Peanut Allergies

Specialties School


What does your district do with the kids who are severely allergic to peanuts, via inhilation? They have EpiPens at school. I heard of a school in GA that made natl. news when the banned peanut, peanut butter in the school. I currently have several kids at my school who have listed peanuts as an allergy. I have 2 who are lethally allergic to it. All the other schools in my district hire a CNA to sit in the class room, with the EpiPen, in case of a reaction. But for some reason my school doesn't have anyone to sit with these kids even though I've requested it. I have asked parents to help out by not sending PB to school, to no avail. Some have even gotten letters from thier Docs stating that thier kid must have PB in his lunch. So making the school peanut free has not worked.

Now I have another student who is allergic to coconut, severely, has an EpiPen, and a Hx of going into full anaphylaxisis after ingesting Coconut. I have another who is lethally allergic to OJ and oranges with an Epi Pen for just in case. None of these kids has an asst. It all makes me very nervous!

It's getting to the point that I could never ask for all the allergic foods to be banned from the school but these kids are at a real risk of dying if they are exposed.

I'm hearing the peanut allergy is the "in thing". WHAT?? Anyway just curious if any one else is seeing more and more allergies that cause a child to code in thier schools. And, how do you handle all this at your schools???

I can see both sides of this situation as my own children are in a teaching magnet at a local high school. They are preschoolers and I PAY for them to be there! They have one new child this year who is contact allergic and also has a pen. They are in the process of banning PB at the PreK. My kids eat it atleast 3X/W and it's the only sandwich that gets eaten in thier lunches. Lunch meats and cheese come home partially eaten in thier lunch box. The PreK does not provide lunches. The allergic kids mom works at the HS and takes him out of the class room every day for lunch. Before he returns, the tables are cleaned and the other kids wash thier hands. Since he is a contact allergy that leaves the classroom for lunch, I'm having a hard time understanding why the are banning the PB! Since I must pay for my kids to be there and they provide NO lunch, is it legal for them to do this?

Thank you to all who respond to this thread. I really need some advice and insight into all of this. HUGS.

As a mom, if someone from the school asked me not to pack a specific item in a lunch box because of a lethal allergy to it by another child - I would graciously comply! No big deal - I would find something else that my little boy would eat. As to a doctor stating that a child MUST eat PB for lunch ... why? What medical reason could stipulate having to eat PB for lunch?!? (If there really is one out there let me know.)

The letter said the kid needed it for caloric intake. Apparently this is the only thing the kid eats in his packed lunches. Had 3-4 diagnosis, none of them r/t GI. RAD was one.

I've got parents calling and complaining and then telling me I can't tell them what to do and that they will send PB if they want too. I think many of them are just doing it out of spite. Had a teacher walk in the clinic the other day with a huge bag of peanut M/M's. Told her not to open them and remove them from the clinic. Her response, oh I forgot. It's just an out of control situation. The school is known throughout the district as the place to send the kids that are medically needy d/t the reputation of the clinic. Many of the local childrens hospital physicians recommend the school for those with normal IQ"s. To top that off the school is also the most popular school for children with english as thier second language. Always fun when your tring to call home for a sick kid. Oh well, that's not the subject. Just an added aggrivation. The elementary has over 800 students enrolled, so it will be difficult to control. Some of the parents just send the PB to prove thier control and the rest who send it don't understand or can't even read the letter I sent them. I too can't believe that Dr. sent that note without finding out why I don't want PB in the school. That Dr. is putting other childrens lives at risk. I'll be calling him as soon as I finish my beginning of the year work.

IMHO totally peanut free schools are unrealistic, however peanut free cafeteria tables have been used successfully and parents are usually cooperate in providing snacks for special occasions if they are informed that an allergic child is in the class.

but there are sometimes undeclared or difficult to detect peanut products in foods.

Allergic children need to be taught strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods, how to recognize that they may be having an allergy-related problem, etc.

Check this link for the food anyphylaxis & allergy network guidlines which are endorsed by the NASN.

Good luck to you.:)

Maybe you can't get the whole school PB free, but could you have the teacher check the lunches & have anyone that brings PB eat in another room with a different class? I just hate to punish the child that is allergic. It's not his fault.

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

Ho much are epi-sticks? Can teachers be trained in their use and have one available in each classroom? (Not that teachers don't have enough to do, but I'm sure they'd rather be knowledgable when the situation arises.)

Nurse Ratched, Last I heard epipens cost @ $40 each. In my area a 504 is required with physician's order & parent's permission for any medication administered in school. After the 504 is approved the parent provides the epipen with pharmacy label. The drug is held by the nurse but mature students may carry their epipen if the physician, parent and nurse agree...even then we request a 2nd epipen to be kept by the nurse in case the child forgets his.

Huganurse, In my district the parent must request a health aid from the board of ed, it is not automatically offered. Is that how it works where you are?

I also work with a 504 in my district. The child also has a epipen as well as Benadryl. Some of the children in my school have several allergies.

This is just a personal opinion, but I think that making schools "allergen-free" creates a false sense of security. Catering to parental hysteria makes the problem worse, not better. These kids have to grow up, and they have to go outside, eat in restaurants, etc. At what point are they going to learn that the world does not cater to their disease? Better to reiterate early and often the steps that need to be taken and the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction.

I have a severe allergy to fruits in the melon family--even eating food that has touched sliced cantaloupe will cause an anaphylactic reaction. I've carried an Epi-Pen or an Ana-Kit since I was 7. I've used one on five separate occasions; the beauty of an anaphylactic reaction is that it is so easily reversible. I've also had two occasions where I did not have an Epi-Pen with me; in both cases, my life was saved because I recognised and identified the symptoms of a reaction and relayed that information to emergency workers (gotta say, being tubed while awake really, really sucks).

Still, I don't expect or demand that those around me abstain from melons; I simply make a concentrated effort to be aware of what I eat and to make sure that dining companions know about my allergy.

Specializes in ICU.

My 5 year old is anaphylactic to hazelnuts and walnuts...she so far has never put anything in her mouth without asking..."is there nuts in that?!" She has an epi-pen in her backpack, wears medic-alert and all her teachers have been aware of the allergy. I would never insist the school be nut-free. She knows not to trust a child with the answer FYI, so hopefully all will be well. Oddly, peanuts are ok.

I understand about the fear of peanut allergies, but what about other allergies? My first grade teacher wore a ton of perfume adn the first month of school, they ended up calling EMS six times for me becasue I had asthma / allergic reactions. When we finally figured out what was causing my reactions, I ended up changing classrooms because this teacher was not going to change perfume. So, should we ban perfume as well? I too, learned to carry and use an Epi-Pen at a very early age. I'm kind of confused by schools that don't allow students to carry their pens with them. I understand the rationale, but if my child had a life threatneing allergy, they would carry their pens not matter what.

Specializes in Emergency.

At my daughters' school, the peanut-free table worked very well. The cafeteria staff were great at making sure tables were wiped down as well.

I have to tell you that I am shocked that school districts provide a CNA to sit in classes with severe-allergy kids. With the severe budget crunches in our area, we are lucky to have a nurse in the building for just a couple of hours per day.

This concept seems unrealistic to me as well. Of course, I don't have a child with a severe allergy, so my opinion might be different if I had. This is a problem that may follow them through life. Most children with these allergies are ultra-experienced on how to handle any foods that may come their way. The epi-pen in their backpack or with the teacher is a good plan.

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