Important Food Allergy Information
Shannon Kennedy & Heather Wendelin
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.
Currently, at Crete Elementary, there are students with many different allergies, including serious peanut allergies - the food allergy that claims more lives each year than any other. A child with a serious peanut allergy can suffer a reaction merely by touching a peanut-containing food. Therefore, we are putting the following safety guidelines into effect:
- The school cafeteria will not serve anything that contains peanuts or peanut products to children.
- In order to minimize the risk to children with life-threatening allergies, we will be providing a “cold lunch table” to minimize the risk of exposure to peanuts from homes.
- If your child eats peanut butter for breakfast, we would greatly appreciate you making sure that his/her hands and face are washed with soap and water before leaving for school. Water alone does not do the trick! We will practice good handwashing procedures throughout the school.
- Tables in the cafeteria will always be washed with soap and water in between lunches.
- Any snacks brought to school will need to be checked in with the nurse for the possibility of peanut products. We encourage healthy snacks, such as fruits and vegetables instead of sweets.
- The nurse and the office have a list of safe snack alternatives for parents if you are interested in bringing snacks.
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 either one of us.
Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy school year.
Heather Wendelin, Principal
Shannon Kennedy, RN, School Nurse