Saturday, August 25, 2007

Oh What A Relief It Is

(You're all singing that song now aren't you - plop plop, fizz fizz,.... you know the rest, sing along now - or am I dating myself?)

I met with the Little Man's teacher and the Director of the preschool yesterday. They met with me for over an hour and we went over my carefully typed up sheet of information line by line and then had a question and answer period. I was nervous, but I felt very organized. I think I shocked them when I starting talking about "safe art supplies". They didn't realize that there were art supplies out there that wouldn't be safe. But oh yes, allergens hide in many, many places. Take paint for example. Not all paint is wheat or egg free. So to make it easy they've agreed to use only Crayola products (all Crayola products are safe, except for Crayola dough). They won't use paste, but only Elmer's glue sticks and they'll make home made play dough with rice flour (they did this for us last year for the Mom and Tot class so they already have the recipe). They'll only use Colgate shaving cream and will contact me before any craft project that involves food so that I can either 1. supply a safe substitute for The Little Man or 2. supply a safe substitute for the class (i.e. instead of Cheerios supply the class with Perky O's ). No wheat flour of any kind will be used in class and the entire school with be peanut/ tree nut free this year since every class has a child with a nut allergy (I did not ask for this, this was their decision before I showed up).
The Little Man will have his safe snack box and he will only eat snacks that are brought from home (see incredibly exciting pictures for examples).
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

They will supply me with a list of birthdays so I can supply a safe cupcake for him on days the other children will celebrate birthdays. He will sit at the head of the table for snacks and the Aid will sit next to him to make sure there is no sharing of snacks. The teacher will serve the Little Man first so his snacks will not be cross contaminated.
The EPI pen will be kept with the Little Man at all times and will be transported with him as he moves from room to room. Everyone has been trained on the use of the EPI pen and what signs to look for in case of a reaction (an emergency action plan is in place). His teacher is also willing to take one of my expired EPI's and use it on an orange so she can see how the actual EPI Pen works vs. the trainer.
I gave them my FAAN book and they are going to get safe Popsicles for the Little Man for the Ice cream Social that they have right before school starts.
They really seemed to care about making sure the Little Man is safe and they really seemed to care about putting my mind at ease. I also wanted them to know that my goal is not only to keep my child safe, but to make them feel comfortable teaching my child. I know that they must feel a certain amount of stress having a child with so many allergies and I want both of our experiences to be positive ones.
No plan is full proof. I'm still stressed about sending him to school and I may still sit in the parking lot for the first week or two, but at this point, I think I've done all I can do. The only thing left to do is to pray.


Sue said...

You did great Janeen. I'm sure they wish all parents were so diligent and detail-oriented. I know I was surprised that my school didn't already have the milk ingredients list when they've said they have had milk allergic children before (and I think they do now). Good idea about the head of the table - I'm going to request that as well.

annie said...

It sounds like you everything really covered. I remember Amanda had a child in her class years ago with a severe allergy but really didn't think much about it until I have been reading your blog.

Barbara H. said...

I can only imagine what a relief it was to have them open and receptive and cooperative. You did great!

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

ruth said...

you are so lucky to have a school willing to accommodate all your requirements.

you did a great job, janeen!

Ruth at Allergizer.

Michelle said...

it sounds like it was a wonderful meeting with people who truly care and want the best. That's great they were so open with everything (I had no idea about allergens in the art supplies either!). How interesting that every class has a student w/a peanut allergy! sounds like you have a great plan in place, now I'm sending you prayers for peace of mind!

Org Junkie said...

Oh Janeen, so many emotions brought back for me while reading your post. This is a tough time that is for sure but it sounds like you have everything well organized for a successful year. I TOTALLY understand about sitting in the parking lot, I did the same thing. Hang in there and I'll be praying for you too.

PS: I'm finally back from holidays!

Anne D said...

This is so great. I know what a relief it is to get through that meeting. Everyone at the school sounds so accomdating and helpful. What a relief! I am jealous the school is peanut-free; one less thing to think about!

By the way, we have the same breakfast bars in our house! :-)

Happy Momma said...

You did fabulous! What a blessing that the school/teachers care, some days it is hard to find that anymore! We will continue to pray a hedge of protection over him though for sure!