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Peanut Allergy

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One of the more controversial areas in current medicine, this subject is highly charged.

In the U.S. alone, peanut allergy causes 100 deaths and 15,000 emergency room visits a year.

To be the parent of a child who dies of an allergic reaction after eating something with peanuts in it – whether labeled or not – is to become forever afire.

This website is excellent, with very detailed information and multiple links to more specific areas of this very charged subject.

No one knows how common peanut allergy is; it can develop after many uneventful exposures and can disappear over time.

So sensitive can an individual be that there are reports of anaphylactic shock and death in highly susceptible individuals after smelling peanuts or peanut butter.

Last week, Arroyo Vista Elementary School in South Pasadena, California banned foods containing peanuts not only from its school cafeteria menu, but from its entire campus.

Yes, you read correctly: children are no longer allowed to bring peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches to school for lunch. School lunches, snacks, and classroom treats must be peanut-free.

Principal Julie Jennings, in a letter to parents, said the the new rules “may seem a bit extreme” and be “difficult to get used to,” but that it was necessary to protect the 20 students at the school (4% of the school population of 500) who suffer from the potentially life-threatening allergy.

School staff members have identified the allergic students and have been trained to inject EpiPen – which counteracts the reaction – if one should come into contact with peanuts.

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  • http://lifeinaurora.blogspot.com Jason Koulouras

    Our local daycare centres and elementary schools have banned Peanuts as well as other nuts. The odd thing is that peanuts are a legume and are not actually the same family as true nuts such as almonds, cashews and brazil nuts (for example), yet people tend to be allergic to peanuts and the above.

    We will not allow our children to come into contact with peanuts until they are at least 3 years old. Whilst not proven, we are suspicious that the spraying and treatment of peanuts with things such as fungicide combined with exposure at too young an age might be part of this growing problem

    Thanks

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    My daughter is in a peanut allergy class in her school. She doesn’t have any allergies, but we opted into that class because we heard such good things about the teacher. The nut allergy classes sit at their own tables at lunch — all the lunch periods use the same tables for those classes — to reduce contamination.

    So now we just have to watch the snacks we buy and read all the labels. I honestly don’t mind at all because the teacher is more than worth it, and also because I know that the allergy can be quite serious.

    A 19-year-old college freshman who had gone to my high school died after eating a cookie that had been made with canola oil. She was in a room full of people who were not able to save her before help could arrive. That’s a pretty serious allergy. The sad thing is that she asked first if the cookies had nuts in them before eating them. Nobody thought that the oil could hurt her. I would have never thought it, either. I stopped buying canola oil because of it, too.

    Needless to say, I wouldn’t have a problem with any public or private school completely banning peanut products. It seems like a minor inconvenience for a safety tradeoff.

  • http://www.imallergic.com a mom

    This is a great site to buy allergy alerting tee -shirts for young children. It also offers tips on managing food allergies.

    http://www.imallergic.com

  • larry

    i didnt agree with the airlines decision to stop serving peanuts in flight. by the time a person is old enough to book a flight that person should know his allergies! this is a situation you are responsible for your own safety. not the public
    larry

  • susanconnick

    My son has a life-threatening peanut allergy and I am facing him entering grammar school in Metairie, Louisiana. I have worked with his teachers and the principal to develop an action plan to protect him if he were to have a reaction. There will be a peanut-free table set up in the lunch room, wipes/anti-bacterial soap for kids who consume peanut products at other tables, and I plan to speak to the kids and parents to educate them on Michael’s allergies. I do not know if its the right thing to do to eliminate all peanut products from school — the rest of the world still eats peanut butter and peanuts. We cannot have a false sense of security and must be prepared at all times.

    By the way, why did the canola oil kill someone?

  • NeeNee

    My 2 grandsons are allergic to peanuts; a 2 year old with a class 3 and a four year old with a class 6. It’s the class 6 that makes us most fearful. We are teaching him things like not touching handrails because someone who ate something like a peanut butter cup could have touched that handrail. That small exposure could be fatal.
    My question also is where’s the connection with the canola oil?

  • Common Sense

    Wow, peanut allergies suck, but what ever happened to common sense. I mean if you have a child that can die from just touching something that someone else touched who was eating peanuts or peanut products, why in the world would you want to endanger them by sending them to a public school.

    That would be like knowing your child can’t swim, yet still sending them to swim in the ocean with a strong undertoe alone.

    People need to get a grip and become responsible for themselves and their own needs and not expect the world to inconvenience themselves for you.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

  • Amy

    My 14 month old son just had an allergic reaction to peanuts. We’re sending him to an allergist asap and in the meantime have been given instructions to avoid peanuts.

    To the PP:
    So I’m not supposed to give my child an education? I’m not even sure that peanuts should be entirely banned from schools, but I don’t think that it is a huge sacrifice to put in precautions and try to avoid the most obvious dangers. I love eating peanuts and peanut butter but it doesn’t seem like that huge of a sacrifice to avoid it at school if it can really save lives. Have we become so selfish that we can’t imagine inconveniencing ourselves in order to help children with a very real, deadly allergy?

    It’s going to possibly be a long, hard road ahead of us making sure that our son stays away from these things. I don’t think that he should be sentenced to a life away from education and socialization because he has an allergy that can be managed if his environment is appropriately managed.

  • http://www.thebluesmokeband.com/ Brian Sorrell

    Incidents of peanut and tree nut allergies are on the rise worldwide, so it’s not unreasonable to address this in schools.

    I take issue with the author with respect to the following:
    “No one knows how common peanut allergy is; it can develop after many uneventful exposures, and can disappear over time.”

    In my teenage years I started developing an allergy to tree nuts — thankfully I can still eat peanuts! At the time there was little research that had been done, but in recent years, this has changed.

    It turns out that peanut and tree nut allergies are related to many other food allergies and many people will develop these further sensitivities. Raw carrots and celery, peaches and apples and cherries, avocado, and many others can cause the same kinds of symptoms. For more information, google “oral allergy syndrome” and “birch pollen allergy”.

    Furthermore, and I can personally attest to this, the condition has not been seen to disappear over time. In fact, most data indicates that it just gets worse, especially with more exposures.

    Again, given that more and more people are developing these allergies, I wholly support the moves that the schools have made.

  • Bob the builder

    peanuts are cool, they own you

    CAN WE FIX IT!? YES WE CAN!

  • angel

    Some of these comments infuritate me. First, some of you are assuming that we parents who have kids with nut allergies, don’t have common sense. HELLO you selfish jerk! My kid has severe peanut allergies. He went through elementary school, jr. high and now high school. I made sure all his teachers knew the appropriate protocol for anaphylactic shock (which means you can die within minutes). I also had them send home notices when they served snacks that they had a child with peanut allergies in their room. Suprisingly, all of the parents were more than accomodating and considerate. My son was also taught at age 5, how to give himself and injection if he needed it, and to always carry benedryl with him as this helps for an immediate fix until the ambulance can get there. As for the airlines, they need to pull the peanuts. Not just adults fly. Kids fly too. The recycled air from peanuts can be deadly, as well as if someone ate peanuts and rubbed their hands on the seats or tray tables. This is a serious allergy. The ignorant ones are the people who refuse to understand the allergy and don’t seem to care if a kid dies. Oh yes..and adults have peanut allergies too. Do you care wether an adult dies or are you just a cold heartless individual? This is a very emotional illness. My son is now entering high school and is terrified about getting a girlfriend. Imagine what kids go through having to tell someone, “if we are ever going to kiss, you can’t eat peanuts or I can die.” Imagine the trauma a kid gets being the one who kissed someone after eating a peanut butter sandwhich or candy, and their boyfriend/girlfriend dies. It’s a horrible thing to live with. Not just people with peanut allergies, but those with shellfish etc. Get a grip those of you who don’t understand. How would you like to have that allergy?

  • http://www.beyondapeanut.com coopedl

    For those trying to educate both children and those adults who are providing care for children with nut allergies…a new teaching tool Beyond A Peanut Allergy Flashcards. You may not be able to get people to sit down and read a book but after they flip through these 36 flascards, they will understand why the vigilance is necessary both at home and the schools to keep children safe. Without a medical cure, education plays a key role in safety. I hope some on this page will take the time to become educated and possibley save a life!

  • mom

    Ok, well, now my son goes to a private school, very small, they eat in the classroom. I just got a letter stating, not only do they not want peanut butter sandwiches, but also to read the the lables on the other products (chips, crackers, cookies, etc) because they MAY contain traces of peanut oil and to not send those items, as well. My son is very skinny and he is a picky eater. (ironic because i love to cook) He takes peanut butter sandwiches EVERY DAY. (they don’t offer hot lunch). He is not malnourished but now I can’t send the one thing he will eat because of one child? The child is new to the school, the parents have not met with the teacher to inform them of the severity of the problem….it was causually mentioned. Apparently, it is so severe that it is life threatening. None of my family has food allergies and I feel badly for this child, but they have to learn how to cope, too. Plus, if I had a child that were SO severely allergic to something, I would NOT put his life in the hand of an over-worked teacher and a classroom full of 7 year olds! I understand a want/need for “normalcy” but,if, in order to be sure and healthy is to stay home, so be it. There’s kids that are allergic to the sun and they only come out at night!
    So, my question is, if we’re making large decisions regarding one child (peanut allergy), why not make a decision based on another child (will only eat peanut butter sandwiches).

    Someone could become quite wealthy making “peanut/nut free” private schools, no?

  • nopeanutmom

    It is unfortunate that your son is a picky eater, but there is a difference between a picky eater and anaphylaxis. I strongly believe your comments would be different if you saw a child who is gasping for breath, swelling up, given an epi-pen, and an ambulance called. Peanuts are as life threatening as rat poisening. You wouldn’t want that in your 7 year old child’s classroom would you?

  • mom

    Ok, so, bottom line: what should I send for lunch? I don’t mind making homemade things at all. He likes brownies. He likes bacon. He likes spaghetti. He likes chicken noodle soup. I can send soup to school. Spaghetti, eh, maybe sometimes in a thermos.

    Don’t you think that a peanut allergic child should learn to adapt to “the real world” rather than the other way around? They will have to live cautiously for the REST of their lives, shouldn’t they learn it from the “ground up?” Our country was not founded on a “woe is me” attitude. Do you think that an employer will honor this when this child is 25? No employer will outlaw peanut products in the lunch room of a business!
    No, I do not ever want to see a child hurt! I get down on my knees and thank God because the worst thing my son has ever had was strep-throat. But, unfortunately, life is not homogeneous. Life goes on, whether or not you have limitations. It’s harsh, as life often is, but THAT is the bottom line. You can only shelter your kids so much…

  • mom

    By the way, now I’m also thinking about my own liability in this situation, with my son in the class with a child that is so severely allergic that it is life threatening. What if my son has some un-seen peanut butter on his shirt from breakfast (but don’t send it for lunch, etc) and this child gets a reaction from it? Will I be sued for causing a reaction? What about the school? (I’m on the school board)

  • Jane

    Peanut allergies are invisible life threatening conditions. To expect a child to manage this on his own is not reasonable.

    Children will have to learn to cook and drive and pay bills but we dont expect them to do it in elementary school!

    Whether you like it or not children with severe medical conditions can be considered disabled and are protected by laws in the United States. Public schools must accommodate them!

    There is a right to a free and appropriate educuation. There are no rights to peanuts.

  • nopeanutmom

    If the condition wasn’t so life threatening, I would agree. But we are talking peanut butter for heavens sake; it is not a necessary staple for a healthy life. If your child truly can’t go without it during one meal per day, then you should talk to the principal and have your child moved out of the classroom.

    Two years ago, my son sat next to a girl who bought a peanut butter treat into class. She thought his treat looked better so she picked it up after she ate her own. She gave it back and he ate it. He immediately began to hive and feel ill. He was given bendryl and I took him to the emergency room. He felt ill, he missed a day in class all over peanut butter. The mother felt terrible because she felt it was no big deal at the time. Her daughter felt terrible and said, eating a peanut butter snack was not worth making a classmate sick. If peanut butter is truly that important to your child, move him/her and everyone will feel better.

  • mom

    You made my point exactly. If this child’s reaction is so severe, why even take the chance of having her in a classroom? Because, let’s face it, her school life is not just a classroom, it’s: the railing on the stairway, the library books, the art room, the basketball, the monkey bars, door handles, toilet flushing handles.

    We have been at this (private) school for 5 years, I’m on the school board. This family is brand new, this year, and basically sprung on the poor principal, how severe the condition was 1 week before school starts. She CASUALLY mentioned it at the family picnic.

    My child is underweight and all he eats is peanut butter. Why are my child’s (or any other children) needs any less significant than this childs?

    My questions were not answered above: What do I send for his lunch? Should I stand above him at lunch time and force him to eat a ham and cheese? What about children with other allergies such as diary, gluten/wheat, PET HAIR? Should we force all the families in the school to get rid of their pets?

    I’m sorry, this country is not founded on socialism.

  • nopeanutmom

    You have already made up your mind that your child and the rest of the students are being treated unfairly so nothing anyone can say here will persuade you otherwise.

