October 21 2010

Creating A “Peanut Free” Classroom

Since the beginning of the school year I have spent time in many “Peanut Free” classrooms.  These rooms contain students that have minor to severe peanut allergies.   Students can get hives, abdominal pain, start vomiting or go into anaphylactic shock from eating, touching or even smelling peanuts.  Depending on what causes your student to have a reaction can help you determine how “Peanut Free” your classroom needs to be.  For example, some students only have a reaction when they physically eat a peanut product while others will have a reaction because they smell peanuts on another student’s breath.  Here is a list of ways to make your classroom “Peanut Free;” starting with the least restraining to most the preventative.

Allow peanut items in the classroom:

  • Don’t allow students to share snacks.
  • Have a “Peanut Free” table where peanut products are not allowed.

Don’t allow peanut items in the classroom:

  • Post a visible, easy to read sign on the door stating that peanut products cannot enter the room.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • Send a letter home asking parents not to send snacks/lunches that contain peanut products to school with their child.
  • Have students wash hands before entering the classroom.
  • Have students wipe face with wet nap before entering classroom.
  • Don’t let any lunchboxes in the classroom.
  • Keep an EpiPen in the classroom and know how to use it– if this is necessary the student who needs it will have a prescription and the school nurse will be notified.

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