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Snacks In The Classroom....causing Problems
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My son has been diagnosed with Celiac and he is getting glutened.  Best I can tell, it is coming from his 1st grade classroom at school.  Everyone is aware of his Celiac, there are doctors notes/diagnosis on file, we have met with the teachers, nurse and principal but there no 504 in place.

 

Here is the problem, I believe.  The students eat snacks everyday in class.  They do this while sitting in the front of the class on the floor, they are allowed to walk around eating, and to snack through out the day whenever they need.  According to the teacher about 90% of the students have gluten snacks.  There is one student who carries crackers with her most of the day setting them down on shared tables and leaving crumbs behind.  The students rotate through out the day to different tables, all of which have had someone eating gluten at them at some point during the day, without being cleaned. 

 

We take every precaution with my son's snack and hygiene in the classroom.  He brings his own food, he eats at his desk, he lays a paper towel down to place his snack on, he washes his hands before he touches his food, he always brings his lunch and his lunchroom hygiene is very good as well. 

 

I think he is getting glutened from all of the crumbs and snacks laying around the classroom.  Have any of you had any issues with this or dealt with the teachers/administration regarding classroom snacking problems?

 

Thanks for any advice you have.

Edited by GDLions
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I have never heard of a classroom where the kids can eat all day long and carry food around with them. Sounds very distracting. How are they doing their work if they are eating all day long? Is this just in this classroom or is that permitted through out the school? If its just that classroom Id ask to switch teachers. If its a school rule then Id meet with principal and explain how this could be harmful to your son and others with different allergies. Perhaps you can be the voice of change.

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I'm new to the diagnosis (just received the definitive results on Dec 4th) and we aren't gluten-free quite yet.  Slowly transitioning and trying to get everyone on board.  But this is what worries me the most.  My child is in preschool.  So I will be following this thread closely.

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I'm new to the diagnosis (just received the definitive results on Dec 4th) and we aren't gluten-free quite yet.  Slowly transitioning and trying to get everyone on board.  But this is what worries me the most.  My child is in preschool.  So I will be following this thread closely.

I have two boys with Celiac...1st grade and pre-school.  We were just diagnosed in July of this year.  My younger son was much easier to deal with in the classroom, I think in part because his class was much smaller (6 kids vs. 26).  He had the same issues with snacks and getting glutened.  We had all children wash their hands when they got to school, during snack/lunch time each child had to sit at the table to eat in the same spot each time, wash their hands when they were done, and the tables were all cleaned after the children were finished.   This seemed to take care of the problem for my youngest.   His teacher has been amazing, checking with me before she uses ANYTHING in class that might contain gluten and being super vigilant about keeping cross contamination down.  We were hoping it wasn't going to be as big of a problem in 1st grade....we were wrong.  Getting a classroom of 26 kids is a bit harder to change than 6 pre-schoolers.  They have a whole science curriculum that centers around meal worms...who live in some kind of gluten food/bedding.  It is all over the classroom.  I felt bad telling them they couldn't do it, so we tried it and I think we made it through that one okay, but this snack thing is another story.  The teacher already seems a bit overwhelmed with various other things in class and trying to educate several teachers, nurses and other staff is a bit daunting.  I am sure we will both figure it out, it just can be overwhelming at times!!!!    

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It is really hard to protect your child from other peoples food while at the same time making things as normal as possible.  You need to work with the teacher to figure it out.  My son sometimes has to work at his own desk space a bit away from all the food.  Sometimes he will ask people sitting near him to wait until later to eat.  It really depends on individual circumstances.  

 

Often we realize that it is something in his diet and not the school situation that is making him sick.

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Why do they walk around all day with food? That just sounds strange on so many levels.

We have a no food in the classroom policy for my DS. He has other allergies as well. They had snacks in K but not this year. They had the kids go out into the hall at a little table 3-4 at a time to have snack and they washed hands when they came back into the class. The entire class washes when they come in in the morning and after lunch/recess.

Iis there a reason they don't want to give you a 504? I would really push for one as it can be critical going forward (and I hear for college they are actually really important!).

Hugs. It's hard to protect them from things others don't see as a danger.

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My little guy (now grade 2) has had a rough go of it at school too. Glutened at least once a month. September alone had him sick 3 times. We seem to be doing ok now - 3 months symptom free! And this in a classroom that does candy rewards. (Don't get me started). He has had to become a bigger advocate for himself, (easier when they get older) and washes his hands several times a day. He is motivated :)  Norwex cloths are also great for packing in snack bags, and wicking away potential contaminants. (...and no, I'm not a distrubutor). This is the longest he has gone without getting sick at school EVER. (...and now I'm knocking on wood). 

 

I can attest to success with the cloths and frequent hand washing.

 

Best of luck.

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