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Peanut allergy – atlanta

any schools recommend that either restrict nuts in school or atleast classrooms? Anywhere around atlanta/ and surrounding areas thanks.

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  • Jen

    Hi @Lisa123, 

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.  Do you have a child with a peanut allergy?

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, @Lisa123! Atlanta is a big area with lots of different options, depending on where you live. What part of Atlanta are you looking at to start your kiddo in school? How old is your kiddo? Do you guys have a 504 plan in place? 

    Here are some resources on the Kids With Food Allergies division of AAFA that can help .

  • Lisa123
    Jen posted:

    Hi @Lisa123, 

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.  Do you have a child with a peanut allergy?

    Yes peanut allergy 

  • Lisa123
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Welcome, @Lisa123! Atlanta is a big area with lots of different options, depending on where you live. What part of Atlanta are you looking at to start your kiddo in school? How old is your kiddo? Do you guys have a 504 plan in place? 

    Here are some resources on the Kids With Food Allergies division of AAFA that can help .

    Anywhere where find safest school for him.  He will be in kindergarten or 1st grade when move.  (Prefer the Dunwoody / NE areas)

  • K8sMom2002

    Are you interested more in public education or private? Both have pros and cons — private education in Atlanta can be very pricey, and they may not be required by the government to follow a 504 plan, but it could be a smaller and more responsive school. 

    A public school would be required to follow a 504 plan, but you would also need to live in that school district in order to attend that school. 

    Again, the greater Atlanta is extremely spread out — 8,376 square miles! Here are links to the main public school systems in/around Atlanta. Many of these school districts have several different elementary schools. 

    Could you reach out to each district office and ask for their food allergy policy to see which seems the most "together and with it?" And then you could drill down to the actual school?

      Also, Atlanta has an AAFA-affiliated support group in place – 

      Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta, Inc.Area Served: GeorgiaAudience: All AgesFocus: Food Allergy and AsthmaMeeting Location: Meeting locations vary across stateMeetings: Contact for informationCoordinator: Karen HarrisMedical Advisor: Karen Freedle, MDPhone Number: (404) 512-7983Fax Number: N/AE-mail: Website: 

      Another suggestion that I would make is to join  (it's the food allergy division of AAFA) for help in managing food allergies. We have parents on our online support community who have been in your exact situation. They share the knowledge, tips and tricks of parents who have faced similar dilemmas.

    • K8sMom2002

      AND I just saw that you had a preferred location! Dunwoody would be — that I think I left off of my list by accident.

      The school nutrition interim director would be:

       Interim Executive DirectorSchool Nutrition Services1780 Montreal Road Tucker, GA 30084Phone: 678.676.0162
      Also, the school district website has a .
      The deputy superintendent who would most likely be in charge of student support services is  (Deputy Superintendent).
      Atlanta has a lot of private schools — many of them are religious in nature, which may mean they are exempt from certain requirements. Here's a link to a .
    • Lisa123
      K8sMom2002 posted:

      AND I just saw that you had a preferred location! Dunwoody would be — that I think I left off of my list by accident.

      The school nutrition interim director would be:

       Interim Executive DirectorSchool Nutrition Services1780 Montreal Road Tucker, GA 30084Phone: 678.676.0162
      Also, the school district website has a .
      The deputy superintendent who would most likely be in charge of student support services is  (Deputy Superintendent).
      Atlanta has a lot of private schools — many of them are religious in nature, which may mean they are exempt from certain requirements. Here's a link to a .

      Still figuring out how to use this- hope I'm doing the replies right.

      Your replies are amazing thanks.  I'll share the policies I found so far as I called about half dozen I think. I'm not on my computer now but have a spreadsheet.   "Atlanta Public Schools District" is peanut free in what they serve but don't tell people not to bring it.  Rest of the districts I called served peanut butter.  Then I drilled into elementary schools in the aps district a bit- one asks parents not to send another doesn't. Have to look back at notes if some had nut free classrooms required as needed.  I don't think so.  But everyone was really awesome about communicating and answering.  And seem reasonably willing to discuss a plan if he went there which is nice. 

    • Megan Roberts

      Yep, you are doing just fine with the replies @Lisa123! That's a promising sign that the school district is really responsive even before your son is registered there. What are your next steps with this school district or are you still searching for others that might be accommodating? 

    • Lisa123

      Oh but again- will move to where the safest school is for him.  Ideally public as we have a lot of kids and one will just be starting college too boot.  Ideally no peanuts, none allowed, and wipe and  wash hands if they do allow and peanut butter is discouraged and kids with it sit at one far end of class table at lunch (one private school does this) vs alienating out the allergic kid.  Or a special table for kids that bring it?  Anyways I am knew still to it all but peanut butter is dangerous/sticky/transferable and deadly hard to remove.  Thanks I will follow all your suggestions.  Want to find public no nuts Served and no peanuts allowed school  

    • Jen

      Lisa,

      My oldest is allergic to peanuts.  Our schools are not peanut-free;however, by taking appropriate precautions, she has never had an issue at school.  I will ditto Cynthia's suggestion to join the  - lots of great resources and advice/experience from other parents.

    • Lisa123

      Thanks!  Yeap I joined that.  Sorry was swamped w work – didn't get to the spreadsheet said i would in another note.  Thanks !!!

    • Jen

      @Lisa123,

      Have you had a chance to read through some of the school resources on the Kids with Food Allergies site?  What kinds of things do you think you'll need to prepare to send your child off to school?

    • K8sMom2002

      @Lisa123, do you have any more questions about preparing for school while managing a peanut allergy?

    • Lisa123

      Hi not right now but I know I will!

      wrspped up in analyzing if we do OIT

      Thank you so much.

    • Nav Gosal

      Hi, Lisa123. I thought about this really good  when I read your post. Here's some of what it says:

      A Peanut Allergy is one of the most common Allergies that causes severe allergy attacks. Some peanut allergies can be life-threatening (anaphylaxis). Causes a Peanut Allergy? A Peanut allergic reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts and releases chemicals, including histamine, into your blood.

      Hope this helps!

    • K8sMom2002

      Lisa123, just curious … wondering if OIT was a go or no-go for you guys. It's a big decision to make, with a lot of commitment.

    • Lisa123

      Hi guys sorry I dropped this thread.  Actually yes thanks!  I’ll reply regarding oit to  k8s above.

      thoughts in identifying a mild rx that might get worse when they have NOT invested the allergen?  We had three situations this week

      1) library w a no food policy has allowed the school system to serve pbj daily.  We got there (hours after) and son started having a mental meltdown out of no where – maybe airborn bugging him?  Probably coincidence.  He was Tired / no nap.  

      2) mall- entered where Cinnabon/auntie Ann’s and a smelly make up store – he immediately got itchy all over, then itchy eyes and face and stuffy nose,  bumps all over later.  And he was uncomfortable. 

      3) swim instructor ate pbj hour prior to lesson – he’s 4- she was holding him of course in close proximity to her face.  Also had him use goggles that aren’t his.  His face swelled a bit (puffy), eyes itchy, one hive on face near where goggles, bumps all over torso front and back.   Was acting out.  He was tired / interrupted nap.  

      I will review w doctor but finding it hard to identify multiple mild symotims for epi.  

    • Melissa G

      Lisa, I am so sorry you have had some issues this last week! When do you see the allergist next? Can  you call him? Do you have an allergy action plan?

    • Lisa123

      yeah I'll give her office a call.  I didn't want to bother her after hours since we aren't in OIT right now.  good idea.  

    • Melissa G

      Lisa I feel the same way about calling specialists, I feel like I am bothering them when I call. I love it when I can email or send messages through the health portal. That way the doctor can respond when they have a chance. 

    • Lisa123

      Hi mellissa, yeap sure did.  She thinks the peanut from the swim instructor was contact to her mouth somehow- guess her saliva coming out or his hand across her lips or something.  Scary!!  We discussed what to do next etc.    no idea about the mall episode but maybe he touched something that someone touched w peanut.

      yesteray a kid was eating peanut butter crackers inches from him at a museum!  Hands on place and they were exchanging balls and pulling levers etc.  mom was like “oh it’s okay because I’m holding it and touching it.

    • Brenda Silvia-Torma
      Melissa G posted:

      Yikes Lisa! People just don't understand. I'm sorry you had to go through that. 

      …it really is amazing how people don't either realize or don't understand. I was at Home Depot a few weeks ago getting mulch (before my asthma attack), and there was a woman with her dog waiting in the mulch area and she was snacking on a jar of peanuts… if you don't know anyone with allergies, maybe you just don't think of it?  Because of my mom's allergies, I've always been conscious of it. 

