Tobin volunteered in the lunch room and during recess when her son first started school.
"It was nerve-wracking at the beginning, especially when people didn't know Jacob," she said. "I was afraid that if something was wrong, he wouldn't say anything."
SunButter is a peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds that Tobin promotes to parents.
"Some kids bring peanut products," Jacob said. "If I do need to, I have to talk to them at a distance."
Great amounts of parent advocacy have helped, Kline said. He understands the concerns parents have since he, too, has a son who has a severe peanut allergy.
Staff members attend a workshop at the beginning of the school year so they are aware of what children might have life-threatening allergies and other medical conditions and learn how to administer epinephrine.
If a student has an allergic reaction, an EpiPen must be used within minutes of a reaction to avoid the possibly fatal complications that come after exposure to an allergen. The EpiPen is pre-filled injection pen that would deliver epinephrine, which relaxes the muscles in tightened airways and tightens blood vessels, into the body.
In addition to being stored in the main office, EpiPens are placed all around the school. Jacob carries two in his backpack.
Jessie Latt has presented an in-service regarding managing food allergies for school staff at the beginning of every school year since her son was in kindergarten. He is now attending middle school in the Aberdeen Public School District.
She said making schools peanut-free environments is a complex issue, but that she hopes to see it happen in the school district. The schools her son has attended have been accommodating of his food allergy, she said.
"However, eliminating peanut products from all Aberdeen schools and school activities would provide a much safer environment for the many students in the Aberdeen School District who have severe peanut allergies," Latt said.
Aberdeen's Head Start location is peanut-free this year to accommodate a student who has a severe allergy.
Administrators in the Aberdeen Catholic School System discourage the presence of peanuts in the schools, president Jim Hamburge said. In addition to lunches being prepared without peanut products, a letter is sent to parents regarding the packing of peanut products in the lunches students bring to school.
"It's better that way so that it's safer and less risky," Hamburge said. "We have just had to make some adjustments."
Gluten-free menu options are also offered to students who have gluten intolerances, which include wheat allergies.
"Schools have to be more accommodating," Hamburge said.
Nash said she meets with families in the public school district to make the necessary substitutions during lunchtime and create a menu that accommodates the student's intolerances.
"The school district has provided a great service in working with families who have children with food allergies," Kline said.
A majority of food-allergy related reactions can be traced back to eight types of foods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires that these foods produced after Jan. 1, 2006, be labeled so those with allergies can be protected. They are:
• Cow's milk
• Tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews)