Sample Letter to Teachers and Parents
Regarding Celiac Disease
At the beginning of each school year, send out a letter to the school nurse, the receptionist in the front office, the Head of the School and the teachers. Also request a copy be placed in the substitute teacher file. Finally, email a copy to all of the parents in your child's class.
Parents often bring snacks in the class. If they are informed, they will, at a minimum, hopefully call or send me an email letting me know what is going on so that I can arm my child with her own snacks. This is the first year that I have actually asked other parents to provide gluten free snacks when they can. Some do and some do not, but with all of the gluten free options available now, I decided why not ask.
I have also provided the class with a stash of kitchen wipes, so all of the desks can be wiped down after treats that contain gluten are eaten in the classroom.
Sample School Letter
This letter is to inform you that our daughter, has a special medical condition. ____ has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that prevents ___ from being able to eat any gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and derivatives of these grains. Thus it appears in all foods made with any of those products, including most types of cookies, snack foods, breads and cereals. Even when a product has not been made with wheat, rye or barley, hidden gluten could be and often is in one of the other ingredients such as flavorings (natural or artificial) or seasonings. Gluten is found in food items as well as medicines (such as pain relievers and cold medicine) and even arts and crafts supplies. Every time ___ mistakenly ingests gluten, it puts her at risk for severe stomach pain and many other serious conditions such as diabetes, anemia and even certain cancers.
___ needs to avoid all gluten completely. Even a little bit could be harmful for her. If she eats it, she could feel very ill, and even if she does not feel ill, she will sustain serious damage to her small intestine. For that reason, she needs to be very careful that nothing with gluten in it enters her mouth, during meals, snacks and arts and crafts. ___is well aware of her condition and the need to avoid gluten, but we do need your help and cooperation to ensure that she always stays safe at school.
We have sent a supply of snacks with ___ to store at school for her to eat anytime that the class is eating a snack. If there is a special occasion such as a birthday, I would appreciate your letting me know in advance, so that I could supply her with a gluten-free treat similar to the one the other children are getting so that she can feel included in the celebration. Please make sure that she does not eat anything that I do not supply, and if other parents or staff are helping out in the classroom, that they know not to give her anything that’s not from her snack supply. The only exception to this rule is fresh fruit and vegetables that are cut on a clean surface; fresh fruits and vegetables do not contain any gluten.
___knows not to trade or accept food from other children, although I would appreciate your keeping an eye on this as well.
If ____ ’s snack supply runs low, please give me a call to let me know that I need to replenish it. I will periodically send more food throughout the year, but you can always call me to let me know that she needs more, or that she needs something specific.
____should avoid using play dough, finger paints and pasta, or flour for art projects. If you are planning to use any of these products, please let me know and I will supply gluten-free versions, for her to use on a clean surface. Even glue can contain gluten, although Elmer’s and Rose Art glues do not contain gluten. Just call me if you need something specific and I will do my best to supply a gluten-free version of the art supply.
Another great risk for ____ is cross-contamination from foods and other products that other children are using. I would appreciate it if the others children could wash their hands after eating and after art projects that involve using products with gluten in them.
If ____ does play with or eat the wrong food, please do not panic.
Because celiac disease is not an allergy, she will not be in immediate danger, although she will likely experience discomfort or pain later on and may sustain intestinal damage that could cause her to miss several days of school for recovery. Please take the food or product away, assure ____ that she will be okay, and let me know so that I can monitor her later that day for symptoms, and can speak to her about the mistake.
Here are a few web sites where you can learn more about celiac disease:
Please call me anytime with questions or concerns you may have, or let me know what I can bring into school to help Alex have a positive experience at school. Thank you very much for all of your consideration.
|Because LIVING gluten free will not stop you from living the life you choose.|
© Gluten Free Mom 2007 www.glutenfreemom.com