Peanut Allergy Death

[deleted account] ( 149 moms have responded )

This is an issue near and dear to my heart. See the attached story.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/04/health/vir...

I had a long debate once with a co-worker who felt a peanut ban at his son's school was an infringment of his son's right to eat peanuts. What do you think of peanut bans? I kept pointing out to him that he was talking about another child's life, but he didn't seem to think it was that serious. Do you have peanut bans at your kids' schools?

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Denikka - posted on 01/05/2012

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It bothers me. And I don't even LIKE peanuts, so just about never use anything peanut related.
Let me explain why it bothers me.
When I was in elementary school, there were 10 different classes, about 30 kids in each. 4 children at the school had peanut allergies, 1 was life threatening but only if ingested (like a peanut butter cookie or something). There was a ban, school wide, on peanuts. Great for those kids, no worries.
There were also kids allergic to strawberries (3 of them), pineapple (1 kid), dairy (lots), chocolate (6 kids), red food dye (4 kids), shellfish (3) and even freshly cut grass (2 brothers who got hives when they touched freshly mowed grass). Not to even mention the dozen or so kids who were allergic to bees.
The school refused to do anything about those kids allergies. The teachers refused to do anything. The only thing that was done, EVER, was at the beginning of the year, each teacher identified the kids with the allergies and told the class not to give them stuff with those foods in it. One teacher had a ban across the board on sharing foods in her class.
So the kids, aged 5-13, were given the responsibility of watching what foods they ate. Some, like the girl who was allergic to pineapple or the brothers allergic to cut grass, only broke out in hives. Most of the kids allergic to dairy just ended up with digestive upsets. But many of those other allergies were life threatening.

So peanut bans, in my mind, are ridiculous unless you are also willing to identify every other lethal allergy in the school and ban ALL of those foods to. Because apparently, while a peanut butter cookie isn't worth the life of a child, in my school, devils food cake, strawberries and shrimp were.

And I firmly believe that if you have an allergy, you need to be prepared, just in case. Why this girl or her teacher didn't have an epi pen is beyond me. Schools should ALWAYS have them on hand. Whether there are known allergies or not. Every business should have them. An epi pen should be part of EVERY first aid kit.

Caitlin - posted on 01/25/2012

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I'm late in on this - as usual. As a mom with a child with multiple food allergies, I dont think a ban on everything is reasonable unless there are grounds to do so.



By the way, for all of you distinguishing between ANAPHYLACTIC and OTHER food allergies, even to the same food, a reaction can be completely different each time a person is exposed (my daughter had 3 exposures to egg, all 3 were different reactions (all in the anaphylactic range)..



My 3 year old "gets" that she is allergic to foods, but for her, she has a harder time with it, because it's not just peanuts that aren't safe, it's peanuts, dairy, egg, sesame and beef. She forgets the list of things, and dairy means a lot of things, people don't tend to say, spaghetti with dairy sprinkled on top in a tomato sauce mixed with ground beef.. It's just called spaghetti.. Its a tough concept to a preschooler or elementary schooler for sure. Also, they add whey powder to a ton of things that aren't dairy, like hotdogs and margarine.. Crazy really..



Use of an epi-pen isn't as a lot of people think.. It's not "here is your injection, now go back out onto the playgroud and play. An epi-pen can stall a reaction, but the kid still needs to be brought to the hospital for further treatment. For some kids they are in the hospital for days following a reaction on steroids and anti histamines to prevent the reaction from coming back, that's if they are lucky and aren't on a ventialator.



I agree with a peanut/nut ban, andw if it only that ban that exists when my daughter is old enough to go to school, it will be a tiny bit less for me to worry about, but I will never stop worrying. Any educated allergic parent knows that it is only a means to reduce the possiblity of a reaction, not a sure-fire way to prevent one.



Kindergarden here starts at 5.. I know my daughter, no many how many times I tell her not to take food from others, if a friend tries to share her tasty looking cupcake with rainbow sprinkles, her better judgement is in doubt. After all, the ones mommy makes at home are safe, why wouldn't that tasty one be.. They don't posess the same reasoning capability as adults. They also can't read labels or understand that "albumin" means egg and that anything with "lactate" means dairy (possibly.. because there is a plant derived source for one of them ane the name escapes me at the moment proving exaclty how hard label reading can be).



If another child in my daughters class had a severe allergy to kiwi, I wouldn't send kiwi.. Not that hard - i'm protecting a young child from harm..



