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Advice on nut allergies please

(10 Posts)
Carla Sun 23-Nov-03 18:03:38

DD1 has been at school since Easter. She is a very fussy eater and peanut butter sandwiches (or jam) are all she will tolerate in a sandwich.

Last week (she's been at school now a term and a half) a classroom assistant told her to tell her mummy that she can't have pb sandwiches as some children in the school have nut allergies. I have never had any directive from the school about this so packed her favourite in her lunchbox next day, only to find it hadn't been eaten. When I asked her (wonderful) class teacher about it she said 'Oh, that's why she was crying at lunchtime. I took her out of the hall and told her peanut butter was much healthier than jam.' When I asked her about the school policy she went to the next classroom to speak to their teacher, who apparently told her that one child in her class would have an allergic reaction even if a peanut was at the other side of the room.

I then asked Anna' teacher from her first term the same question, who said 'Oh, no, if a child's got peanut butter sandwiches we just move them on to a separate table'.

Speaking to a mum from reception class about a forthcoming Christmas Fair she explained that she'd never heard anything like that and frequently sends her son to school with pb sandwiches.

Aaaagh!!! The upshot of it now is that I have a child who won't eat sandwiches of any description, jam or otherwise. I've threatened to remove her 'treats' unless she does, but now I'm worried if I do she'll simply spend the day starving.

Any ideas out there from mums with nut allergies? I'm a bit intrigued (but certainly not implying it's untrue) but how would a child like that get on a bus, for say, when someone could be harbouring a bag of peanuts in their shopping bags? To further add to the confusion, whilst this was going on Anna's friend's mum explained that she regulary included pistachio nuts in her daughter's lunchbox and the teacher said that was fine.

Please let me have some advice mumsnetters!

Carla Sun 23-Nov-03 18:24:20

Getting really paranoid now.

Wills Sun 23-Nov-03 18:36:54

Don't be paranoid.

There are summer clubs run for children with severe nut allergies where the assitants are banned from eating nuts the entire time that they are working at the club i.e. for the whole of the summer etc. However these are classed as special needs children and I would have thought that the children themselves attend specialist schools.

I don't have nut allergic children, but am allergic to brazil nuts myself. Someone with nut allergic children would probably know more. From reading the story I would suspect that if a child was that allergic then they would probably be in a special environment school. So what I'm saying is that the school are probably petrified of nuts being exchanged and are trying to "contain" all the nuts in one area. iyswim. I am certainly allergic enough to brazil nuts that I
a) wouldn't risk picking up a brazil nut with bare hands
b) wouldn't kiss my husband should he have eaten any within the last 24 hours.

By the way - I grew up on peanut butter myself and miss it so much that I found myself actually whistfully following someone carrying a jar of skippie around a supermarket the other day (only for a couple of seconds) .

zebra Sun 23-Nov-03 18:40:18

It sounds like the classroom assistant took it upon herself to say something that isn't actually school policy. I wonder if the way to get your DD to start eating again might be to enlist the teacher's help and the 2 of you speak to classroom assistant together, asking her (CA) to explain to your DD that what she (the CA) said was a mistake, and it is ok to have PB in her sandwiches after all; sorry to confuse her (DD).

Do you think that might work???

Loobie Sun 23-Nov-03 19:31:48

My son has a peanut allergy and he could certainly have an allergic reaction is he say held hands with your dd after she had her peanut sandwich or if he picked up an item which your dd had handled after her sandwich.This happened to him on two occasions,one where he was in one of these kiddy rides in the supermarket that you put 50p in and a kid had just left it(he must have had a acontaminated sweetie or something as ds had nothing to eat or any other contact except with me)and another time when we met his friend at the shops and ds went to play with him while his mum and i had a coffee,again the said child had had some sweeties before we met up with them.

So i would say yes if there is a kid with an allergy at the school then peanut butter sandwiches are a definite no no,but there seems to have been some mistakes in the dealing of your dd so i would speak to the school and yes maybe get the teacher concerned to speak to her also.My ds school send out letters periodically reminding they have allergic kids at the school and not to lets kids bring nuts to school.Well done you for being aware even though the letters are sent out i still saw kids bringing bags of nuts to school and munching them trekking through the playground after halloween.

Sorry i seem to have gone on a bit.

Podmog Sun 23-Nov-03 19:49:29

Message withdrawn

Jenie Sun 23-Nov-03 20:06:14

Dd has a peanut allergy and she gets moved if anyone is eating nuts at the table she's sat at (she gets moved in a nice way). Agree about some forward thinking by the school to send out letters, dd's school doesn't do this at the moment but she is the only child there that is allergic to peanuts.

Still will have a word with the head and ask if they could send one out even if they don't enforce it with as much force as they do at your dd's school it would be nice for other parents to be more considerate towards other children who have allergies.

Dd also has an egg allergy so you can imagen that her 1st class party is going to be fun for her when she has to take in a packed party lunch

Carla Sun 23-Nov-03 20:52:51

Thanks to everyone - have just had telephone call to aay DH's friend of many years ago has just died - he's finding a bit hard so thanks for the feeback and let's get back soon

Podmog Wed 26-Nov-03 10:29:58

Message withdrawn

Podmog Wed 26-Nov-03 10:31:08

Message withdrawn

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