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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:02 am
Posts: 2
Okay, Hi all. I am new here and I come with a problem.
My daughter just started Kindergarten this week. She has many allergies, including Peanut, Egg, and Latex. Her school has been very receptive to keeping her safe, including having a peanut free table at lunch and a peanut-free classroom. This, of coarse, does not cover all of her allergies, but it does meet the needs of the other kids in her class with allergies.

My problem comes at recess. The last 2 days my daughter has reported that at recess, she isn't able to play with any other kids except for the "Peanut Kids" or "Allergy kids." I have asked her to explain, and each time she explains, it appears that the 5 kids in Kindergarten with allergies are not allowed to play with other children at recess, because of the possiblity of contact with peanuts and other allergens. Once they return into their classrooms, they wash their hands.

I know the school is doing their best to keep the kids safe, but no way did I ask to have her feel like an oddball. I told my daughter that I would wait a few days to see if anything changed, but this is just eating me up. She said she and the other 4 kids just stood around watching the others play duck duck goose. (I tried to encourage her to play DDG with the other 4, but she said they didnt have a circle to sit on- whatever that means!)

We are in New Jersey. I plan on approaching her teacher (who happens to be a mother of a girl with peanut allergies!)

Any suggestions on what to say? What would you do? Let it go or what? Am I being to sensitive?

Thanks!
Karen- no allergies
Daughter- egg, peanut, latex, cabbage, coconut, kiwi, avocado, shellfish, latex, banana, with Asthma and seasonal allergies
Son- Milk allergy


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
I don't think you are being too sensitive at all. If the children are being asked to wash their hands before returning to class, why not instead have them wash their hands after eating lunch? This way the allergen is less likely to spread onto door handles and stair railings.
I would speak to the teacher to see what the routine is (Is this just the childrens perception?). I would then discuss the practice with the princpal to see if a policy could be implemented to reduce the risk of exposure while still allowing the children to interact with the other students.
This practice socially isolates the children and that sets them up to be potential victims of bullying. Children learn a lot at school both in and out of the classroom and these children are not learning anything positive here.
You may want to point out that your child is just entering the school system and that you want school to be a positive experience for her.
According to this article:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/65690.php

A new law was signd in in March of this year.
Quote:
...that calls on the New Jersey Department of Education to create food allergy management guidelines for schools, and calls on school districts to develop food allergy policies based on the Department of Education guidance.

also
Quote:
The Food Allergy Initiative's (FAI) year-long work on this legislation and its partnership with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Coalition of New Jersey (FAACNJ), a group of parents with food allergic children, has led the way for the passage of P.L.2007, c.57.

You may wish to contact the groups mentioned in the aticle to see if they can help you with this matter.
Good luck and let us know how yo make out.

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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: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I don't think you're being too sensitive at all either. How terrible for these children to be isolated from the other kids. Do we only allow our children to play with others who have their very same allergies when outside of the school environment -- no. My son wouldn't have any opportunity to socialize with other kids (outside of his one PA friend). This is not realistic or healthy at all. Our children need to learn how to live in a world that contains their allergens -- taking appropriate precautions, yes, but not isolated from the rest of the world. This really sets them up for being viewed as "different" and to being bullied. I think the administration has lost focus on the fact that we're dealing with human beings here and perhaps are more concerned with liability and protecting these kids at all costs. This is not a good introduction to school for these kids and I think your daughter has talked to you about it because it bothers her too (as it would most kids).
If they are concerned about the transfer of allergens, how about implementing a rule that says there is no food allowed on the playground. My son's school has this rule because of allergies but also because of the cleanliness issue - they don't want litter strewn around the playground. I'd also try doing as Susan suggested and request that all children wash their hands after eating.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Ohio
0oh poor kid

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Karen in Ohio mom of 7
Allergic to tons and tons of food as well as perfumes, scented air sprays and cleaners. Hubby to Fish, ds #2 Shellfish, youngest to Eggplant, potato, Caesin, Raw Tomato & spinach.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
First, I have a question. Are you concerned that your child could have a serious reaction due to touching the hand or toy of a child that has eaten your child's allergen?

If yes -- Suggest that the school have students wash their hands after eating. That would lower the risk. (I would say it would eliminate the risk, but some kids may get out without washing, or may not wash well. I'm just trying to be realistic.)

If no -- Tell the school that to lower the risk, they need to either have all the children wash after eating, or ban peanut products from the school. (That wouldn't help with your child's other allergens though.)

You are not being too sensitive. Socialization is one of the most important things children learn in kindergarten. And, schools CAN teach positively rather than negatively. I was in the school yard one day and my son was quite upset because the teacher kept telling him he wasn't allowed on the grass and sending him up to the pavement. He couldn't understand why. I went and asked the teacher why, and she explained that there is one student in the school with an allergy to insects and so no children wearing sandals were allowed on the grass due to the higher risk of insect bites/stings on bare feet. Well, wasn't I shocked at that answer! My son is the one with the allergies -- and I never thought of that risk. But, my point is, the school made a rule for all the children, to protect just one. This particular rule does protect all of them from a minor risk, but it was done to protect one particular child. Washing hands is comparable. Very important to protect the allergic child -- but beneficial to all children. (Food residue on hands can attract insects.)

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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: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
Can the school have children who ate pb wash hands after lunch?

I think if you point out how this policy might affect the children socially they should change. That is certainly something to speak up about. Best wishes making change!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Quote:
The last 2 days my daughter has reported that at recess, she isn't able to play with any other kids except for the "Peanut Kids" or "Allergy kids." I have asked her to explain, and each time she explains, it appears that the 5 kids in Kindergarten with allergies are not allowed to play with other children at recess, because of the possiblity of contact with peanuts and other allergens. Once they return into their classrooms, they wash their hands.


Are the other kids eating during recess??? I know at at least one of our local schools kids hit the playground and pull snacks out of their pockets. If that's the case with you, maybe it could be approached from a safety angle (kids shouldn't be eating and running around on playground for choking hazard reasons).

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:02 am
Posts: 2
Thank you all for your imput and suggestions. Since the children DO NOT eat at the playground, then washing hands first before playing would make the most sense. I am going to contact her teacher on Monday. I think she will be the most receptive to me. I believe it is the school nurse who has brought about this recess "policy".

Thanks again!!
Karen


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Please let us know how it goes. Good luck.

_________________
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 Oct 01, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
Started a new school this year - I really wasn't too comfortable with the preparedness at the other - good thing I could "switch". The teacher contacted me the week before school as she noted the allergies. I gave her the posters I made, she carefully questioned me on all aspects of his allergies (even those I wasn't sure about). Noting that the symptoms of anaphylaxis (early stages) could in varying degrees can really represent simply a sick or upset child - pale, listless, tummyache, splotchy, weepy, crying, short of breath in some cases. I actually had to reassure the teacher that that type of situation was ok, and if she would prefer, not to wait, give him the shot, call ambulance, then call me. Wow, usually teachers are just scared about the whole thing. She also notified me last week that the kiddies were going on a field trip to an orchard and asked if I could take a day off work and go along as it would place my wee guy in a position where bees are active (even though we are not sure he's really allergic - hasn't been bitten). So I'm off to an apple orchard this week with a bunch of 6 yr olds. Good thing I didn't use up all my vacation days! :lol: The teachers at this school have even introduced my wee man to other allergic children!

Cheers,
Diane - mom of 4 boys 3 with no allergies, youngest age 6 - PA, eggs, environmental, asthma


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