As for the epi-pens causing heart attacks in kids without allergies, I find that preposterous considering I have injected a 11 pound 4 month old with an epi pen and all it did was make her not sleep for a long time. In fact, the epi-pen is only contraindicated in case of a severe allergy to the preservative used in epi-pens and severe heart problems (in which case, the kid probably wouldn't be in school - I mean that severe). The most dangerous thing about epi-pen usage is if it is injected into a small extremity (like finger or kids hand) because it cuts off the oxygen supply - but with a trained staff on hand, that issue is nullified.



I have watched my daughter almost die - several times. Her first reaction to dairy at 4 months and her first reaction to peanut at 2.5. Even though I was a trained first aider and even a cpr/first aid instructor, I failed to recognize her first anaphylactic reaction at 4 months old for the severity that it was and was only by sheer dumb luck that I strapped her into the car seat to take her to the hospital and arrived about 30 seconds before her blood pressure dropped and she fell unconcious in my arms.



Her peanut reaction was scary because of it's speed - she was exposed tot he allergen, said her tummy hurt and less than 30 seconds later was grey and unconscious on my floor. Schools with the ban have them in place because with one teacher watching 30 + kids - that is DAMN fast to respond if there is an emergency while still ensuring the safety of the rest of the kids in her care. Any chance of minimizing that risk is worth it.



Also, because my daughter had her last severe reaction when she was 2.5 (to peanut) she doesn't remember. Hopefully I can protect her, but if she never experiences another reaction like those, the concept of "getting sick" from a food is a very abstract concept to a child. I anticipate (with my daughters personality) that she will have at least one major reaction after starting school, because she is a risk taker and doens't listen to mommy.. No matter how much I explain it, she doesn't truly "get it" and it will take going through it for her to smarten up. I can only hope (and do everything in my power) to make sure that the response to the reaction is swift and effective, because with her it's not so much a question of IF, but WHEN. (Just to note, she is "anaphylactic" to all her allergies.. not only to peanut).

Mary - posted on 01/06/2012

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"Schools should ALWAYS have them on hand. Whether there are known allergies or not. Every business should have them. An epi pen should be part of EVERY first aid kit."

Denikka, I have to disagree with this. Epinephine is not some benign OTC drug that should be sitting around in a first aid kit. It is something that must be prescribed by a physician. For those children with severe enough allergies that require epi if they come in contact with a certain substance, the onus is on the parents to provide that epi pen to be kept at the nurse's office. That epi pen has to have been prescribed by the child's doctor, and the doctor needs to have completed a rather specific form that describes the allergy, as well as the circumstances that warrant administration of the pen.

Tracey - posted on 01/06/2012

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At my kids school every child in a class with an allergic (or any serious health problem) pupil is told about it and to keep certain food away from them, what the symptoms of a reaction where and to get an adult asap. Some of them also wear wrist bands with emergency details.

The children keep epipens with them at all times and use by dates are checked regularly.

There are posters in the dining hall (with parents permission) showing who is allergic to what. Every child in the school has their hands washed before and after lunch & break with anti bacterial gel. Any child with the offending food is not allowed to sit at the same table as an allergic child.

There are posters of all health problem pupils in the staff room with instructions about how to treat them, and frequent first aid training.

The kids understand the situation from age 4 and we have never had a problem. A ban is not needed if people are sensible.

[deleted account]

Actually, an adult with a severe allergy to any food in the workplace would be entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act because having a peanut-free zone is certainly a reasonable accommodation. Sad that we give more protection to adults than to vulnerable children.

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Sara - posted on 09/30/2014

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Yes that's true the ADA should cover children and adults with this in the workplace, but I have anaphylaxsis to fish/shellfish and my former long term employer ( a very esteemed cancer treatment hospital ) did nothing to stop my workmate bringing in fresh steamed shrimp for lunch weekly. After many complaints. Nothing.

You cannot depend on other people to be reasonable or care if it doesn't affect them or their kids. Sad but true.

I was labeled a trouble maker because I went to HR after very politely requesting this person not bring this near my workspace/break room and why, then requesting my boss enforce this policy who told me that I was violating her right to eat what she wanted, and so on. It was never resolved. I had many close calls/reactions. Attorneys won't do much to help when you work for a non-profit and no payout is expected.

Don't risk your child's life by thinking others will look out for him/her in school. Everyone does not value a child's life equally.