    I guess you will have to abide by the principal’s decision and just be unhappy that your child can not eat peanut butter at school. Obviously, your principal is a kind and compassionate individual so he/she will probably work with you to find a resolution. If you are looking for sympathy regarding your child’s plight, you simply won’t find it from me. I am not quite sure what the significance of being on the school board is or how socialism applies to not having peanut butter in school but you are certainly entitled to your own opinion. I hope your principal can find a satifactory resolution for your problem.

  • CTmom

    There is simply no comparison between a picky child wanting to eat PB at school and the right of a child not to die at school. To compare them is ignorant and insulting. A skinny kid who will only eat PB (first of all – “only eat PB” is probably not true – does that child REALLY eat ONLY PB for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day?) is in need of some nutrition counseling. It’s not healthy to be very underweight or stuck on one food at an age past toddler-hood. The school is asking that children do without PB for 5 meals out of 21 per week. Seems like an extremely small request in the face of an allergic classmate keeling over and dying from peanut exposure. The allergic child did not choose his or her condition. He can’t choose not to have his condition this day or that. It is terrifying to him and his family, daily. How can that compare in any way to another child’s choice for one meal a day, 5 days out of 7? At home, the picky eater could eat PB constantly.

  • ? death by anaphylaxis

    mom, I cannot understand your attitude. My peanut anaphylactic child died at pre school on the day another parent decided to breach a nut free policy. He was four years old. Young children with anaphylaxis are vulnerable and need teachers and other parents to help keep them safe. They also have a right to an education. I cannot tell you how the thought of losing a child forever over something as trivial as a sandwich filling tortures me every night. You should count yourself lucky that one of your biggest problems is not being able to send peanut butter to school. My fathers day was spent at the cemetary

  • Roger Blake

    mom, first of all what a private school chooses to do is one thing. Most people are not that wealthy to afford such luxuries of either staying at home to home school or send a child to a private school as you suggest they should do.

    There are laws with regard to public schools and all taxpayers have a “right” to public education in the US. My suggestion is that you should resign from your current board seat and allow someone that is a bit more sensitive, caring, thoughtful and educated on the matter to consider the legal, ethical, and reasonableness of your schools policies.

  • nopeanutmom

    As to what you should send your child for lunch? Anything but peanut butter. That is my suggestion. Children have a right to have a good education, they have a right to be treated fairly, and they have a right to free lunch, books, supplies, etc if they can’t afford it. But there is no “right” to have peanut products at school. I assure you, not having a peanut product at your school will not in anyway hinder your student’s education.

  • Mary TT

    Mom, your lack of understanding and sympathy is rather unsetteling. I am glad you are not on the board of my child’s school.

    The big difference between, “gluten/wheat and PET HAIR” is that typically they do not become airborne and typically do not get smeared on to toys, etc… So these have not proven to be a great rish in killing children at school.

    To answer your question in general. If something had the potential to kill what studies show are somewhere between 2%-4% of children entering elementary today then I would be in favor of banning that substance. Today, the only substance that reaches that type of potential risk is peanut for it gets airborne and is often messy enough to smear on things. So yes, I think it is worth having your child not eat peanut butter for 6 hours a day (5 out of 21 meals) so that an innocent child does not die for what is rather simple accommodation.

    Or said another way, if a child were to die based on your child’s peanut contamination would you really still feel that the trade off was worth it and that your childs rights to have their PB sandwich was justified.

  • mom

    This was taken from the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network Website (Food Allergy.org)

    The Distribution of Peanut Allergen in the Environment

    Since people with peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction after exposure to very small quantities of peanut allergen, scientists investigated the presence of the peanut allergen and how well different cleaning agents worked to remove it.

    To measure the amount of peanut allergen, scientists measured levels of
    Ara h 1 — the major peanut allergen — in the air, on cafeteria tables, and on other surfaces in six area preschools. They found Ara h 1 on 1 out of 13 water fountains, and none on desks (22) or cafeteria tables (36).

    Scientists simulated real-life peanut exposure by having 19 nonallergic volunteers eat peanuts and peanut butter in a cafeteria setting. No airborne
    Ara h 1 was detected.

    That means that the allergen in peanuts is not airborne.

    Obviously people are not reading my previous posts: my child will not eat anything but peanut butter. So far, people have not convincingly refuted my posts.

    I agree with you, Nopeanutmom, that children have a right to education. The following was taken from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (www.naesp.org) entitled “Managing Food Allergies in Schools”:

    It’s the Law

    Recent legal decisions also have had an impact on schools’ food allergy policies. For instance, the U.S. Department of Justice has ruled that children could not be excluded from a private child care center on the sole basis that they were allergic to bee stings or certain foods. The department also ruled that a private school must provide reasonable modifications in order to allow students with severe food allergies to have equal access to school services and activities.

    One result of these legal decisions is that approximately half of the states now have laws or regulations allowing allergic students, upon parental and physician approval, to carry their prescribed epinephrine during the school day.

    Until science can find a cure for food allergy, planning ahead and developing a schoolwide food allergy management plan will help ensure that students are safe when a reaction occurs.

    What the above article says is that REASONABLE modifications should be made. REASONABLE being the key word. Reasonable would be a peanut free table or eating in another room. NOT banning everything from Sara Lee bread to Ritz crackers, chocolates, Oreos, etc. (might have a trace in them)!!

    Oh, by the way, I love where the other people posting automatically go with my stance, too. “Well, since you want to send your child with peanut butter, then you must want the children with allergies to die!”

    Life is just that black and white, right?

    I’ve been posting facts and citing references. Most of you have been posting feelings.

  • nopeanutmom

    ummm, I reviewed your posts and the your last post was the only one that stated the information from FAAN. I read that study on the site, as I am a FAAN member and that study pertained to cleaning agents. The last statement was that no allergen was detected. What it does not qualify is that they did not have peanut allergic people in the study exposed to the airborne allergy.

    That is because peanut allergic students do have reactions to airborne peanut allergens. Sitting in a room with a distinct peanut smell will cause eye tearing, sneezing, coughing, etc. I have witnessed this first hand.

    When siting your information from the U.S. Department of Justice, they leave the term reasonable to be defined by the school at this point. Obviously, for your school, banning peanuts is a reasonable modification.

    I do sympathize with you, I can only imagine the frustration and concern of having a child eat only one type of food. Luckily, you can try soy nut butter or sun nut butter available in most grocery stores. The sun nut butter tastes exactly like peanut butter. You will probably find your child likes it as much as peanut butter and your problem solved.

  • mom

    I’ve looked for the sun nut butter in a few of the grocery stores around here because I’ve heard that it is very good. (Let’s face it, the soy stuff is kind of bad). I can’t find it but I’m willing to try it.

    If you read many policies that are readily available on the internet, regarding schools and colleges, the majority of them is to have a no peanut table/area, not banning peanut products all together.

    By the way, our school did not follow through with this ban. They are trying the peanut free area thing, which is what we have done previously as we have had many other students with food allergies.

    Maybe our school does need a peanut butter ban. I am going to collect the facts (ie. the % of peanut allergic students, etc)and take it to a school board meeting to make an educated decision. However, I think it is utterly ridiculous to require other parents to read all the labels of all the food products that they buy (ie. bread, cookies, granola bars, crackers, chips) to make sure there aren’t any peanut by-products/oil in the product. Not only is that highly unreasonalbe, I would strongly doubt that people would follow through with it “properly.” If I were a parent with an allergy so severe, I would not take the chance to send them to school. A ban of all things peanut surely creates a false sense of security. A school is not going to be pristine and peanut free, ever.

    I do highly sympathize with the parents of these munchkins that have this allergy so badly. Like I mentioned above, I can only look at my little guy and thank God that he has only gotten colds and nasty coughs. Truly blessed, I am, not to say that anyone with an allergy is not blessed because there are far worse things.

  • nopeanutmom

    I agree, that the school should not rely on parents to read labels. The school should supply an acceptable snack list which contains about ten to twenty items and the specific brands. Hostess products, rice crispy treats, fruit snacks, popcorn, potato chips, fruits and vegetables and more can work just fine. This list makes it much easier for the teacher and the parents.

  • concerned parent

    I have a child who has a severe peanut allergy and he has started the 1st grade this year. His school is not peanut free and he will be bringing sack lunches all year.
    I do not think that every parent needs to check all labels for warnings of peanuts/nuts or processed on equipment, etc. What I do believe is that while a school cannot patrol every food item that a child brings in, they do not have to add to the problem. By making the schools peanut free, in the sense that the food/snacks that they provide, that will reduce the chances of our children coming in contact with peanuts/nuts.
    I think that is a very small thing that the school boards can do and should do for the safety of our children.
    We cannot keep our children safe 100% of the time, but lets try to keep them safe as best we can.
    I don’t think that what I’m asking is too much an incovenience, it’s only common sense.

  • nopeanutmom

    I remember the concern of sending my peanut allergic child to school in first grade. Now he is in sixth grade.

  • mom

    I agree with Concerned Mom that, if the school (or parents in the school) are providing snacks or treats for everyone, that ALL allergies/needs (not just peanut but diary, vegetarian, etc) should be regarded when choosing the food or, at the very least, another choice of snack given for the allergic child. If I were sending a birthday treat with my son, I would be extremely careful to make sure that nothing was made or came in contact with peanuts/peanut oil. It’s not like I want to be like, “Here, kids, here’s some yummy, pretty cupcakes and here, little allergic girl, here’s a banana.”

    When I am sending my own child’s lunch, I should be able to send what my child will eat if he is a picky eater. (especially since a hot lunch program is not offered at our small, private school)

    We cannot change many people’s lives and lifestyles for one person.

    If, the only way for your child to be safe is to homeschool, then so be it. I would not take the chance if this were my child!

    What about the children whose bodies can’t process sunlight? We’ve all seen the stories where they only play outside at nighttime. Should we change the school hours so their needs are met? What if my child were a hemophiliac and he bleeds easily and bruising causes internal bleedsing? Should we ban all running at recess because someone might bump my child?

  • nopeanutmom

    So you would deny an intellegent, hard working, student the right to an education in your school so your picky eater can eat peanut butter?

    There is no comparison to children allergic to sunlight and peanut allergies. Your arguments are nonsensical. I find it hard to believe that a woman who pays a premium to send their child to a private school, would allow her child to eat nothing but peanut butter everyday.

    Even though your school is not banning peanut butter, you should take this as a wake up call to try to find a better variety of healthier lunches for your picky eater. Does he/she eat peanut butter for breakfast and dinner too?

    You know what I think? I think this is more about you not liking to be told you can’t do something and resenting it. Or you are too lazy to try to find a substitute for an easily prepared lunch.

    Bottom line is you are a parent that would rather deny a child the right to the same education as your child so your picky eater can eat peanut butter. Regardless of your hypotheticals and your irrelevant comparisons, that is where you stand. No one knows you here, why don’t you just admit it?

  • nopeanutmom

    Basically, your position is that if there is a student in your school whose situation inconveniences your child, they should not be allowed in your private school. Hmmm, interesting

  • Nancy

    I have to agree that the trend of accomodating everyone’s “special needs” and thereby inconveniencing the majority for the particulars of a few has gotten to ridiculous proportions. If your kid is THAT allergic, then keep them home or send them to a certified peanut-free school, fer chrissakes. The other 30 kids in class – and their families – should not have to plan THEIR diets & THEIR lifestyles around YOU and YOURS. Don’t like it? Tough. Life is hard, isn’t it? The facts are, if your kid is that allergic, they are NOT normal, and they require abnormal accomodations, since as has been repeatedly pointed out, any trace of peanuts in the air or on bannisters, or lockers or anywhere else, can be deadly. Unfortunately, your kid needs to be in a plastic bubble. Not in a public venue requiring the rest of the school population & their families to disrupt their lives. That’s the facts.

  • mom

    How are my arguments irrelevant? Sunlight allergies and hemophelia are valid illnesses that require special needs.

    Actually, I’m not lazy at all and I see your point about the peanut butter. It almost gags me every morning, as I make his lunch. I do try to make him stuff for breakfast that is healthy and that I can cook. He likes scrambled eggs, but I can’t send that in his lunch! I make dinner, too, even though I work. (Thank you slow cooker!) He will eat spaghetti, roast beef, you know, typical American dinner foods. I can’t send those things for lunch though!

