You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:20 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:25 pm
Posts: 30
Location: toronto
Hello,

My son will be attending preschool this year. The school says that they are nut free which means that they don't allow kids to bring food with nuts for lunch and before serving a snack to the kids, they read the labels.....snacks are not strictly from nut free facilities like dare. What should we hope for and push for in school in terms of being nut free

_________________
allergic son 3 years old-nuts and peanuts and athsma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:23 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6468
Location: Ottawa
Hello Susan,
You are fortunate to living in Ontario where we have legislation to protect our children. Familiarize yourself with Bill 3 (aka Sabrina's Law), you will be quoting from it periodically when dealing with the school and school board.
The schools must take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to allergens. It sounds as though they are attempting to do this with the lunches but not so much at snacktime. Our school implemented a rule of just fruits or vegetables for snack time. Could you suggest something like that?

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Are the snacks provided by the preschool or does each parent send in for their own child?

If they are providing, it needs to be completely peanut free -- meaning no trace amounts.

If each parent sends in a snack for their own child, then I think it's unreasonable to expect every parent to shop only from peanut free facilities. It's not just about reading labels but also about understanding them. No warning does not mean it doesn't contain trace amounts because the law does not require a *may contain* warning.

The school does need a *no share* policy. And that policy should be for all students -- not just singling out a few with food allergies or religious diets. I would also suggest washing hands after eating as well as before.

At your son's age, I wouldn't expect him to be responsible for his own safety. But, it is time to start teaching him. I'm sure in some things you have -- but now preschool will help prepare him for school. One of the things he needs to learn is not to eat what someone else brings in. The preschool needs to take the responsibility to make sure he doesn't -- and one of the easiest ways is to make it a rule for all the children. This is a rule at my son's school. Even up to grade 5 they are not allowed to share food at lunch.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
This website has great guidelines for what to ask for:

www.allergysafecommunities.ca

Is the snack one that parents take turns bringing for the whole class to share? It was that way for my sons in preschool and kindergarten, and we found it problematic. Even with the nut free designation, there are still dangers with eating food provided by someone else, for example a fruit or veggie platter can be cross contaminated if prepared on a counter with peanut residue on it. We ended up providing the teacher with a "safe list" of packaged foods that our sons could share (with the label double-checked each time by the teacher), and then had a stash of safe snacks in the classroom for days when they couldn't share, because the snack brought in was homemade, or not from a manufacturer we trusted etc.

Good luck :) .

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:39 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2947
Location: Toronto
Couple of things to add:

- Make sure they know that it's really important to wash and rub the kids' hands dry after eating. Reduces any chance of residues inadvertently allowed into class.

- Ask whether substitute teachers or other staff who may occasionally supervise have been trained on the auto-injector and the allergy rules. (When kids get older, same applies for bus drivers, coaches.)

- Good advice from AM over not insisting on may contains.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:25 pm
Posts: 30
Location: toronto
Thanks for your responses

The 'preschool provides a snack to the kids who range in age from 3-5. Previously, they provided snacks like crackers, cheese, jam...and as long as the label didn't mention nuts or trace, they felt it was ok. After speaking to them about the inadequacies of labeling ie that you don't have to label for trace, they agreed to buy from a list of snacks I am comfortable with. I am happy about that but unfortunately they feel too limited by only buying things labelled as nut free such as dare and have asked me for a list that includes safe jam, bread, crackers, cream cheese so that the kids have variety and so that they can buy in bulk. I can't give them a list of those foods so that it says nut free facility on the packaging and I'm doubting my ability to find stuff I am comfortable with by calling companies etc.... Are they required by law to only serve stuff like dare???? I don't think so.

Parents pack lunches for their own children and are asked to ensure nuts aren't included but obviously, the door is open for cross contamination on that front.

any suggestions re above????

_________________
allergic son 3 years old-nuts and peanuts and athsma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
What about providing his own snack -- it's not too early to start teaching him that he only eats food that mom and dad send for him from home. I like keeping rules real simple for my son. I think until they are old enough to read labels and understand which companies label consistently for their allergens, etc., it's good to leave little room for interpretation. Even for unexpected parent-donated food items that are labelled "peanut-free" that might make their way to my son, I've told him that he needs to bring any food given to him (which really shouldn't be anything as per my instructions) home so that mom and dad can review the items before he eats.

