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Peanut Allergy and Recess

Posted

I have a parent requesting that everyone wash their hands after lunch. 200 Kindergartners???? Before recess??? They are worried about contact reactions if their child is playing with someone outside that ate peanut butter. Do you guys deal with this and how? Our school is big and there is no way we can do this! We do not have the money to have wipes for every kid every day or even sanitizer (even though I read it doesnt get off peanut protein anyway) . Any thoughts?

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

Yes, the teachers ask all the students to wash their hands before and after lunch and every time they go to the restroom. No reason to request that. Hand washing isn't a new concept arising from food allergies.

KKEGS, MSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

We had Peanut Passes for the kids who had nuts or nut butters in their packed lunch. The kids were pretty good and they knew the drill so they'd grab a peanut pass from the container in the cafeteria and bring their pass to the health office and wash with soap and water. We'd clean off the passes (they were laminated) and take them back out to the cafeteria to use the next day.

Our allergy kids sat at their own table and if the kids who needed to wash their hands after consuming nuts did indeed wash their hands this shouldn't even be an issue.

WineRN

Specializes in NCSN. Has 4 years experience.

Yes, the teachers ask all the students to wash their hands before and after lunch and every time they go to the restroom. No reason to request that. Hand washing isn't a new concept arising from food allergies.

Same here plus we do wash after recess because they do snack after recess.

With how messy the little ones eat, I don't see how the teachers aren't already having the little ones wash their hands after lunch.

Our teachers do request the students wash after recess - but there is no way to enforce it and it is not realistic - majority of the lunch would be spent in the bathroom and they wouldn't have time to eat. Unfortunately the peanut allergy student needs to be the one to be diligent about washing hands after recess/before eating.

Windchaser22

Specializes in School nurse. Has 5 years experience.

Our teachers do request the students wash after recess - but there is no way to enforce it and it is not realistic - majority of the lunch would be spent in the bathroom and they wouldn't have time to eat. Unfortunately the peanut allergy student needs to be the one to be diligent about washing hands after recess/before eating.

I hear you; however, if the peanut allergic kid touches the jungle gym and it has peanut protein on it and then rubs his eyes...yea, it's happened.

I hear you; however, if the peanut allergic kid touches the jungle gym and it has peanut protein on it and then rubs his eyes...yea, it's happened.

I know...unfortunate - but how do you prevent that? Besides you would need to make the entire school wash - what good would just making Kinder do it when I am sure the whole school may use the same playground equipment.

Now I am not doubting a person's peanut allergy severity, I do feel for them - heck my own kid has a nut allergy - we just dealt with it, made it our responsibility to be safe & didn't require everyone else to cater to us - of course this was 20 years ago and things have changed ...... but I always wonder what do these people do outside of school? What happens when they go out to eat? to the grocery store? to the mall? to a friends house? Are they that diligent about cleaning everything everywhere they go & making these types of requests?

I hear you; however, if the peanut allergic kid touches the jungle gym and it has peanut protein on it and then rubs his eyes...yea, it's happened.

Unfortunately, this is their reality. We try to make the school as safe as reasonably possible, however, kids are going to be exposed to their allergens. Asking that teachers remind students to wash their hands after lunch is reasonable, but there is absolutely no way to ensure adequate hand washing on each and every child. Nor is there away to be certain that no one transferred peanut butter onto their clothing or another exposed body part, which will then end up on the playground. It's scary for these parents because, until now, they've been able to control their child's environment pretty well. Most of them settle some as they realize that we will do everything that we can to keep their child safe!

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 5 years experience.

what about making sure the kids who eat nut products wash their hands? What about a letter to home (for everyone) asking mom and dad to explain how important it is for the kids who do eat peanut/nut products?

I guess if this child is that severely allergic perhaps his parents need to find alternatives for him, I don't know. I mean, I feel like if it were my kid I'd be sending her/him to a peanut free school or perhaps even home school.

I now have one with a contact allergy to milk… among a host of other common allergens. Gonna be an exciting year.

Windchaser22

Specializes in School nurse. Has 5 years experience.

I now have one with a contact allergy to milk… among a host of other common allergens. Gonna be an exciting year.

I also have a new K with contact to egg/egg products and parent doesn't want them at a separate table.

How in the world are the teachers going to monitor who has mayo next to this kid?

I also have a new K with contact to egg/egg products and parent doesn't want them at a separate table.

How in the world are the teachers going to monitor who has mayo next to this kid?

Very difficult - at our school we flat out tell the parents that we do not monitor/check student lunches.

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience.

This is very difficult and I have been in this exact situation. The parents were not satisfied with asking students to wash hands after lunch/before heading to playground since it was not realistic to expect that all would or that they would do a good job. We ended up getting hand wipes that the students would use as they exited the lunch room in a line. It had to be wipes since hand sanitizer does not kill peanut protein and the mechanical rubbing of wipes or hand washing is what removes it.

Personally, I thought this provided an unrealistic sense of security. This child needs to function in the real world and school is the part of preparing them for that. The child was in fifth grade at the time and would be in 7th grade now... I wonder what is being done at the junior high level? I no longer work for that district so I cannot find out.

Personally, I thought this provided an unrealistic sense of security. This child needs to function in the real world and school is the part of preparing them for that. The child was in fifth grade at the time and would be in 7th grade now... I wonder what is being done at the junior high level? I no longer work for that district so I cannot find out.

^This, all day long!

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

I have my first REAL allergy, anaphylactic reaction. We had long discussions with parents, Allergists and administration. Thankful that these parents of an only child had the big picture viewpoint that this child has to live in this world. Peanut free table, peanut free classroom and washing hands for classroom only. My wife and I are training lunchroom volunteers to administer.