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Old 03-29-2012, 07:47 AM   #1
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Grr, just venting

I really hope dd gets a space in the charter school next year. They are so good with food allergies and they make me NOT feel like THAT parent. I am actually pretty mellow when it comes to dealing with dd's food allergies and school. Maybe thats why I am annoyed right now. 2 months ago dd's teacher gave her pudding. Her milk issue is not severe so I just reminded them she shouldn't have pudding. No big deal really. DD spent a little more time in the bathroom and had a night poop accident because of it (she was in a night diaper). And the teacher did read the label looking for peanut warnings. She is in pre-k this year and its her first experience with any kind of care beyond me. I really try hard not to be a nuisance. I have never made any demands- just requests. DD's class is peanut free although not labeled as peanut free. Parents are suppose to provide the whole class a snack from the snack list. There have been several food days/potluck type things and reminders are never sent out regarding the the class being peanut free. We've never made a big deal out of it, just made sure dd had her own food and not get any of the food that other parents brought in.

But they have field trip coming up in which kids are suppose to bring sack lunches. Knowing that peanut butter and jelly are usually go to lunches for this kind of thing I sent a very friendly and up beat- non demanding email to the teach. Just asking if she could send out a reminder that that there was a peanut allergy and the class is peanut free. I also gave a list of alternatives if someone wanted to buy their own and offered to provide a jar of an alternative for those who really feel they need to pack peanut butter and jelly. 10 mins later she sends a email out to all parents with the reminder. While not really negative it is obvious that she was annoyed by the email. It was definitely obvious that she was not happy. I don't know it just annoyed me. It makes me feel bad. And I am afraid because the teacher's attitude might rub off on the parents. I know some parents are going to be annoyed, but the attitude of the email worries me. Its going to annoy more people. kind of wished I would have written the email for her to send out, but that just felt too pushy to me. I didn't expect the teacher email to be so put out sounding. She has been a little tiffy with me since she overheard me talking to another parent about the Charter School's allergy policies. They are a much smaller school and are able to involve all their teachers rather then just the child's teacher. They also have some serious experience with crazy food allergies. They are better equip to keep dd safe. She has probably taken it at as personal insult. I have never made a big deal over her mistakes (and she has made more then 1). And she wouldn't even be dd's teacher next year, but I guess me showing more confidence in another school then in her school might make someone defensive.

I do realize I am a little sensitive to the allergy attitude because I don't want to be a pain in the butt to people, but this isn't just my sensitivity. I wonder if I had been in her face the whole year if the email attitude would have been different. Ok done rambling.

At least the reminder got out, just wish it was in a little nicer way.

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Old 03-29-2012, 09:21 AM   #2
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Re: Grr, just venting

hugs mama, It sounds to me like you did the right thing. I've not had to deal with this, but from what I understand a peanut allergy can be pretty severe. I would also be annoyed that the teacher has made more than 1 mistake, it sounds like she's being defensive. Hopefully other parents will be more understanding. I can imagine it's difficult to have to necessarily be so proactive regarding your child's allergies.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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As a parent of a kid with no allergies I would be happy to get the reminders. Because if my child did have an allergy I would want my kid to be safe and hopefully other parents to be respectful and compromise a little for the safety of all children. It isn't that hard to buy a jar of sunbutter once.

When I make snacks for DS class I always ask even if I did it the week before , about any allergies and double check the snack is okay. Like I made jello melon slices (100% juice, no sugar jello, just juice and plain gelatin, in a melon, then sliced.... They looked like the letter "u") I made sure everyone could have some and one child was not allowed (they didn't say he had an allergy, just want allowed) to have mellow so I sent some jello free melon slices for anyone who wanted them.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Grr, just venting

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Old 03-29-2012, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: Grr, just venting

Maybe, as a former PreK teacher, I just loved my little ones too much to want anything to happen to any of them - and I would classify the fright my non-allergic kids would experience if one of their friends had a severe allergic reaction, had to be "stabbed" in front of them with an Epi-pen, and see him loaded into an ambulance. And I was cautious to the point of paranoia about anything coming into the classroom, reading labels, etc. If I made a mistake, I would be appalled, apologize profusely, and make sure it never, never happened again.