    My position is not that the child should not be allowed in our private school. My position was: if my child has such a severe peanut allergy, I, as a parent, would not take the chance and risk my 7 year old’s life by sending him to school with other peanut butter eating kids. Nor would I demandingly inconvenience other parents. Yes, the child has a right to learn but with REASONABLE accomodations. Besides, look at the last few years of spelling bee winners…. (all homeschooled)

    No Peanut Mom, I should plan a better variety of foods? He does have other things in his lunch. The “main” thing is his peanut butter sandwich. Like I have asked before, what should I do, stand over him at lunch and force a ham and cheese sandwhich in his mouth? I’m not too lazy to find a peanut butter substitute. I run a business. I have not had time, since this came about to drive 40 minutes to a Whole Foods store where they have Sun Butter, which I am told tastes very good. I am not against trying it, but, again, I’m not going to force it on him if he doesn’t like it. If you remember, in my above posts, these parents happen to MENTION their daughter’s allergy at the school picnic just the week before school started, which for us, was this last Tuesday. That’s not a lot of time. Plus, I’m lucky enough that I can afford to pay $5 for a jar of peanut butter substitute. I know another parent who told me that she only buys the bread that is on sale (has peanut oil in it) and that she can’t afford the peanut butter substitutes. Some people live on very tight budgets and can’t afford the new, “organic” lifestyle that is so popular now. Nopeanutmom, you have read my above posts and you know that my point is that it is not inconvenient to me. My point all balances on reasonability. There HAS to be a happy, middle point.

    By the way, peanut butter is very healthy for kids that don’t have an allergy. I’ve consulted my son’s pediatrician regarding his eating (or, I should say “non-eating” habits) and the dr. says to not force him to eat and to feed him what he will eat.

    Why are one child’s needs more important than anothers?

  • nopeanutmom

    What type of person would want a child not to be educated in their school because in YOUR WORDS they “inconvenience” other students. School is about education, not peanut butter. Obviously, a ban on peanuts products in your school will not negatively impact the quality of your child’s education.

    If this is your opinion, because life is “tough” should we make the children in wheelchairs, the autistic, the learning disabled, the diabetic, the ADHD children be forced into home schooling as well?

    Hey mom, how about (gasp) worrying more about packing HEALTHY LUNCHES like fruit, vegetables, salads,etc. Buy a thermos and send in soup, chili, speghetti, the list goes on.

  • mom

    NoPeanutMom, sounds like you are having a bad day.

    Did you read the last part of my last post about consulting my son’s dr? He said that everything is fine. I do pack yougurt, grapes, milk. Today, he also had pretzels. Sometimes I do send chicken noodle soup.

    I don’t think any child should be forced into homeschooling. My point was that if it were MY child, I would homeschool because you can’t trust everyone to be pristine all the day. Even if they have the best intentions.

    Let me ask you this: what is your child’s school’s policy regarding peanut butter? Is it working well, in your opinion?

    Again, you forget that I do beleive there has to be middle ground. Parents cannot be unreasonable on either side of the issue.

    Peanut butter is a staple of many, many children’s diets. It is nutritious and inexpensiv, which is a concern for many. I, as a school board member, have to look at the school population as a whole, too. There are many, many parents quite upset about the letter they received.

    On a personal level, hey, trust me NoPeanutMom, I would send my kid with filet mignon every day, if he would eat it! Cost is not my issue, what he will eat is.

  • Another angel

    It seems that you feel that your handicapped child’s right to each peanut butter is more important than the right of other children’s handicaps. Even to the point that you suggest that other people send their kids to a different school or quit their job to home school if it interferes with your child’s right to eat peanut butter during school hours.

    So lets see, the downside of your child’s handicap it seems is that he either is hungry for a few hours or he learns to eat other food because he is hungry….wow! That would be tragic!

    The downside of other people’s insignificant handicaps such as peanut allergies clearly does not even come close to approaching the possible consequences and downside of not having peanut butter for 6 hours, 5 days a week.

    So even the most unreasonable person would certainly agree with you. Your child’s handicap should be given preference over other handicaps! Out with all those that interfere with the Need to Eat Peanut Butter Handicap!

  • School Admin on Liabilties

    Mom, so far this is all about you and what seems to be your child’s interest.

    Whether a school chooses to ban peanut butter or restrict peanut butter to certain tables or ignore the issue all together is really up to the school. The standard that will be used to judge them will be “Reasonable”. Thus the school’s decision is based on the downside of a lawsuit that will inevitably be filed if a child does die because a school did not take “reasonable” actions. Further the drama and sadness that a school/community will go through when an innocent child dies from what would be in hindsight a largely preventable death, is also a major factor for a school to consider. They also need to consider the impact on teachers. Does a school want to expose their teacher to the drama and scare that an anaphylactic episode would cause to all that witness it. If you have witnessed one, you would know what the above sentence means.

    Thus I would imagine that if the right to have your child eat peanut butter is so important and you are convinced that there is little risk with children eating peanuts, peanut butter, etc., at school then you should simply volunteer to indemnify them of any liability. For I am sure that this is and or should be one of the main concerns for a school.

    Otherwise, it seems you are asking the school to take on a lot of risk and hardship to simply protect your child’s right to eat peanut butter, which on the surface seems like an awful lot to ask of both the school and taxpayers.

    Lastly, if it was your child’s peanut butter sandwich that did in fact lead to the death of a child after siging up to indemnify the school (which encouraged them to ignore the issue) would you not have even a little sense of responsibiltiy and guilt for your actions and position.

  • Another angel

    One more comment…..”How are my arguments irrelevant? Sunlight allergies and hemophelia are valid illnesses that require special needs”

    Given you are a claimed women of facts not emotions. Why don’t you tell me how many children have died from sunlight allergies at school? Also how many hemophelia people have died at school because they were bumped during recess?

    The point is we do not need hyperbole or silly analogies. Many people die from peanut allergies every year (in fact someone dies every other day from a severe reaction) and thus this is not some phantom scare as you would like to believe in your arguments and/or misplaced analogies.

    Given people die, peanut allegies are on the rise predicted to double yet again in the next five years, should we not make reasonable accommodations to try and save lives if we can.

  • nopeanutmom

    No, not having a bad day, my post was in response to Nancy’s post. Currently, our school district does not have a ban on peanuts in our schools but I wish they did. My son is a pass plus honor student who twice had to leave school in an emergency situation. We had a peanut free classroom but the mom felt that stomped on her daughter’s right to have peanut products so she packed it anyway. My son had to go to the emergency room because of cross contamination. I can tell you the mother and the little girl were guilt ridden over the situation. The second time was in the lunchroom. There must have been peanut somewhere and he had a severe reaction. And here is the crux. Though the school nurse (clinical assistant with no med training) had been trained and had an emergency care plan for him, she did not follow it. Luckily, I was close to the school, gave him an epipen and rushed him to the emergency room. It truly would seem easier for the school to have a ban on peanut products. There is a consistency there and though no place is perfect, the school would be so much safer for the peanut allergic student. If there had been a ban throughout the school, these two dangerous situations would not have occurred. It is frustrating when I remember how dire the circumstances were and then read your posts about your child’s picky eating and the unfairness that a few alter the lives of of many. My son deserves to go to school and continue his education and he deserves to be safe while he is there just as your child deserves these same rights. He should not be forced to be homeschooled because his allergies are inconvenient to those who want to eat peanut butter. I am not trying to be negative but it seems incongruent that parents in your private school who are paying tuition are complaining about the cost of a jar of peanut butter substitute. It seems rather, they do not want to have to make this change and are just simply complaining. Honestly, I think if you asked your children if they would rather their classmates have to leave their school or stop eating peanut butter, I have a feeling your children would say they would not want the peanut butter. It is amazing how compassionate students can be. Many voluntarily stop bringing in peanut butter into the lunchroom even though they do not have to, because they do not want my child to get sick. I wish the parents had even alittle of their compassion.

  • concerned parent

    There seems to be a lot of anger over the rights of children wanting peanut butter. This is a little ridiculous if you ask me. If the schools choose to ban all peanut products, which I honestly believe they should, then everyone just get over it and not turn it into something larger than it needs to be. Be concerned with the real issues that regard your childs education, not what they can or cannot have for lunch.
    I have brought in a container filled with all sorts of treats that my son can have safely, if there is a party or something special going on in class. His teacher has sent out letters to all the parents asking that they do not send any peanut products into the classromm because of my son’s allergy. The School nurse and food svcs are checking all of the menu’s and items to make sure it is safe for him. I am going into the school once a week to check on the menu to check for myself about the food.
    These are the things that I am doing to keep him as safe as he can be in school. There are always risks – which as a parent – I don’t like. Scares me everyday he goes to school that he might have a reaction. So far we have been lucky.
    I have thoroughly scared my son, he is very aware of what could happen and does his best, at the age of 6, to keep himself safe.
    But reality check, the only way to keep our peanut allergic children in a 100% safe environment is to keep them at home, which is not possible. We have to do our best, educate people on the seriousness of the allergy, continue to discuss these issues with the school districts, and maybe it won’t take an emergency for eyes to be opened.
    There are a lot of people who do not understand the allergy, so they come back with comments like, “keep you child in a plastic bubble”, “homeschool your child then”, “don’t take away my childs right to eat peanut butter”.
    I don’t care what they say, they do not understand the severity of the problem, if it was their child, their attitude would be different.
    We can only hope to educate the ignorant and continue our efforts on changing public awareness.
    And most importantly, educate our children. Scare them if necessary, which I think it is, to keep them safe.

  • concerned parent

    Ignorance is not bliss, it’s deadly

  • Nancy

    The arrogance, selfishness, self-centeredness, & gall are on the sides of those demanding the entire rest of the population accomodate the “special needs” of a tiny minority, so that they themselves don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. The world does NOT revolve around you and/or your kid. Sorry, but them’s the facts. No, if my child’s sandwich caused your kid to have an attack or even die, I would not feel responsible. It isn’t my problem, & it wasn’t my decision to send a seriously allergic & abnormal child to a public place rife with hazards of all kinds. Frankly, if your kid is that abnormal in regards to physical survival, it might be better if they did not pass it on genetically. One of the drawbacks of today’s advanced medicine is that it allows those whom nature would have automatically removed from the gene pool to continue to live & ultimately breed, to the continuation of their adverse genetic deformities. I see no reason to feel bad for not acceding to your unreasonable demands that the entire world stop & kowtow to you & your kid. I don’t demand it do so for any of MY problems, and most others don’t either. Just hysterical, selfish, arrogant people who shouldn’t have been breeding to begin with.

  • nopeanutmom

    Oh my gosh Nancy, if anyone shouldn’t be “breeding” so they won’t pass YOUR abnormal ignorant gene, it should definitely be you!LOL Your comments are bazarre. I just hope to God you aren’t in my school system. Obviously, the ability to homeschool YOUR children would be out of the question.

  • Nancy

    Why should I homeschool MY kids just to accomodate yours? Yours is the one with the problem, not the rest of them. Again, it isn’t up to 99 or 98 people to disrupt their lives to accomodate the 1 or 2. Your standards are seriously twisted, sister, in thinking that my attitudes are abnormal & you are in the right. It reflects your own selfish “me first above all others” school of thought. Kids with no such severe allergies don’t require every other person in the world to do anything in their own lives to accomodate them. Nor should they. Start thinking beyond your own selfish ends & look at the larger picture. As a mother, I’m sure you would rescue your one kid & let the other 99 die if that were your choice; but the reality is, we save 99 & let the 1 go, if there’s danger & a choice must be made. Triage. The greater good. You are no exception.

  • nopeanutmom

    Your comments are outrageous, but they are funny too. You must be a hoot at the PTA meetings and I am not being facetous. Your comments are so out there that I really can’t respond to such twisted logic. Are you really referring to peanut butter as the greater good? That we should forsake kids with peanut allergies so the kids can eat peanut butter at school? You know whats scary? There is probably someone out there that agrees with you.

  • Nancy

    The tragedy is that there are far too many morons out there who agree with YOU. No, I don’t refer to just peanut butter. PB is the least of my priorities. Don’t care for it myself, so it’s not the issue. The issue is the greater one of why one person’s problem should have to be dealt with, & impinge on, 99 others. More than 99, if you take into consideration the families.

    Consider also, oh self-centered one, that there ARE families – and many of them – who can’t afford to give their kids more than PB. I know several. For them, it’s the most nutritious item they can provide. Are YOU willing to either pay for them to provide better foods – or to mandate that their kids should go without & starve, because your kid can’t handle peanuts in any form? While I’m sure you wouldn’t cavil at the latter, I doubt much if you’d step up to the plate – literally – to deliver on the former, even if you were willing, which I also doubt, such are the nature of your comments thus far.

  • Concerned Parent

    Well, as Nancy has made it painfully obvious, not everyone should have children. To be so callous and cold when it comes to children, no matter what their problem is, is horrible. And to think that she is a mother. I am sad for her children.
    I don’t think that what we are saying is that everyone needs to change their lives to accomodate our children. It’s a few hours a day, 5 days a week. If that is too much for some, then so be it. We cannot possible change everyone’s attitude. Some people don’t want to know the real facts and the outcome. They just want to complain that their “rights” are being infringed upon.
    As far as “breeding” goes, how dare anyone suggest that those children should never have a family of their own because of an allergy. I say that people with that attitude are the real ones that are doing this society a disservice by passing on their own twisted ideals to future generations.
    I just wonder if people like that teach their children morals/ethics/how to be social creatures. Or just that they are above everyone else, being selfish is okay.
    I teach my child to respect everyone, treat people as you would like to be treated. Even if they have, what Nancy calls a “disability”, they deserve to be treated fairly and with compassion.
    Maybe Nancy should look up the definition of the word.