Denikka - posted on 03/10/2014

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In regard to your school addressing ALL life threatening allergies, that's awesome Jodi :) THAT is what I would like to see if there are going to be any kind of bans.
As I mentioned in my first post (way back somewhere) it's much more the *favoritism* that is shown to those with peanut allergies that bother me. My elementary school threw up a ban on peanuts. But barely mentioned the kids with shellfish or strawberry allergies that were just as fatal.
If you're going to have a ban on anything, then it should apply to ALL life threatening allergies. Not just peanuts or nuts. And not many schools that I know of do that.
The school that my son is supposed to be attending has a nut free policy. There's a large blurb about it on the website, in the school policy, and it's included in the school newsletter at different points in the year. But after poking around a little and asking some questions, I have found out that there are at least half a dozen school aged children (because the school building also hosts a daycare for 18mo old and up) who have other potentially life threatening allergies. And not a single word is mentioned ANYWHERE. IF the individual teacher chooses to, they can send home a note with those kids in that individual class, making the other parents aware of the allergy. But there is no school wide obligation to inform people of it, parents or students.

And Little Miss, education IS key. Everyone should know what is dangerous to those around them. In the work place or in the school system. Allergies should be something that everyone should be aware of. And especially in schools, it should be taught how to react to them. Hand washing, teeth brushing, wiping down surfaces, etc. And what to look for if someone is having a reaction, just like I was taught in school what to do if someone had a seizure (we had a child who was epileptic).
The teacher that you describe....well in the nicest terms that I can currently think of....is an idiot and deserved to be fired. It's one thing to forget once and that's bad enough, but to send a child to the hospital...you would think that that would make a lasting impression. And to do it again a week later....She's a moron. . .

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/07/2014

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Chet, maybe you REALLY don't know people with severe peanut allergies, because believe me their whole life is centered out of fear and caution. Fear of touching contaminated shopping carts, people feeding nuts to wildlife outside and wild animals bringing shells into the yard (true story) and the child picking it up not knowing what it was, kids that are 2 and up asking what is in the ingredients before taking a snack. Trust me, there is NO sense of false security when your life literally depends on being aware of whats in your environment. Constantly on guard with epi pens in EVERY room at school that you may be in, epi pen on your person at all times, spares being in the car, grandparents house, and any other relatives house out of shear NO SENSE OF SECURITY!!! Having a peanut ban helps eliminate SOME fear, but there is always that parent that sends their kid in with food without reading through the ingredients list. These children that I know live in CONSTANT observation. There is NO sense of security. Cause guess what? There may be a peanut ban, but did your kids have peanut butter toast this morning and not wash his hands? You just potentially sent a kid to the hospital or killed them if they cannot reach an epi pen quick enough. Don't fool yourself. People with these severe allergies are constantly on guard.

Jodi - posted on 03/07/2014

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I disagree Chet. Peanut bans are simply an additional precaution. And as I stated earlier, if a student in our school has anaphylactic reaction to ANY other allergen, our school takes the additional precautions that are appropriate. No-one assumes that it will be 100% - they are kids. Kids make mistakes, don't think and sometimes deliberately do things against the rules. No-one should ever tell their child that the school is nut free so therefore you are safe. They should still be educating their child. However, it DOES minimise the risks somewhat. Everyone is still aware of the risk. On the last day of school last year, I had to have the school playground cleaned and bags searched because students brought water balloons to throw around - all because we had a student at school who could die because of that. Absolutely I acted upon it!!! Could you imagine the consequences if I didn't? Schools have something called a duty of care. Recognising and minimising risks is a part of that duty of care. No-one suggested you could eliminate them altogether.

Chet - posted on 03/07/2014

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Peanut bans can be dangerous in that they give people a false sense of security. People assume that an environment is safe, when safety can never be fully guaranteed. People ignore bans, or more often forget or don't realize what they have, all the time.

I personally know parents with kids who have serious allergies who think the bans are terrible. They want their kids to manage their own allergy and never feel like they can let their guard down because somebody else is watching out for them.

One thing I find interesting is how nuts are a different category of allergy now. Many schools attempt to create nut-free environments as the de facto standard, but allow other allergens in the building even when students have anaphylactic reactions to them. They take precautions for those kids, but they don't attempt to promise a banana, egg or milk free environment. We had a student with a life threatening banana allergy who had to go sit in the office when bananas were the snack (which happened about once a month).

Jodi mentioned below about latex being banned from a school, and that surprises me since latex is in a completely insane number of things. I volunteered at a school where a kid had a serious latex allergy and everyone just had to be aware of the constant risk. Latex is in shoes, art and office supplies, toys, sporting equipment... it's just everywhere.