      Lisa, glad your kiddo is okay!

    • Lisa123
      K8sMom2002 posted:

      Are you interested more in public education or private? Both have pros and cons — private education in Atlanta can be very pricey, and they may not be required by the government to follow a 504 plan, but it could be a smaller and more responsive school. 

      A public school would be required to follow a 504 plan, but you would also need to live in that school district in order to attend that school. 

      Again, the greater Atlanta is extremely spread out — 8,376 square miles! Here are links to the main public school systems in/around Atlanta. Many of these school districts have several different elementary schools. 

      Could you reach out to each district office and ask for their food allergy policy to see which seems the most "together and with it?" And then you could drill down to the actual school?

        Also, Atlanta has an AAFA-affiliated support group in place – 

        Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta, Inc.Area Served: GeorgiaAudience: All AgesFocus: Food Allergy and AsthmaMeeting Location: Meeting locations vary across stateMeetings: Contact for informationCoordinator: Karen HarrisMedical Advisor: Karen Freedle, MDPhone Number: (404) 512-7983Fax Number: N/AE-mail: Website: 

        Another suggestion that I would make is to join  (it's the food allergy division of AAFA) for help in managing food allergies. We have parents on our online support community who have been in your exact situation. They share the knowledge, tips and tricks of parents who have faced similar dilemmas.

        Hi just wanted to follow up – I combed through the districts, talked to the nutrition directors, hundreds of principals, emailed school board even…in a nut shell looks like private school is the only option given a few factors for us but there were two public schools that are nut free in the surrounding greater area (Out of ALL those counties) – well one is nut free - Smyrna Elementary and another is trying to be – almost there- Morning Side Elementary.  Then there are a few charters also –  Cherokee Academy Charter (we toured – was really good).  Smyrna is too far for my husband to travel back and forth to Cumming in the morning to bring my step son to school and we all had asthma flare ups and allergies out in Canton (did a trial stay) and I'm told its not even the 'bad season' yet…but it sure was pretty out there!.  It also presents an issue for work but that wouldn't have deterred me.  But the inhalers were coming out there.

        Almost every public school principal agreed they should be nut free but only ONE said they would look into it and try.  A few just didn't agree.  Some just don't get it – especially if their kid has a PN allergy but has a high thresh hold because they are fine w/ cross contact.  A lot think everyone is the same – while life threatening anaphylactic reactions are a given – the AMOUNT / Thresh hold – that triggers such a reaction varies.  We are on the low to no thresh hold range and at the greatest risk.

        They basically don't want to fight against the moms that have a LOT of  time on their hands to fight for their kids rights to HAVE peanut butter.  And they told me "as passionate as you are that you don't want your son to die, they want their kids to eat peanut butter at lunch.  not after school.  not at dinner.  at lunch".  Some schools told me it would be a violation of their civil rights.  I found that pretty comical actually after getting upset, crying etc.(to myself of course).  A violation of human rights and civil rights to eat peanut butter at a public school when my kid has NO thresh hold and it can kill him if THEY eat it…I can control what he eats…but THEM eating it is the threat to him.   Those same schools forbid candy, soda, and fast food.  But peanuts…that would be a violation of civil rights?  that's hogwash.

        They say they can't wash all the kids hands, they don't want to isolate the kids to a separate table that eat peanut butter even in schools that don't serve it (some don't).  etc…so 504 plan or not – they aren't willing to wash all hands and even if they did – their mouths just like you transmit germs and get sick – those droplets can go into my sons mouth etc.  onto his pencils etc.  anyways it was a horrible experience to be told that "yes we have to epi kids, and in fact we epi mostly for peanuts and bees- those kids are our biggest problems" and then also told "no we won't ask parents to even VOLUNTARILY not bring in peanut butter".   Disheartened with the world is an understatement.  I think I was naive thinking the world was mostly compassionate and loving – especially for a 5 year old.   so 504 means – only going as far as what they can do to my kid – isolate him, epi him and call 911…but not make sure everyone else's hands are washed or don't eat peanut period – cause again their mouth can transmit it to his or to their hands to other objects etc but regardless – hands aren't being washed (with a couple of schools that said they try but of course can't guarantee that).  so 911 and epi.  thanks. but no thanks.  I want to mitigate risk reasonably and not having peanut butter in school to me is very reasonable.  we are at the mercy of the community.  and while we figure out how to make it better for our other food allergies, we shouldn't neglect the one that is the most airborne, most common and such minute amounts.  (and yes I would go milk free in a second if a kiddo was that sensitive to contact of that).  but this is a huge thing – 92% of the Food anaphalyxys…and every allergy like every disability shouldn't be lumped together to argue why we won't help one type of disability because we can't figure them all out yet right?