  • mom

    To School Admin on Liabilities:
    I am on the school board of my son’s private school. I have heard from many angry parents regarding a letter received that banned peanut butter and ANY product that could possibly have peanut by-products in it. They have since decided the ban was too harsh and have created a peanut free table for this one student. I have to represent the majority, in our school, while making it safe for everyone. I think that a “peanut free” zone is reasonalbe, personally, along with someone trained in administering the epi pen. I think that if there is a party in the classroom, treats should be brought in with regard to ALL children’s allergies, not just a child with peanut allergies.
    As far as liability goes, I have consulted with our personal attorney, for both on the personal level and the school level. His words were: Children 7 and under hold no liabilty. Basically because they dont know any better. From 7-12, one has to show absolute malicious intent, such as my child saying to a peanut allergic child, “Here, eat this sandwich. It does not have peanut butter on it.” and it truly does have peanut butter on it. All other products that say that it may contain peanut oil are exempt from liability, too, because it is unreasonalbe. Our school is a non-profit and can be exempt for that reason, too, although I guess that’s arguable.
    I called the attorny because, if there is a ban and I adhere to it and try my best, I cannot 100% guarantee that my child wont eat a piece of toast in the morning with peanut butter on it (and I have him wash his hands) and get some on his shirt that you can’t see snd the child has a reaction, I wanted to know if I or the school would be liable. I almost feel like it’s a ticking time bomb…not IF a reaction is ever going to happen, but WHEN it will happen, even with the best intentions.

    You are right, I would not want to be a teacher now (my husband is, by the way, but at the high school level) and have to monitor who has what for lunch and did we wipe off that table and did all the kids wash their hands on the way in in the morning. Teachers are there to teach.

    No Peanut Mom: I’m sorry for your son’s two attacks. You mentioned the one time when another mother sent peanut butter as the cause for one reaction. The other reaction you were not sure what caused it but you thought there must have been peanut butter somewhere. That is my point exactly. Maybe there was no peanut butter around and maybe not one person had a granola bar, cracker or cookie with peanut oil in it. How do you know “peanut traces” (for lack of a better term) are not on the bathroom doors, library books, a child’s shirt from breakfast? That’s what I mean when I say that I say that I think a complete ban causes a false sense of security. There is no absolute way to provide a complete peanut free environment. As to the friend that says she can’t afford the peanut substitute and her child attending private school…they are on scholarship, as many kids are in this school.

    I’m just curious, to No Peanut Mom and others, what do you all do on trips to the mall, movies, restaurants, parks, the libarary, grocery store etc. I mean this sincerely, too. All of these places are not controlled environments.

    I apologize for sounding harsh. I truly do not want to be but what about when your child turns 15 or 16 and wants to get a job? Or college? Or even when he/she is an adult and get’s a “real” job. None of those places are going to be peanut free.

    I feel that your children will have to make ajustments in their lifestyles to accomodate their needs, just as many people do with all kinds of needs, not just illnesses or handicaps. Don’t you think it would be a good idea for the children to begin this practice now?

  • nopeanutmom

    Well Nancy, in the public school system, the states provide free or reduced fee lunches which are MUCH healthier than PBJ. And I do pay state taxes which pays for these lunches. So you see, I have already stepped up to the plate.

    How many people feel it impinges upon them? Maybe all of your 99 do not feel the way you do.

    The only changes a peanut ban would cause is to change the type of snacks that kids bring in and to take away PB sandwiches brought from home for lunch. Cheese sandwiches, lunchmeat sandwiches and left overs are just as good and just as inexpensive.

  • mom

    to Concerned Parent:
    You mentioned how Nancy called the allergy a disability. You seemed offended by that. If you google peanut allergy and read some of the websites, you will find that many parents of chidren with peanut allergies are indeed calling it a disablility. Not only that, but they are claiming rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    I don’t know wether or not it is a disability. I’m not a dr. and I have read arcticles by dr’s saying that it is a disability and some saying it isn’t, so I think it is debatable but I know that one can’t use the term when it is convenient for them and then be offended when their child is called that in a different time. (I’m not saying that you did that but other people certainly have)

    By the way, off the subject but, can anyone confirm this: I think that if your child is disable, you can/do get assistance from the government in the form of social security or disability payments, right from birth.

  • nopeanutmom

    Mom, you have raised some very good points and you are educated in the points that you have made. I think in your private school, you have made reasonable accomodations and instead of just complaining about the issue, you got up and did something about it, looked into it, and helped make a rational choice. I commend you for it and have a lot of respect for your actions. I know in my own situation its not IF he comes in contact with peanuts and has a reaction, its WHEN. The chances are greatly reduced when there is a peanut ban. You have also brought up some salient points about daily life outside of school. Peanut allergic kids are prepared at all times for the worst case sceniero and can control some aspects of where they go and what they do. However, this is not possible at school. It is a very difficult life. But school is about learning not about peanut butter. I am glad you have made the accomodations that you have. I hope, I truly hope, when you talk to those angry parents, you can share my perspective with them and ask for tolerance. I have appreciated your frankness about this issue. You are speaking what many others are thinking and it has given me perspective as well.

  • Concerned Parent

    You are absolutely correct, that we do have to start teaching our children to be aware of their environment.
    As far as when I take my child out, we of course monitor where we eat, but other than that, we do not live our lives in fear. How many times is there peanut butter in malls anyway?
    I do not think asking for a worldwide ban on peanuts is necessary, I myself love peanut butter. I just eat it at work for lunch and make sure my clothes are changed and my hands are washed before seeing my son.
    I just want some common sense for schools, especially elementary schools.
    It’s not that difficult, really.

  • nopeanutmom

    It is arguable that a child with food allergies falls under the American Disabilities Act. I believe it makes a student a 504 student. Some will argue that they are (I am one) others object to the label. From speaking with an attorney, a 504 student has a protocol that the school must follow or answer to the the federal government. There is a bit more bite in this but at the end, there is not much more to it. To my knowledge, there is no governmental assistance and is not needed. Getting children with food allergies a great education is the best way to help them. Others may be more knowledgable then I.

  • Concerned Parent

    Mom,

    I certainly do not take offense to the word, “disability”. It is the way that Nancy seems to see these children, in a negative way.
    I do agree that it is in fact a disability. It is something that we will have to live with everyday for the rest of our sons life.
    So, does my son have a disability? In some respects, absolutely. Does that mean that he can’t live a normal/healthy life? absolutely not.
    We all just want our children to be safe, bottom line.

  • Nancy

    I didn’t mean ‘disability’ as an insult, & indeed have not heard anybody who is disabled yet (& I work with several) take offense to it. I’m disabled myself these days, for that matter, but I don’t cavil at the word, so calm down. Yes, I did mean it in the government context, as Mom points out kindly for me.

    Meanwhile, it goes beyond just peanut butter. You mentioned several alternative lunch substitutes. Are you aware how many things peanut products & by-products are in? Not just PB, but crackers, breads, even meats. And beyond that, in cosmetics, soaps, even fabrics. You’re talking about changing more than just lunch habits, here. You’re talking about changing entire ecomonies & ecologies.

  • nopeanutmom

    No, it is very easy to be peanut free. You would be surprised about the number of food that do not contain peanuts; hostess products, fruits, vegetables, popcorn, almost all potato chips, corn chips, and chips in general, fruit snacks, Ritz crackers, rice crispy treats, cake mixes, brownie mixes, ice cream, the list can go on and on. Could you tell my products specifically that by being banned would change the economy?

  • Nancy

    Considering most of those are junk foods, I don’t think it would have too adverse an effect on most kids’ lunches, IMO. But you said your child is allergic to ANY form of peanut product – which would therefore include fabrics, soaps, etc.

    I have no objection to setting up peanut-free zones in schools; that’s reasonable IMO. I do object to requiring everybody else to forgo it also, outside those zones.

    BTW, I’m also interested in Mom’s question: how DO you handle going to malls, etc. where the peanut-tainted environment is uncontrollable?

  • mom

    No Peanut Mom, I think I know what you mean by “504.” My husband is an at-risk teacher at the high school level (talk about stories!) and I think our school district calls it an “IEP” or Individual Education Program. (i think the program part is right) Anyhow, teachers, counselors, administrators have to follow it to a “t” for the kids that have that. Some of my husband’s students are bi-polar, etc. and he has to follow the IEP guidelines for them. I think it would be the same for a student that was dyslexic, etc.

    I feel for you guys. It’s bound to make everyday life more difficult and somewhat scary. (although I know you would not have it any other way)

    I think, on a personal level, I am not happy with how this parent went about the whole ordeal. She MENTIONED it and then DEMANDED other people buy different brands of food, all a week before school started! It sounds like most of you go out of your way to meet with the school, come up with a plan, make sure people are knowledgeable as to what to do if something happens.

    Plus, there’s more to the story that I haven’t mentioned. This parent has contradicted herself by saying that the child CAN eat food with peanut oil, etc in it, as long as it’s not in the first 3 ingredients listed. In the same conversation, she told my friend that she (the friend) needs to change the brand of bread she buys because there’s peanut oil in it.

    Plus, I know the food allery child’s babysitter. I asked her what they do, in regard to the allergy (she has a child care in her home). The babysitter didn’t even know this child had an allergy and the mom had never mentioned it to her so there is some question as to how severe the allergy is in this particular child.

  • mom

    Oh, and by things like the mall, I’m basing the severity on the claim of the mom at my school. So, what I mean is, I don’t know, maybe airborne smells from the Cookie Company or door handles, or looking through clothing racks. From what I understand, peanut oil (or any kind of oil) can get on your hands and easily be transferred to things you touch. Then, it does not just “go away” with time.

  • nopeanutmom

    I can only speak about my child, but when we walk by the nut roasting kiosk he sneezes and tears. Because of the other possible cross contamination, he must wash his hands before eating out and of course, always carry an epi-pen.
    BTW, when there is a heavy peanut butter day at school, the smell is so strong, he eats outside the cafeteria.

  • nopeanutmom

    Since you are on the school board, you may check to see if the child has an emergency care plan (the form can be found on foodallergy.org) or a prescription from the physcian about what the specific allergens are, what medication is to be used, and so forth. In my district, if the student is known to have a food allergy, this information must be on file.

  • mom

    I think that’s a great idea, about the medical “note” from her dr. I think, since our school is so small, some of these things slip through the cracks sometimes…

  • Another angel

    Not sure moving to hyperbole on everything is the constructive way of really understanding this issue.

    I know of very little that is 100% certain, save for death and taxes. Actions that schools take are not for the purpose of 100% surety. The purpose is to take “reasonable” actions. Negligence would come from not taking reasonable actions.

    If a school knew that lightening was going to strike a certain spot and the school did not move a child that was standing on that spot despite sufficient notice and no inability to do so and lightening did strike and kill the child. That would be in most people’s mind “not” reasonable actions by the school and thus they would be negligent.

    The same argument holds here. If a school has the knowledge that exposing peanuts to a highly allergic child has the possibility to kill an innocent child that is entrusted to their care, they need to take “reaonable” actions to protect the child..not unreasonable craziness to ensure 100% certainty of safety…the school simply needed to act with good common sense not to be negligent.

    So whether the choice is to have a full ban in the school, or simply a ban in the specific class room or simply have seperated lunch tables, or even to do nothing is really up to the school. The real and only question that would be asked when a child did in fact die of a peanut exposure, was did the school take reasonable actions based on the information they have. If they did, then they would not be held liable and it would be simply an unfortunate outcome. If the school did not take “reasonable” accommodations, then they will not only be liable but it would be quite frankly and inexusable tragedy.

    So most parents of peanut allergy children are not looking for 100% guarantees otherwise a bubble might truly be the only way…instead we are simply looking for common sense and reasonable actions to lessen the risk of exposure. No more, no less.

  • mom2

    My family travels with a child that has severe peanut allergys, and I watch all food I bring or make to share. She has taken total responsiblity reading labels and asking what is safe, what is not since she was 5 (now 12). My younger sons best friend has every other allergy except peanut, soy, dairy, wheat, ect, brings his own foods with him on visits and always asks if something is safe for him. He is eight and totally responsible.
    I am so sensitive to these kids problems and try to help in anyway I can.
    My older son is on medication that causes appetite loss. On top of that he doesn’t eat meat. Peanut butter was our saving grace, (or hand full of nuts or nut bar) However, for the last four years I have been preparing special lunches, mostly hot (try making protien lunchs with not meat or nuts), for my child because of a peanut allergy child. It is time consuming every morning, not to mention the expense, 90% of the time he doesn’t eat, and then his education suffers because he gets frustrated and tired due to not eating. He is so afraid he will kill this child, he will not eat peanut butter on toast before school, he might miss a trace.
    The peanut free area seems to work in schools where the child takes responsiblity for his/her self, which also prepares them for adult hood.
    I finally went to new principal with just the suggestion of having a peanut free area combined with more frequent hand washing (which they should do more of anyway) instead of the total ban.
    Well, there has been a letter every couple of days, reminding us to the danger and that parents of peanut allergy kids are not “fanatics”. The mere mention has thrown everyone into a panic.
    WELL, I am not a fanatic either. I just want my child to eat something and get his school work done.
    Oh well, it is to late now. I understand the schools responiblity due to people who will blame the school much like Mcdonalds coffee being to hot.
    Please parents of allergy kids, most of us are just trying to find a middle road solution that every one can live by, nothing will 100% protect these kids, but if we are all aware, and all educated about the dangers,can we all take responsiblity?? Can my kid also get the best education possible??