The thing is, people with nut allergies go places that aren't nut free. They accept the risk at shopping malls, on public transit, at theme parks, movie theatres, playgrounds, museums, etc and they take precautions. I think that schools should take sensible precautions to support students at risk, but not claim to be nut free and not be required to accept liability for kids with allergies. I know of lots of nuts in my kids' supposedly nut free school!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/06/2014

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Soooooo yeah giving people the information doesn't always work. Saying education is the key? Not always. A teacher was eating shelled peanuts in her class room with a student that has peanut allergies. Kid was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Guess what? Same thing happened the very next week with the same teacher and the same kid. Sooooooo a peanut/treanut ban was placed on the school. True story. Totally shitty of that teacher.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/06/2014

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Denikka, if one of your children had such severe allergies, you may feel differently about this. If her son SMELLS peanuts, he can die. He is also allergic to tree nuts, so most places will ban those also. Not just peanuts.

Jodi - posted on 02/27/2014

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Denikka, our school would go to the extent of banning anything that is likely to cause a deathly allergic reaction in any student at the school. As an example, last year we had a student with a latex allergy, and we had to ban all latex from school - so no balloons, latex free gloves, etc. He couldn't touch latex. With many food allergies, it takes actual ingestion before there is a reaction. With many peanut allergies, the reaction can be deadly even just by touching or smelling. But believe me, if a student had a similar allergy to strawberries, they would try to ban those as well. And we are a high school with older children.

Denikka - posted on 02/27/2014

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LIttle Miss:
" I feel it is a communities duty to ensure a childs safety."

To an extent, absolutely :) Signs for lower speeds around schools. An awareness that there are children in the area. Those are reasonable precautions.
Banning all vehicular traffic in any city that also has a school is extreme.

Likewise, informing all students and teachers of those children with severe allergies, discouraging sharing, ensuring hand washing, wiping down surfaces, having proper safety precautions in place, such as access to epi pens if there are severely allergic children, etc. Those are all reasonable. Education is key.
I will never deny that it is very important that precautions be put in place. But there has to be a certain amount of personal responsibility as well. Any child with a severe allergy should know damn well not to take food from anyone else unless it's been pre-approved. They should know how to look for the *peanut free* seal on prepackaged foods. Things like that.

And as I said before, what really bothers me about the peanut bans is that peanuts are not the only allergen. It just seem to be the only one that really gets any attention in the schools. Strawberries and shellfish can be just as deadly, but I have never heard of a ban on those foods. Or any others.
I realize that peanut allergies are much more common, but shellfish can cause a death just as readily as peanuts can. And this seems to be missed.
Instead of focusing on peanut bans, why not focus much more on education and awareness on all, but especially the severe allergies in any given school. A peanut ban focuses so narrowly on a certain group when a much greater good could come from education on all allergies, what to do, how to prevent cross contamination, etc.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/27/2014

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LOL this is an old ass thread. I probably have already read it!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/27/2014

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I have not read this entire thread, and probably won't.

I have a friend who has 3 children with severe allergies. One of her kids if even smells peanuts can die. It is that severe. I am fully encouraging on peanut bans. I see what her life is, and this is a simple way to ensure her children will come home from school alive. So many severe allergies are popping up, I feel it is a communities duty to ensure a childs safety. I do not have kids with allergies. I am very thankful for that. I am not so full of myself to feel like my kids are missing out at lunch because they cannot have peanuts.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/26/2014

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Exactly, Denikka. These folks that advocate a blanket ban on items need to take into consideration ANY and ALL items that can cause death. Cars, alcohol, water, diesel fuel, petroleum based fuel, trees (fires cause death)...

Once you look at the scope of a ban of that sort, it really brings things into perspective, and puts the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY back into play, as it should be.

However, we're in the era of "It's not MY responsibility, it is EVERYONE ELSE'S responsibility." Well, I prefer to take care of MY responsibilities, such as teaching my kids how to avoid their allergen triggers. If everyone else would take the same level of responsibility, the whole "we have to BAN THIS" conversation would never take place.

Denikka - posted on 02/26/2014

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How about we ban vehicles from the road? Or ban people from being in water? Those things also cause deaths. And a LOT more of them than all allergy deaths combined.
OR, we could teach people to be responsible with what they eat and do. Allergies can absolutely be serious, and should be treated as such. But you cannot bubble wrap he world, and other should not have to be put at great inconvenience for a personal issue. Let's face it, if you removed all the potential allergens from schools, there wouldn't be a whole lot left for the kids to eat.

