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Should peanut butter be banned in schools? - Page 2

post #21 of 87

This is an honest question and not meant to be provocative. What do the schools do when there is a severe case of another allergy? - the above-mentioned dairy allergy, shellfish, beestings. I have only heard of schools banning nuts, but not these other things. Maybe those allergies aren't as common as the ones to nuts?

post #22 of 87
Not everyone has the option to homeschool. Some people have to work in order to pay bills or provide health insurance for a child who definately needs it. The public school system is required to provide an education to ALL children, regardless of disabilities/medical problems. There is a program for severly disabled children, where one parent can apply to be a CNA for their own child and collect a paycheck. Most school systems also have a 'homebound' program where teachers will come out a couple of times a week to provide instruction to children who are not able to be in school. I've never heard of these programs being used for allergic children. It would be extremly expensive and a huge financial burden on the school system, and ultimately tax payers.

That being said, I think schools need to provide rules based on the children in attendance at the school. If the child is not 'touch allergic', than peanut butter may be ok as long as it is controlled. If there is a child with a life threatening nut allergy, than perhaps it should be banned either in the classroom or in the entire school.

I don't buy into the whole, 'you could touch peanuts at the playground, store, etc...). When I take my child to the park or store, I am very alert and aware of my environment in a way that a 4 year old could never be. When I drop her off at school, I don't have that kind of control. I have to trust that her teachers and school will keep her safe.

So far, my DD is not 'touch allergic' (luckily!). All of her schools have been very supportive. Her preschool does feed other kids peanut butter, but only after asking me first. DD always gets a peanut free snack. If her allergies were more severe (or progress) they were prepared to provide a 'peanut free' classroom.

So, do I expect 400 kids to 'modify their behavior' for the good of one? If medically necessary to protect someone's life, than yes, I do. Eat peanut butter at home. Bring hummus or something to school.
post #23 of 87

I agree with PP who have pointed out the world is not going to care or insulate your child. It just plain won't. My child has a limited amount of food she will eat she is picky I have tried really hard but most days it just isnt a hill I want to die on. She should get to eat peanut butter. If your childs allergy to anything is soooo severe that TRACE amounts will cause them close to immediate death I would suggest homeschooling or another alternative you may have to get creative about finances and sacrifice. Hey no one said everything was fair in parenting either. Before you flame me for not "understanding" I have a severe LATEX allergy. I could stop breathing when a small child runs in to me at the mall with that nifty balloon animal you just got him but werent supervising him with. Do I blame the kid, the clown that made it, the world for having so much damn stuff made out of latex??? NO its my allergy and I do what I need to do to protect myself. My daughter even plays with balloons at her fathers house (just washes her hands before she comes in contact with me). The thing I am pointing out from an early age your child has to be their own best advocate and teaching them that they are a special snowflake and the world should change for them is just not a realistic expectation. Sorry

post #24 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrj85 View Post

I agree with PP who have pointed out the world is not going to care or insulate your child. It just plain won't. My child has a limited amount of food she will eat she is picky I have tried really hard but most days it just isnt a hill I want to die on. She should get to eat peanut butter. If your childs allergy to anything is soooo severe that TRACE amounts will cause them close to immediate death I would suggest homeschooling or another alternative you may have to get creative about finances and sacrifice. Hey no one said everything was fair in parenting either. Before you flame me for not "understanding" I have a severe LATEX allergy. I could stop breathing when a small child runs in to me at the mall with that nifty balloon animal you just got him but werent supervising him with. Do I blame the kid, the clown that made it, the world for having so much damn stuff made out of latex??? NO its my allergy and I do what I need to do to protect myself. My daughter even plays with balloons at her fathers house (just washes her hands before she comes in contact with me). The thing I am pointing out from an early age your child has to be their own best advocate and teaching them that they are a special snowflake and the world should change for them is just not a realistic expectation. Sorry


 



I don't think the 'world' should have to change for a child. I do, however, expect public school to provide a reasonably safe environent for a small child. If a child has a life-threatening allergy, I would expect schools to act accordingly. Of course parents should teach their kids to be their own advocate. Most allergic kids are well aware of their allergies and what they need to avoid. Like I said before though, a small child may not have the cognitive ability (or even the ability to read) to determine what ingrediants are in food items, or which friends they shouldn't sit next to today, because of their lunch contents.