  • Tracy

    Hi Mom2 – I didn’t want to get into this toxic debate, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about soy butter and sun butter (from sunflower seeds). They are great pb substitutes that are actually healthier than pb (higher protein, lower fat). Maybe your son would enjoy them? You could work with the school to make sure that they know these products are peanut-free (they look so much like pb it’s hard to tell).

  • Another angel

    Mom 2

    McDonald’s did not lose that suit because they served hot coffee. They were deemed negligent because there are regulations in the food industry as to not having coffee too hot because it poses a risk of injury if spilled. McDonalds was repeatedly warned and sanctioned on this subject. Thus when someone finally was injured because of the fact that the coffee was too hot, McDonald’s was found negligent for not taking corrective actions on what they knew was a hazard.

    The same logic applies to schools. No one is asking for 100% guarantees. One simply asks for some common sense and reasonable actions to protect the safety of the children that are entrusted to their care based on the information that they have.

    Thus I feel all parties effected by any rule should make the impact of those rules known whether it is the peanut allergic child’s family or the peanut butter only eating family. The discussion itself is healthy and not in itself negative. At the end of the day, the school should gather all information and understand the impact on all various people and make a decision as to what they believe is the best policy for the school.

    Thus whether the school determines to do nothing, send out warnings, provide for a separate table, ban peanuts in the effected class or provide a school wide ban, is really the school decision and they will ultimately be judged in the court of public opinion as well as potentially in the court of law as to whether they acted “reasonably”. Taking steps to ensure 100% safety would be unrealistic, but taking reasonable actions based on the information they have is not only common sense but is the standard they will ultimately be judged.

    My issue is with those that become so outraged with the decisions of the schools to do what they feel is prudent. I really feel those that complain about a school’s decision should really put their money where their mouth is. If you think the school has gone overboard, then you should offer to indemnify the school for all liability based on the implementation of your desired action plan. For when a school makes a decision, they are thinking in terms of impact on teachers, other students, community, and legal ramifications. So unless you are willing to step up to the plate on all of these issues and take responsibility, I think those that continue to grip should trust the process and respect the school’s decisions and either figure out how to conform to the rules or find alternative where there are rules from another school where you can conform to. For time after time with all facts on the table most schools are in fact taking reasonable actions despite the fact the fact that the peanut only eating child family is inconvenienced. (by the way mom2, I am not aware of any documented case that a child who is denied peanut butter from 5 out of 21 meals in the week has in any way diminished his education, health or ability to function, if there is a study please point me to it.)

  • nopeanutmom

    Mom 2, I sympathize with your situation. Please try the sunnut butter, I think your child will like it alot. How about cheese sandwiches. Interestingly in this debate, no one mentions the school lunch, you know the pizzas, chicken fingers, corndogs, hamburgers and so forth. Though this wouldn’t help your child, these lunches have some nutritional value, parents with finacial issues can get reduce fee lunches and so forth.

  • http://www.beyondapeanut.com coopedl

    When I was in college I took a debate class. I would put so much time and energy into that class. I would study, research, interview people. I wanted to make sure that all my “bases” were covered. I remember my professor telling me once that he wasn’t necessarily going to grade on who people thought may have won the debate. That might be subjective, but rather who created the most thought provoking line of reasoning, and had the facts to substantiate the argument. I still love a great debate, but to debate you need more than just passion for the subject you need to be able to validate it with facts and data.

    Many schools around the country have made the decision to ban peanut products from their school to protect children with life-threatening food allergies. This topic has sparked quit a controversy and debate “to ban or not to ban”? Who would have known the passion of this product? While I can appreciate a parent with a picky eater, (we all have had our fair share of behavioral issues), or that it takes an extra couple of minutes in the morning to lay a piece of meat and cheese on bread rather than spreading peanut butter, where are the facts and data to substantiate this argument over the lives of children who are allergic to this beloved product. The argument around an allergic child’s safety is backed up by myriads of medical reports, physician’s notes and coroner’s reports.

    It seems that when parents can not produce the necessary medical reports stating that their child may die without a peanut product for 6 hours, the arguments become completely subjective. There is the one about “building a false sense of security”. Many families with children who have peanut allergies choose to create a “safe haven” in their homes making them peanut free. Will this parent walk out the door and not inform a babysitter about the allergy? Will they think it’s not necessary to train a babysitter on how to spot a reaction and administer an Epi-Pen…NO. Even in their own home they know there is always a chance that something could end up not being labeled correctly. A squirrel could drop a peanut in the yard. These people are always on guard. While I’m sure they appreciate the expressed concern over a sense of false safety, since we are talking about the life of their child, they will not be letting their guard down because parents have been asked to help eliminate some risk by not bringing peanut butter to the school.

    And just when I think I have read it all, it just gets better. I recently read a comment from a mother stating that this was “setting up an unrealistic environment”. Can someone please tell me what is “real world” about primary education? Sure there will be some “real life “lessons, but please remember these are CHILDREN we are talking about. Children who have to be signed out by a parent if leaving the school early. Children who are guided across the street by a crossing guard. Most of these children are sweat, and when given the choice would opt to eat something that would not present a danger to a friend.

    Children with food allergies will grow up to advocate for themselves. They will learn to read labels, ask questions, wipe surfaces and surround themselves with caring and compassionate friends who are willing to administer an Epi-Pen should they have an accident. As they begin to enter “the real world” my hope is that their friends no longer wipe their hands on, or under the table. If they are forced to sit in a cafeteria to eat with a couple of hundred peers, I hope they do not choose to “trade” the lunch that they brought, with someone next to them. They will learn to self advocate. For now, what is wrong with helping to protect these children? How about taking this opportunity to teach a child a “real life” lesson in how a little self sacrifice can go a long way in helping another.

    Schools do not implement policy decisions like this arbitrarily. Do you think a parent walked in and asked for this policy change and was told to “sit down, have a cup of tea, we want to do the right thing, we are all about keeping each child safe”. Well maybe the latter is true, but I’m sure it did not come without numerous meetings, proper documentation and review from both medical and legal professionals. In the world of debate, only one side seems to have the medical facts and appropriate knowledge and education to substantiate whether this decision is right or not. (That depends on how you rank the importance of a child’s life) From a subjective perspective I give an A+ in effort for all the whining that has been done by those poor wronged parents whose children are fortunate not to have to live daily with the fear of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Like everything else “this too shall pass” and not bringing in peanut butter will become part of the “thread” of their community just as public smoking bans have.

  • http://www.divvies.com Robin

    Thank goodness most children are accepting and patient of their schoolmates’ differences. They can teach us a lot.

    We are grateful for nut- and dairy-free companies like DIVVIES who are sending important messages like “eating should be an inclusive experience — not exclusive”.

    Our private school is nut-free, and serves DIVVIES nut-free, milk-free and egg-free cookies and cupcakes at parties. You can order them on-line. My children do not have food allergies but love that their friends who do never feel left out thanks to DIVVIES. Check them out!

  • special sauce

    Coopdl: I wanted to stand up and applaud after reading your post.

    I have an almost 4 year-old son who was hospitalized right after his second birthday after accidently eating a peanut butter cookie at a Christmas party, so I know first-hand the terror we as parents of allergic kids face.

    I have also heard the “real world” argument. I have used this scenario to try to counter it: What if my child brought a gun, loaded with one bullet, to school. A kid might eat a peanut butter sandwich that day and my son will be okay. And maybe that day my son won’t pull the trigger.

    Who knows what will happen the next day, though. Both children have lethal weapons.

    As a friend pointed out, we would never tolerate cigarette smoke drifting in our school windows or a teacher who regularly cusses, things that could cause damage in different ways if exposed to for a long time.

    But we WILL tolerate a substance that can kill a child within minutes.

    I am aware that parents whose children don’t have a deadly allergy can’t relate to the constant fear and vigilance that we go through on a daily basis.

    Our job – and that of our allergic children, as they grow – is to educate, educate, educate. I have discovered that the moms who know my son have had their eyes opened to what peanut allergy is all about. They do not seem to mind serving him “safe” foods while he is in their homes, and if they have any doubts, they ask me first. It has made them all more conscientious parents – and human beings.

    It is tough to find an elementary school child who does NOT know another student with peanut or a similar allergy. And I do find that most kids are more than willing to do what they can to keep their classmates safe. It is unfortunate that many parents can’t offer the same compassion.

    I worry about my son every day. Especially when he is at preschool because although it is not peanut-free, his classroom is, but we are seriously looking into moving him to a peanut-free facility.

    I look at his beautiful face and terror grips my heart that he could be taken by something so avoidable as a simple peanut butter sandwich.

    Solutions? It would be great if the FDA would make it mandatory for manufacturers to use separate machinery for peanut and/or tree nut products (hey, I can dream, right?). I’d love of course to see peanut-free public schools.

    I was someone who ate peanut butter almost every day for almost my entire life. I can assure you that, since my son was diagnosed, I have found many other things to eat. And he is one of the least-picky preschoolers I know (just don’t put the marinara sauce on his pasta!).

    I’ve enjoyed reading all the commentary here!

  • jinx

    For the Mom who thinks a child with a peanut allergy should stay at home so that her son could eat his peanut butter sandwiches at school (because this is all he eats) maybe you could consider keeping your son at home until he sees a food therapist and addresses his eating problem?

  • nopeanutclassroom

    My son is in a peanut free classroom. I have been following the guidelines for several months and only buy “non peanut” snacks for him to take to school. However, last week, for 3 days in a row I sent a snack to school with him that contained peanuts because I didn’t read the label. I work long hours and have one hour per day to feed my children dinner, go over their homework with them, get them ready for bed and pack lunches/bags for the next days school and work. There are going to be days when your child’s peanut allergy is not going to be in the forefront of my mind. I would NEVER intentionally send anything to school that would harm another child, but even the most organized of us are going to overlook something sometime. If it were MY child, I would want him/her isolated from the rest of the student body because his life is more important than ‘social development’ and I can’t trust his life and well being to other people who do not hold him as their first priority.

  • HardtoBeleive

    Nopeanutclassroom,

    Do you really believe that the best solution for this is to isolate them?

    So just to be sure, you think we should create a separate class for the child with a peanut allergy and not have him or her interact with anyone save for those that have a similar allergy?

  • sarah

    from a UK view, this thread paints a sinister picture of American parental attitudes.

    my son has peanut among his many allergies, and his last school had a peanut butter ban which the vast majority of parents respected.
    may contain labels are not excluded, as this is not such a high risk.

    As a parent i would not trust any school that had any claims of being ‘nut free’. However any rules to reduce the risk are more helpful.

    As a british child, in a poor household cheap nutritious food was not limited to just peanut butter , and i am sure that the same is true of british and American children today.

  • suec

    My question for other parents with peanut allergy kids is do you restrict your other kids from having PB when they’re not with their allergic siblings?. My allergist says it’s ok for my son to have a PB sandwich at school or a friend’s house if his sister isn’t with him. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea….any suggestions??

  • Momma_of_2

    This site is so disturbing on so many levels. I have a 7 yr old, 1st grader, with an anaphylactic peanut tree nut allergy. She has had this since she was two. She has no memory of her first and only reaction. As a result, she desparatly wants to taste PB&J to see what she is missing. I bought a Roasted Soy Butter (peanut butter equivalent) and it tastes great! She wont touch it, she wants a real nut. She knows it will kill her. She thinks the epi-pen will fix everything. I have a very smart child too, but the allergy and the insenstive remarks make it very hard for her.

    I have no choice to home school or send her to private school, I have to work there is no extra money. My child is in public school. Her classroom is nut free, but the school is not. I live in fear that some stupid kid is going to do something stupid with the nuts and kill her. When I hear about the stupid things and misconceptions that the schools, parents, and teachers have about food allergies I am terrified.

    But nothing saddens me more than the family members and friends that we have lost over an allergy. Te rules are simple, no sharing of food and no one is allowed to feed my kids, and they are not allowed to accept ANY FOOD without my prior approval.

    For those of you who really hate having to deal with that stupid nut allergy in your class or on the plane understand that as a parent of a nut allergic child, I would give up my organs, my limbs, my life, to take this deadly allergy away from her. But I have no controll in the matter. The only thing that I can hope for is strangers who are willing to listen and willing to ask me questions and willing to have a little compassion. Please ask questions and be open to a discussion. Peanut/tree nut allergy parents don’t want to inhibit anyone, they just want their kid to live.

