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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 650
Location: AB, Canada
I just found out that one of the public schools in my area has gone peanut/tree nut free. Part of me wants to run and sign up, and the other part wonders just how helpful it actually is. I STILL wouldn't let DS eat ANYTHING that isn't from home. And I don't want him or the staff to have a false sense of security.

I've always assumed that some nuts would get into a nut ban (in a granola bar or whatever) and the grocery store cupcakes and may contains are still a total risk, and would certainly still be present.

What do you think?

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
The school my son went to banned peanuts. They did not read labels looking for *may contain*. Their concern was actual peanut residue being left on tables, door nobs, etc. The school rule was that food was not to be shared - but then on birthdays, people would bring in cupcakes for the whole class. :scratchy

This particular school, the ban did NOT lead to a false sense of security imo. The principal had previously had a student go in to anaphylactic shock in the school yard, and that led to her toughening up a lot of things -- the ban, insisting students carry their own epi-pens and leave an extra in the office, no sharing of lunches/snacks.

My complaint was that while they took pa very seriously, when I initially spoke to them about my son and they told me all they were doing to protect kids allergic to peanuts, I said that's great, and I'm sure I'd feel better about that if it was peanuts my son was allergic to. They didn't seem to comprehend that any other allergy could be dangerous. It didn't take long to get through to them though, and all the work they had done for pa kids meant I only needed to make a few minor requests for my son. All of which was agreed to quickly.

Oh, and most parents actually looked for things that had the peanut free symbol when sending in class treats.

~~

If you and your child are happy with the school he's at, I wouldn't rush to transfer him. At least talk to the principal before transferring to make sure it is safer and that you are otherwise happy with the school.

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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: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 807
Location: Vancouver, BC
I asked for a peanut/nut free school last year because you're right - people will occasionally forget, and yes, lots of may contains, and my DD still can't eat the vast majority of the stuff there. However, my thinking is that 'may contains' and the occasional overlooked peanut-y lunch is way less risky than peanut and nut lunches and snacks every day by lots of kids. In my request, I specifically said that 'may contains' are OK, because they are much less risky (my kid is not eating may contains) and so hard to avoid with the lack of regulations around precautionary statements.

My concerns are with hand to hand contact on tap handles, playground equipment, tables, etc if there is a lot of peanut butter around, and trying to get my daughter to never touch her face at school. Both kids had a contact reaction at a friend's place, which is why I am concerned about the possibility of contact reactions at school.

You're right that you don't want staff to have a false sense of security with the peanut ban, so make sure it's stressed to the principal and staff that there will be a couple of dads/grandmas making lunches (who don't normally make lunches and might not know about the policies) who might accidentally include nuts/peanuts and that some people have reacted on contact to may contains, so the threat of a reaction is still present even in a 'peanut free' school.

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DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6492
Location: Ottawa
When schools say "peanut ban" I hear "peanut reduction". As the previous posters have mentioned, bans remove most of the obvious peanuts but not all.

Dd's peanut free classroom has seen supply teachers hand out M&M peanuts.

I think that, with all the allergies the schools are facing, the staff are (or should be) on high alert. I would like to see more done to educate the school staff. It seems that every year we spend the first 6 months educating the teacher. :roll:

I find the students are great and really take pride in helping each other to stay safe (not just with allergies).
I would not make a change in schools due to peanut bans. I would rather look at improving the school your child is in. You may want to discuss with the principal what they and others are doing to reduce the risk of exposure to allergens and work together toward identifying and improving your school. The staff and students are allready familiar with your child and his speacial needs. Changing schools would mean starting over in this regard.

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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 Jun 22, 2010 10:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 650
Location: AB, Canada
Thanks for your replies, it turns out thte 'peanut free' school isn't (I was given the wrong info) and just has a peanut free small lunchroom. So there is not enough of an advantage in my mind. I will have to continue to work with what we have.

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6492
Location: Ottawa
I don't want my child isolated in a small classroom for lunch. Much is learned in school during these times of socialization.

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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: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 650
Location: AB, Canada
I agree. I will take him home for lunch, rather than suject him to improper supervision, or segregation.

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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