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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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Kfalk123 August 29, 2011


I teach in a public school and our school has been peanut free for many years due to students with peanut allergies. At first, some parents were not happy about it, but we have stuck with it and it is an accepted, well-known fact that our school is peanut free! We want to keep all of our students as safe as possible and this is just one way we can do that. It started with a parent going to our principal and he began it then. I am in Illinois and am not aware of any law that says you can't forbid something to keep students safe. I would start with the administrator and if you don't get satisfaction there, call your school board members. At first, it is a bit of a change to remember not to bring peanut products, but once started, it becomes easier and even the kids are fine with it! There are many healthy alternatives to PB & J sandwiches!! Good luck

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milko107 August 29, 2011


Hi there,

we are from Australia, and i can not agree with the previous posts. Back home its a blanket band across private and state schools. Which is such a shame when your child is autistic and will only eat peanut sandwiches.
We have had to find other alternatives which has been a huge struggle.
From a parent point of view who is also grown up with diabetes. I had to be educated very early, give myself needles from the age of 5, educated with what i could eat and not eat. Believe me if you educate your child properly then you will have done your child a huge favour in one of life lessons.
Always have that epipen on school grounds, which im sure you would.
I have grown up to be a very caring and open minded person. I thank my parents that they were tough on me from the beginning.
Good luck

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kdgteacher86 August 30, 2011


I would suggest:
1. Making sure you child's allergy is on file with each necessary person at the school. The school nurse typically goes around to each teacher to update them on how to handle their students' medical needs at the beginning of each school year. Teachers can be trained in how to use epi-pens. Peanut allergies are common, so maybe your school has a plan like this already.

2. Pack a cold lunch for your child-lots of kids bring their lunch in elementary school.

3. Ask if there is a "peanut-free" table at lunch (there is one at my school) if this applies to your child.

4. Train your child on how to properly care for themselves and their allergy.

5. Most school district policies state that they must provide a free and safe education for all children. They must adapt to English language learners, special ed. kids, kids with disabilities, etc--so severe allergies should be included in this.

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rebeccas September 1, 2011


Hi Worriedfather,

This is WorriedMother. My 6 year old son is anaphylactic to peanuts. If he consumes any product that has trace peanuts in it, he will die if an EpiPen isn't administered immediately, and then taken to the ER. I live in a constant state of worry, praying that the people who surround him at his public elementary school will do everything they can to keep him safe. I echo many of the comments posted by Jen31302, back on the 28th of August. While many parents feel like they should be able to give their child anything they want to, would they give the child a loaded gun to bring to school? Absolutely not. A student who eats a pj sandwich and then touches the handle of the sink to wash their hands has just left a poison on that handle that will KILL my son. Peanuts are not the only thing for children to eat. If something packed in a child's lunch can kill another child, it should be banned completely.

So, as for your school, appeal, appeal, appeal. If they can't change their policies, and you are not up for homeschooling, apply to be an aide in the classroom. You will spend all of your time with your child as they go through school until they can be cognizant of the weightiness of such a responsibility. I am a clinical psychologist, and this ability usually applies from age 12 forward.

Good Luck

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mom2twingirls September 9, 2011


I don't mind not being able to send my kids to school with PBJ sandwiches. It's all the other snacks that have (or could have) traces of peanuts because they are made in the same factory that are the problem. I really wish the food manufacturers would address this issue. It would make it much easier for everyone. At least half the snacks I pick up list peanuts as a possible trace ingredient. It makes it very hard to give my kids a variety of lunches and snacks during the week with such limited choices.

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melang October 4, 2011


I would look into the 504 plan. I school teacher told me about it. I'm told it will 'force' the school to take the allergy seriously and take necessary steps to work with your family and the allergy.

As for these people that are 'bothered' by the fact that a school may be peanut free or remove peanuts items from the menu, GET REAL! We are talking about a child that has a serious allergy. We make accomodations for people with disabilities, we ban smoking in places, and do much more in this world to accomodate people with needs. This is a potentially life threatening illness for a child and you people are mad because your child likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and now may not be able to eat them. How very very selfish....

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Amazed2010 March 15, 2012


Dear WorriedFather,
I feel for you.  We have a little one with a severe nut allergy and it's all new to us.  So I'm still learning.  We started him in preschool and I have the same concerns.  I'm learning that it's not so much whether the school is nut free or not ,it's how educated the teaching staff is and how quick they are to respond to an emergency.  If the school staff is not educated on the severity of the allergies, then it doesn't matter whether the school is safe or not.  Obviously as a parent a nut free school sounds great, but again it comes down to the school staff.  
This is the first blog I have responded to because I'm amazed at the stupidity of some people like this comment on the blog "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."

I'm appauld by this statement.  It is not the parents fault or my child's fault you moron.  When a child has a food allergy that food is considered poison to them.  I'm not home schooling my child because yours can't live without peanut butter for 5 meals a week.  Your need to have your right to eat peanut butter does not trump the fact that it could kill my child.  The food allergy is not my problem, it's morons who think like you are the problem.  Since you don't have a child with food allergies I suggest you stop writing about topics you obviously don't understand.  I feel bad for your children to be raised by such ignorance.  If I knew something could harm another child, I would do everything I could to help keep them safe.  Sorry your need to eat peanut butter trumps keeping a child safe!  

I know unless you yourself or your child has a food allergy you can not understand everything that goes into keeping your child safe.  In our society food is everywhere!!! It is a lot harder then I ever imagined.  Until my child is old enough to understand his allergies we are his protector.  But I refuse to let this stop him from being able to participate in school or any other activities.  

Educate your child and everyone in your life and never assume anything!  I keep being amazed at how common sense is not so common and it's discouraging.  But one of the bloggers was right.  Look on the food allergy network and get all the documentation you need to educate the school and protect your child.  Good Luck!!!

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vlemild March 16, 2012


A 7 year old girl recently died of peanut at Virginia school. How do you think your child will feel if they contribute to the dealth of another child because of peanut they brought to school. Kids are caring and will protect another child, so adult are the problem with this. See 504 Plan for help.

Question: What Is a 504 plan?
Answer: The "504" in "504 plan" refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. "Disability" in this context refers to a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems. A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for these students to have an opportunity perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes.

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hepmac March 18, 2012


My sons have severe peanut allergies, and what I have learned is that you have to take charge and trust people with do the right thing when you guide them. I have had them in private and public schools, and there is no 100% safe environment. Most of our trouble came when we thought things were safe, and stopped checking. Regarding lunch, we have nut free tables at our elementary school. The teachers check that nuts do not get to that table, and the other kids are pretty vigilant about checking, too. They have special cloths to wipe those tables, so they don't get mixed with the other tables. Then, the kids wash their hands after they eat. Have a conference with your teacher, and I also recommend getting a 504 document completed by the special ed staff (allergies are a disability, and public schools are required to make accommodations to keep your son safe). Keep in mind, snacks will be coming into the classroom, too. Hand washing with soap is essential. Good luck!

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AST0126 April 17, 2012


Hi Ladies, I am interested in starting a coalition to bring nut free schools to every county. I am also a mother of a 3 year old who suffers from several food allergies, peanut being the most severe. I current have him in a private peanut free school but do not feel we as parents should have to pay for our children's education.. Also, I do not know of any school in Maryland that caters to children with allergies past the 5th grade. I am sort of outraged and am looking at making it my life's mission to help these kids and educate others on the seriousness of this issue. If you are interested, please email me at allkache@verizon.net



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