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Nut Policy

StMM is a nut- free school .

Food Allergies: What is a “Nut-Free” School? 

Nationally, a majority of schools have one or more children with known food allergies, and a significant percentage of children with food allergies have been accidentally exposed to a food allergen while at school.

 

[1]  Allergic reactions can be life-threatening and have far-reaching effects on children and their families, as well as on the schools they attend.[2]  Because no treatment exists to prevent reactions to food allergies or anaphylaxis, strict avoidance of the food allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction.[3]

 

Saint Mary Magdalene is committed to offering a safe educational environment for all students, including students with food allergies, by working cooperatively with parents, students, and staff to minimize the risks of accidental exposure to a food allergen while at school.  Because the severity of a previous reaction is no indication of future severity, Saint Mary Magdalene assumes that all children with food allergies are at risk of developing a severe, life-threatening reaction with any exposure.[4]  Accordingly, Saint Mary Magdalene prohibits parents, students, and staff from bringing any food item to school, including field trips and other school-sponsored events, that contains peanuts or tree nuts, or that, according to its label “may include peanuts or tree nuts.”  Foods that do not contain these labels generally are considered safe to bring to school; however, if the food is not labeled, parents, students, and staff should avoid bringing the food to school and, if the food is at school, staff should not give the food to any child with a food allergy and should minimize the potential of an airborne exposure.[5]  

 

Should food labeled as containing or may contain peanuts or tree nuts, inadvertently be brought to school, the food will be sent home unopened with a note indicating that the food item contains nuts and is not allowed at school.  Parents should understand that the implementation of a “nut-free” policy does not necessarily mean that there will never be food with nuts in the school setting, given that Saint Mary Magdalene does not control all food items coming into the facility.  Despite the “nut-free” policy, the school makes no guarantee that the premises will be completely nut-free.  The school disclaims any liability for violations of the “nut-free” policy.  Due to the risk of inadvertent exposure, it is important that parents of students with allergies complete the mandatory Allergy Action Plan form and return it to the School Office.

 

By working in partnership with students, parents, staff, and school health professionals to (a) remove foods with nuts from the school setting, (b) educate students, parents, and staff on the prevalence and severity of food allergies, and (c) understand the symptoms related to exposure and respond swiftly and decisively to address incidental exposures, Saint Mary Magdalene seeks to create a safe educational environment that minimizes the risks of inadvertent exposure and negative health consequences for students with food allergies.

For more information on food allergies, how to read food labels, and safe snacks for school please visit:

●      FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education): www.foodallergy.org

●      “Snack Safely” provides a safe snack guide that is updated frequently at www.snacksafely.com/snack-guide.  Click the green tab to view the guide.

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