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Please do not eat nuts in this classroom.

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Please do not eat nuts in this classroom.
Old 10-21-2018, 10:26 AM
 
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I arrived at my classroom on time. I started checking over her fantastic sub binder. She had everything how to get the kids attention, restroom policy, and emergency procedures. Then I came across this "Please do not eat nuts in this classroom. We have students with nut allergies."



It was only a half day. I just could not help but think, if I could not get out of this classroom to the teachers lounge to eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich would I not be able to have lunch?


I just don't understand allergy free classrooms, or allergy free lunch tables.


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Nut Allergies
Old 10-21-2018, 10:37 AM
 
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If a classroom is nut free, then no you cannot eat your pb&j sandwich in the classroom, even if you couldn't get away from it for lunch. Sorry. That's just how it is.

Many nuts, mostly peanut, have powder on them that if a person with a nut allergy either touches or ingests, they can go into anaphylactic shock which will send them to the emergency room. Nut allergies, from what I understand, are the most life-threatening allergies. It is important that if a teacher has a nut free policy in their classroom that everyone observes this policy, whether or not you understand it.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:25 AM
 
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You should have been notified ahead of time about something like this. On AESOP they could have simply put a note that said that.

I have teachers that do this all the time with information about the class, but it is always where the lesson plans will be, and stuff like that. There is no reason why this teacher couldn't have simply said that on AESOP so the sub could eat.

A good bet would be that the teacher didn't think about it since it was in the ubiquitous "binder," though. Luckily you saw it. Peanut allergies can be deadly.

Last edited by dietcoke99; 10-21-2018 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: more information
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:13 PM
 
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This is so common these days that I simply never take nuts or products with peanut ingredients to any school where I sub. Problem solved.
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What it means...
Old 10-21-2018, 12:50 PM
 
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Nut/peanut/sesame/insert food free classroom means someone is anaphylactic to that food. It means if the student comes in contact (touch/eat/drink), they have an anaphylactic reaction which can progress to dead. It means 911, finding Epi pens and administering said Epi pens. It means watching the face/throat swell. It can look like the person passed out. I shock instead of getting edema (swelling). It means screaming kids, pissed off parents and god know what else will happen to you after all that shakes out.

Peanuts are horrible because the protein is so stable (allergic reactions are caused by the offending food protein). You take a paper towel and try to wipe off a smear without a cleaning product, you've just smeared the peanut protein all over. A kid touches the table top, then his face there is a good chance for anaphylaxis.

A nut/peanut free lunch table mean exactly that. Kids there have anaphylaxis to nut and peanut products. I had to use a special cleaning solution to wipe down the tables to denature that protein, and clean it off the table (make it so the body doesn't recognize it as an allergen).

At my DD school, almost no one brings peanut/nut products to school. Not worth the hassle. Teachers can not bring their peanut/nut food into the school except the teacher's lounge. It can't go anywhere else in the school including the playground.

My DD 3rd grade class had a sub dig into a PBJ sandwich while the kids were doing something (craft?). Unfortunately peanut butter stinks and has a distinctive aroma. All hell broke loose. It did not help that specific class had a kid with a big list of food allergies and a mama bear. The principal dismissed the sub ( the principal took over the class the rest of the day), and the sub was banned from the district. I believe mama bear tried file a police report for assault. (?)

For the love of all things good and holy, if you work elementary/middle school, don't bring peanut/nut products in your lunch. It's not worth it. If you are a vegan, there is Sun Nut butter (sunflower butter). It's made in a nutfree/peanut free facilty. That's one product most parents with food allergy kids are okay with.

Someone will throw you under the bus with both hands if you bring peanut/nuts into a peanut/free room. Subs get harassed enough. With all the food allergy awareness out there, most people will not believe you really don't know what a peanut/nut free classroom really means. I believe you are sincere. You don't know. Find something else to bring. Is it fair? No, not really. But the amount of scorched Earth grief you'll get will so not be worth that PBJ sandwich.


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Old 10-21-2018, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
I just don't understand allergy free classrooms, or allergy free lunch tables.
Food allergies are serious business. I don't understand how people can't know that.

Sure, some allergies aren't serious at all. Others can kill people . . . quickly. It's not something you play around with.

