In my experience with elementary school, it's a good idea to let the parents of your child's classmates know about food allergies in the classroom. This not only helps reduce the incidence of unwanted and allergenic foods making their way into the classroom for parties and other events, but it also gives parents an idea of why this is happening and why the policy was instituted. The more the school backs you up on this, the better. Plus, some kids' Individual Health Plans or 504 Plans include a policy of reducing or eliminating certain foods in the classroom.
Some teachers like to issue a letter at the start of the school year. Others may issue reminder notes before class parties or events. Our daughter's elementary school teachers have done this and it's been very helpful.
The note does not have to be long or filled with medical detail. Keep it informative, but also short, sweet and to the point. Notes don't solve everything, and I know parents get a lot of notes sent home that they disregard. But the benefit of the teacher issuing a note shows parents that this is policy and just part of the class rules.
Here is a sample note from the teacher alerting classmates’ parents to the presence of nut allergies in the classroom. Despite the fact that most elementary schools in the U.S. are not nut-free throughout the school, many classrooms strive to be nut-free in order to reduce additional risk from foods. This letter reflects that type of policy.
For every teacher who helps keep our kids safe and healthy during the school day, THANK YOU!
Sample Note to Parents from Your Child’s Teacher
This year we have students in our 4th grade class with severe allergies to peanuts and/or tree nuts. Because of the seriousness of this allergy, we are asking you to refrain from sending peanut or tree nut products to school for snacks or class parties.
Your child is still able to eat what they like in the lunch room, where a peanut-free table will be available for allergic students or students who have not brought nut products with them that day. However, due to shared computer equipment and art supplies in the classroom, as well as the ease with which food residue is transferred from one student to the other, we would like to keep our classroom “nut-free.”
Our goal is to make school a safe place for all of our students. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions, please contact (your child’s teacher). For a great source of food allergy information, visit www.faiusa.org.
Your Teacher’s Name
What about your school? Do they issue a note or reminders about not bringing in certain foods?