We have students who are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, Brazil nuts are a few to note). Accidental contact with peanuts, tree nuts or foods containing peanuts or tree nuts (i.e. peanut butter, peanut oil, almond butter, etc.) even tiny amounts, can cause a severe allergic reaction and even death for those who have this condition. A nut allergy for children is a life threatening issue.
Although most children “outgrow” some allergies, allergies to peanuts or tree nuts may be life-long. They can cause reactions ranging from hives, itching or swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth, to life-threatening shortness of breath and a drastic drop in blood pressure.
Avoidance, education, awareness, and preparedness are the four keys to management of any nut allergy. This means not coming into contact with anything that has even minute traces of peanuts, tree nuts, or products containing peanuts. Peanuts may also be concealed in processed and baked foods. Examples include baked goods (Meijer cupcakes), candy (plain M&Ms), cereals (granola), chili, cookies (Meijer chocolate chip cookies), dips, egg rolls, ice cream and spaghetti sauces. We also urge the children not to share their snacks or lunch.
How can a parent help? Although a child with peanut allergy cannot always avoid all contact with these foods, we ask that a concerted effort be made to send snacks and treats to school (for class parties, etc.) that do not contain peanuts or tree nuts, especially if a child in your child’s class has a nut allergy. Please check the ingredients on any snacks or treats. If you purchase granola/cereal bars, cookies, muffins, crackers, or similar items, please avoid choices where the ingredients read, “May contain peanuts or tree nuts,” or “Processed on equipment that also processes peanuts or tree nuts,” as these pose a real danger to some of our children. When sending food into the class, please send the original container so that we can double-check the ingredients.
Thank you, in advance, for your kind help with this and please do not hesitate to contact our school nurse, Kathy Agostino if you have any questions.