I absolutely love peanut butter. I'd eat it every day. However, I don't love peanut butter enought that I'd risk someone else's life for it.

Find something else to take for lunch.
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Food allergies are serious business. I don't understand how people can't know that.
This!

I completely agree that a nut free room or school should be made clear to subs and visitors before they ever step ground in the setting. I completely agree with luv2teach! I would never bring peanuts or nuts into any school setting in this day and age, just because it's so common to have nut-free settings.

I love peanut butter, but not enough to potentially risk someone's life with it.
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And...
Old 10-21-2018, 02:14 PM
 
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It was a half day position. Our subs don't get s lunch break for a half day, it's only 3 1/2 hours. If it's a full day, you'd have to get a duty free lunch.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:24 PM
 
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Thank you Tawaki. I really did not understand how this could be a big deal until your post. I am just thankful that I have never had nut allergy. I did not know it was difficult to clean up or could be spread by surfaces.



Also thank you all for weighing in on this topic.



Now its time to figure out something else to bring for lunch.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:26 PM
 
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I'd just go outside the door and eat the sandwich. It would probably take 5 - 10 minutes, wash hands, go back in and relax.

Also, our afternoon half-days always include lunch, because they start at 11:30. That's one of the great things about them.


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Nut allergies
Old 10-21-2018, 02:53 PM
 
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Quote:
I just don't understand allergy free classrooms, or allergy free lunch tables.
I guess until you have to deal with something like this, you don't understand it. My son has an allergic reaction to peanuts. I was thankful that his school was willing to have a peanut free table for him and allowed his friends there after their lunch had been looked at. It took them one time of having to administer his Epi and an ambulance ride to the hospital to help make school a safer place for him and others that followed (he is now in his early 20's, but still has the allergy).

I hope you were able to make it away from the classroom to have your lunch, and it would have been nice to have advance warning about this situation, but you might just make sure that your lunch is placed in the lounge when it can be. Also, just know that even eating the PBJ and then going back into the classroom, the oils on your breath can make a severely allergic student have an episodic event.
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No nuts
Old 10-21-2018, 05:16 PM
 
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I have made it a habit of not taking anything for lunch that does have any nut. Our distict does served sunbutter sandwiches which are made from sunflower seeds. Problem solved.
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Allergies
Old 10-21-2018, 05:54 PM
 
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Allergies are serious business. Too bad for the inconvenience, a child’s life could be at stake. That’s the reason for nut free schools, classrooms, & lunch tables.

In our buildings, signs are posted on the main entrance at the lower levels (children may be too young to self regulate, so the whole building is free of nut products).

At my second grade level, I had at least one kid with peanut/tree nut allergies every year for five years. I had signs and special hand wipes outside my door and this message in my notes:

We are a peanut and tree nut free classroom due to _____’s allergy needs. Please do NOT eat these products in my classroom at any time. If these products are part of your lunch, please only eat them in the lounge. Please wash your hands thoroughly and completely dispose of materials. Thank you for understanding and helping to avoid a potentially life threatening situation.

I also included signs and symptoms and what to do in the event of a reaction. It was the best I could do when I was gone. It was in bold and highlighted. If a child’s basic need offends to such a degree, I don’t need them to come back.
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Not just nuts!
Old 10-22-2018, 01:02 AM
 
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Most schools in our area are "allergy free" based on common allergies. Another "touch" allergy is latex. Additional food allergies are gluten and lactose.

I once had a kid "freak out" because a kid sitting next to him touched his desk after eating a cracker that was not gluten free. Personally, I think that was over the top, but one school in our area did have a kid who was extremely allergic to latex.

We need to develop sensitivity to these issues.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:53 AM
 
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Easy solution.... go down to the cafeteria and say "I'm an idiot and left my lunch on my kitchen counter [if you don't want to admit that you brought peanut butter], could I buy something to tide me over?" Done.

Honestly, I cannot believe you never realized how serious allergies could be, especially peanuts. Really?
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:35 AM
 
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I would get in the habit of making nut-free lunches always. If a school isn't completely nut-free, it probably will be in the future. Then, you don't even have to worry about it!
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I have a cousin
Old 10-22-2018, 09:28 AM
 
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who has a peanut allergy that was serious enough in his younger years the whole elementary was nut free. He could have a fatal reaction if someone ate a peanut butter sandwich in another room and came in and breathed near him. He had a couple close calls before then.