My kids are picky eaters, too. Its great that I can give my older kid a PB&J, but it really sucks to have to find alternatives for my LO. So far, she seems to like Nutella. smile.gif

Another thing to consider, some children who have a mild allergy can become more severe with repeated exposure. These kinds of allergies can be unpredictable and very difficult to manage.

For some people, there is no amount of creative financing/sacrafice that would allow for homeschooling. Its pretty hard to homeschool your kid if you are homeless. greensad.gif
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

Not everyone has the option to homeschool. Some people have to work in order to pay bills or provide health insurance for a child who definately needs it. The public school system is required to provide an education to ALL children, regardless of disabilities/medical problems. There is a program for severly disabled children, where one parent can apply to be a CNA for their own child and collect a paycheck. Most school systems also have a 'homebound' program where teachers will come out a couple of times a week to provide instruction to children who are not able to be in school. I've never heard of these programs being used for allergic children. It would be extremly expensive and a huge financial burden on the school system, and ultimately tax payers.

That being said, I think schools need to provide rules based on the children in attendance at the school. If the child is not 'touch allergic', than peanut butter may be ok as long as it is controlled. If there is a child with a life threatening nut allergy, than perhaps it should be banned either in the classroom or in the entire school.

I don't buy into the whole, 'you could touch peanuts at the playground, store, etc...). When I take my child to the park or store, I am very alert and aware of my environment in a way that a 4 year old could never be. When I drop her off at school, I don't have that kind of control. I have to trust that her teachers and school will keep her safe.

So far, my DD is not 'touch allergic' (luckily!). All of her schools have been very supportive. Her preschool does feed other kids peanut butter, but only after asking me first. DD always gets a peanut free snack. If her allergies were more severe (or progress) they were prepared to provide a 'peanut free' classroom.

So, do I expect 400 kids to 'modify their behavior' for the good of one? If medically necessary to protect someone's life, than yes, I do. Eat peanut butter at home. Bring hummus or something to school.

So when you go to the park do you wipe down the whole thing with clorox wipes or what? Do you stop every child at the park to find out what they had at lunch that day and if they washed their hands? Not being snarky, I'm honestly curious.

post #26 of 87
My child is not 'touch allergic'. We have peanut butter in our house and at the kids' schools. Little DD does not eat it, and I make sure she doesn't eat anything that contains peanuts. If she was 'touch allergic', we would hopefully have a better relationship with a local allergist and I would be investigating treatments (peanut challenge type stuff). Right now, this isnt' an issue with us. If it becomes an issue, I would asses each situation, and determine the risk/safety index. I would also carry an epi-pen at all times (I already carry inhalers). For severe allergies, maybe skipping the park would be appropriate for a while. I don't know, we're not there yet. At the same time, I would expect the parent/child to be just as concerned with keeping kid safe. This may mean teaching the child to be alert for dangerous food items and taking child to an allergist. I would expect schools to work with me to keep my child safe when I'm not there. The parameters of 'keeping child safe' would and should depend on the individual child's situation. It may mean banning peanut butter from my kid's room for a while (kids eat lunch in the classroom at DD's school) and keeping an epi-pen in the nurse's office. Each kid with health problems at older DD's school has a plan put in place by the school nurse and parents that describes what their child needs and how treatment will be administered. Some kids self-carry epi-pens and inhalers. Some leave them in the office. I'm hoping for some combination of those options when younger DD starts kindergarten next fall.

Its hard to control a whole classroom full of young children. I had one of my girl scouts accidently smear paint in another one's hair last week. Had that been peanut butter with an extremely allergic kid, the results could have been disasterous. I would hate for the non-allergic kid to go through life thinking they were responsible for the death of another child when it could be easily avoided.