  • ilovepeanuts123

    hey uh nopeanutmom? uh yeah, you suck!
    you hippie!
    when iwas a kid, do you know there was no one i knew with a peanut allergy. so you think your little kid is special? ha! grow up. the world won’t change for you. the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. teach your kid to be careful not scared. i’m add. i learned to pay attention so i wouldn’t get hit by cars.(very hard to do by the way.) So it was hard. I learned how to deal with it. that’s what matters.
    give your kid the tools to fend for himself.
    mommy won’t always be there to hold his hand.

  • kim

    why are all these people who don’t have peanut allergic kids even on this site? They seem to be uncaring, and unconcerned and very UNEDUCATED on the topic and the allergy. I really find it hard to believe they are even parents of children. Our peanut allergic kids will DIE if exposed.

    Just imagine 7 minutes of itching, swelling, and not being able to breathe. Wondering why this is happening, and where is my mommy? Then your dead.

    Could anyone live with knowing they caused that by sending a pb&j sandwich to school with their child? If you can then think of your child, wouldn’t that scar the child that brought the peanut butter that caused the DEATH forever?

    Have you ever rushed your 12 month old into the ER with an allergic reaction? He is completely red from head to toe, I never even had to stop at the registration desk. They took him over a heart patient with chest pains. That is how dangerous this is. At the time we didn’t know what casued it. It was as pinch of a peanut butter cup about the size of a red hot candy.

    I hope that none of you with such a misunderstanding never have to have it cleard up by living with the fear that so many of us live with every minute we are not with our peanut allergic children. I also hope you educate your children not to get their peanut butter near our children and won’t be closed minded to learning and teaching your children how to wash their hands after eating peanut butter in school.

    For the mother of the kid who will eat nothing but pb&j sandwiches I hope he eats vitamins b/c that is not healthy at all. Hopefully he never develops the allergy.

  • Lindy

    Hello Everyone,
    Wow, there is quite a debate going on. It takes a village to raise a child and lets look at some reasonable solutions to live together. We need to look at ways to reduce the risk of accidental exposure of peanut allergic kids. We don’t want any children to die and we don’t want any children to watch their classmate die. If we could reduce and eliminate peanut butter and peanuts in the schools, we would be better off. Having parents of non allergic kids to read labels in search of “may contain peanuts” is unrealistic. Lets just eliminate the big onee like peanut butter and peanuts. In our school, families are requested to not send peanut butter and peanuts to school. If a child “needs” to eat peanut butter, they may, but they have to go and eat it in the school office in a room that is separate from the main school areas. These children have a choice to eat something else or eat in the office. This way the risk of getting peanut butter on the tables etc is reduced. The child with the disability is safe and able to be a part of the school community and the child who only eats peanut butter but HAS A CHOICE can still eat it or choose to be part of the school community and eat a cheese sandwich.
    Telling people to keep their peanut allergic child home is absolutley ridiculous. People need to stop being so selfish and stop whining about their kids that only eat PB. We are only talking about 5 meals out of 21…get a grip!

  • mema

    I truly feel for you parents that have a child with this peanut allergy, as a grandparent I read all the labels and very much aware of the peanut oil, made at a peanut facility on, on and on, it is very scary how many foods have nut ingredients.
    I saw on the news how these kids put peanut crackers in someone’s lunch box. We all know how cruel and uneducated kids and adults are and can be. My suggestion and question, do they show like a tough love film about how dangerous this allergy is in schools? I know I have been told that they read books, but how about a film that will scare the other kids to know how dangerous this can be.

  • scott

    hey whats up. i suffer from peanut allergies, along with bananas, shellfish, milk, eggs and all dairy. yeah it sucks but i deal with it. and uhh it’s great that the school banned peanuts. i was very scared of dieing because of my allergies when i was little. I’m now in grade 11 and am doing fine. My school is not peanut safe however, all of my friends know about my allergies and do not bring peanuts or bananas with them too lunch.

  • Mary

    Per peanut allergens being found on 1 out of 13 water fountains, school cafeteria water fountains should not be used by kids with food allergies for this very reason.

    Regarding soy butters and other peanut butter substitutes, check with your child’s allergist first. People who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to soy and to tree nuts, ingredients found in many peanut butter substitutes.

    As for schools being “nut free zones”:

    — when my child was in kindergarten, her teachers brought coconuts into the classroom for the kids to touch. They cut them open and were feeding them to the children when they remembered my child is allergic to tree nuts. Although allergic reactions to coconuts are rare, they do occur and coconuts were on the list of allergens I provided to my child’s teachers. The teachers washed my child’s hands and removed the materials from the classromm, but never informed me of my child’s exposure to a known allergen.
    — for the first grade Halloween party, the kids made spiders by attaching pretzel sticks to peanut butter that had been spread on a round cracker. My child reminded the teacher of her allergy, but was told by the parent volunteer in charge that it would be OK because she didn’t have to eat the craft project if she didn’t want to. But she would still have to spread the peanut butter on the cracker and possibly come in contact with a substance she is deathly allergic to. My child asked to go to the clinic where she remained until the “class party” was over.
    — when my child was in second grade, her teacher kept a bag of peanuts on her desk and ate peanut butter crackers during snack, even though there were two children in her class with peanut/tree nut allergies. She would often walk around the room, eating from her bag of peanuts, while teaching.
    — during third grade, my child tried to switch seats with another child at lunch in order to move away from a child that was eating a peanut butter sandwich. The “lunch lady” wouldn’t let her, even though that is the school’s rule. She said that since my child wasn’t eating the peanut butter it wouldn’t hurt her. My child develops hives and wheezes when touched by someone who has touched peanut butter. Knowing this, the child with the peanut butter sandwich put it away and raised her hand to go wash up. Why was the child with the peanut butter sandwich able to leave the table to go wash up, but the child with the deadly allergy was not allowed to change her seat? (Don’t worry, the other kids shared their food with the child that voluntarily parted with her peanut butter sandwich. We could all learn something from my child’s lunch buddies.)
    — my older child’s middle school science class has on several occasions used peanuts for experiments. During those experiments the student with the nut allergy has to leave the room, sometimes for several days of class instruction, and study alone in the media center. Can’t another experiment be found that will teach the same principle, without isolating a student and depriving them of the same education their peers are receiving?

    I’m not asking for a nut-free school, a nut-free zone, or even a nut-free table. I’m not asking for you to forego peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter crackers, or that granola bar you just can’t live without.

    I’m just asking that you be aware that my child, too young to speak up for herself, can potentially have a deadly allergic reaction to your food choice. If you choose to eat peanuts/tree nuts, please do your best to stay away from my child and my child will do her best to stay away from you.

    Unfortunately, that can be difficult in a school environment when the teachers don’t even seem to understand the consequences of their own actions. And that, in a nutshell, is why parents ask for nut-free schools.

    Don’t blame my child because yours can’t bring a peanut butter sandwich to school, blame the teachers and administrators who fail to take reasonable steps to provide adequate safeguards to protect a child that is in danger until it is too late and they are then forced into a total ban.

  • KB

    I work in an Out of School Care centre where we a have about 4 kids with severe peanut/tree nut allergies. We rent our space from a community league, so we can’t call ourselves “Nut-Free,” since we cannot guarantee that any of the other renters don’t use peanut products. It’s hard sometimes, a lot of products you wouldn’t expect to have nuts do. We can’t buy in bulk, which makes groceries expensive for us, since we’re buying for up to 100 children at once. But we do our best to ensure that our kids are aware of the dangers.

    At one point, we also had a girl in our program from a family who were vegan for religious reasons. She brought peanut butter every day for lunch, since it was the only protein she would/could eat. We made sure she sat across the room from our peanut-free kids, and made her wash her hands and face, and we would wash her spot down.

    Now, I am very concerned about the “real world” argument. What will happen when these kids with such sever allergies are in high school or university? There’s no way to guarantee a peanut-free environment in those settings. I’m not trying to bait anyone. This is a genuine concern. Also, I’m fairly sure that most HOSPITALS aren’t peanut-free. Or at least, in Canada they aren’t.

    Responses?

  • Counselormom

    I’m a volunteer counselor at a non-profit summer camp. We have about 1,200 kids come through in 8 weeks. This summer, we are told that 3 kids are coming to camp during that time with air-borne peanut allergies. These kids will be here during 3 of the 8 weeks. Our camp’s decision regarding this?
    No peanuts or ANY product containing peanuts will be on the property during any of the 8 weeks, whether the allergic kids are in residence or not.
    Any counselor who leaves the site during their time off and eats peanuts or is around peanuts (?) is to wash their clothing, hair, body and teeth before returning (We get 6 hours off/week).
    No peanut butter sandwiches for anyone during the 8 weeks,including for the vegetarians.
    Ready for this one? No s’mores at our summer camp this summer, because the Hershey bars might have been made in a plant where there was peanut oil.
    (This includes in the unit which is about 1 mile from where the allergic kids will be staying.)

    Consider this:
    The children ALL come to camp in ordinary chartered buses.
    Any of the 200 kids arriving may have eaten peanuts or peanut butter that day before coming to camp.
    The camp is surrounded by residences where, undoubtedly, someone is eating peanuts.
    Visitors who come through the camp have not had their clothing or bodies sterilized or certified peanut-free.
    Many of the children go on field trips from the camp and stop at public restaurants or restrooms.

    I call B.S. on the parents who are making us jump through these hoops so THEIR kid can go to our camp, even though the above conditions exist.

    I call B.S. on our camp’s policy. I believe it is unscientific and ridiculous.

  • Rachelima

    As a mother of two children with life-threatening food allergies, I just want to point out how hard it is for those parents with food-allergic children to really discover what is “reasonable” and what isn’t. The science is still unbelievably unsure of so much. I read, study, educated myself on food allergies daily and there are still so many basic questions unanswered.
    I was told airborne allergic reactions were not possible – then a year later not likely – then a year later it was just in theory – then my son had an anaphylactic reaction at public school when a teacher in another room heated peanut butter to its melting point in an experiement.

    How can I be mad at the school when no one knew this could kill him? I was, however, freaked out that the school did not follow my son’s food allergy action plan, NOT giving him an EPI pen nor calling emergency services. Once a reaction happened, it was reasonable to treat him for a reaction and follow up on our agreeed medical plan. And then the school wouldn’t give him an IHP or a 504 plan. So, we found a school who would help us protect him (and no, peanuts are not banned at the new school, just smart people who understand the seriousness of food allergies and keep all food out of the classroom, not out of the school).

    All of this peanut allergy/tree nut allergy/dairy/egg/wheat allergy stuff has so quickly grown in both numbers and in severity.
    Each child reacts differently. Each reaction is different. In our family, we focus on what to do WHEN an allergic reaction occurs, not if. Prevention is only what we strive for – we get there is no guarantee because we do live in this world, and not a bubble.

    Personally, I would NEVER send my child to any camp that wasn’t peanut and tree nut free – and it is not reasonable to think any camp would be. Kids die because EPIpens are not around to be administered or people are afraid or uneducated in its use. It is bad parenting to think a 17 year old camp counselor can handle this kind of emergency situation in the middle of nowhere without a registered nurse on site 24/7 and an ER within minutes.

    It is not my child’s right to attend camp – it is his right as an American, disabled or otherwise, to recieve a fair education.

    Remember, there are good parents and bad parents and reasonable parents and educated parents and lazy parents and clueless parents — don’t hate the parents who are trying to educate the public about the seriousness of food allergies in an effort to keep their children alive just because others can’t figure out what is resonable and what isn’t. Even FAAN does not have all the questions ansered – which is why research is so important to pay for and promote.

    The difficulty of this epidemic is overwhelming and all the possiblities of exposure are not proven yet by any medical establishment. False answers abound. Fear is everywhere. Why is our food suddenly killing us?
    We are doing the best we can with a challenging situation. I just hope your hearts can open to help us — we don’t want to be asking for help, we are trying everything we can, we did not sign up for this… Keeping each and every child safe is what good people do. And I will protect yours – can’t you help me protect mine, too?

  • http://www.brookerlaboratories.com Daniel

    As a father of a peanut allergy child I worry about this every day. I just hope that enough people become educated about the danger. Thank you all for at least having this discussion.

  • Now allergic to nuts

    All of my life I have loved peanuts & tree nuts. I wanted them in almost every cake, cookie, or desert I ate.

    One morning last year I woke up with both of my lips & one eyelid swelled beyond belief. This happened many times with several variations – sometimes one lip swelled, or one eyelid, or tongue & one eyelid, one lip & one eyelid, etc, etc. Fortunately, I was in the hospital recovering from a long-term illness. Unfortunately, the doctors there had no idea what caused this condition. I hadn’t changed any of my eating habits, laundry soaps, cosmetic, etc. They diagagnosed it as angio-edema. After researching angio-edema on the internet, I found out that it in many cases just happens for some reason & no allergen can be attributed to it.

    After leaving the hospital with no idea what was causing the swellings I went on about my life with episodes occurring every now & then. I still had no idea why. Then one day my husband came home with some boiled peanuts. We ate some of those while still oblivious to the fact that I might be allergic. Heck, nuts had always been a part of my diet, so it never occured to me I might be allergic. The next day after eating the boiled peanuts I had a facial swelling episode. Still, the idea of being allergic to nuts didn’t occur to me. A couple of days later there were still a few boiled peanuts left in the fridge. I decided to polish them off & did. Well, well, well… the next day came the facial swelling.

