Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First full day of Kindergarten with peanut butter served in the cafeteria!

I think the title of this post says it all! Yes, today was Alexa's first full day of kindergarten and that includes her eating lunch in the cafeteria which is shared by the entire school (up to 12th grade).  They serve peanut butter sandwiches to the kids who want them and the 1st graders eat before her class.  SO....the big questions that are probably on your mind...1) Was I nervous today? Yes!  2.) Am I still nervous? Well, lunch was over almost 2 hours ago-so that's a relief! 3.) How did I get through it? Preparation, communication, and a few prayers! After our incident last Wednesday (when Alexa was given an unapproved, but thankfully safe snack) I arrived today ready to educate, communicate, and partner with the school to ensure her safety.  I arrived early (before the classroom was opened) and brought a bag full of safe snacks, a list of safe snacks, and a big smile with a great attitude.  I greeted the teacher with a smile and was pleasantly surprised to see that she was also wanting to talk to me.  I explained what I had brought, we talked about how to handle snack,  I demonstrated how to use the Epi Pens (she seemed relieved that I took the time to do this!) and we agreed to make the room peanut free! yippee!  Alexa will still have to contend with peanut butter (and other allergens) in the cafeteria but at least the rest of her day should be somewhat safe!  I also introduced myself to the school nurse (again) and provided her with a zip lock bag with Epi Pens, our Allergy Action plan, and Alexa's photo.  I also introduced Alexa to Tory (the cafeteria supervisor) and the lunch lady (sorry-didn't get her name!).  I feel  confident that everyone who needs to know-has ben informed of her allergies.  One Mom also recommended that I place a notice on her lunch bag (GREAT IDEA!).   Last night I attached a note on the top which has her name, a "no peanuts" sign and a list of all her allergies.  If she doesn't stand out after that I'll be attaching a neon sign to her head!   Last but not least, I ordered some SafetyTats which she will wear for the first month or so of school.  If you have not heard of them check out their website (no I'm not affiliated in any way-just came across them and liked the idea) safetytat.com . They make temporary tattoos for various applications and labels as well.

I realize some allergy Mom's may not like the idea of placing a temporary tattoo on their child to draw attention to their allergies but it gives me comfort. having her allergies highlighted.  I don't feel the need to hide them or try to make her "blend in".   As she gets older, I'm SURE she'll tell me "Mooom, please everyone's looking!" Her new school is huge with hundreds of children and her little Medic Alert bracelet could easily be overlooked by a teacher, staff member, or volunteer who is watching her.  The tattoo stands out and will attract the attention of an adult who will then keep a better eye on her until they get to know her better.  Most likely I will only use these for the first month or so of school.  I will post a photo of her with her tattoo once they arrive (hopefully today!).  So, 15 minutes to go and so far so good! Let's hope we have a fun, productive, safe school year!!

1 comment:

  1. I understand how scary this can be!
    Communication IS the key, especially with younger children. Yes, as she gets older, she'll be able to explain in detail what she can, and can't have, but until then making sure teachers and administration are fully aware of the situation.
    And as the school year goes along, things will be easier - trust me!
    Hang in there!