Anyway, I am not an advocate of banning peanut butter at all schools. I think it should possibly be banned/limited based on individual kids attending each school. No major peanut allergies=no problem. Peanut allergies=appropriate plan put in place by school officials and parents. smile.gif
post #27 of 87
Quote:

I don't think the 'world' should have to change for a child. I do, however, expect public school to provide a reasonably safe environent for a small child. If a child has a life-threatening allergy, I would expect schools to act accordingly. Of course parents should teach their kids to be their own advocate. Most allergic kids are well aware of their allergies and what they need to avoid. Like I said before though, a small child may not have the cognitive ability (or even the ability to read) to determine what ingrediants are in food items, or which friends they shouldn't sit next to today, because of their lunch contents.

My kids are picky eaters, too. Its great that I can give my older kid a PB&J, but it really sucks to have to find alternatives for my LO. So far, she seems to like Nutella. smile.gif

Another thing to consider, some children who have a mild allergy can become more severe with repeated exposure. These kinds of allergies can be unpredictable and very difficult to manage.

For some people, there is no amount of creative financing/sacrafice that would allow for homeschooling. Its pretty hard to homeschool your kid if you are homeless. greensad.gif

Public schools are reasonably safe... I think what we are missing here is the definition of reasonably. I am aware of sensitizing allergens as I said I have one to Latex each exposure is a little worse it sucks it can be limiting. However as PP have pointed out what if they had peanut butter on toast that morning BEFORE school and touch tables chairs backpacks and god knows what else your child will come in contact with? If the allergy is THAT severe then there is NO reasonable things the school can do. If your child's allergy is peanuts another childs is latex another childs is milk and anothers is something else dietary you have effectively eliminated a WHOLE lot of options. The problem is with YOUR kid not everyone else it makes more fiscal sense, not to mention common sense that the collective not be changed for ONE person. I understand how its unfair when that is your child and yes if you are homeless it would be hard to homeschool but I doubt very much the shelter you are in is peanut free dairy free gluten free ect. So it would seem to me there may be bigger issues.

post #28 of 87
I think it would be very rare to have a bunch of kids with severe, life-threatening allergies all in the same class. Like I said before, if a child qualifies (IDK, maybe a child with severe life-threatening touch allergies to A LOT of different things), they may qualify for a homebound schooling program through the school district, and the parent may be able to apply to be a qualified care taker for child. I don't think this is necessary for a child with one allergy to one specific thing.

I have heard of schools requiring kids to wash their hands before entering classrooms (my kids' schools don't do this though). This might be a reasonable accomadation for a severly allergic kid.

I stand by my recommendation of having the parents/school communicate and come up with a plan that is appropriate for the child. There are SEVERAL kids in DD's grade in public school that are allergic to peanuts and other foods. The parents/school officials have determined that it is not necessary to ban peanut butter. If they did make this recommendation, I would respect it, because I trust the school to make the best decisions for all of the kids. I'm guessing most schools operate this way. It would be wrong to ban a food group because one kid has non life-threatening allergy. However, if parents requested that it be banned due to a severe documented allergy (i.e., kid stopped breathing in the past after dust exposure), I would hope that the school would do its best to protect this kid.

BTW, the Americans with Disabilities act requires schools and businesses to make accomadations for people all the time. Wheelchair ramps aren't exactly cheap, and probably aren't in the best interest of the majority of mobile people.
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

I think it would be very rare to have a bunch of kids with severe, life-threatening allergies all in the same class. Like I said before, if a child qualifies (IDK, maybe a child with severe life-threatening touch allergies to A LOT of different things), they may qualify for a homebound schooling program through the school district, and the parent may be able to apply to be a qualified care taker for child. I don't think this is necessary for a child with one allergy to one specific thing.

I have heard of schools requiring kids to wash their hands before entering classrooms (my kids' schools don't do this though). This might be a reasonable accomadation for a severly allergic kid.

I stand by my recommendation of having the parents/school communicate and come up with a plan that is appropriate for the child. There are SEVERAL kids in DD's grade in public school that are allergic to peanuts and other foods. The parents/school officials have determined that it is not necessary to ban peanut butter. If they did make this recommendation, I would respect it, because I trust the school to make the best decisions for all of the kids. I'm guessing most schools operate this way. It would be wrong to ban a food group because one kid has non life-threatening allergy. However, if parents requested that it be banned due to a severe documented allergy (i.e., kid stopped breathing in the past after dust exposure), I would hope that the school would do its best to protect this kid.

