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right_25 right_25 is offline
 
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Nut Allergy Question
Old 07-27-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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I will have 2 students this year that are allergic to nuts. One is very severe and his mom requested that he be placed in a nut free classroom. My school does not have a policy like this but I figure it is my job when it comes to birthday treats to ensure the child can eat it or not. I am curious how you handle situations like this? I have thought about requesting that all birthday treats are store bought so I can see the ingredients. Or do you have another suggestion? The boy with the less severe allergy is also allergic to eggs.


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3 students
Old 07-27-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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Last year I had 3 students with nut allergies, 2 needing EpiPen's. When ever I sent home a note about snacks, I asked that all treats be CLEARLY labeled if it contained nuts. I taught 5th grade, so the students were really good at monitoring themselves, but I had compliments from other parents as well that appreciated the clear standards on treats. I kept nut free snacks on hand in case something came that was homemade and I couldn't be sure that it was "nut-free" I never stated which students couldn't eat the nuts, but just that we needed to be aware.
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24 hour notice
Old 07-27-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I have had this situation in my room several times. I ask that parents give 24 hour notice before bringing in a treat so that I can let the parent of the student with an allergy know. If it will be a store bought treat then it is usually not a huge issue. If it is a homemade treat, the parent of the student with the allergy sends something in that they approve of for the student. I also have stored treats for students that have allergies that were provided by their parents in case 24 hours notice was not given.
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We have to have non-food treats
Old 07-27-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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I had a child who had a severe allergy to everything under the sun last year. He was pretty good about only eating what his parents sent with him and the other kids were great about it too. While we cannot say we are a nut free school we do discourage parents from sending in anything with nuts or fish. Our school policy is that there are to be no food treats sent in for the classes. If a parents sends food in we are required to send it back home with the child. It also goes aong with our healthy active schools policy. I would never make the call if the child was able to eat something or not, I wouldn't want to make the wrong call!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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I had kids with peanut allergies at least four years. I made sure I was trained in using the EpiPen but never did have to use it. This was in 2nd grade and the kids were already very good about knowing what they could and couldn't eat.
The difficult part is preventing contamination from other kids food. A couple of mine couldn't even touch peanut residue. So we had to make sure we had a peanut free lunch table that the lunch staff wiped clean before and after every meal. I also had to make sure my kids washed their hands carefully with soap after meals or snacks.
We don't have birthday treats anymore but whatever food we do ever have for parties must be store bought. This a rule throughout our district.
I was also able to get a video to show the entire class from our district nurse. It was about an elephant who was allergic to peanuts. It was really cute and helpful for the little ones. http://www.foodallergy.org/page/new-...food-allergies
Hopefully this gives you a start of things to prepare for. The kids were awesome, the rest of the class did well too.


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Old 07-27-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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He does have an Epi pen and I teach kindergarten so I doubt he will know if he can eat things or not. The majority of birthday treats seem to be homemade which obviously I would never allow him to eat. That is why I thought if I could read the nutrition label or the nurse could make the call with store bought as opposed to home made.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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My dd has a nut allergy that requires an epi pen. Even in K she knew not to eat anything that I had not approved. It's scary to swell up and not be able to breathe and have to have the epi pen. One time made her really aware. As a mom, I provided a box of safe treats to the teacher that dd could have when birthday treats were given out. As a teacher, be really aware of not offering the child treats that may tempt them even if they seem safe. There are tree nuts in the oddest foods--salad dressings and chicken nugget breading both use nuts on occcasion to create flavor or crunch. Dd is so cautious that she won't eat something new even if we can see the ingredient list since cross contamination happens.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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In my school, we take these allergies seriously. I have had a child with a milk allergy have difficulty breathing and ended up being taken by squad to the hospital. (Parent had no epi-pen and did not think he had a serious allergy) Turns out.....the Tyson Chicken Nuggets the cafeteria switched to are breaded in a milk-based product.

1. Before the start of the new school year, our school nurse sends a letter home with each student who will be in class with a child who has a food allergy so the entire class knows there is a child with a food allergy in class.
2. A sign is placed outside the classroom stating this is a "nut free" classroom.
3. Usually the parent of the child with the allergy will provide all other parents with their phone number/email. Parents are asked to contact the parent of the "allergic" child when they are sending in birthday or party treats. The child may ONLY eat the treat if the parent has sent me in a note giving written consent. This also allows parents to remind child NOT to take the treat if it is questionable.
4. Most parents send in back-up treats for their child which I keep in my desk.

I never make the decision to give the child the treat, because you never know about cross contamination or hidden ingredients so I leave that decision up to the parent.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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My son is allergic to peanuts & eggs He can be around nuts, but not eat them. You need to find out if the student will need to be removed from the room during treats & if necessary how long afterwards I send a box of snacks my child can eat during birthdays in case the snack is something he can't eat. Allergies are really tricky. You really have to ask a lot of questions.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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You may also need to ask his parent how severe the allergy is. I have heard of a school where other students were not allowed to bring peanut butter sandwiches for lunch because the smell of the PB would set off a reaction.


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I no longer
Old 07-27-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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allow edible treats because of this. I don't want this to be on my plate. So I request that kids bring in a goodie bag, pencils, stickers, etc instead. If they send in treats, they will be sent home. This is in my handbook and will be stated at BTS night.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I had two children with peanut and tree nut allergies in my room this past year. One of my little girls could not even touch a nut of any kind. At lunch, the custodian always made sure to scrub down her seat and table area before she entered the lunch room. Mom did not want her to be isolated at a separate table. I had to keep an epi pen in my classroom and carry it with me for all adventures outside the room. She had one reaction last year because she ate a treat that did not contain nuts but it was made in a mixing bowl that was not totally free of the oil. Thank goodness the reaction did not happen at school.

I sent notes home and had signs posted outside my room. I would not allow any treats that were homemade. I also kept approved treats in my room such as oreos and other fun things for her to eat during times we had questions about a certain product.

Please remember to write all of your emergency information in your sub plans. I had to make sure my teaching neighbor knew anytime I was out because she knew how to use the epi pen as well.
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snacks without
Old 07-27-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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The mom of my student who had nut allergies this year sent several yummy snacks for me to keep in stock for him. When there were treats, he got to pick a yummy snack of his own from mom's collection. There were never any problems with other kids and he totally understood that he avoided all foods that weren't from home. (I would never want to take responsibility for deciding what this child should eat!!)
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better check on it
Old 07-28-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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I'd check with the parents to find out how severe the child's allergy is. If they are requesting a peanut free classroom, it may be so severe that if the other children have nuts in the classroom or in the cafeteria, this could cause a reaction. For some kids, it's much milder and they're ok if it's in the room, they just can't eat it. It's important to know what severity you're dealing with. A nut allergy can be a very serious life or death situation.
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peanut allergy
Old 07-28-2010, 06:19 AM
 
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I had a student w/ severe peanut allergy last year (1st grade). We had an approved snack list for snack time. For birthdays, mom compiled a list of acceptable treats (oreos, cupcakes from a mix, chips ahoy, fruit, etc.) We could not have store bought cupcakes or cookie cakes. I also asked her to be my room mom that way she could help plan special days and have more control over food being served. At the beginning of the year, the student ate at a separate table for lunch. She asked a friend to sit with her each day. As the year went on, she gradually moved to the class table. We wiped down the table before she sat down and anyone w/ peanut butter had to sit at the other end of the table. I was really a non-issue by November...
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