Sara - posted on 02/25/2014

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This is a public health problem. Peanut allergies seem to me to be much different from other food allergies. Every year several children, probably many more than are reported in the media, die from anaphylactic reactions to peanuts.
Our public health officials need to lobby for a complete ban on peanut butter and other peanut based products. The farmers could be compensated for their trouble.
If we could save a hundred lives a year it
Would be worth the cost.the lives saved are those of our children.

Sandra - posted on 04/08/2013

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hey i have a daughter who is allergic to peanuts as well and it is always scary when giving her snacks or food that i did not make myself. you never know where it is made and there can be nuts in the vicinity. i found this great place that is run by two moms that makes snack, cookie brownies ect in a no nut environment you should check it out plus they actually taste really good. this is the website if you want to check it out. www.nonutnation.com

Teresa - posted on 05/16/2012

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Yeah ok so my son came home with a bee sting,swollen finger and all. He;s fine, but a little girl in this area died at school from a bee sting because she was allergic and had no epi pen, and for some reason the school didn't either. It was sad, sad. SO how are we going to ban bees?

Robin Jane - posted on 05/16/2012

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They are doing something to the peanuts, I know alot of adults that are allergic to peanuts in Canada but not allergic to them in their native country the Philllipines.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/16/2012

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Ok, I have to agree that if the school is going to ban one possible food allergen, then it needs to ban ALL possible food allergens.

Because, while a fatal allergy to, say, strawberries isn't as common as peanuts, it can still occur, and be just as fatal.

Just because other allergies are "more common", such as dairy, gluten, fruits, veggies, etc doesn't indicate that anaphylaxis cannot occur, just that it is less common.

But, whatever happened to personal responsibility? When I went to school there were kids allergic to various things. They knew what they were allergic to, and knew to ask about ingredients. Heck, I'm allergic to watermelon, have been my entire life, and I didn't have a qualm about saying "no, thank you, I'm allergic" when offered, or picking it out of the fruit salad, or whatever. Granted, a 5 YO needs help recognizing their triggers, etc, but as they get older, it's part of life, and they're going to have to do it for the rest of their lives, so why not start now? Why is it considered bad for people to have personal responsibility for their conditions?

My son had a gal in his class, was allergic to EVERYTHING under the sun. Foods, animals, I think possibly even humans, some times...but seriously. Everything! She had to wear a mask when we brought the dog for show/tell (which I wouldn't have done, had I known she was allergic), and it broke my heart. She SO wanted to play with that dog, but knew she couldn't. She carried her own epi pen, to and from school each day, gave it to her teachers when she got there, and picked it up when she left for home. This 3rd grader could manage her own allergies very well. There was only one time we had to use the pen, we were at a tour of some facility, and they offered the kids cookies...Kiddo asked if there were any of her triggers in teh cookies, and was told "I don't think so, but not sure", so she tried one...not a good thing, it was manufactured in a place that packaged peanuts, and she went into shock.

But, my point is, SHE managed her own allergies. The SCHOOL did not, nor did her parents expect the school to do so.

With younger kids, daycares, etc, that's different. Because you can't always keep a 2 year old from touching others until they wash their hands, etc...better to just not allow the allergens.

Robin Jane - posted on 05/16/2012

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Yes my kids school has a ban on peanuts as well. I hear quite a few parents complaining about it if their kids aren`t the ones who are allergic. Simply un-believable.
It was never a problem in the 1960`s or 70`s when I was a kid.
I believe that this peanut allery problem all started when the company Monsanto and maybe some others started playing around genetically with the foods that grow,ie.: veggies ,berries, peanuts...
A big problem in Canada and the USA.
People who are allergic to peanuts in these places won`t necessarily be allergic to the peanuts lets say for instance in the Phillipines . This is a fact.
The Government continues to allow this company to grow and sell it`s somehow genetically altered seeds, It`s strange how someone hasn`t already researched to find out why peanuts have become deadly since at least the 1970`s. I say we as parents must do that research, and try to stop whatever is causing the once wonderful peanut (that used to be harmless to practically all children at least in Canada, ) to become such a tiny death sentence.
Something has got to be done about it now, today.

Aleks - posted on 01/31/2012

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@ Rebecca Three

may be its something to do with the pesticides that they are using these days???

As for gluten, I have read in a local parenting magazine that the wheat we use these days (at least here in Aust, can't speak for other countries) has got something like *7 TIMES* the gluten that our grand or great-grand parents used in the 1920s!!!!! So yeah! Things have changed for sure.



Now on topic.

If a child has such a severe allergy to peanuts (or anything else for that matter) that just touching it makes them react then banning that offending item won't necessarily make them any more safer. Like I said in my earlier post (again, please re-read or just read), my kid having eaten pb toast for breakfast and not washing their hands (being a kid and all, and rushing cause they are late, etc etc) or just finishing eating a cereal containing nuts, etc... spilled on their shirt.....