BTW, the Americans with Disabilities act requires schools and businesses to make accomadations for people all the time. Wheelchair ramps aren't exactly cheap, and probably aren't in the best interest of the majority of mobile people.


I believe the language is "reasonable accommodation" for instance if someone that is blind wanted to be a server in a restaurant and expected all furniture in the restaurant to stay EXACTLY the same and provide braille menus as well allow the seeing eye dog in to the kitchen as well as provide someone to carry the servers trays to the table this would for instance not be an example of a business being able to reasonably accommodate that person. My examples of the many allergies pertain the school as a whole one child in class A is allergic substance 1 and child in class B is allergic to substance 2 now substances 1 and 2 are banned from the school. I agree with reasonable accommodations of course however I think school wide bans are not reasonable. Especially when there are people like my ex who ran out of sunbutter and sent out daughter to school with a peanut butter sandwich several times. I am not advocating what he did by any means but you are expecting that all parents CARE about your CHILD which just isnt logical some parents dont even care about their own children

post #30 of 87
Quote:
My child has a limited amount of food she will eat she is picky I have tried really hard but most days it just isnt a hill I want to die on. She should get to eat peanut butter.
So why don't you bring your child home for lunch? If she really will only eat PB. Or she could have her peanut butter for breakfast & supper.

People get so caught up in the no nuts at school rule, it reminds me of the smoking in public debate.

Yes, you can run into PB in the park, the difference is that my child does not go to the park alone. If other kids are having snacks I'm on alert. I've asked family members to wash their hands after eating PB.
No you can't avoid it, it's about calculated risks. I'm not convinced that an outright ban is needed, however, I think it makes it easier for the youngest kids & for the teachers.
It would be hard for one teacher to check every lunch & make sure sharing did not occur, etc. class sizes are 20-30 here with only one teacher. If there's only one peanut allergy child, lunch times would be sad & lonely if confined to a PB table alone.
My son will carry his epi-pen, he knows what it is for. Myself & the teacher will ensure he has it. It's not that difficult with the little epi-pen specific fanny packs - also I know there are extra epi-pens in the office just in case.
My son developed hives after being kissed on the cheek by his dad. His Dad had PB for breakfast, rinsed his face & 10 min later kissed our son. And he has a mild allergy. With PB it can be mild one time but fatal the next. Needless to say, we have a no PB policy in our house.
post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoreen View Post


So why don't you bring your child home for lunch? If she really will only eat PB. Or she could have her peanut butter for breakfast & supper.

People get so caught up in the no nuts at school rule, it reminds me of the smoking in public debate.

Yes, you can run into PB in the park, the difference is that my child does not go to the park alone. If other kids are having snacks I'm on alert. I've asked family members to wash their hands after eating PB.
No you can't avoid it, it's about calculated risks. I'm not convinced that an outright ban is needed, however, I think it makes it easier for the youngest kids & for the teachers.
It would be hard for one teacher to check every lunch & make sure sharing did not occur, etc. class sizes are 20-30 here with only one teacher. If there's only one peanut allergy child, lunch times would be sad & lonely if confined to a PB table alone.
My son will carry his epi-pen, he knows what it is for. Myself & the teacher will ensure he has it. It's not that difficult with the little epi-pen specific fanny packs - also I know there are extra epi-pens in the office just in case.
My son developed hives after being kissed on the cheek by his dad. His Dad had PB for breakfast, rinsed his face & 10 min later kissed our son. And he has a mild allergy. With PB it can be mild one time but fatal the next. Needless to say, we have a no PB policy in our house.

It would make more sense to bring the severely allergic kid home for lunch.

post #32 of 87

Seeing replies on various threads about this topic over the years have always made me a little sad. Such a lack of empathy by some. I cannot imagine how it feels having to send your child off to school knowing they could potentially come in contact with a life-threatening substance.

IMO, my child's right to eat nuts does not trump another child's right to live through the school day without major incident.

