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S/O of the Peanut Debate. Is your kid Safe?

I guess this is more of a PSA.

I mentioned my daughter's school has a peanut free table in the lunch room. They also have assigned seats.

Two weeks ago when my Daughter gets in the van and I ask her how her day was. She tells me that she is really hungry. I ask her why. She tells me that she wasn't able to eat her lunch because someone at her table was getting itchy.

I ask her why wasn't that person at the peanut free table? Her reply was that she was and then I ask her why was she at the peanut free table with peanut butter. Her response was because thats where her assigned seat was.

I was litterally floored she has been bringing peanut butter to school and sitting at a peanut free table since Sept. She had also said that when she was assigned the seat she tried to tell the person that she likes peanut butter and didn't want to sit at the peanut free table and they told her there was no other room for her. I told her that she can't do that she could make someone really sick or even die. Mind you she is 8 and didn't fully grasp what an allergy could do to a person.

I went into the school the next day and fixed the issue and she is no longer at the table but I honestly never thought they would assign a kid without a peanut allergy at a peanut free table. She told me that there where other kids that brought peanut butter too. One of the things that amazed me is in all this time not one worker noticed that there was peanuts at the peanut free table.

Answer Question

Asked by Charis76 at 12:55 PM on Mar. 15, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 23 (16,182 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • Obviously they weren't paying enough attention, which would make me question any child's safety in their care.

    Personally, I don't really agree with the peanut free school idea, but whatever. I do think the peanut free tables like your kid's school does is a good idea, if they pay attention and ensure it's done properly. However, I also think it's the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is aware of their allergy, the symptoms and what to do in the event they begin to feel those symptoms.

    My kids are allergic to latex. I don't expect anyone to change things for my kids. I've taught my kids to look for things that generally contain latex and avoid it, to tell dr. & nurses that they are allergic, and to carry their own latex free bandages and such. I know most parents with peanut allergic kids do teach them stuff, but some don't, and those are the ones that are in the wrong.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:04 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • So your dd didn't get to eat luch b/c someone had an allergy and they put her at the wrong table? Heads would be rolling if i were you. Not only is that just stupid of the school, but to not let a child eat lunch...that's abuse. I could go into a big ole spill about how i feel about the whole subject, but i won't b/c i'm a little tired of this debate.

    Answer by boobarandbell at 1:13 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I was upset but more so over what could have happened to another child because of my daughter not really knowing what she was doing.

    I understand what you mean about the debate but it was more of just because the schools have policies doesn't mean they are following them or enforcing them.

    Comment by Charis76 (original poster) at 1:19 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Thankfully our school doesn't do the peanut free thing. But yes, my kids are perfectly safe, they don't have any allergies...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:23 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • oh, i would be uspest that the school is not following their own policies too. But i also feel that you cannot trust others with the immediate health of your child...your story is the case in point! Parents send their kids to school assuming that EVERYONE is following procedures, but that assumption is misleading.

    Answer by boobarandbell at 1:25 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Parents send their kids to school assuming that EVERYONE is following procedures, but that assumption is misleading.

    That was the other thing that struck me not one of those kids said hey mom there are kids eating peanut butter at our table?

    Does the kid themselves know what it could do to them?

    Comment by Charis76 (original poster) at 1:36 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • My kids don't have allergies (or attend public school). However, the local elementary has gone completely nut free because of one child with an allegery. They are not allowed to serve popcorn at carnivals or on movie days or sell candy bars (since some are made with nuts) all snacks for parties have to come off an approved list, or they are not even allowed in the building.

    Answer by scout_mom at 2:07 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • >Does the kid themselves know what it could do to them?

    Most parents I've encountered with allergic children make it their personal mission to educate & empower them to be proactive in their own allergy management. However, there are parents that do not equip their children with the tools to self-advocate.

    I can't speak for the kid @ your school. I can tell you that my own PA daughter would have recognized a PBJ at the table and would have sought out an adult to help her either find her another spot to eat - and if she was at a peanut free table, to have seats moved so that those with PB could safely eat else where. Our school does have a peanut-free spot. Its' a single desk and we don't use. it. DD sits at the corner of the her class table and anyone next to her must have PB free lunch. Those are not assigned seats. Who sits with her depends on what lunch they have that day.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:11 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • >That was the other thing that struck me not one of those kids said hey mom there are kids eating peanut butter at our table?

    This shows poor education on the school's part and poor notification of parents. As an allergic parent this is what alarms me most. Clearly the school thinks it has a plan - but it only does half the work to implement it in a way that makes it "safe" for the allergic child. I don't support peanut-free schools even as a allergy parent (DD has severe allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish) The school, however, has a legal obligation to make reasonable accommodations for the allergic child but going through the motions isn't going to cut it. If they assign kids to a PN free spot, those children should be educated on what it means and the parents ought to be informed -- and for, assigned seats at such a table (which I'm not big on either) parent/skids ought to get to opt-in/out of sitting there.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:16 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Sorry to hog your question! LOL! Small boxes make it hard to soap-box. ha!!

    I can also tell you this - my DD is open with her peers about her allergies. She keeps safe snack alternatives in a freezer at the nurses office. When people send in birthday treats, DD goes to get her safe treat. The kids want to know why so she tells them all about her allergies. The result? Her friends learn how to help her stay safe in a non-threatening, non-scary, non-forced way. Meg has been taught by us what she needs and how to tell others. End of last year an older student that worked with her K class brought a PBJ into the classroom for lunch. IT was 4 other kindergartners (NOT DD) who told him he couldn't eat it next to DD and why. Those same kids then went to the teacher and asked where they & DD could sit for lunch instead. No one was deprived a meal. No one got upset. They were educated and they were happy to help her.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:21 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

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