Again, if I were to be notified by the school that there is a child in my child's class suffereing extreme allergy to a substance (any substance) and they will be banning it, then I have no issue with it and will be more than happy to oblige. I don't like BLANKET bans. Just because there is a tendency for peanut allergies to be more common, but like I stated earlier, at my childs kinder, there was a few peanut allergies, HOWEVER, it so happened that these were not severe, and INFACT there was a lot more kids with allergies to other things and a lot more severe than the peanut allergies (there was a blanket ban for peanuts at the kinder, however, the substances to which a few kids did have severe allergy to were not. This to me was RIDICULOUS). This is the reason I don't like blanket bans. Each school/kinder should be able to make a decision which foods it NEEDS to ban, if it deems fit to.

Caitlin - posted on 01/30/2012

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Thats a heck of a lot of peanut butter! We use roasted soy nut butter here - like it WAY more than sunbutter..

Sherri - posted on 01/30/2012

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Yes Rebecca we have some in the house now. I just can't afford it very often because it is $6 for it vs, $2 for peanut butter and we go through a jar a week.

Isobel - posted on 01/29/2012

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peanuts were one of the first widely used GMFs, Wheat number two (anybody with a gluten problem?)

[deleted account]

Rebecca: I've heard that it's the roasting that makes them more allergenic. Almost all peanuts in the US are roasted. Not sure if it's true or not, but I can tell you that I never have a problem being around people shelling peanuts at baseball games, but I can't sit next to someone opening a can of Planters. Instant migrane.

Caitlin - posted on 01/29/2012

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I've heard they messed a bit with the peanuts to make the crops more resistant to blights and fingus and such but I have NO idea if that's true.. and i'm too lazy to research it, lol..

Mrs. - posted on 01/28/2012

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It's posts like this that make me think, WTF are they doing to peanuts these days to make them so lethal?



Seriously, I used to eat peanuts when I was a kid...no problem. Now, if I eat them I get migraines. My husband is the same only his mouth swells. Neither of us ever had this when we were young.



They have done some messed up stuff with the mass production of that particular nut.



Off topic..but still, I think that is crazy.

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2012

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But you don't go to school. I can't see why YOUR diabetes has anything to do with what your children take to school. My husband has diabetes too, but his diabetes doesn't dictate what the rest of us can and can't eat. Dips can be homemade too. Anyway, this is a pointless debate with you, because you are allowed peanut butter in your school, but I am simply making the point that peanut butter is not a necessity, and that IF they brought in a ban, it's not that big a deal.

Sherri - posted on 01/28/2012

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Well because of my diabetes and the protein in p'nut butter we tend to stick to p'nut butter as I can't eat dips because of the sugars and carbs in them.

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2012

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Homemade cakes and cookies aren't necessarily junk, but anyway.....I'm seeing a pattern here. It's not like peanut butter is a necessity. All those things go nicely with a French onion dip too....

Sherri - posted on 01/28/2012

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I don't send them with prepackaged stuff but we do apples and p'nut butter, celery and p'nut butter, carrots and p'nut butter, crackers and p'nut butter, p'nut butter granola bars.



We are not allowed to send homemade cake or cookies as our schools are 100% junk free and if we were to send those things they are confiscated and thrown away.

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2012

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In addition to the type of allergic response, there is also a difference between an allergic reaction to something ingested, and an allergic reaction to the slightest touch or inhalation......many children allergic to peanuts can react by even TOUCHING the stuff, or sitting beside someone eating it because they can SMELL it. Does the broccolli allergy do that? Does simply touching a bell pepper cause an anaphalactic response?



Peanut allergies are also by FAR one of the most common food allergies there is. This is why peanuts are generally banned and not all these other ones. It is much more common than many people realise.



And really, it's not THAT hard to provide the children with peanut free snacks. Stop sending them to school with pre-packaged shit and it wouldn't be an issue. Fruit, vegetables, homemade cake or cookies, popcorn.....it's better for them anyway.

Mary - posted on 01/28/2012

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In reading a lot of these anti-ban responses, I am just beyond grateful that my child, thus far, does not appear to have any allergies. I'm even more grateful that I live in an area where the schools will, if needed, enact a ban to protect those who do.



