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Peanut free schools?


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Worriedfather August 5, 2011


I just recently enrolled my son into kindergarten just to find out that PB&J sandwiches are a regular part of their menu, my son has a serious peanut allergy and I need to find an alternative school or find a way to convince them to drop PB from the menu. So far I have been unable to find a Peanut free school in Sacramento CA.
Any suggestions?

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MagnetMom August 5, 2011


Hi worriedfather,

Peanut allergies are serious concerns for most folks. My daughter's school highly recommends that PBnJ not come, but as a public school, they can't forbid it.

If you are having trouble finding a peanut free public school, look at charter and private schools where they are free to make rules and have people live up to them. In addition, while some schools can not dictate a peanut free stance, find out what the policies are at some of these schools. My daughter's school provides education for all students and it goes a long way toward empathy and encouraging compliance. My daughter would starve before she'd bring any nut products to school for fear of hurting someone.

Good luck!

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Worriedfather August 5, 2011


Thank you for your response, my problem isn't so much the fear of another child bringing peanut products to the school, it is that the school serves it for lunch, so the cafeteria utensils used to prepare the food will be contaminated, also it would only take the person making the pb sandwiches to make his non PB meal and he would get ill. Also instead of just 5 to say 20 students potentially being contaminated it would be every other student in the cafeteria with peanut products and he would be surrounded with potential disaster. Another thing, it is a charter school that my son is enrolled into. So far I have tried to plea with a few Corporations about offering a small charitable donation of a PB alternative like Almond butter to try and convince them to change their menu ever so slightly, but things are not looking good for me and I might just have to home school him until he gets old enough to be able to protect himself from the dangerous situations himself. Again thank you for your response and I will try and talk to the school more about the issue and hopefully get them to consider an alternative.

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FaithHeals August 28, 2011


I agree with you to home school him until he is better able to care for himself. I don't mean to be negative, but you are his ultimate guardian and people are not as aware as you are to the potential dangers, no matter how well meaning they may be.
My son's friend has severe allergies and his own grandmother (who cares deeply) was cooking with nuts - never intending to serve them to her grandson. The fumes alone caused a reaction and he had to be air lifted ...

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JulioH August 28, 2011


The answer is to educate yourself and your son on how to live with peanut allergy and how to treat it. Epi pen jr a must. By adjusting to the environment, you will be teaching your son a great lesson on how to succeed in life. Changing the environment is not always possible nor should you expect the rest of humanity to accomodate your needs. That way you do not teach your son to be a victim. There are many support groups that can help you with this. That's what we did with my young nephew with who suffers frequent bouts of status asthmaticus.

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woofwoof August 28, 2011


Really, you would ask the school to drop PB&J because your kid is allergic? Since when did packing our kids a healthy home lunch become such a chore? That's how you deal with it. It's not like school food is exactly healthy, peanuts or not. Sorry to be blunt, but if you have a child with a peanut (or any food allergy) you should be packing their food.

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Jen31302 August 28, 2011


@ woofwoof......I agree with part of what you said. Yes, parents of peanut allergic children should pack their child's lunch. Not only should we, we have no choice. It is hard to explain every detail on a post like this but I will try as best as I can to shed some light on the problem. If my child could get sick just by eating peanut butter I would never agree to someone trying to ban pb from school. As you suggested I would tell them to bring their lunch. However, it is not as simple as that. Reactions can come from many different things. If your child eats a pb sandwich, gets some on their finger and doesn't wash their hands and then touched my child or shares a pencil with her she can have a reaction. My daughter can react from breathing it in (ie. microwaving something with pb in it). The protein in the peanut that causes the reaction can stay on a surface for months if not cleaned properly. All of those little fingers with pb on them touching everything make it very hard for us to keep our children safe. Its hard enough when you do your research and learn that peanuts are used in everything from gravy to cleaning supplies to miraclegrow. All we are asking is to keep one of the major obvious dangers away from our children. It is not a matter of getting a few hives, taking medicine and being fine. My daughter could DIE. Do you really think it would be easier to have your child watch mine go into anaphylactic shock then miss out a pb sandwich for lunch. Did you know it only takes a few minutes for a child to go braindead after coming into contact with pb if they experience severe symptoms. Did you know there is no test for us to have done that will tell us which type of reaction our child will have. Imagine sending your child to school everyday having to wonder if the kids are going to play with loaded guns in the cafeteria that day and if your child will be in harms way. I know it sounds extreme but that is how we feel everyday.

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teach432 August 28, 2011


To Worriedfather,
If your son has a severe health issue than look into a 504 plan which should accommodate any environmental needs he has. Our public school has had peanut free classrooms, grade levels and peanut free tables in the cafeteria for 4 years now. If any students in these classrooms bring peanut products, they must leave them in the school office to be retrieved at lunch or snack. All students then wash their hands after lunch each day before entering the classroom to help prevent crossover. You have rights as a parent in the public school system- not sure about charters. They run under different rules. Also, these students we have carry epi pens in fanny packs at all times. The entire staff is trained yearly on how to administer in case of an emergency.

To woofwoof above, the dad is not asking the school to provide an alternative food to his son. He is concerned that his son would have a severe reaction just by touching something with peanut oil on it like a sink faucet or door knob.

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doriselm August 28, 2011


Do you really think it is fair to ask the whole school to be peanut free? I understand the severity of allergies, but to ask a school to change their menu when other children love those sandwiches is a bit much. I would say pack his own healthy lunch, then make sure that he sits at a table where there are no pbj's kids. I saw some people saying to home school which is really a good way of preventing allergic reactions, but it probably is not feasible, not sure though. In the mean time make his lunches and don't make too much of a fuss it will trickle down. My daughter has severe allergies, but she knows what she can eat and what not and she is determined not to get sick. She is only six. Good luck.

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Soguns August 29, 2011


I agree with everything woofwoof said--if your son is so allergic to peanut products then homeschool him. Even if you manage to get the school to have a peanut product-free table and perhaps drop p&j sandwichs from their menu, that doesn't gaurantee that another kid won't pack peanut product food for lunch and cross contaminate the area.


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DocLowery August 29, 2011


Stop infringing upon the schools and other children. If your child has a health problem or allergy problem, it should be handle constructively by the parent. I don't want to see peanut free schools. Peanut and jelly sandwiches was the dessert of the week out side applesauce. Being a parent myself, if my child has allergies he/she would never eat school lunches and would be taught adamantly about why and how to protect themselves. Be a parent and stopping asking everyone to conform because you have problems. It's no one's problem but the parents. The school is there to teach whether it's English or Health not enforce what parents and doctors are responsible for.



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