Well, my food allergic son starts kindergarten this week. We have made all the preparations we can think of from alternative birthday snack sack to renewed medications. We are ready to go…..well, not really, but as ready as we can be! We are going to watch the Alexander DVD with his class and discuss how to be a PAL this week as well. We also had to send a letter to the other parents in our child’s class signed by us, the teacher and the principal. Here’s what we wrote:
So now, we take a deep breath, pray a lot and let our son learn to FLY!!
Dear Fellow Parent/Guardians,
Occasionally a health concern arises in a school setting that requires enlisting the support of parent/guardians and classmates to help make the classroom a safe and healthy place for all. This letter is to inform you that two students in your child’s classroom have a severe allergy to peanuts/tree nuts, egg and slightly milk. For them, strict avoidance of these allergens is the only way to prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction.
We are asking for your assistance in providing these students with a safe learning environment. The biggest concern is peanuts/tree nuts. Even touching a small amount of a product or accidental ingestion containing these allergens could result in a life-threatening situation that requires emergency medical treatment. To reduce the risk of exposure in the classroom, we are asking that you consider not sending any products containing nuts for your child to eat during snack (which is in the classroom) and for birthday treats as well. Please read ingredient labels carefully, but understand we may still double check since they are often confusing. If your child has eaten peanuts or tree nuts prior to coming to school, please be sure their hands have been thoroughly washed prior to entering the school.
Since lunch is eaten in the cafeteria/lunchroom, your child may bring peanut/tree nut products for lunch. In the cafeteria there will be a section of a table designated where no nuts are allowed. If your child sits at this table with a peanut or nut product, he/she will be asked to move to the other side of the table. This plan will help to maintain safety in the lunchroom while allowing classmates without allergies to enjoy peanut/tree nut products in a controlled environment. Following lunch please help us teach our children to wash their hands prior to going to recess if they are messy with peanut butter, etc. since they won’t have a break. Please also remind your child not to share any food, eating utensils, or food containers with other students.
We believe all families understand a parent/guardian’s concern about safety and will join us in ensuring that the environment is safe for all students. If you have any questions regarding ingredient lists, safe snacks, or other questions, please feel free to call or e-mail us. Thanks for your help in making this a safe school year for all!
Resources for families living with food allergies (peanut allergy, nut allergy, egg allergy, wheat allergy, milk allergy, fish allergy, shellfish allergy, and soy allergy)