To those of you who say things like, "My kid is allergic to broccoli, apples, or shrimp (or whatever)"....is it only if they ingest this food? Is their allergic response true anaphylaxis, requiring use of an epi-pen followed by hospitalization if they even just touch a table that had some broccoli sitting on it? IF not, then please understand that mentioning this allergy in this discussion is completely irrelevant. The fact that your kid might vomit or get hives only if they eat that green pepper is not what we are talking about at all.



As to those of you who say things along the lines of "It's the parent's responsibility to teach the child" or "Those dangers are out there in the 'real' world"...well, yes, you are right. BUT....



I have been teaching my 3 y/o about safely crossing the street since she started walking. She's actually pretty good about it now. However, that does not mean that I think that when she is 5 or 6 that I will fully trust her to cross the street by herself. In my area, it is a reasonable expectation that the county provides crossing guards at those intersections around the elementary schools at times when the kids are walking to and from.



Kids should absolutely be taught about how to avoid the dangers around them, be it allergens, scissors, crossing the street, or avoiding strangers. I just don't think that it is evenly remotely reasonable to assume that they are always going to be unfailingly vigilant about it, or always even capable of recognizing the dangers around them. Just because I've taught my kid how to swim does not mean that I should leave her unattended in the backyard pool when she's 7. Putting an educated peanut-allergic child in a school lunch room full of pb&j sandwiches is pretty much the same thing to me.

Sarah - posted on 01/27/2012

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I don't think people would necessarily against the bans per se if there is a genuine risk to a child's life in their classroom, but the real question is, "where does it end?" How could a school reasonably ban ONLY peanuts, when there are severe anaphylaxis to other stimulants? Maybe if they got a list at the beginning of the year and banned all risky stimulants. Personally though, I don't know what I would pack my kids if I got a list that said I couldn't pack peanut products, dairy, shellfish, fruits, veggies (my daughter is allergic to bell peppers), soy, wheat, eggs, gluten products, whey, anything with food dyes, etc. Oh, and you can't use certain soaps, shampoos, etc. because it could aggravate someone's allergies or asthma. Really I'm not debating the severity of anaphylaxis, I suffer from it myself. I had a full cardiac arrest from it and am very lucky to be alive at all. What I'm arguing is that you can't ignore that many children are at risk at any given time. You can't reasonably expect another parent to take responsibility for protecting your child when it's your responsibility to teach them to avoid their allergen. I would, however, support a ban in specific classrooms if the allergy (to any stimulant) is so severe that merely sensing it in the air can cause anaphylaxis. In general though, I think that kids need to learn (and are capable of at very young ages) to learn how to avoid their allergy stimulant and what foods it can be found in.

Brittany - posted on 01/27/2012

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While I do believe that a peanut ban might be a bit drastic, I do also believe that schools do not take enough steps to help those who do have allergies.



My oldest is in Kindergarten and he is a peanut butter fanatic. Almost everyday he takes a PB&J, or PB and Marshmallow or PB crackers. That is what he really really enjoys. He also like those Nature Valley Peanut Butter bars.



He also has a child in his class room that has a mild allergy to peanuts. Nothing too serious (or deadly) but, I have asked Coaleb not to sit by him during lunch, to wash his hands twice after lunch and not to offer the child anything out of his lunch box. I have backed snacks for the children in his class and I have made a special batch just for the child and hand delivered it to them.



All parents should take a little more time to find out about the allergies the other children in you child's class might have.

Karla - posted on 01/26/2012

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As a side note, I believe the "funny" is for things that are legitimately funny, not for "odd" or "Wow" or any kind of sarcastic "funny."



(Me acting like a moderator.)

Vegemite - posted on 01/26/2012

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I don't beleive I refered to anyone and reprimanded them. I just made a statement about an observation.

Sherri - posted on 01/26/2012

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I never said it was a joke. I thought it was funny you think it is your place to reprimand other adults.

Vegemite - posted on 01/26/2012

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The self centered nature of people continue to amaze me. What is the problem? Do their kids only eat peanuts, is there nothing else for them to take to school? If your school has a ban on a particular food there has to be a good reason. Take it like an adult, don't complain and don't take the food. Really it's not that hard to take others into consideration.

Caitlin - posted on 01/25/2012

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Yeah, I've been super busy with the baby.. He's at that super clingy demanding stage which is not aided by the fact we were in the hospital 2 days 2 weeks ago for a serious case of gastro.. oh boy it's been a rough ride with this one!!

Suzie - posted on 01/23/2012

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No we should not ban nuts! My daughter has an alergy to some types of fruit and it is just as sever as nut should i expect parents to ban fruit at school or should i perpair my daughter and teach her that she can not have it. if we take away all the foods from school just because some children have alligies what are we going to feed our children when there away yes my four year old is aware of how sick she gets when she eates something she is allirgic to and nos not to eat it.

