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Old 05-29-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
4,757 posts, read 13,315,301 times
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My daughter has a serious peanut allergy and I'm beginning to research elementary schools in the Portland area. So far I've been writing each school to find out their policies regarding food allergies and I'm hoping to speed up the process somehow. Can anyone recommend a school (public or private) with an exceptionally thorough policy about peanut allergies? Right now my daughter is in a preschool that is peanut-free and that's a big relief compared to just having a table designated as peanut-free, so I'm wondering if any elementary schools have the same thing.

Thanks!

Topaz
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:38 AM
 
192 posts, read 430,544 times
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Default any luck?

Topaz, I know this is an old post, but.... Did you ever find an appropriate school? Or can anyone else weigh in on the subject? It's quite likely that we'll be moving to SW Portland with a 9 yo son w/a peanut allergy as well. Finding a school that can balance safety and normalcy is quite a source of anxiety for me.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Twilighter, we stopped researching schools in Portland when we realized that we would be moving to Texas for my husband's job. But what I learned in the research process is that schools vary widely in how knowledgeable they are and in how willing they are to inconvenience the children who do not have food allergies for the sake of the children who do. Here in Texas, our strategy is that I provide ALL of my daughter's food while she is at school. She eats breakfast at home and I provide lunch, two snacks, and any special food for parties. The school staff is willing to heat up an entree for her so that helps and she isn't limited to sandwiches every single day. My daughter knows to stick to the food from home to prevent eating something that might cause an allergic reaction.

Her current school is "peanut free," by the way, but when I checked the food labels in their kitchen, many of their foods said, "May contain peanuts or tree nuts," because of food manufacturing practices where equipment is shared. We stay away from foods with those warning labels because we are erring more on the side of safety than normalcy.

It is hard. My daughter is a lot younger than your son so I don't yet know what challenges await us as she grows older.

I hope that you find a great school! Maybe someone else can contribute some feedback about Portland specifically.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
61 posts, read 389,893 times
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Topaz,

There is one elementary school I have substituted at where they had a "peanut-free" table in the lunch room. There were quite a number of kids there at the table and it was not a big deal to anyone. Actually the kids seemed to like being special. It was Butler Creek Elementary in the Centennial School District in Southwest Gresham. Very suburban and a very new school. You might like it too!
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:35 AM
 
192 posts, read 430,544 times
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Topaz, I appreciate that you replied despite being in Texas now. And Chad, thanks for mentioning that school. I am reassured that at least there is some awareness in the Portland area, gives us a place to start.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
4,757 posts, read 13,315,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilighter View Post
I am reassured that at least there is some awareness in the Portland area, gives us a place to start.
You know what I have found makes the biggest difference? When the leadership at a particular school have family members who have food allergies. It seems like when that happens, the level of understanding and support goes WAY up.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15 posts, read 52,516 times
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Default The Schools all have state plans for the students

Hi there! First of all here is a website that will become your best friend!

www.peanutfreeplanet.com tell them Corralee sent ya.

Our family has dealt with this issue for 10 years now.

Have a 504 Plan meeting with the following people at the same time:
Principle, District Nurse, School Nurse, students Teacher and the Food Service Workers.

Have the Allergy Test results, a letter from the doctor as to how severe the allergy is and what the doctor wants done with the medicines.

You will need to have the teacher (depending on the school and age of the child) get a fanny pack with the students name: allergy: and medical alert signage on it. This fanny pack can be woren by the student during switching classes, bathroom runs etc. If they go out to PE with the teacher, than the teacher wears it. The monitors on the playground should also have fanny packs with the students medicines (epi and benadryl on them) because there is no time to run the student to the office while the reaction occurs. The nurse should have meds also locked at their station.

There needs to be a drill plan: Our children's teachers (at each grade level all of the teachers on the campus should know the plan) have peanut-drills like fire drills. If a reaction occurs in the classroom or while in the custody of the teacher w/ the class then the teacher simply says "PEANUT DRILL !!!" and the class immedicately goes to the nearest classroom (with a teacher) and says the same thing...PEANUT DRILL - that teacher then knows that the class will be with her until the situation is over and she is released. The teacher will phone, radio or send a student(s) to the office to let the nurse know to call 911.

You must let the OFFICE know that you want the nurse to ride with the student unless you are there, especially with the student also has asthma, because there are medications that contain peanut that are used for breathing treatments: DuoNeb, Atrovent, Ipratropiumbromide, Comivent,etc.

Field Trips the cafeteria packs lunches for the students that way the lunches are ham sandwiches for something other than PB&J. You can also provide the snacks for the students as a gesture for all of their help.

We also have hand sanitizer in the classroom after recesses and lunch. If the teacher says there is time- they wash their hands. This is actually beneficial to all of the students. The attendance rate went up over 50 % in our childrens classes because the kids were so clean, they weren't spreading germs all the time. The teacher like the fact that she got to take a vacation instead of using her time for sick days.

The biggest thing is to make sure that the school is educated and will know who your child is and where they are at all times. There are teaching tools for K-8 and up like Alexander the Elephant who is allergic to peanuts.

Also, just to let you...allergy testing can be confusing too. You can have a positive reaction one year and two years later be negative, this is a false reading. The peanut nut allergy is one that you have for a lifetime. It grows with intensity with each reaction. That is why it is so necessary to learn all you can, and educate everyone you talk to. The allergy shots just introduce the peanut protein- they are life-threatening reactions waiting to happen. Trust me.

IF the school doesn't want to do their part change schools or get an attorney. YOU are your child's advocate- it will be hard to start, but well worth it.
Good Luck !!!! Everything will be fine....have a safe nut-free day!

Trace Atkins is the Honorary Chairman for the www.faanwalk.org 2008 in San Diego,CA because his child has the allergy. Join the walk in your area and find others who can support you. ~ God Bless.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15 posts, read 52,516 times
Reputation: 19
It is also up to you to encourage PTA to have fundraisers that are peanut free. Go to the www.peanutfreeplanet.com website and check out all of the ideas. They are updated all the time. Our daughter will soon be going back to 4th grade and they are going to do the cookie dough fundraiser- the cafeteria and student store already carries the snacks granola bars, and trail mixes. Let me know if you need help. corralee@peanutfreeplanet.com
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:25 PM
 
9 posts, read 28,684 times
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My son also has a life-threatening peanut allergy. We have found that the larger schools districts are more prepared to deal with food allergies. He attended a Tigard-Tualatin school for a time and we had to pull him out because we discovered that staff was putting him at risk. The staff did not follow his 504 and "lost" his medication. Although we provide lunches and snacks, the school needs to be prepared to feed your child. One day my son was bullied and the other child threw his lunch on the floor. The school never called me and he went hunrgy. He now attends PPS and his needs are being met. TTSD simply did not take his allergy seriously. We lost money selling our house and moving, but it was completely worth it. Also, here in Oregon, elementary children are generally not allowed to carry their own medication. It is extremely important for all school staff, bus drivers, and after-school clubs to be aware and know what to do in case of emergency.
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