Maybe I just had a great class - my 3 and 4 year old students would ask their parents not to put things in their lunches, not to send certain snacks, and to check labels, because "Peanuts can hurt N______". I just don't understand why adults can't be as sympathetic and patient.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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Re: Grr, just venting

I know a couple of parents will not be bothered, I just don't know all the parents to know how they will react. Feeling quite a bit better right now though. Just picked dd up and she had "special pudding" for snack. I was talking to one of the parents about the new school and the pudding slip up a few weeks ago. She asked what I normally do for days when the kids have pudding. I told her when i am feeling well I make her soy pudding. That family drinks soy milk (they also have a nephew with a peanut allergy). They bought pudding cups for the rest of the class and made dd some homemade soy pudding. Makes me want to cry. Its unfortunate that there are parents on the opposite end of that spectrum. I'd be completely happy with a middle ground.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:22 AM   #7
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Re: Grr, just venting

I guess I just don't get it, and I am trying to ask respectfully... why can't the OTHER kids have a peanut butter sandwich?

I mean, I totally understand balancing everyone's needs when you're providing a group snack. But my daughter has been in a preschool for 3 years now that has never had any food policies. I'm know they've dealt with food allergies and sensitivities, but they've never said anything to the other parents about it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MariaLA View Post
I guess I just don't get it, and I am trying to ask respectfully... why can't the OTHER kids have a peanut butter sandwich?

I mean, I totally understand balancing everyone's needs when you're providing a group snack. But my daughter has been in a preschool for 3 years now that has never had any food policies. I'm know they've dealt with food allergies and sensitivities, but they've never said anything to the other parents about it.
Because its a touch sensitive allergy for my daughter. My dd actually has several food allergies but with the exception of the peanuts they have to be ingested to cause a reaction. The peanut allergy on the other hand can cause a fatal reaction if some one touches her with traces of peanut butter on their hands. Thats really the issue. Once you get to older age groups its not so much of a problem. We probably won't require her room to be peanut free anymore. But with the younger age groups not all kids wash their hands after eating- some classrooms the teachers make sure the hands get washed others don't. Then add in the field trip where it will be pretty hard for the teachers to make sure all hands get washed. There are different levels for different kids as well. I worked as a preschool teacher and had kids that could touch peanut butter and be fine, some that could eat traces and be fine. The school I hope she gets to go to next year has a student who has his own dedicated computer and art supplies because his is so severe that he can't touch an object that was touched by someone with peanut residue on their hands. We assume that dd's is not that bad as she has been in contact with surfaces that may have been touched by someone with peanut butter on their hands. We don't know for sure but having made it to 4 1/2 without having a reaction from touching uncleaned objects we think we're ok with that. The oil from peanut butter is sticky stuff- there may not be enough to see it, but still enough to cause a reaction. How much the teacher's are willing to do plays a role in the no peanuts too. If the teachers are willing to take all the precautions, every single time then its not an issue either. But since our teacher has actually given dd one of her allergens I am not confident in her taking the steps needed to keep my dd alive. Then there is always the situation a pp talked about- you do not want your kid to see someone go into anaphylaxic shock, be stabbed with the epi-pen, have benedryl forced down their throat and be taken away in an ambulance. Or have them think they are responsible for that reaction. I am rambling- did that answer your question? I consider myself pretty reasonable.

My issue was more about the teachers attitude in the parent email. I try not to make a big deal and I do see some allergy parents that make me think "no wonder people have attitudes towards us". And there are some pretty nasty attitudes toward allergic kids, there are some nice ones too though. A friendly, nice approach is more likely to get a friendly, nice response. People are more likely to take precautions if approached nicely then if we act like jerks. The email was just suppose to be a reminder- the class is already peanut free. And in my email to the teacher I did offer to provide a safe alternative. The teacher did not pass that on either. I know some kids NEED their peanut butter and there are safe alternatives that the kids would never even know the difference that I am willing to provide.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaLA
I guess I just don't get it, and I am trying to ask respectfully... why can't the OTHER kids have a peanut butter sandwich?

I mean, I totally understand balancing everyone's needs when you're providing a group snack. But my daughter has been in a preschool for 3 years now that has never had any food policies. I'm know they've dealt with food allergies and sensitivities, but they've never said anything to the other parents about it.
Because kids are kids and they will swap and grab food. My son's school has a no tree nuts policy, and yet they still have had to use an epi pen because a parent forgot. It's scary and I would feel terrible if some other child on my son's class had a reaction because of me.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:51 PM   #10
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Coming from the teacher perspective, I don't think you are "that" parent by any means. You are your daughter's advocate. In an ideal world, a teacher would remind parents, but we're human and sometimes forget those pieces . I completely understand your frustrations, but don't let it stop you from standing up for your daughters needs.
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