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Sharing A Locker
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Hi there! I am brand new to this board and to Celiac disease. My daughter and I were both diagnosed over the summer. She is starting middle school next week, and I have a question. Her school requires kids to share a locker. I had requested that she be allowed an individual locker, just so her locker mate's lunch would not potentially contaminate my daughter's lunch, or drop crumbs onto her stuff. The school said I need a doctor's note, and both our gastro and pediatrician have said they don't feel a separate locker is necessary. Maybe they are right, and I am being overly cautious. Has anyone else run into this issue? Please let me know if I should continue to push on this or if it's over the top. These lockers are very, very small and all there stuff will be pressed together. Thanks for your help!!

Wendy

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Make sure her lunch is sealed tight. Every item in a baggie and then in a bigger baggie or closed lunch bag stapled closed. If the other kid brings a lunch it will probably be sealed, too. I suppose its possible the other kid will eat at the locker but I would just brush off the crumbs and wash my hands before eating. Does she know her "lockermate"? Maybe the crumb thing could be explained so she doesn't eat at the locker?

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I would make sure to have to doctor's note on file with the school anyway so you can address issues as they come up. Ours is a blanket statement saying the school should accommodate all reasonable requests to keep him safe.

I think cross contamination could be a problem, but not a problem that couldn't be handled and still share a locker. I would be more concerned about hand-to-hand cross contamination (like locker mate eating a sandwich, then opening the locker - getting gluten on the handle) Your daughter would just have to be sure to wash her hands well before eating anything - not just before lunch.

I doubt crumbs from one lunch bag would get into another lunch bag.

However, having her own locker would certainly eliminate any chance, so it would be easier. I'd go for it and then just deal with it if the school says no. It can't hurt to ask.

I know by middle school I will probably be sending a small cooler in with my son (depending on what time his lunch is) and having additional space to accommodate that would be helpful. His lunches are almost all meat/dairy and need to be kept cold.

Maybe if you don't insist, but request it . . . like if there is enough lockers available and one is left over, could it go to your daughter . . . like it would be very helpful, but not necessary.

Cara

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I think she will be fine. I can't remember anytime ever having my locker mates lunch on my stuff. I'd be much more concerned about the lunch tables. They were never wiped in between people. We have to be careful to not make them scared of the world but cc is a real issue. I don't think the lockers are but the tables might be. Send some wipes!

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You may want to look in to a 504 plan. Middle school is tough because they have a lot of different teachers and it's difficult for you to talk to all of them and kids are really embarrassed about being different. It's also hard because teachers make mistakes. A lot of people just think if the label doesn't have the word 'gluten' on it it's OK.

I am guessing you can have a conversation with the mother and student that she would share a locker with and come up with a plan - your daughter's lunches above the other student's. Perhaps the other student eat the school lunch and maybe this is not an issue?

In a 504 plan people also request access to a refrigerator or microwave if she's bringing in a special meal. You can also request that they clean the tables.

Does your district have a food allergy policy? Most states and districts do. I suggest you read through that.

www.cpsd.us/web/PubInfo/Food_Allergy_Admin_Procedures.pdf

This is the one for our district. Although technically celiac isn't an allergy many of the parts apply. It does clearly state who is responsible for what. I also suggest that you speak to the school nurse.

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