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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
At my son's school each class has two lunch bins. In the morning the kids all put their lunches in them. At lunch time they are carried to the lunchroom and the kids take out their lunches and return the lunch bags after they finish eating.

Last week I went searching for two lunch bags and a hot thermos. The bottom of the lunch bins was full of bags. I took one out as it looked similar to what my son's thermos was in. I nearly passed out from the stench. It was BLACK with mold. Bring a healthy lunch to school and sit it in garbage for half the day.

My two older kids are allergic to penicillin and one of them it is a definite mold allergy. I am not happy.

I sent a note to school asking her for permission to come in early one day and clean the bins. Hopefully that will take care of this year (I'm willing to do this on a regular basis). But, I think I need to deal with this throughout the entire school.

Why isn't this SOMEONE'S job?

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
Schools are not clean places. There is not enough custodian time given to most schools in my area. In the classrooms I have worked in I have had to dust, clean counters and clean sinks. The sink in my classroom last year was never cleaned by the custodian. In daycares, the toys are cleaned regularly. In my kindergarten class last year, they were never cleaned. I never had time. Unless there are volunteers some things will not get done. Most other public buildings or private offices would never be as dirty as schools are. Sure the floors are usually clean and the bathrooms. But the classrooms are very dusty and dirty. The custodians do not have enough time to do everything.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I echo katec's post. There are too few custodians and their responsibilities lie more in building maintenance. In my classroom, I clean tables and furniture and can get to the toys twice a year. I would be thrilled to have some parents volunteer to help clean my class!

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Last week, I also learned about how "unclean" my daughter's school is. A parent group has just been formed within the school community to deal with anaphylactic children, and it was there that I learned about the extremely dirty rags that are used to clean ALL the desks. A couple of the parents at the meeting indicated that they will, on occasion, throw out the rags so the custodian must replace them. I've thought about this issue many times since learning about it. I'm sure this is prevalent in most schools and is a reality we must face and make decisions regarding our childrens health - particularly those dealing with allergies. Whether we decide to take it upon ourselves to go in and regularly clean these areas ourselves, or bring our child(ren) home for lunch, I do believe we have to step in to cover the areas where there is unsufficient time, or money, or staff, or the knowledge to deal with these areas of concern.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Georgia
AnnaMarie wrote:
At my son's school each class has two lunch bins...

Last week I went searching for two lunch bags and a hot thermos. The bottom of the lunch bins was full of bags. I took one out as it looked similar to what my son's thermos was in. I nearly passed out from the stench. It was BLACK with mold. Bring a healthy lunch to school and sit it in garbage for half the day....

I sent a note to school asking her for permission to come in early one day and clean the bins. Hopefully that will take care of this year (I'm willing to do this on a regular basis). But, I think I need to deal with this throughout the entire school.

Why isn't this SOMEONE'S job?


Kudos to you, AnnaMarie, for taking this on! :D

And yes, it should be someone else's job. Yuck. :evil:

Is this one of the storage bins like you would use in a garage or attic? I saw some on sale at WalMart or Target last week. Hope you don't have a mold allergy!

Good luck,
Daisy


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I agree with Julie but this is such a learning curve.
Do I write the principal a letter asking her to detail the cleaning contract so that I can determine where it is insufficient and provide alternatives? Gee, that sounds so negative.
How does one politely request the other party point out their faults when they probably don't think they have any?
When I get the answer to this, I will also right a book on relationships! :roll:

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
This thread is very helpful, so thanks everyone. I have to have a follow-up meeting with the school about my youngest (basically a "how's it going? any issues?" meeting) and I will ask about what is used to clean the desks.

The teacher is actually a bit concerned about the state of my youngest after lunches - she finds that he rubs his eyes (they're itchy) a lot after lunch. I would like to know what might be causing this... odds are it's the prevalence of his allergens in the classroom but it would be good to know what's happening on the cleaning front as well. So good food for thought for me.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in this. I didn't even mean to sound like I'm blaming the teacher or the custodian. I don't care WHO does it, but it should be required that SOMEONE cleans it. If they want to pay me I'll do them for the entire school. :D

The teacher said my suggestion of how/when to clean them is fine -- and she said thank you.

Daisy, the bins are like big plastic tubs with no lids. They have a handle on each side so that two students can carry each bin.

Susan, I would suggest talking (verbally) to the principal. I can imagine any principal would put in writing what is not cleaned properly. Talk to her about your specific concerns (e.g. desks, lunchtables, lunch bins). If she's open about that, you could ask (politely of course) if she/he feels there are any other areas that might be a risk to a child with allergies (or just germs, whatever). BUT, it seems to work best if you have suggestions to offer.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
In the class I work in, the kids take their lunches to the lunchroom in bins. I have never thought about it before reading this, but here is a suggestion for the teacher. The grade one teacher I work with has a "helping hands" program, each child has a paper hand with his/her name on it and at the beginning of each week they can volunteer to do certain jobs - cleaning the chalkbrushes, putting out the pencils each morning, tidying up the books, etc. All the kids love being helpful (give them a couple of years...they'll get over it :lol: ). One job could be making sure all the lunches go home with the right people and washing out the bin on Fridays.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Just a thought, but perhaps allergic children shouldn't "lump" their lunch bags with everybody else's in those bins, in case there is stuff leaking out or food traces on the bags themselves. It would make sense that they keep their lunch bag in their desk perhaps, or in their schoolbags.

But perhaps I'm stating the obvious. :)

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Apparently, the lunch bins are cleaned at the school *regularly*. But, I don't think that even means once a month, going by what I saw in there.

It did clean easily though, so I'm sure it has been cleaned this year.

If my child had food allergies, I wouldn't want him putting his lunch in a bin like that. But, honestly, his allergen shouldn't be in there anyway. :lol:

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
Karen,
Look at the type of soap used in the classroom. If your little guy is washing before or after eating the soap might be an irritant also.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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