As far as cross-contam. issues with snack and lunch. I'd request that your son is directed to wash his hands before eating and that his classmates at a minimum wash after eating. A "no-sharing" rule should be implemented, tables should be washed down after eating snacks and lunches. Make sure that your son is not requested to participate in any garbage collection duties. I don't think child care centres are required to serve "peanut-free" food items -- but they are required to do everything they can to reduce the risk for your son.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:25 pm
Posts: 30
Location: toronto
thanks ethansmom. Does your son bring his own snacks?

_________________
allergic son 3 years old-nuts and peanuts and athsma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:01 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6468
Location: Ottawa
Oh, good point ethansmom!
We have always sent all of our daughters' food ever since she started with daycare.
I don't really trust others to read the label everytime they buy something.
It gets confusing when you say don't accept food from anyone except X, Y and Z. One simple rule is easier to follow.
Another option is for the school to give you the funds and then you can purchase the snacks that they dole out to all of the children.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Yes, he's just started JK this fall and we send food for a morning and afternoon snack along with his lunch.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Personally, I would prefer to send snacks for my own son if he had food allergies.

However, if you prefer that he be able to safely eat what is provided by the school, check www.darefoods.com . There are a lot of crackers made by Dare -- I clicked on a few and they list ingredients, they list may contains, and all the ones I looked at said "Baked in a nut free/peanut free facility".

As for every label requiring a *nut free facility* labelling -- that's not going to happen in our lifetime. As an example -- an apple does not have a *nut free facility* label on it. And, I don't think any cheeses do either. The best you can do is research companies and find out what their labelling is. When you find companies that tell you they put a *may contain* warning when there's risk you know you can buy the products without that warning. Some companies can tell you they don't use peanuts/nuts in any of their products -- but they don't put that on the label.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Vancouver, BC
Our twins' preschool is "peanut and nut free" and parents take turns sending in group snacks. When it's our turn, we send in snacks safe for everyone, and on other days, our kids bring their own snacks from home, plus they can share in the fruits and vegetables.

Here's a "funny" anecdote: On birthdays, parents tend to send in goody bags (not us), usually with candy in them. One day, the bags had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in them. :roll:

_________________
8 year old: dairy, seafood, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, cats, dust; asthma
4 year old: dairy, eggs, soy, peas, lentils, cats
4 year old: dairy, eggs


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
ahn wrote:
...plus they can share in the fruits and vegetables.

maybe I'm "over-the-top" but I'm still concerned about cross-contamination with cutting surfaces, eating and cutting utensils, even people's hands (those who prepare the food and also those eating)...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:25 pm
Posts: 30
Location: toronto
thanks for all your input. We are sending the little guy to school with his own snack in a special snack bag that he really likes. School is going well (he likes it)but he has mentioned that he wishes he could eat what the other kids are eating. He has also been acting out pretend scenes with his trains telling me that various trains are sick because they ate a nut.

Any tips on how to make him feel less different because he is bringing his own snack? Do kids typically just get used to it? Any tips on how to handle his comments?

_________________
allergic son 3 years old-nuts and peanuts and athsma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:11 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6468
Location: Ottawa
I'm glad that you've found a solution that seems to be working for you.

I think that it's great that he is able to verbalize his concerns through play. This makes it easier for you to know what is going on in his mind and can tailor conversations to meet his needs.

Being different is hard. Children want to fit in with their peers. Small children don't have great self control and want what they see and what they see, is what their peers have or what is shown on TV during the commercials.

We took our daughter to a family event held by the local food allergy support group when she was 3. Before that she had been in a family based daycare and had not known another child with food allergies. It opened her eyes to see that she is not alone.
Meeting adults who have had food allergies all of their lives and who are healthy and happy now lets her see that this is not something that will hold her back if she chooses to rise above it.

We encourage her to talk about her feelings. We encourage her to attend social activities but bring foods that she can eat. She knows that that is just the way it is.
I wear glasses, my brother uses either a cane or wheelchair. I pointed out a lady at the food court who tested blood sugar and then injected herself with insulin. I pointed out a man wearing shorts who had two artificial legs. Everyone has something that makes them different or that they have to overcome.

I help her come up with solutions so that she can have a sense of control over situations. I am trying to teach her the tools that she will need to live in this world. That, I feel, is my job as a mother.

I just hope that I can instill some of this before she becomes a teen and stops listening to me. :roll:

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group