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Allergies - Please help me understand!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am frustrated with a letter that Livia's nursery school sent home today and I guess I need some help understanding...

Each child takes a turn bringing snack for their class. At Sydney's school, we make a big deal about it and make special muffins for the other kids in her class. She loves it. Her school is nut-free, so we always just make banana muffins, pumpkin, or something to that effect. But we are allowed to take cereal bars, etc. if we want, as long as they have no nuts in them.

This letter that Livia's school sent home today, says that because there is a child that goes that school, not necessarily in her class, we are not allowed to bring anything that MAY have been manufactured in a place containing nuts and we are not allowed to bring anything with eggs, no muffins, no breads, no granola/cereal bars, no cookies, no cakes, and no vegetable dips, etc. But yet, they want us to be bringing a balanced, nutricious snack....what does that leave us with?? This is her second week, so she's been 4 days and they've had cheese and crackers every day.

I do not want to sound selfish or judgemental...I just don't understand and I can't come up with a better solution that would be better for everyone.

What if it were my child? I don't know what we would do.

What if my child were diabetic? Would I ask the school not to allow sugars?

What if they had a milk allergy? I wouldn't expect the school to supply them with soy.

What if they were allergic to something in the play-doh, or the finger paints? Then the whole class couldn't play with either??

I just need some help understanding these situations. Anyone??

(Please do not take offense - I just do not know enough about this and just need some info). Thanks!
post #2 of 13
Think I'd be calling/visiting them about this! There are VERRRRRRRY few places that don't use some sort of nut product/byproduct in their mfg of foods.

About the only thing that leaves for snaks is fruit !
post #3 of 13
I remember we had this debate a few years ago. I personally, wouldn not be upset if the school were just nut free. I understand that nut allergies can be VERY dangerous and that even touching an extremely allergic person after handling nuts can have life-threatening consequences.

HOWEVER ... I think that this latest request takes things a bit far. I think if there is a child that is allergic to eggs, then his/her parents need to bring alternate snacks for their child (I'm assuming that you bring snack for the entire class and not just your own child). I think it's unreasonable to expect all the other parents to cater to the no egg/no diary/no soy (whatever the case may be) restrictions.

Also, I think you're right on that if your child was diabetic, they would not forbid cupcakes or candy during parties. Unfortunately, your child would just have to miss out. I feel awful for the children because they are the ones that suffer, but at the same time, I don't think you can expect 20 kids to restrict their diets because of 1 child's allergies/illness.
post #4 of 13
That is interesting actually... In Ryans school (not hsi class) , there are children with nut allergies... therefore, we can not send anything with peanuts, peanut oil, or manufactured in the plant etc ...

Now - I have Celiac... and I thought .. wow, so if I went to school here, would they ban GLUTEN??? Until I realized that a food allergy severity makes a difference... and the age of the child (even though gluten will make me severely ill and cause damage to my body and cancer) ...

Peanuts happen to be an anaphylatic (closes your throat) and can lead to death immediatly... so I do understand preventing foods of this nature to come into the classroom, at a young age- because accidents happen...

However - eggs are not ...

I cant help but wonder if there is a Celiac student at your school... it sounds to me like they want other kids to be included for group snack ... they arent saying your child cant eat these things for their lunch right? Only on the days you provide snack for the class??

I can tell you that Ryans school somehow THOUGHT he had Celiac Disease.... they were nice enough to write me a letter saying when another parent was bringing in snack and told me what it was incase I wanted to send in something gluten free for Ryan. While that wasok for me as a parent, I could see Ryan becoming singled out and teased for being allergic to food in general!! He doesnt have celiac so he is fine - but...

So I have mixed reviews about it ... I know when I go to someones house, for dinner, a party etc - usually they will ask me what I can eat... and they want me to be included so they include a some gluten free food .. maybe thats what the school is doing?

