I don't wish Celiac disease or any extreme food allergies on anyone, especially children.  All this year when Drama Queen comes home from school I worry about Mischief going to school....sure she can take lunch with her, but she will have to take a place mat or something of the sort as well because her table will be gluten-ladden, even if they wash it, that cloth will have been going in and out of gluten filled water.  Not to mention the temptation of someone giving her something she shouldn't have.  The trouble is that she's going to have to learn to wash her hands in an OCD like way.     Why?  Because the teachers and classmates will eat their gluten-y food and then have gluten all over their hands.  She goes to play on the playground, and there will be transfer from any equipment.  Holding hands with a friend.  Opening the door to the bathroom.  Passing papers.  
Sure there will be the obvious gluten dangers: candy given as rewards - some artificial flavorings and colorings are laced with wheat, one of the main ingredients in licorice is wheat flour.  Classmate's birthdays?  I'll have to get a list at the beginning of the school year so I can have a treat ready for her so she's not left out when her classmate's moms bring in cupcakes.  If only everyone had summer birthdays like my girls do.  Class parties?  I will have to be room mom, or train the room mom in cross contamination.  For 100 day today they made froot loop necklaces.  Ya.....not a good activity for Mischief. She will have to wash her hands after using the pencil sharpener.  After being given a paper.  After stacking chairs.  After reading a book.  because this child's fingers just naturally gravitate to her mouth.  This is why we've had to go to a completely gluten free house.  Eating dinner?  Sure I can make her and Sunshine their food first and get them all set and uncontaminated.  But if they need help with anything during the meal, Mr. Man and I had to wash our hands before doing anything.  It was hard to remember sometimes like when you're refilling your glass and one asks for more drink too, you just grab their cup, and have now cross contaminated it.

It would almost be easier to homeschool her than to send her to school.  Either way, it's going to be alot of work.


sleepless said…
Wow..I didn't realize all that !! Lots of luck !!
Laurel said…
She will have a reaction from touching something that touched something gluten and then putting her hands in her mouth? That is crazy! If she is that sensitive then I think it would be a LOT easier to keep her at home.

Are you thinking that Hazel has a gluten allergy too?
Abigail said…
Yep, just that small amount of gluten gives her diarrhea. And I don't mean just runs right then. I mean nasty goopy liquidy poop eight times a day for a few days that she has no control over at all. She spent December in diapers because of minimal cross contamination like that. From what I've read it's because in Celiac disease the gluten causes her intestines damage, killing the villi and basically shutting down the absorption process. Which is why she didn't grow until she'd been gluten free for like 6 months.
Juli said…
OKay... deep breath.

Let the school know to treat it just like a peanut allergy and she should be fine. Her classroom should be kept GF, and they should have a table for her in the caf.

As for Birthdays in class, I made Youngest chocolate chip cookies the size of his head (way fun!) and they froze them in the caf. When there was a party, he just went down, got one and they microwaved it for him to make it warm and gooey. He told me when they got down to one, and I sent in some more.

Have her carry wipes for her hands/classroom stuff/tables so she can easily wipe down things before she touches them.

The more educated her teacher is the easier it will be. Sit down with her ahead of time and go over things. Make up a list of okay candy and come up with new things that they can make the projects from. Youngest's teachers and I have an ongoing email chain re: classroom activities so there's no issues, and it often overlaps with the mom of the peanut allergy in the class so we can ensure it's safe for all of them.

Take it one day at a time. No use in worrying now... who knows, her teacher my be GF as well. :)

OH! And hoodsie cups are a great back up for "on the spot" birthday celebrations as well. The kids can have cake, she can have ice cream.
Abigail said…
Oh you are my hero! The gluten free table in the cafeteria won't happen though, our cafeteria is so tiny that they have to strategize lunch time so that each table ends up having three different classes during the lunch period which is an hour and a half long, and there are like a dozen tables...though I'm sure she'd love it if they put a desk on the stage and called it her lunch spot, lol.

You make it seem ever so much more do-able!
Juli said…
Anytime Abby, But I hear you on the caf table thing... my niece has a severe peanut allergy and she is the only one in the entire school. She has a small desk size table all to herself.

Her friends missed her though so they just make sure they don't have peanut products when they eat with her.

You'll find that the kids will find a place for her... they will include her even if they have to go without.

I just made Youngest's Valentine's Peanut/GF for his classroom. A bag containing Lay's potato chips, with a hang tag that reads "Valentine, I think you're all that and a bag of chips."

If you make it fun, the kids and your daughter will be just fine. :)

Popular Posts