    After a lot of thought I finally figured out that I had “developed” an allergy to peanuts & tree nuts. While I was in the hospital my husband had brought cheese & peanut butter crackers that I would eat as a snack every now & then. Because I’d never previously been allergic to nuts & eating nuts wasn’t a deviation from my regular diet, it took longer to discover the allergy.

    It has evolved & gotten worse since. My husband decided to eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich one evening. He felt guilty about it, but I told him to go ahead since he wasn’t allergic. Later, after getting our showers & brushing teeth we kissed goodnight & went to bed. The next morning I woke with my tongue swollen worse than previously. I couldn’t figure out why it had happened. I didn’t eat any peanut butter – my husband had – plus, he’d showered & brushed his teeth. But the fact remains he must’ve still had some residue clinging somewhere on his lips, face, or hands. This episode scared both us more than ever. It never occured to either of us that I’d get a severe allergic reaction to such a minute amount. Since then we have been more careful about the products we buy.

    I’d known a person could “develop” allergies to things that had never caused an alergic reaction, but it just took some time to “hit” on the fact that it had happened to me. This fact was almost devastating – almost. I CAN live without eating nuts, but I sure am angry about it. I’d just bought a large jar of extra-crunch peanut butter just before I discovered my allergy. UGH! I ended up giving it to a friend with non-nut allergy children.

    In response to the mother who thinks this allergy is abnormal please consider this – you or your son could wake up one morning with allergy symptoms & not know why until you find out you are allergic to something you hadn’t been allergic to the day before. Then you would have to consider yourself or your son abnormal. Think again, then, before you speak of “abnormal” people not reproducing. It CAN happen to “anybody.” You don’t have to be born allergic to something.

    The fact is that there are more & more people being born with or developing allergies these days, as well as other conditions. We are seeing more people with asthma, more autistic children, more tourettes, more etc. etc. I’ve heard that these increases are not just blamed on genetics. Enviroment may also play a major role. There are other factors which may play a role in causing more & more of these conditions, but I am not as informed as I’d like to be.

    It is a pain to have to accomadate the smaller percent of people who have food allergies, but just remember – any one of you who have no food allergies or a loved one could become one of those people. It’s fortunate if you have no allergies. Consider yourself blessed. But have a little compassion for people who have to be extremely careful of how they have to live. No one wants to have to give up something they enjoy. I never wanted to give up nuts. I never thought about people who had those allergies or thought about having to accommodate them. Now I am one.

  • Ermelina

    What’s wrong with you people,just because your kids do not have any peanut allergy that it is ok to have a child die in a school because your kid brought PB sandwich to school beacuse you do not want to change your kid(s) lunch. You people are heartless. Kids with allergy did not ask for that.

  • Nick Ulrich

    I have a story. My daughter brought snacks into school and yes they had a no peanut policy. 2 days later the school called and asked if we used any kid of peanut in our cookies and my wife had no idea, since grandmas made them. We called grandma and she used a peanut oil. Well a week ago the parents sent us a bill for 1100 to pay what their insurance didn’t pay. I say only bring apples and oranges to school for snacks or you could get sued.

  • laf

    We are in a class this year with the one kid at a school of 750 who has peanut allergy. My kid is picky and it’s difficult to find anything to pack that she will eat, pb&j being one of our mainstays. Well, we are now being asked not only not to pack pb&j, but no nuts of any kind: almonds, cashews, etc. Most snack bars will have some kind of nut, so snack bars are out. PB substitutes I have tried and none of them are good. I’m really not sure what in the world I am supposed to pack for my childs lunch. Children who are hungry do not learn. In addition, the allergic child should not be eating my childs food. She could wash her hands after lunch, which would prevent transfer by hands. I have done some reasearch online and found that studies that have been done on airborne peanut protein find that it does not cause deadly reactions. Here is the summary of one study I found, there are others:

    “From this number of participants, it can be stated with 96% confidence that at least 90% of highly sensitive children with peanut allergy would not experience a systemic-respiratory reaction from casual exposure to peanut butter. Conclusions: Casual exposure to peanut butter is unlikely to elicit significant allergic reactions. The results cannot be generalized to larger exposures or to contact with peanut in other forms (flour and roasted peanuts). (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;112:180-2.)”

    Here is the whole article.

    I don’t want the other child to be harmed, but I dont’ think he would be harmed if my child eats what she wants for her own food. This can be managed without a ban, and without inconveniencing all 750 children and their parents. There should be very good hygiene practices in this childs classroom (washing hands after eating), and he should have a safe place to eat (peanut free table). In my opinion that is enough to ensure that he will not have a life threatening contact with peanuts or other nut products from other people’s food. You have to let all the other kids eat. If we ban all nuts, you might as well just ban food, because there isn’t much left for normal kids to eat.

  • Amanda Proctor

    It’s because of the hateful, willful ignorance like in many of the comments I’ve read that we pulled my son out of public school. Before we moved, the principal of our local school met with us and made a major decision to make the school peanut-free. It was done as quietly as possible. People in our town began an awful letter-writing campaign to our local paper attacking the principal, us, and our innocent five year old child. It was the worst time of our lives. Eventually, I broke annonymity and wrote in myself. The editor called me and thanked me and said mine would be the last letter published on the matter and that he was pulling for us. Things settled down after that. The next year, however, the principal of that school mysteriously disappeared ( after only a year) and was replaced. We were informed that peanuts and peanut products would once again be allowed. We didn’t want to stir up a hornets’ nest, so we nervously let him stay until we moved in the middle of the year. Two states away, a law had been passed taking measures to protect kids with peanut allergies in the schools. The school personnel had been trained and there were several other peanut-allergic children at the school. However, it was evident that the potential for disaster still existed as too many parents rely on peanut butter and it was still offered in the cafeteria. The way I see it, one time is all it takes. There are too many what-ifs. What if they take too long getting to the nurses office and unlocking the Epi-pen (they wouldn’t let him keep it on him), what if the ambulance takes too long, what if… . Not with my child. I wouldn’t be able to live the rest of my life knowing it didn’t have to turn out that way. Fortunately, We’ve been blessed in that I have the ability to stay home and teach my children. Not everyone has that option. I just want to ask those hateful, close-minded people- how would you feel if your stubborness caused the death of a child? A child who depends on the adults around him/her to keep them safe? The “real world”?! They’re children! You’d leave your child alone in a room full of poison or loaded guns because they “have to learn to deal sometime”. All I can say, is don’t be so quick to judge. It can happen to anyone. Your next baby just might change your whole point of view. What parent wouldn’t do all they could to protect their children? We’re people just like you whose lives have been forever altered sitting in an allergists’ office. Walk a mile in my shoes and then get back to me.

  • Amanda Proctor

    Oh, and I wanted to add that my now almost eight year-old has been reading labels and asking questions since he was old enough to talk and identify the word “peanut” or “nut”. If you ever meet a food allergic child ( mine was also allergic to dairy, egg,chocolate and tree-nuts but has outgrown dairy,egg and chocolate), you’ll find they’re some of the most responsible children around. We’re not putting all the responsibility on others, we are teaching our children to advocate for themselves, but when we can’t be with them, we need help protecting them. They are just children. We always have a “safe” snack for him in the little backpack he carries containing his Epi-pen, Benadryl and emergency instructins/contact info. We do all we can, but for our son, he doesn’t even have to ingest the peanut. All it takes is trace skin contact or even airborne contact (it happens, he HAS reacted that way). A little understanding and common sense from others goes a long way.
    For the record, I have a picky eater, too. My middle child is the pickiest child I’ve ever known. We don’t cater to him. He’s served the same food as everyone else at the table. He must take a “no thank-you” bite and then he’s free to leave the table if he chooses not to eat. He’s not dead, he’s perfectly healthy and has now tried and liked some foods he formerly swore he’d never touch. It really does work.
    Oh, and to other peanut/tree nut allergy parents, Sunbutter is wonderful. We love it. If your child isn’t allergic to seeds, it’s worth looking into. Parents whose non-allergic children attend peanut-free or restricted schools, Sunbutter tastes amazingly like peanut butter. It’s just a little sweeter.

  • Bruce Pridgen, CC EMT-Paramedic, CNA II

    People need to realize that they have to take responsibility for themselves and their children and stop infringing on the rights of others to provide a false wall of safety around them. Your school and child should have a epi-pen, they should stress handwashing and let the child learn with supervision the precautions he must take, more than likely, for the rest of his life. A ban is not just unjust to the whole of the group but is setting the child up for a false sense of security that does not exist in the world. Almost everyone has a allergy to something and at some point the allergic reaction could turn to full anaphalactic shock. Its easily treated with epinephrine by pen, IV epi if the reaction is so severe that we have to be called, then benedryl and some solu-medrol for the long stretch. I’m allergic to clovers, I wouldn’t ask that you destroy all plant life in your lawns. You are socialist thinking if you support banning something because of a simple allergy.

  • Lisa

    I just got a letter from my sons elementary school nurse “peanut allergy” stating no snacks/foods with peanuts/nut oils. I do not have a problem with this, what I do have a problem with is that NO snacks are listed. I can appreciate with a list I would still need to check ingredients but at least it is a starting point. The parents of peanut allergy child should be providing the list to the nurse to distribute with the warning to check labels in case of changes. I am willing to comply with the request, I resent having to spend an hour reading snack labels in the grocery isle when the parents of this kid already know which ones are safe.

  • Peanut Allergy Mom

    I am a Mom, who is allergic to peanuts and about a dozen, other things….I just found out today, that my son is in a “non-peanut” classroom.

    No one on this site, wants to see a child die(hurt or in pain, etc)—but it makes you feel better, making the accusation!!! The plain and simple fact is….the children without allergies, are punished, for the children who have allergies.

    It isn’t just about not having a PBJ at lunch…it is now about, teaching the kids without allergies–they need to have fear of FOOD.

    Or they need to leave THEIR classroom, to eat their snack or lunch–because 1 or 2 children, have issues. The time they lose, making sure they are peanut free—the story time that the children miss, because they brought in a snack that might be “suspect” and have to leave the room. It is now effecting my child’s education….

    We have made such strides in this country and now we are segregating, over peanuts–to accommodate, a few.

    What we are teaching our children, at such a YOUNG age, is FEAR….fear food, obsession(OCD), eating disorders, etc…..

    If my child had such severe allergies, I would have no choice but to home school….why not be safer, than sorry?? What about that one child who ate peanut butter for breakfast–comes into contact with the allergic child and it is deadly??? Who’s responsibility is that(the one who didn’t know or innocently ATE their breakfast–or the one who KNOWINGLY took the RISK of exposing their child to their allergens???) Until these children are old enough to take control of their environment (or have a better understanding and handle) and truly understand the issue at hand…they should not be around the other children and I say this, for SAFETY issues–if it is THAT severe….keep them home or in a more controlled environment–it certainly is not in a public school….where most parents are truly not aware of the dangers. You cannot possibly expect, these overcrowded schools, to be concerned with only YOUR child.

    I love children, I was a teacher….I am a parent of 4 but it is MY responsibility, to make sure my children are safe—no one else. Sorry but it is not reasonable, to expect every other family, in the school district–to worry about the safety of your allergic children.

    I can totally empathize, I have spent countless hrs., in ER’s, for allergies but that is MY responsibility. I don’t leave home without my EPI pen, EVER. But I certainly, do not expect others to adjust their lives, around mine…it isn’t fair!!

    The question is…when does the responsibility of YOUR children, become YOURS????

  • shar

    hi there, as a mom of 3 kids without allergies, i am so thankful for this..BUT i do look after a little guy who had his first peanut reaction at my house, it was terrifying…he now carries and epipen…i have decided just today that i can no longer look after him, i cannot handle the fear that i live with…my kids have been in peanut free classrooms before, and i do support them, and now, after watching this little guy, i do even more…personally, i can no longer deal with the “what ifs”…i have made my house peanut free during the week, and have decided it is no longer fair to my familly, and i keep this little guy in a “bubble”, i take him no where as i live in fear…to all u parents of allergic kids, i give you so much credit…my nephew was just diagnosed with many severe allergies, so much so, they were told to feed him NOTHING without the epi right there..talk about scary…i wish all these peanut allergic kids safe and happy school years!!!

  • Brenda

    Our school just sent home a letter last week that we have a new child with peanut allergies in our school, which we are a small rural community and will accomodate for this. We were all told that we can no longer send peanutbutter, peanuts or any snack that could possibly have peanut oil in it. Now understand that I feel bad for this child, and I personally understand the plight of these parents. But our school sent home a list of the products that the children can bring to school, which are all high in sugar and carb let alone all have to be name brand. We are a small community, but we are a poor community. My problem is this child has been in our school for less than a week, my daughter has been in our school since kindergarten and is now in 6th grade. My daughter has been a diabetic since she was 18 months old and we control it with diet, nuts and peanut butter are high in protien and good for her, all of the products the other childs parents provided on the list are high in sugar, do we kill one child to save another? Why does my child have to be the one who is forgotten in all of this, I don’t want to put her on insulin. Diabetis is also life threatening, What about my kid?