At first, he and a lunch buddy sat at a special table in the hall by the cafeteria eating lunches from home. Then the elem went to a no nut policy.

Now that he is older, his symptoms are not fatal but everyone watches out for him.

I have also taught at a school where the whole school PK-12th was nut free.
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Happened to me
Old 10-22-2018, 04:57 PM
 
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All of the 6th grade classrooms are not free. So is the cafeteria during 6th grade lunch. I brought peanut butter and crackers for lunch. Just had the crackers. There is one student who is deathly allergic and a couple of others who can get very sick. So... I make sure that I don't have peanut butter at the middle school. It's common sense. Better that I am hungry than a child vet deathly ill.
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Old 10-24-2018, 07:26 PM
 
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I understand the difficulty.

I tried vegetarianism for a time and combined with my allergies to dairy and soy and several types of seed (including sunflower seeds) it pretty much only left me with almond butter sandwiches and other tree nuts in a salad so I HAD to have the almond butter sandwich. I was thankful for my duty free lunch.

I actually ended up dumping vegetarianism for this very reason. I guess its a good thing that I wasn't vegetarian for religious reasons or this wouldnt have been workable situation

I had a severely celiac preschooler years ago-we had to give up playdough and several of our paints because the kids celiacs was bad and its hard to make sure 3-4 year olds never put their hands in their mouth.

Hopefully teachers will flag it in their AESOP from here on so you dont get surprises in the future.
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:43 PM
 
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Tawaki, you explained it well. Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:48 PM
 
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Some nuts have residue or powder on them that can still affect persons with allergies.
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:25 AM
 
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I have 3 food allergies. None of them are immediately life threatening. But it will make me sick and unable to preform my job. Even if students don't have life threatening allergies, they should be provided an environment where they are at their best.
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My 8 year old grandgirl has a peanut allergy
Old 10-26-2018, 01:38 PM
 
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As well as tree nuts.
We are vigilant while sheís with us at our house or when we babysit. Our daughter loved peanut butter but now itís only sun butter...
Peanuts are in or made alongside so many things that it can be hard.

Earlier this year a high school girl passed away from mistakenly eating a chips ahoy that was the same color package as the kind her family had known was okay. Epi pens donít always save everyone .... Telling my daughter about that and encouraging her to continue to be vigilant about things and package colors and this young high schooler just made her cry...

Yep- itís inconvenient but until youíre around it, you have no idea.
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:54 PM
 
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I've wondered about this quite a bit. At my school we have a list that gets published by the nurse and it tells us which students have what allergies. All teachers get trained on how to administer an epi pen shot.. and receive refresher education for the teachers who have cafeteria duty. The only other thing we do is place a little note on their student profile in our attendance management system, that lists the allergy or any other health concerns.

All that being said, we don't have peanut free classes. Also, we give students candy and granola bars with nuts in them. Like I've seen reese's given out as prizes to students.

I don't give out candy but I have seen it done. I love peanut butter as well.. I actually have an uncrustable sitting here ready to be eaten right now.
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:35 PM
 
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We've been nut-free for years. I buy these sunbutter "uncrustables" at my local grocery for a fast-packing school lunch. Tastes like the real thing. They do cost more, but it's totally worth it.

https://www.amazon.com/SunButter-Gra.../dp/B01NBN1RUG
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:36 AM
 
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Oh wow, that's crazy. I have never known that even touching simple peanut butter can cause someone to be THAT allergic. I thought it was only through ingestion, but I suppose eating a PB&J in the faculty or outside the school is acceptable.
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ar719 compelling post
Old 11-03-2018, 03:44 PM
 
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I appreciate your post, ar719. Even though I have a biology degree and have a lot of $3 words (as does the other poster, though I don't use them as much), I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't really consider this to be a problem in the high school, or even the middle school. I am horrified and terribly saddened to hear that a high school student died because of this. I am certainly more aware of the issue and it is certainly more in the forefront of my brain now that this thread has been posted. Before somebody tries to ream me about this, I'm not the only one in the high school arena that is like this, *trust me.* I learn a lot in this forum.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:21 PM
 
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I subbed last week in a high school where they posted signs:

"This is a peanut and tree nut free zone"


Nut allergies are a real thing and serious
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