19 answers

Peanut Allergy + Preschool in Tulsa

Does anyone have a child with peanut allergy in Tulsa? I'm having Extreme difficulties finding a school that will work with me on this. My sons going to preschool in the fall and pre k next year but so far the best his current preschool will do is give him his own table. Wow thanks, isolate my son and really make him feel out of place. Anyways that situation obviously isn't working cause this year we've already had a rx with cross contamination. I don't understand what the big deal is on going peanut free, so what if ur kid can't have a pbj at school, let him have one when he gets home. Is a childs life not worth your inconvenience? I am really having trouble here! Any advice would be welcomed!!

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South Tulsa Baptist Preschool is very accommodating to children with food allergies. Basically if a child has a nut allergy then they keep that class nut free. Also the University School at TU is a peanut free zone.

Wow! You people don't really care, do you?!?! What you are saying is crazy! My 3 year old is allergic to cows milk, eggs and peanuts/tree nuts. If he gets any of this he quits breathing!!! I would think that people could NOT bring a pbj to school and have it only when they are at home. Is that really too much to ask? I would GLADLY keep my kids from bringing it if it were another child and not my own. It is a childs LIFE we are talking about! My son knows he has to ask before he eats anything that me or my husband don't give him. I still worry, he will be starting school this fall and it is still very scary.
The schools here are nut free in class rooms and he won't be there for lunch. I plan on homeschooling later if I am able to.

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Also...not the answer you are looking for. Unless it is a publicly funded institution they are under no obligation to accomodate a special request. Your child is going to have to isolate himself all throughout his life because of this special challenge he faces. Kids face different challenges everyday that separate them from their peers. It is only as big of a deal as we make it.

Many schools have gone to a largely peanut-free environment...you may have an easier time when he gets to public school.

Of course a child's life is not worth my kid's peanut butter sandwich...but how many days does my child, who loves peanut butter, have to go without her lunch? She isn't a particularly picky eater, but she does go through stages when she wants what she wants. I am providing her with a healthy option...not like I am giving her a Snickers full of peanuts.

Also, depending on the level of allergy...how far does it go? Do I now have to buy allergy-friendly foods that are completely nut free in the event that you child were to grab my child's? Now your challenge affects even more of my life.

I sympathize with anyone who has something added on top of the already hard task of raising a child. But your best bet is to make sure they know how to use the Epi-Pen and keep all the emergency contacts up to date.

4 moms found this helpful

this will not be the response your looking for. It is not the schools responsibility to be nut free. Although having said that most schools are now to the point where they ask for nut free snacks/treats. Your child is in preschool now and if he is highly allergic then you will/should have been teaching him to avoid nuts. and to ask if there are nuts in whatever he is being handed. make sure he "knows" what a nut is and what a nut could be in (pjb, cookies, cakes etc...) My grandson is 5 he is highly allergic to all tree nuts. we / and he is vigilant in asking Are there nuts in this. we do not expect anyone else to curtail their child's lunch. why would we. it is presumptuous to expect that. If your son is not vigilant in asking you need to start drilling it into him now. Sorry this is not the answer your going to want. But it is the way it will probably go for you.

3 moms found this helpful

S.,
While I dont have a child with severe allergies, I had gluten intolerence as a child, and I have worked in a daycare where we had several children with food allergies. I had one that was allergic to peanut, egg, and red dye. While we were able to accommodate this child(whatever class she was in at the time got served an alternate menu) it is not the norm. If the facility is not already capable of accommodating, you are asking them to pretty much change their entire menu and procedure policy to accommodate one child. As most of the preschools I know are privately run, this is not a feasible idea for them. You are asking a lot more than you can imagine. Please do not misunderstand, as your child's life is definitely important, but there are alternatives for you. Your best place to start is with the state of Oklahoma, whichever division licenses day cares. They can give you a list of preschools that may be able to accommodate your request, or already have children they accommodate. You may even have to go with a private individual who will work with his needs. Or, you can leave him where he is and just be diligent in explaining that his situation does not make him different from anyone else and they only seperate him to keep him safe while eating. Kids are more resilient than you think. My mom had to have a button pin made that said "please do not feed me, I have allergies" as I could not have anything with flour, until I was old enough to understand that I could not take any food from anyone. I don't remember much of it because it became commonplace for me. Yours is not an easy road ahead, it will take work on your part as well. I wish you the best of luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Honestly, I am with the previous poster, you are choosing to expose him, no one is required to go to preschool. That is a choice you are making. I love making homemade treats for my kids to share with friends. I wan't allowed to do that this year because of a peanut allergy in preschool, yes I get that it is life threatening, so no i had to make my fun snacks and leave them at home. I"m sure life is hard for you and your son finding the right things to eat at home. If it were as simple as no pbj fine, but peanuts are in so many foods. You know what my kids had for snack allll year long, fruit snacks. those thing are plain sugar and not at all filling. A suggestion would be to give the preschool a list of foods THat are allowed. And unless this school is run by jerks they aren't going to let your kid sit at a table alone. One of the teachers will take their cheese sandwich and sit with him and he will have one on one with them. Try invoking your least restristive enviroment rights as a child with special needs. I"m pretty sure that would get you want you want in a public elementary school, not sure about preschool. Now I need to ask a question. I was a aquainted with a little girl, whose parents told me she had a nut allergy, then i see Grandma feedign the girl M&M's it clearly states on the bag that they are processed in a plant that has peanuts. Why is this ok?? if an allergy is life threatening then no amount is ok right??? Or in this case was it a food sensitivity?????? I'm assuming your child has had an episode of aniphalatic shock. Are the teachers aware of what will happen if a kid brings an m&m to school and your child touches it? That might be a place to start. If they know the kid will have to go to the ER they might cooperate with you.
And how far does this go, if my kid has peanut butter toast for breakfast and doesn't wash her hands and touches the same doorknob your son does will his throat close up??? People just don't know about this stuff, unfortunately you are going to have to be an advocate for your son. That will probably mean talking to all the staff at the school, and all the parents in the class. What happens at a baseball game, can he just not go, because they sell peanuts??? See , lots of stuff people don't know about this. Where does it come from anyway???
hey, good luck. I hope you find someone else in this situation that can support you I"m sure he isn't the only one in OK, and i hope you can find a good school for your son.