Still - I would ask the teacher what the reasons were behind it - and maybe ask for a list of suggested food items (without you having to go crazy) - I am sure you will find there are alot of items that ARE acceptable. Maybe they are being so generic because they don't want to have you responsible for reading 157 allergens that someone could be allergic too??
post #5 of 13
My dd is lactose intolerant. I plan on packing her a lunch and a snack if necessary. My dd swells up like a stuck pig if you give her raw eggs, however, she can be in the same room with an egg and be fine. I thought it was only nut allergies that caused such sevre reactions, the person can't even smell them or be in the same room with them.

Other than fruit cups or fruit roll ups, I'm clueless on this one too.
post #6 of 13
Well, personally, beyond the peanuts, none of it makes sense to me. (and I am a Celiac as well) When I go places where there is food, I don't expect anyone to make allowances for me just because I can't eat gluten. I bring my own food and I wouldn't want anyone to go out of their way (unless it's my birthday, then damn it, make me food )

There is a boy at Livvy's school that is lactose intolerant and all they say is, your choice to bring something he can have as well, otherwise we have a separate snack that his mom brings daily. It just seems to me that your daughter's entire school is accomodating for one child. Why?

Suggestions for snack: any kind of fruit, yogurt, applesauce, cheeses, fruit dips, apple slices and caramel, cream cheese and celery sticks--add raisins and call them ants, carrot sticks, cottage cheese, fruit with cool whip, crackers with cream cheese, mini bagels .... You may just ask the school for a recommended list of safe foods, let them figure it out and see how ridiculous they are being... Let us know what they say!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas Dana! At the very least, the school should provide a list of what we "can" bring, instead of just everything that we can't.

One of the teachers there is one of my closest friends - I'm going to talk to her about it tonight and see what she thinks.
post #8 of 13
I would be talking with the school and asking for suggestions. Maybe the child's allergy is so severe that they need to really limit contact....although, if hte child is not in her class then that is way too extreme....I can understand with nuts since a lot of people have sucha severe reaction that the smell from the nut oil can trigger a reaction
post #9 of 13
I know that the little girl in our school who is allergic to nuts will have a reaction if she's NEAR anything with peanuts. That's how they found out about her allergy to beging with. They had to take her to the ER when she was little b/cuz she ate food off a plate that had had a peanut butter sandwich on it.

Anyways - we are not allowed to send snacks with nuts. That's b/cuz the kids do go into different rooms (share classrooms) and they don't want to have to worry about her having a reaction. This way they KNOW the classrooms are safe.
However, we ARE allowed to send peanut butter (nuts) for lunch. But, they make sure they pay her special attention during the time to make sure she's not near any of it.

Make sense?
post #10 of 13
I'd call the school and see what you can bring.

I know there are people that are so allergic to milk products they can't be near them like peanuts but it's SUPER rare (I saw it on one of those health channel shows). How can they expect you to know what you can bring if they aren't going to help out?
post #11 of 13
I agree with the others. Thats alot of "you can't bring". They should provide you with a list of things that are acceptable.
post #12 of 13
I never understood why everyone had to bend backwards for just one kid who had allergies. That was until my friend had her son and I've seen what she has to go through with him. He's got a severe peanut allergy and I saw him after he opened a cupboard door that contained a closed jar of peanut butter. That was all it took. It happened so fast. He literally could not breathe. Thank God his mom was ready with the epi pen. I do think the school should give a list of what you CAN bring. In our neighborhood pre-school the only birthday treat that is allowed are those little premade ice cream cups.
post #13 of 13
I agree with Dawn. I think the parents of that child should provide an alternative snack. Haley is a vegetarian and at her old school, I packed her lunch everyday. I didn't expect them to cater to us. Luckily her new school has a veggie option for lunch everyday due to the number of little veg-heads there.
The parents of that child are probably way more informed about what their child can and cannot eat so it would be a lot easier for them to provide alternative snacks for him/her.
Poor kid though.
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