Rosie - posted on 01/21/2012

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i don't agree with peanut bans either. i think if they want to ban peanuts they should ban other allergens too...but there are a whole list of those, soon there will be nothing left to eat.



peanut free zones are what would work. in this particular situation, the school didn't have an epi-pen. why didn't they? and why didn't the mother give them one? she had the reaction during recess..somebody could've had lunch over the weekend on the playground or something and gotten peanut residue on it, so even if the school itself was a nut free zone, what stops an outsider from playing on the playground who had peanuts, or from someone eating peanuts for breakfast? idk, i just don't think it's a very well thought out plan.

Amie - posted on 01/21/2012

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"I just don't see why everyone keeps saying that if a child's life is at stake. If the school is taking precautions and has the allergic kids safe and never had a problem because they do take precautions, why the need for bans??



We have kids that are highly allergic and we still have never had a problem because the school is diligent without the need for any bans. So if it works for all the schools here why not schools everywhere? "





Sherri - no one said for a complete positive that a child's life is at stake. They said it COULD be. There is a difference.



I could ask the same thing of our school divisions. It's because peanut allergies are becoming such a wide spread issue. It's rare to walk into a school and not have at least one child who is severely allergic. Our sons school is the only one I've heard of in a long time that has not had to enact the ban.



Before the bans here, I didn't hear of children dying because of peanut allergies. It's still rare to find one that does. It's because of the precautions people take with the children, it's also because they are prepared for it from the time the allergy is found.



As another poster said - Something could still happen however, parents (and the children) do appreciate the effort that goes into the bans. They're not a means to inconvenience others - they're a measure to ensure safe schools and environments for children. Who are generally too young to do it entirely on their own yet.

Mary - posted on 01/20/2012

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Amie - they do have them in America - at least in my state. It is done on a school-by-school basis, dependent upon the student population for any given year. To the best of my knowledge, it is only the elementary schools that do it, and it is only if they have children with the more severe degree of allergy, as documented by the child's physician (usually an allergist). It is pretty much exactly they way you describe it enacted in your schools.

Sherri - posted on 01/20/2012

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In the US or our school the kids can bring in any snack they want homemade, store bought etc. and our labels are not that well marked it simply is listed in small print made in a tree nut facility. However, you really have to look for it. Not to mention most snacks bought in large quantities ingredients are listed on the box they came in not the individual wrappers so it would be virtually impossible to check for teachers.



I just don't see why everyone keeps saying that if a child's life is at stake. If the school is taking precautions and has the allergic kids safe and never had a problem because they do take precautions, why the need for bans??



We have kids that are highly allergic and we still have never had a problem because the school is diligent without the need for any bans. So if it works for all the schools here why not schools everywhere?

Jamie - posted on 01/20/2012

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What I am gathering from this conversation is there are a lot of assumptions with the anti-peanut ban people.



Assuming no one will put in the work, assuming the parents will let their guard down, assuming that the child will have to at some point adapt, assuming that medication can stop an allergic reaction...



Assuming people are going to react a certain way doesn't mean that they will. I would rather take the chance than not try at all.



If a child has a life-threatening allergy I would hope people will find the importance in diligently attempting to prevent the reaction, including at school.

Doesn't mean they will, but why not at least try?



We are human beings for goodness sake, we should care enough about each other to take into consideration something that was brought to our attention. Especially if we can help.



I think by doing this and reading labels in consideration of other children we also will be showing our own children compassion and how to treat one another.



From my own experiences knowing parents of children with life-threatening allergies they appreciate the precautions, but do not change the way that their function. Their guard isn't dropped because someone was told not to bring peanuts....they just see it as one more step in protecting their child. They treat the environment the same as if there could potentially be peanuts (or whatever allergen) in the room.

Amie - posted on 01/20/2012

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It also helps that parents take it seriously and don't mess around though.

Amie - posted on 01/20/2012

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If the bans are in place, they have too. Our teachers have no more time on their hands but it doesn't take long to walk around a classroom of children and look at the snack on their desk. Lunch is the same, the teacher walks around and checks. It's easy enough to check, the nut free snacks have a red circle with a line through it to indicate it's safe.



It's rare that anyone is allowed to bring outside homemade snacks in as well. If a school does allow a parent to send home made goods it has to be pre-approved by the school or on the list of pre-approved goods.



Being too lazy to check isn't a good enough excuse when a child's life *could* be at stake.

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