1 mom found this helpful

South Tulsa Baptist Preschool is very accommodating to children with food allergies. Basically if a child has a nut allergy then they keep that class nut free. Also the University School at TU is a peanut free zone.

Document. Go to the pediatrician or the ped allergist and get a note that says must be in a peanut free environment. Our school has a peanut free room with a huge yellow sign that reads no peanuts in this room. I have seen it go from 1st grade to 5th. ALso my daughter was in a class with a child who was severely allergic and she had an incident. It scared my daughter half to death to see her friend rushed to the hospital.
If your son is going ot a public school they have to accomodate your child with the least restrictive environment. Isolating him is more restrictive than making the room peanut free.

I don't know where in T-Town you live so I'm not sure how convenient it is for you...but St. Benedict's Preschool in Broken Arrow I know worked with a child last year that had a peanut allergy. They made his entire classroom a peanut free zone and asked rest of the school to avoid peanut products to as much as possible to cut down on cross contamination too.

Good luck with your search.

I have friends whose children go to the Montessori school in Tulsa and it is a peanut free campus. Good luck to you. I empithize with your difficult situation.
D.

I feel your pain! My daughter has a peanut allergy and will be starting pre-k this fall. We live in Glenpool and luckily a few years ago they changed their policy to a peanut free zone. I am still very nervous, I guess kids can still bring peanutbutter lunches but the school no longer serves it for lunch. They also send notices to parents about buying peanut free for class events. But parents that don't have a child with this allergy don't really know what to look for and teachers have their hands full. I'm scared of accidents. My husband and I are very careful and we have had 3 mishaps. Not to mention many times kids like to share what they have in their pocket! That's how two of our mishaps happened. All I can suggest is go to the school board or get a transfer to another school. If you have any questions or just want to vent you can private message me.
Good luck!

I just read the other answers people have given. I am amazed how heartless alot of those answers are. Worried about the inconvenience that is placed on your family because your child only got fruit snacks for lunch and how much sugar they had! If your in a hurry and you see a young child in the middle of the road in front of a school would you just go around them and leave them there to be hit, or would you take an extra minute to make sure that child was safe. It's not rocket science!!!!!!

Can't help with Tulsa specifically. My pre-schooler is at the YMCA here in MN and it is a peanut and latex free building. But they also have an in-house food service which means parents do not have to face the agony of "If I can't pack a PB&J...Then what do I make for lunch?"

Our oldest attends a public elementary school that has been latex free for several years but peanut free for only 1.5 yrs. And yes, PB&J came off the lunch line and though I suspect they cannot totally police it, parents are strongly encouraged not to pack PB&Js in the brown bag.
But both the Y and the school receive grants, donations, and govt funds and so are required to make reasonable accommodations. Narrow your hunt for pre-school to non-private places.

Is home schooling an option? That way you can be sure to control the environment.

And just out of curiosity, how severe is the allergy? Some kids seems to have a "sensitivity", and others an allergic reason that can be mild or require an epi-injctn. But it seems very few have the truly fatal anaphalactic shock type allergy...The ones that cannot even look at a baseball park for fear that the dust from peanut shells will waft their way.

Gosh at our Mother's Day Out program if one child in the room has a peanut or nut allergy none of the other kids bring food with peanut/nut products in them. They hang a big sign on the door of that room. No one knows but the teacher who the allergic child is...and they keep the child's epi pen. I don't know of a single mom who has ever complained about it...we want all the kids safe.

I am as baffled as you are...I don't have a child with a nut allergy but a seafood allergy...so odds of them coming across it are low, but I carry that epi pen with me just in case.

HUGS!!

