meals and snacks, just to be sure." [img][/img]
Manipulative? Oh, sure. We had no intention of letting them feed her, and would have gone to a more aggressive tactic if it had been needed. But it went over better since the director made the decision, not us.

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 8:11am
safetyfirst's picture
Joined: 09/21/2005 - 09:00

Sorry you are going through this. Yes I know a preschool can go peanut free. Our preschool had been a "Parent supplied the snack rotation" before Our ds started school there. What our school did was collect 5.00 per semester(10.00) a year. They took that money and bought safe snacks for the school. The snacks were left at the school. The child was still allowed to bring in a drink, napkins and cups on their snack day. And show and tell of course! The parents told me it was worth 10.00 per child a year to not have to worry about bringing in a unsafe snack.

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 8:53am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

you guys are really helping me.
I also just spent 2hours on the phone with another mom whose ds is mfa at the same school as my ds. [img][/img]
Manipulate? Naw....not me...ever. DOH!
I guess where I am still struggling is really what to ask for? This is what I am thinking
** Nut free school - letter to parents, no more PB/J, nut snacks, obvious nut products in lunches or snacks (I'm sorry but I doubt people will comply 100% to this and not all to cross contamination worries)
** update handbook
** retrain teachers on epi
** carry epi's outside at playtime (not currently done!)
** advanced notice on food events in room for all allergic children
** signs on doors...nut free
and then still send in my own lunch/snack every day and teach him not to take food from anyone ever unless Mom/Dad has checked.
Are there other things that I should ask for?

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 10:23am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

You will still want for them to consider how they will prevent him from grabbing another child's food.
HTH! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 12:00pm
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 1:40pm
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]You will still want for them to consider how they will prevent him from grabbing another child's food.
HTH! [img][/img][/b]
um today when he came home with someone else tupperware in his lunch bag? Normally that wouldn't trouble it does. Also he told me that one of the kids had a bag a peanuts with his lunch. I know his teacher will tell me in the morning - she is very concerned and attentive to this...but frankly she shouldn't have to deal with this every day. We need to stop the peanuts in the room.


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