        My step son's school….the principal was very nice.  But she won't even entertain it.  Some schools won't even restrict it from his classroom.  ONE school told me he can wait in the hallway while the kids have snack!  Anyways…contact is the problem…so him being separated doesn't help.  

        We brought my son to his big brothers school in Cumming.  I am crying even remembering it.  He got out of the car and we went in to sign him out from after care. He was so excited to see him.  He came out and G said "I"m going to come here to my brother's school next year" and we had to explain to him he could not because they served peanut butter every day and the kids can eat it.  They don't wash their hands.  And that was such a huge risk to take we couldn't do that.  But as we spoke..and he looked completely shattered…we had to say something like we don't like this school anyways we have a better school that REALLY wants you.  he was so sad the rest of the trip and woulnd' talk to anyone at the schools we visited.   Someone in front of him said that they can't control what people have on their hands from their homes so they won't try to be peanut free (so yeah just let it all in on purpose..what an excuse to not mitigate the risk?)…so G says on one tour 'I see peanut free signs everywhere'.  And they say 'yes that is to keep you safe.  we don't allow peanuts' and G says back to them ' but that doesn't help if they don't wash their hands before they come to school' and then looked back down at his iPad.

         

        anyways.  it was heart breaking.  he just wants to go to school w/ his brother.  that's all he wants.  (my step son).  But we can't even find one school in the same city as him that would restrict peanuts. 

        So here is my list of schools that are nut free / peanut free (couple are not nut free in the classroom though so not 100%) and do so to protect our kids:

         

        <colgroup><col width="224" /></colgroup>

        Davis Academy (except nuts allowed in classrooms your child is not in but not peanuts)
        Morningside Elementary (almost all nut free)
        Crabapple Montesorri
        cherokee Charter Academy (except nuts allowed in classrooms your child is not in but not peanuts)
        Brenwood 
         
        Mount Pisgah
        Holy Innocents
        Westminister
        St Benedict Episcopal 
        Mount Vernan
        Burgess-Peterson Academy Charter School
        PACE
        Epstein School
        Greater Atlanta Christian
        Globe acadamy
        Smyrna Elementary
        Drew Charter School in APS
        APS (Atlanta Public Schools) best by far – they don't server it 100% of schools – and some charters and other schools in there are nut free – they don't allow it to be brought in.
        Globe Charter in Dekalb

         

      • K8sMom2002

        Hugs, hugs, hugs … I hate that your son was so shattered with disappointment, and I hate that Atlanta schools didn't live up to the hospitality of the traditional deep south. Sometimes people can miss the forest for the trees, yanno? 

        When will you make a decision about the school? The issue that I would worry about with private religious schools is that a 504 is not an option. But if they are willing to work with you, then you may not need that 504 for now. 

        Things can and do change, and hopefully schools will be more willing to accommodate, or your son's allergies will become less severe as he gets older. In the meantime, my hat's off to you because you have done such a thorough job of hunting, searching and touring all these schools!

      • Lisa123

        We decided to NOT move to Atlanta.  Will follow up with a post in KWFA with a list of our nut-free school findings in Atlanta area and now what I am researching in Florida.  Thanks

      • Shea

        Hi Lisa. I live in Florida and I wasn't happy with the way schools in my area handle allergies. My son's threshold is higher, with never reacting to cross contact (My peanut allergy is the same). But, I was nervous about food sharing, isolation, peer-pressure, and bullying as well as staff ignorance and difficulty with epipen access. He has other allergies as well. We found a nut-free homeschool co-op in Odessa, Florida that we like. I do a public virtual school in Florida called Connections Academy that we both like. It has allowed me to be there but also for my son to socialize safely in groups. I just wanted to share this option with you since it is uncommon… It isn't for everyone but it has been for us. 

      • Melissa G

        Thanks for sharing your experience Shea! It is always nice to know what options are out there.