However, in larger schools a nut-free table might be better, and then have the child's classroom be nut-free classroom. But I don't think it's realistic to think that in a very large school no one will bring nuts into the cafeteria.

post #33 of 87
The peanut allergy thing scares me. The allergist told me last year that I could go ahead and feed DD peanut butter even though she tested moderately allergic (both blood and skin tests) multiple times. Since then, we took her to a restaurant with peanuts/peanut shells all over the tables and floors and ended up in the ER and hour later because she couldn't breath. According to the allergist, this isn't a 'proven' attack, they just diagnosed it as asthma in the ER. The fact that it can be mild one time and life-threatening the next really scares me though.

Anyway, anyone can develop food allergies at any time in their life. A lot of kids have their first allergic reaction at school. Peanuts happen to be one of the most popular/life threatening food allergies. My grandma developed a peanut allergy in her 40's. All people should be aware of food allergies/symptoms, even if they don't currently have any.

I guess, after more thought, I am an advocate of all schools having an epi-pen on site for emergencies (I also advocate all schools/major businesses having an AED on site for heart-attacks). This isn't something ANYONE should have to die from.
post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoreen View Post


So why don't you bring your child home for lunch? If she really will only eat PB. Or she could have her peanut butter for breakfast & supper.

People get so caught up in the no nuts at school rule, it reminds me of the smoking in public debate.

Yes, you can run into PB in the park, the difference is that my child does not go to the park alone. If other kids are having snacks I'm on alert. I've asked family members to wash their hands after eating PB.
No you can't avoid it, it's about calculated risks. I'm not convinced that an outright ban is needed, however, I think it makes it easier for the youngest kids & for the teachers.
It would be hard for one teacher to check every lunch & make sure sharing did not occur, etc. class sizes are 20-30 here with only one teacher. If there's only one peanut allergy child, lunch times would be sad & lonely if confined to a PB table alone.
My son will carry his epi-pen, he knows what it is for. Myself & the teacher will ensure he has it. It's not that difficult with the little epi-pen specific fanny packs - also I know there are extra epi-pens in the office just in case.
My son developed hives after being kissed on the cheek by his dad. His Dad had PB for breakfast, rinsed his face & 10 min later kissed our son. And he has a mild allergy. With PB it can be mild one time but fatal the next. Needless to say, we have a no PB policy in our house.


However this still would not be a "good eough" solution for a child such as yours where passive contact seems to be an issue. My daughter most likely wouldnt "contaminate" anything after having peanut butter for breakfast but who knows maybe the residual oil ends up on your kids chair... Like I am saying a child that allergic will have to always take special precaution. And as to one teacher for 20 -30 kids to inspect their lunches this is the norm! As I pointed out my ex really doesnt care about others (one reason we are divorced) and I don't advocate what he did but he knowingly sent our daughter to school with peanut butter not once but several times so expecting parents at large to care when sometimes they dont even care about their own children is dangerous for your child. Much better to make that child self reliant or go to the school and monitor lunch yourself or bring that child home

post #35 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post



I guess, after more thought, I am an advocate of all schools having an epi-pen on site for emergencies (I also advocate all schools/major businesses having an AED on site for heart-attacks). This isn't something ANYONE should have to die from.

I think an epi-pen has to be prescribed to a particular person. I am not sure if you can just have them on hand in case, without a prescription. Does anyone else know? 

post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post

I think an epi-pen has to be prescribed to a particular person. I am not sure if you can just have them on hand in case, without a prescription. Does anyone else know? 

 




http://www.pediatricsafety.net/2013/09/is-your-state-on-board-with-the-new-epi-pen-laws/


Some states (including mine) allow schools to have epi-pens on hand that are not designated for a specific student. Most students with known problems also either self carry their medications, or keep them in a designated place in the office along with the prescription, instructions, and any other necessary paperwork.
post #37 of 87
I'm in agreement with Hoopin' Mama, I just don't think the inconvenience of not being able to feed my kids nuts (or whatever) trumps minimizing the chances of a deadly reaction in another child. And in all honesty, "nut bans" are doing just that, minimizing. Because you are still going to have kids and adults who eat the offending food at home and come in with trace, or an occasional rule breaker, as others have pointed out. But even with that happening, by banning the nuts it's much less likely that the allergic kid will have problems than it would be at a school where nuts are allowed in part or all. I don't think that when a school is nut free, parents of allergic kids are just letting their guard down either. They are aware of the fact that nut free=minimized risk, not NO risk. But kids spend a lot of time at school, they deserve an environment that is as safe as we can make it. It's just not that big a deal to me as (or the meal preparer of) a nut eater, to not be able to eat them for one meal a day. I'm lucky that I can have such a blasé attitude about foods.

