Peanut allergy question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mrs. Mom, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Mrs. Mom

    Mrs. Mom Cohort

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    Aug 9, 2009

    I have a student with a SEVERE allergy to peanuts. Here's a dumb question: I want to do a team building activity on the first day of school that involves building a tower out of dry spaghetti noodles, gumdrops and marshmallows. Are any of these items "dangerous"? Obviously they aren't peanut foods, but as long as the ingredient list doesn't say peanuts or packaged in a place where there are peanuts, am I okay?? The kids won't eat these items but will handle them.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Read the labels carefully--my store-brand marshmallows say "may contain traces of peanut or other nut products". It's probably a good idea to check with parents as well. (Sorry, I'm a bit paranoid about this--knew someone in school who died after an anaphylactic allergic reaction).
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Make sure you read the labels. My son has a peanut allergy. If the word peanut appears on the label, he can't eat it or handle it. The item you think would be okay may not be. I can't tell you how many times someone brought something to an event & he couldn't participate. . .frosting, ice cream, cookies, the list goes on & on. Talk to the parent. When my son was in elementary school he was never singled out, but his friends always knew it was him. I was the parent that always sent something in for parties, just so I knew that he could have something to eat.
     
  5. Mrs. Mom

    Mrs. Mom Cohort

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    That's exactly what I'm talking about!! I would rather find a whole new activity JUST IN CASE it could be the slightest bit questionable. You can never be too careful with a child in your care!!
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    My son can't touch peanuts! Thank goodness he doesn't like chocolate.
     
  7. Mrs. Mom

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    Are gummy items (gummy worms, gummy lifesavers) generally an okay item as long as the label checks out ok? I keep finding fun activities but unfortunately they keep revolving around the handling of some kind of food.
     
  8. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Read lables....like others have said, peanuts are in the strangest of places! Granola bars, dried fruit ect....
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    It is great that you are being so diligent. Unfortuantely, no, not all gummy item are safe. Did you know that Jelly Belly jelly beans contain peanut products? (or at least, they are labeled that way.)

    When it comes to pastas, you have to be careful of lupine flour. If it is from Europe (and a lot of pasta is from Europe) then it can contain peanut products or "cross-reacts" with peanuts.

    Some surprising foods that have a label indicating “may include peanuts” or “processed in a plant containing peanuts”:

    Plain M&M’s®
    Jelly Bellys (jelly beans)

    I had a child with severe peanut allergies (and other allergies, including wheat, glutten, latex, carpet, etc.) so whenever I wanted to do anything with food, I asked her mother. Even with extreme care, we had to use them emergency epi pen twice that year -- but both times it was because the child ate something another child gave her in the cafeteria (even though she knew she wasn't allowed to.) Both experiences were very frightening.
     
  10. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    In the past, we have contacted the parent and said, "This is what we want to do. These are the items we need to gather in order to do so. Are there brands you KNOW are ok? (because they use them in their house)" The parents have been super thankful that we are sooo on the look out for their kid(s).

    NEVER assume it's safe. If it says "may contain peanuts" or that it was made on machinery that produces peanut products, avoid it.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Read labels. Some brands are okay & others aren't. Most people aren't aware that M & M's are all run on the same line, therefore, all M & M's are no no's.

    Since we've been dealing with this, the last 13 years things have really changed. More & more things have the word peanut on the lable. It's frustrating when things that he has had before are no longer acceptable. It's frustrating when people know about the allergy & say that they will accommodate him & then we get there & find out that they didn't read the lablel! The tears when he would look forward to participating in an activity & then not be able to.

    Thankfully he's in Middle School & there are not all of the food activities that place in elementary school. We've been dealing with this since he was 10 months old. He learned to identify the word peanut by the time he was 4 yrs. old.

    Other unexpected places I've found the word Peanut on the label:

    vanilla ice cream
    frosting
    chocolate chips
    sprinkles
    crackers
    bakery cookies
    cookies in general
    any brand of chocolate
    cereal.
     
  12. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    I've had a couple of classes with kids who had severe allergies, and I have to agree with a couple of the other posters - contact the parents and find out what brands of products you can use. They will greatly appreciate that you thought to go the extra step to be sure their child could participate.
     
  13. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    I think it's good to read labels, but just to be on the safe side, why not ask this child's parents if an item is okay or not?

    Surely they would know -- or be able to find out from their pediatrician.
     
  14. AMK

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    Whenever I do an activity with food I show the parents the ingredients and have them check it over, the school nurse and I check it over too. Read everything very carefully.
     
  15. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    As the parent of a allergy child---I would say the best idea is to just ask the parent to supply the items that will work for the child and the project. My teachers always have told me what they are doing and what they are providing. I read it (days ahead) and if it doesn't work I provide a look alike (if possible). Not need for you to read labels. There are always secrets that you won't know. This way the parent knows. I was always room mom or worked with the room mom too. This way i was able to present the issue as an asset (" hey, I will be your room mom") rather than an annoyance.
     

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