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milk and snacks allowed in playground at infant school? (long post)(9 Posts)
I'm having a bit of a wobble about DS (already aged 4) starting school next September. I've put him down for a small CofE primary school in our city centre, which has a reputation for great pastoral care. The preschool is fantastic, and the staff there deal with his allergies really well. They have flagged up my main concern, which is that children are allowed to take milk and snacks into the playground at breaktime.
I don't want to be unreasonable, and I know that I can't protect DS forever. I also understand that I can't ask the school to change their whole routine to suit my child, but the idea of up to 90 infant-aged children running around with cheesy crisps and squirty cartons of milk in their hands makes my blood run cold. DS is very calm and sensible about his allergies - he doesn't make a fuss and he spots hazards a mile away. As well as the risk of him having a reaction, I am also concerned that he will spend the whole of playtime huddled up against the fence, trying to stay out of the way of all the milk cartons he can see.
(should point out that DS reacts with hives and swelling to to tiny traces of dairy and other food allergens on his skin, and once went into anaphylactic shock (aged 2) after putting his hand in an empty coffee cup which contained traces of milk and then rubbing his face and eyes)
At the last infant school I worked in, children were expected to drink their milk and eat snacks before they went out into the playground. However, I can see that this takes 10 minutes teaching time out of each day.
I'm going to ring the Anaphylaxis Campaign tomorrow and ask for their views. However, you lovely ladies have helped me so much in the past that I thought I'd ask you too... Those of you who have children in infant school - what is their breaktime routine? How do you and your children's schools cope with this situation?
sorry not much help, but im in a similar position , my 4 year old starts school this year and has numerous allergies and intolerances, some serious , some delayed reactiona nd its a huge worry to me.
|Do you have a community nurse or dietician who can speak to school?
My 4 year old is mainly tube fed and our community nurse is going to organise a care plan, can you do something along these lines.
anyway just want to say your not alone
Hi greenbananas my DS has similar reactions to milk as yours and he started school a year and half ago. Here in Wales all infant children receive free milk every day so I was really worried but the school have been great. They drink their milk in the classroom but those who can't or don't want to have milk sit on the carpet at the front of the classroom until the others have finished and the tables have been wiped. The only snacks the children are allowed to eat outside is fresh fruit. I frankly find it quite strange that they allow kids to run around outside with milk cartons as surely this must lead to problems with litter if nothing else. I can't see why they can't have their drink and snack before they go outside, not during classtime but as part of their breaktime. This would encourage children to drink/eat quickly so that they can go out and play and would make it safer for those with allergies. If this isn't possible then maybe you could suggest that children with milk/snacks are restricted to certain areas of the playground and your child could be 'buddied' with one or more children who don't drink milk/eat cheesy wotsits?
I wouldn't want my (non-allergic) 4yo, or any other child running around with food TBH, it's a choking risk and not good manners!
Try talking to the school - TBH I think you can ask them to change their routine, or at least suggest that in fact it would be better for all the children if they didn't run around with food in their mouths. Try and do it full of concern for all the children and the school (imagine if something went wrong!) rather than laying down the law, but I do think you can expect them to protect your son (and other children)
Also, is there a school nurse you can speak to? Most will have a visiting nurse, even if not full-time
Thanks all. florry the problems you are facing sound very stressful - can't imagine adding tube feeding into this mix of worries
freefrommum the way your DS's school deal with this sounds like the kind of strategy I was hoping for. And Battlefront I'm reassured that you think it would be okay for me to ask the school to reconsider their routine. I'm glad I'm not being unreasonable in feeling that way.
I spoke to the Anaphylaxis Campaign, and predictably enough they said that the school have a duty to make a risk assessment and to take care of the safety of all children including my DS. So yesterday I went to the school and asked if I could speak to the headteacher at some point before she leaves at Easter. She was in a meeting and is going to call me, but I am already feeling better because the school secretary was aware of DS's allergies already, and it seems they have already had conversations about how they are going to deal with this
That sounds really promising greenbananas. I remember being so worried about DS starting school, I got myself really worked up. I was convinced they either wouldn't take his allergies seriously enough (thinking I was just an overprotective mother) or that they might be so worried that I'd get a phonecall every other day asking me to come and get him. However, when I finally got to meet with the Head, his classroom teacher, classroom assistant and the school nurse I felt so much better. They clearly took me seriously and listened to everything I had to say. They have been great so hopefully your school will be too.
I am so sorry- we are in the same boat here and frankly I do not think you are overreacting- 4 is still pretty young for him to manage this.
So I would push for a change in their policy- many schools are nut free as they know nut allergies can be fatal.You need them to be aware that this is a life threatening allergy.
I wondered if i was being overly fussy as our son starts pre school in september at 3.8.
I asked our allergist we see yearly and he said we were right to be fussy as it was a matter of life and death with the type of allergy we have.
What he said was it was probably the most important factor in choosing a school- how they deal with allergies.He reckons some schools are really clued up and others just aren't and you need to really question them on their policies before you choose if they can have your child in their care.
So personally when you have that meeting you want to be very assertive in making sure they get it- this is not a food intolerance- this is a potentially fatal allergy and that milk might as well be arsenic as far as your son is concerned- tell them what happened with the traces in the cup.Arsenic would be slower acting thinking about it.
I would push for them changing their entire school policy-maybe kids eat snacks only somewhere supervised- what if a kid squirts milk at him by accident or as a prank......it can happen.It is impossible to supervise kids totally in these situations.
I wish you all the best with it- it is worrying and you are right to be worried as you know what can happen to your son- no one will look out for him like you will so be bold and demanding and demand change- or move schools.Seriously they have your child's life in their hands.
I've just posted a new thread about school application wobbles. I'm glad to have found at least some reassurance in this thread.
They will probably change the routine for your son.
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