I think regardless it would be great if people who work with kids could get epi pen training through employers. That could save some lives!
Edited by Banana731 - 11/20/13 at 7:30pm
post #38 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrj85 View Post

I agree with PP who have pointed out the world is not going to care or insulate your child. It just plain won't. My child has a limited amount of food she will eat she is picky I have tried really hard but most days it just isnt a hill I want to die on. She should get to eat peanut butter. If your childs allergy to anything is soooo severe that TRACE amounts will cause them close to immediate death I would suggest homeschooling or another alternative you may have to get creative about finances and sacrifice. Hey no one said everything was fair in parenting either. Before you flame me for not "understanding" I have a severe LATEX allergy. I could stop breathing when a small child runs in to me at the mall with that nifty balloon animal you just got him but werent supervising him with. Do I blame the kid, the clown that made it, the world for having so much damn stuff made out of latex??? NO its my allergy and I do what I need to do to protect myself. My daughter even plays with balloons at her fathers house (just washes her hands before she comes in contact with me). The thing I am pointing out from an early age your child has to be their own best advocate and teaching them that they are a special snowflake and the world should change for them is just not a realistic expectation. Sorry


 



I don't think the 'world' should have to change for a child. I do, however, expect public school to provide a reasonably safe environent for a small child. If a child has a life-threatening allergy, I would expect schools to act accordingly. Of course parents should teach their kids to be their own advocate. Most allergic kids are well aware of their allergies and what they need to avoid. Like I said before though, a small child may not have the cognitive ability (or even the ability to read) to determine what ingrediants are in food items, or which friends they shouldn't sit next to today, because of their lunch contents.

My kids are picky eaters, too. Its great that I can give my older kid a PB&J, but it really sucks to have to find alternatives for my LO. So far, she seems to like Nutella. smile.gif

Another thing to consider, some children who have a mild allergy can become more severe with repeated exposure. These kinds of allergies can be unpredictable and very difficult to manage.

For some people, there is no amount of creative financing/sacrafice that would allow for homeschooling. Its pretty hard to homeschool your kid if you are homeless. greensad.gif

Your school doesn't allow peanut butter but allows Nutella? Every school I've seen that bans peanuts also bans tree nuts, so at my kid's school and others I've seen around here, Nutella wouldn't be allowed either.
post #39 of 87
Any one can use an epi pen, if the child is under a certain weight it is the epi pen jr. Otherwise it's ok for anyone. Epinenephrine occurs naturally in our bodies. If you got it & didn't need it your heart wood be racing and you might feel funny but it wouldn't hurt you. Of course you always go staraight to ER if you once you take it.
post #40 of 87

I teach at a school of 800 students and there are several with severe food allergies including peanuts and tree-nuts. it has been explained that one of the students will have a severe reaction if the student is even breathed on after someone has had tree-nuts or peanuts to eat. They have designated tables in the lunch room as nut free and are not allowing any snacks in the classrooms the student is in. We had several discussions about this prior to the school year beginning and determined that there was no way we could possibly monitor a ban on peanuts/ tree-nuts for 800 kids especially considering that they pop up in so many packaged foods. There is no way we could monitor every single food item that possibly comes into the school, and as one poster pointed out some people don't really care about their own children. How can we expect 800 parents to be vigilant for peanuts. Short of having a ban on all foods from home it is not really reasonable once the kids are out of pre-school. With this in mind we have all had basic epi pen training and the student's teachers have had to go into more in depth training, but this student has to be vigilant, and the parents are aware of and accepting the risk of sending their child to this school. It stinks, but that seems to be the basic reality. I think the school is providing the greatest amount of safety to the allergic student as possible, but if they need a completely controlled environment I have to agree that homeschooling is really the only option for a completely controlled environment.

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