You’ve all read the headlines and seen the news stories: food allergies are a growing concern in schools across America. Millions of children—children who are perfectly healthy and normal in every other way—must watch every single bite they eat, or risk suffering a severe or even life threatening reaction. In fact, food allergies claim an estimated 150 lives and are responsible for more than 125,000 emergency room visits each year. A major health issue such as this must be taken very seriously, and it has always been the policy of this school to make the safety and well-being of our students our top priority.
A student in our first grade class has a serious peanut/tree nut allergy—the food allergy that claims more lives each year than any other. A child with a serious peanut/tree nut allergy can suffer a reaction merely by touching a peanut-containing food. Therefore, we are putting the following safety guidelines into effect for both first grade classes:
- Please do not send any peanuts, tree nuts, peanut/almond/cashew butter, Nutella or foods containing peanuts/tree nuts to school.
- We will not be doing any classroom projects that involve peanut/tree nut butter (like bird feeders) or peanut shells (art projects). Please do not send any of these projects into the classroom with your child.
- Birthday parties are a special time for children, but can be a difficult time for the food-allergic child. Please do not send homemade snacks to school with your child to share. Please click the link on the right for our Peanut/Tree Nut Safe Snack List and be sure to email or call your child’s teacher before sending snacks to school.
- We will try to keep the food at holiday parties to a minimum. As with birthday parties, we must be extremely careful about the ingredients in all of the food items. Please do not enclose candy or other treats with holiday cards.
- We will keep a box of wipes in the classroom, and may request that all children use a wipe to clean their hands when they return from the cafeteria. Similarly, if your child ate peanut/tree nut butter for breakfast, we would greatly appreciate your making sure that his/her hands are washed with soap and water before leaving for school. Water alone does not do the trick!
This is a learning process for all of us, but we trust that you understand how deeply important it is to respect and adhere to these guidelines. If throughout the course of the year you have any questions or concerns about food-allergy-related issues, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy school year.