Every school is different and has differing degrees of tolerance for peanut restrictions. For instance when my son (who isn't allergic to anything) was in kindergarten the whole school was a peanut-free zone, when he was in first grade (and in a different school) they had a peanut-free table in the lunchroom. Where he's at now I think it's the same set up...peanut-free table. And at none of these schools were we allowed to bring any sort of baked good from home (or scratch) just in case. I think It's unrealistic to expect a whole school (even a pre-school) to go completely peanut-free because of your son's allergy, as life-threatening and scary as it may be...would you expect that of an elementary school unless they already are? Get used to the fact that your son may have to sit at a different table than most of the rest of the class (for now and if the school is not an entirely peanut-free zone) but as he gets older and goes to regular school he'll probably have more company at that table (more children having lunch at same time). For now perhaps you need to do a little more research into other pre-schools that may have peanut-restrictions closer to what you hope for and put your son in that school instead.

Wow! You people don't really care, do you?!?! What you are saying is crazy! My 3 year old is allergic to cows milk, eggs and peanuts/tree nuts. If he gets any of this he quits breathing!!! I would think that people could NOT bring a pbj to school and have it only when they are at home. Is that really too much to ask? I would GLADLY keep my kids from bringing it if it were another child and not my own. It is a childs LIFE we are talking about! My son knows he has to ask before he eats anything that me or my husband don't give him. I still worry, he will be starting school this fall and it is still very scary.
The schools here are nut free in class rooms and he won't be there for lunch. I plan on homeschooling later if I am able to.

I can't help with public schools in Tulsa, but I do know of two private schools in Tulsa that are peanut and tree nut free for the safety of the children. Undercroft Montessori school and Riverfield Country Day School. Undercroft campus is completely peanut and tree nut free. Riverfield has a policy that no peanut and tree nut products are in the preschool up to 1st grade, after that it is on a class by class basis. I am not a fan of public schools, they have an attitude that it isn't about the kids, more about the school. Good Luck with your search.

Please if any of you live in Oklahoma and are having issues with Food Allergies in school, contact me. I am trying to get stuff together for the state. Thank you, K. S.; ____@____.com - mother of daughter with nut allergies

I am not in your area but also have a preschooler with a severe peanut and tree nut allergy. Food allergies are considered a disability and therefore, children with allergies are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Which means that your preschool is required by federal law to make a "reasonable accommodation". That is very open to interpretation as to what is reasonable. That is not limited to publicly funded institutions, by the way. This is the same law that requires airlines to have peanut free zones if requested on flights. The accommodation that you are requesting must not be "unduly burdensome". It is not unduly burdensome to expect that all children wash their hands first thing when entering the school and not to allow peanuts in any shape or form PERIOD. It is also not unduly burdensome for parents to come up with alternatives for their children's lunches and also not unduly burdensome for parents not to make treats to share with the class. We are talking about a 4 hour period during the day during which kids can abstain from peanuts. If you are having a lot of trouble, do some research on the law. I've often found that if you are clear with people that any exposure could result in an ambulance ride and a lawsuit, they are a little more willing to work with you.

That said, you also need to find a place that you feel comfortable sending your child to and a willingness to work with you on this hugely important issue then maybe that isn't the kind of place you'd want to send your kid to anyway.

Just an aside because I'm reading this a lot of the other posts... a common thing people don't understand about peanut allergies is that there is no such thing as a "sensitivity". All peanut allergies are considered potentially fatal. One time a small exposure might elicit only a skin type reaction and the next time, the same amount could elicit anaphylaxis. There is really no rhyme or reason to it and it is not fully understood. That is why the allergy is particularly deadly.

To Sherry....it is completely unrealistic for a child of 3 or 4 to be "vigilant". A beautiful high school girl died two weeks ago in Chino Hills, CA from accidental ingestion of peanuts. She always carried her epi pens but left them at home on prom night because they wouldn't fit in the tiny purse she carried to match her dress. Kids do not fully develop the prefrontal cortex of their brain until their 20s so it's hard for them not to be impulsive and make irrational decisions. It is up to the adults to ensure that proper precautions are being taken to protect them. Please protect your 5 year old grandson. Yes, it's great that he's being educated at such a young age to ask the right questions, etc. but he can't be responsible for himself! The schools do need to take responsibility..it's the law!!!!

My daughter went to the YWCA pre-k program at 19th and Lewis and they were VERY good about peanut allergies. Kids weren't even allowed to bring anything into the classroom that had peanuts in it. They didn't isolate the children with the allergies (there were 3 kids in my daughter's class), they just made sure no one at all had anything with them in it to avoid contact!

BECAUSE it is a publicly funded institution is why public schools should accommodate children with life threatening food allergies such as peanuts. Afterall we provide public education for children with all sorts of physical and learning disabilities, special ed, language education, speech education, behavorial ed, and the list goes on. I feel sorry for any parent who thinks their "rights" would be violated if their child can't eat a peanut butter (high fat, high caloric) sandwich at lunch because they are missing a golden opportunity to teach their child "the golden rule". The most important lesson in life you can teach your child is "do unto others as you would have others do unto you".

I believe that Tulsa University School has a preschool and elementary that is peanut free. My severely peanut allergic son ended up going to Union Public for Pre-K on up. He's now in 5th. No problems so far, however, I would have sent him to a private, peanut free school if I had the choice. Good luck!!!

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