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I am new to this group. My son is starting middle school

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My 2 year old is allergic to peanuts but I am starting to read these posts carefully for future reference. A friend of mine is a teacher at an elementary school here in Michigan and in their cafeteria they have a nut table where kids go if they bring nuts in their lunch but the rest of the cafeteria is nut-free so it does not isolate the allergic kids. There was an article published by the AAP in the Journal of Pediatrics last December on food bullying...this type of isolation sets up the scenario. You still have to teach the kids about where to sit regardless of which system you use so why not do a table where kids sit if they bring nuts? I am planning to advocate for this later for my daughter.

I am back to the group with more questions. So far my son is doing good. When we went to back to school night we found out that science class does lots of activities with food. He later told me that one day his science teacher was getting some nuts, beans ready for the next class. When he told that he cant be in the room, she asked him to move over to the far end of the room. I was very agitated to hear that. Even though the nurses office sent all info about him, why were the nuts allowed in the class.
So i thought that it is time to talk about 504 plan. So i will be meeting with the school counselor about this. Is there a specific format? What do i cover in that? Is there any guidance on nut, egg allergy related 504 plan?
I need help. I want to ask the right questions and make sure he is safe in school.
Thanks
Sara

Hello, I am new to this group as well and am in exactly the same position as you. My son is also 10 and going into Middle School next year. He has a severe peanut allergy and tree nut allergy that is only slight less severe. We currently have a 504 plan in place at his elementary school and to answer your question: NO, he has never been excluded from anything! He is on the basketball team, has participated in Field Day and goes on field trips with no problem. He has a nut-free classroom and table in the cafeteria and there is a very specific action plan in place in case of a reaction. Every staff member in his school is trained to use an Epi-pen, and he carries two Epi-pens with him at all times. My sons allergy is severe enough that contact with peanuts or even a surface cross-contaminated with peanuts or food that is cross-contaminated is enough to cause an anaphylactic reaction. This level of severeity is extremely rare, and Im lucky that it has been documented by two doctors on two seperate occassions. Not lucky that it happened, but to have it witnessed and documented by medical professionals goes a long way in conveying the severity to other doctors and the school. My doctor also agrees that my son is too young to self-administer his Epi-pen if a trained adult is present, but also agrees that its time to start teaching him in case he has a reaction and there is no one around who is trained, such as another student. Legally speaking, he may be allowed to carry an Epi-pen with him at all times, check your state law. We live in Illinois and there is a state law that allows children to carry thier Epi-pen. As far as eating with friends, it would be a good idea to find out who the friends are and talk to their parents. It is possible for your son to eat with his friends, but precautions have to be taken and strictly observed. For instance, absolutely NO food sharing (if he cant read it, he cant eat it), no foods containing allergens to which he is allergic (this one is harder, but its not too much to ask to skip the PB&J for one day or leave those seeds at home for a snack), and arm your son with WetOnes (I think the yellow-topped containers are the most effective) for him to wipe his area clean and for his friends to use on thier hands. And before you agree to this, review your plans with his allergist to see if s/he has any other suggestions and also with the school. Its hard trying to protect our kids and still allow them to have normal experiences, but the extra effort is worth it. I hope this has helped to answer some of your concerns 🙂

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