  • Teagans Nana

    I see both sides of this issue. Before my Granddaughter Teagan was diagnosed as a toddler (now 6) with the severest reactivity of peanut allergy as you can get, I thought that serving peanut butter or peanut products to my own kid was my right as a parent. Its a whole other story when its one of your own.
    We dreaded the day when we had to make the decision of whether or not to home-school. We chose to try public school because she SO wanted to go to real school! However, she started several months ago and we are constantly thinking we may have to home-school afterall. Teagan LOVES school and her teacher, she looks forward to school every day. In fact, when she was forced to stay home from school recently due to being sick and feverish she cried for an hour because she missed “yellow day” and she missed singing the “yellow song” that they had practiced! Awww!!!!

    Unfortunately, there is a battle going on regarding her special accommodations regarding her allergies. Not just her life-threatening peanut allergy but she has many, many food allergies as well that are not as severe but cause her to have extremely painful outbreaks of eczema. Its a nightmare but we want her to lead as normal a life as possible.
    Although they were very concerned and accommodating at first, now her school is trying to down-play her safety needs and is saying they are worrying about her self-esteem and that her special accommodations are singling her out with other kids and is becoming too burdensome for the school to handle. They are worried about her self-esteem while we are worried about her life!

    Anyone who has researched peanut allergy knows that it is for some reason on the rise and about 5% of school aged kids are allergic to some degree. So people on this site state that they don’t feel that they should be inconvenienced by not sending peanut products to school need to realize that most likely at least one person in their child’s classroom is going to be allergic. And many, many kids in any sizeable school.
    We are not saying you should never give your kids peanut products. Just help keep our kids safe! If they HAVE to have peanut butter, have them eat it for breakfast or dinner! Just keep it out of their lunches.
    Oh, and regarding home-schooling? It is so easy for someone to just say that if you care so much about your allergic kid that much then you shouldn’t send them to school. We’ve looked into home-schooling options quite a bit. Demographics has much to do with successful home-schooling, meaning small groups of parents that share responsibilities and form a network. There is no good network where my granddaughter lives so it would be up to my daughter alone. Sure you can debate social development pros and cons vs learn-at-your own speed, etc. But ultimately, Teagan’s happiness in just going to school each day and connecting with her teacher and classmates makes it all the more difficult to pull her out. And we are facing that agonizing decision right now.
    Except for her food allergies, she is a very normal, smart, exceptionally witty and fun-loving child. We don’t want to isolate her and keep her from having the experience of enjoying a semi-normal childhood.

    So yeah, I see both sides and I don’t know at all if we will win our battle with her school. Her safety is definitely our top priority. If she was just moderately allergic we would not worry so much but her docs and our experiences prove that she is unfortunately an extreme case. And if it were JUST my grandkid and she was the one and only peanut allergy kid in the world, yes, I’d agree that we shouldn’t inconvenience everyone else. But although she might be one of the most highly reactive, she’s certainly not the only allergic kid at the school now nor will she be the last. So some kind of formal policy needs to be established and parents need to realize that its just not okay to send peanut products to school when informed that there is an allergic child in the midst.

  • MaryP

    Do people think that those of us with peanut allergic children have no lives, jobs, etc? To the woman who said she didn’t have time to drive to Whole Foods and buy Sunbutter?? Hello? I’m a professional woman with a busy schedule and family life. I did not ask to have a peanut allergic child. No one in my family has allergies, but my daughter has one. Can I help that? No. Do you think I should then quit my job, severly limiting my household income so that I can keep my daughter at home and homeschool my beautiful, bright, social butterfly daughter all because some selfish, ignorant people refuse to help their fellow parents out and keep their children’s friends safe from death by avoiding nuts and nut products? I wish on that woman a peanut allergic child.
    I’m shaking I’m so upset by some of what I’ve read tonight. My little girl is due to start Kindegarten in the Fall and as I’m researching my options I’m feeling more and more hopeless. I am not going to feel safe sending her to public school. I can just picture myself in a meeting, wondering if she’s okay, wondering if the staff is really keeping her safe, wondering if she’ll be offered M&M’s or something else that could kill her? I can’t handle it and I can’t take the risk. I don’t want to homeschool – my daugher LOVES school (she goes to a nut free preschool and ADORES it there) and I don’t want to quit my job which is in the non-profit sector, I do alot of good and help alot of people, but I’m feeling more and more frustrated. Do you know that all schools in Canada are peanut and tree nut free?
    Anyways, sorry if this seemed like a disjointed rant, it is. I’m just so sad for my daughter, I don’t want her in “alternative school” or homeschool, but more importantly I want her alive and 5 years old is just too little to trust that she can “manage her allergy”. I just don’t trust people, there will always be the peanut allergy “haters” out there and it’s just incredibly unfair.

  • Wendy

    Wow I just read about 10 post on here. I must say I am very sad for these people that do not have any feelings for kids with life threatening allergies. Take a look at your child with no allergies today and be thankful your child does not have to worry about people like you. Just remember allergies can start at any time.I cannot believe people make comments that compare sending a child to public school to throwing them in the ocean? What planet are you from? How dare you say something like that! Oh and the person with the skinny kid that will only eat peanut butter, UMM you might want to see a doctor for your child because peanut butter in moderation is healthy but how about some other alternatives? Ham,turkey,tuna,cheese,balona,sun butter,jelly and fluff, many more choices than this, remember this is only for school not the whole day. Great example, right now a big salmonella problem in peanut butter land. Are you going to put your son at risk or have him try a ham sandwich? I do have a son with allergies that goes to public school. I have worked with the school to protect my son by peanut free table, no homemade goods can be brought into class and other precautions. Everyday I have to worry about my son because of his allergies. Has anyone heard the old saying it takes a village to raise a child? I think our morals need to reshift in this selfish world we have become. For those of you that do not have to worry about your kids but still care enough to make small changes for kids like my son, GOD BLESS YOU! Wendy

  • Therese Bedard

    I am from Duluth MN and work in the time out room at school.

    You people need to quit complaining. If we didn’t feed our kids peanut butter, they wouldn’t have much of a lunch.

  • loleighla

    I have recently found out that a student will be coming to my high school with a severe peanut allergy (I’m a teacher) and we were told that we had to check art supplies for possible problems. I teach art and want to make sure that there are no problems. I have contacted some companies but there are A LOT of different supplies. On other food allergy sites gluten is mentioned a great deal, which makes sense (wheat paste, etc. at the elementary level) But I haven’t heard anything about more adult supplies;oil pastels, oil paints,linseed oil. I feel silly asking about a food allergy in my art supplies but you never know and better safe than sorry. Does anyone have any information or sites I can go to to learn if there is a risk to this student?

  • Matilda van der Beck – Lee

    Hi everyone,

    I’m also thinking that it’s also important to start asking ourselves what is in the peanut crop that is giving our kids so many allergies? Where a re these peanuts being grown and how? Having grown up in an Asian culture and now that I live in Europe, there are also a few known allergies, but i remember that when i went to grad school and first heard about the peanut allergy and how serious it was in the US, I was quite shocked. Apparently it is very common in the US, almost dangerously common. Maybe what needs to be battled is not just to have peanut or not to have peanut but how they being grown? Research has shown that the US tops the world in growing GMO products – could this be a reason? Or is it the pesticide? Something must be happening…

    I think it is good that schools in the US are taking this eminent danger very seriously but I still think that it is even more important as parents to educate our children about things that could endanger them. I have 4 children and none of them have allergies. I’m the one with severe hayfever. If anyone walks into the room with a jacket that contains pollen I’m in big trouble.

    But at the huge playschool and daycare where i work, we have 1 little boy out of 120 that has a life threatening wheat, peanut and gluten allergy. Either one these will bring him into anaphylactic shock. He carries 2 epipens with him daily and the school has also 3 in stock. All the three kids in his family have the same allergy, presumably inherited from his mother who also suffers from the same allergies. They are not a local family and are only here due to the military, so we don’t really know much about their background.

    What i wanted to say was though, that Jason, this little 3 year old boy, he brings his own snack to school everyday. One day, he forgot and he quietly refused snack and eveything, even water from us, telling us that “Mommy said it’s dangerous and I’m not allowed.” We called his parents and his dad drove by later in the afternoon bringing a water bottle and Jason’s little snack. Most of us teachers were quite awed by the little boy’s maturity and understanding of his own allergies. Even at the age of 3, it also showed that his parents took real care to teach him and his sisters what they could eat and what they could not and what they would have to do if they forgot their packed lunch or if they got into trouble.

    Thanks.

  • Matilda van der Beck – Lee

    Regardigd the art supplies – I think the best way to go about this is to select the companies which you know provide the quality materials that you would like to use and call them. Call them about the issue that you have and ask them very nicely to give you in written, a copy of the material factsheet for their paint/oils/oxides etc. Most reputable art supply companies will already have such fact sheets available on their websites or should be very willing to give a hard copy to their customers. For example I know that the famous European Kremerhouse that supplies natural colour minerals for restoration art all over the world has a factsheet and material health and safety data sheet that is easily accessible for anyone interested. That said, do call up the companies you enjoy good customer service from and just go from there.

  • Idisagree

    1. I agree that if these allergies are so severe these children should be treated as they have a disability and they should go to their own school. I am sorry you find the lack of sympathy unsettling but I find the fact that you want 96% of the population to change to accommodate 4% of the population a form of Narcissism

  • Therese Bedard

    I think that you people are a little “nuts” about this issue.

  • Dale

    i can totally understand the peanut free policy when there is a child in the class with a peanut allergy. Children interact and it would be terrible for something to happen when so easily preventable.
    I do not understand my childs class though, a teacher has a peanut allegy and they can not have PB sandwichs when she is there… An adult should understand to not eat the childs sandwich it might hurt her, you can not suffer a reaction just from the sight or smell… it’s medically imppossible. Should society ban peanut butter cookies in all bakeries? I know for a fact Anti-freeze will hurt me if i drink it, therefore i avoid consuming it, regardless of how tempting it might be.

  • Twin

    I am a 23 year old female. I was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when I was younger and always carried my epi pen with me. I took every precaution to the allergy extremely serious everyday. One day a few months back, I went into a restaurant and asked the person making my food if may come in contact with peanuts and/or may be cooked in peanut oil. The person told me NO! I ate about half my meal and went home which was about five minutes from the restaurant. While at home I felt my throat close up a little. I asked myself what could this be from? They told me that my food was not going to be cooked around peanuts or cooked in peanut oil. So as a concerned customer I called the restaurant and asked if they cooked in peanut oil and they told me NO! So a few minutes go by and my throat closes up even more now I was getting scared. So I called the restaurant again and told them that my sister and I just came into the restaurant and told them what I order. The restaurant told me that right before they cooked my meal they cooked an order that contained peanuts. So I hung up the phone and took my epi pen.My sister had driven me to the hospital and on the way there my throat started to close up even more and this is after I took my epi pen! I went into the emergency room and they put a breathing mask on my face and intravenously gave me the medication to stop the reaction. While a couple of minutes later I started to feel a little better. Then all of a sudden my throat started to close up again. My oxygen level in my blood (SpO2s)dropped from 95 to 34 and they had to ventilate me. I was on the ventilator for 4 days. DO YOU KNOW HOW HORRIBLE THAT FEELING IS?? I WOULD NEVER WISH THAT UPON MY WORST ENEMY!! As I came through the doctors told me that I could have died from this allergic reaction. All because someone wanted to make a FIVE DOLLAR sale! They said if a child had eaten just a few small bites out of the meal that I ate they would have died immediately. But because of my weight and only eating half of my meal it saved my life. To hear that you could have died over a FIVE DOLLAR meal is ridiculous! Even worse a child only eating a few bites could have died right there on the spot that discussed me all over a FIVE DOLLLAR SALE! People are so incoherent to the fact that someone can die from a lie that was told to a customer! I myself think I took everything in my power not to have a reaction to my peanut allergy but some people are so STUPID!!! I feel that if someone can just be concerted of an allergy server as peanuts the people who have that allergy would no have the same experience I had to go through I hope no one will, but I know it will happen because of people who don’t care about other people. If you can’t put that peanut butter cup or sandwich down sham on yourself!!!!!!!!!! Being on that ventilator will haunt me for the rest of my life! So I hope stupid people can wake up and realize that peanut allergies are one of the most common in the world. So be considerate and think if you where a few weeks old or 90 years old and die or could have died because of your own stupidity than sham on yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Johnny

    angel I know what you are talking about I am a freshman in highschool living with a peanut allergy. Some advice about the kiss of death for those of us with peanut allergies is that he should make sure he talks with his girlfriend about his allergy so she has a understanding. I know it is ackward but could make the difference between life or death for some of us.

  • Middle Of The Road

    When people have an allergy to food, it is the responsibility of the allergic person not the restaurant to make sure they do not eat that food. If you are allergic to peanuts you can not expect a restaurant to know what every single item is made of. I’m sure the poor server who said that the customers food would not be cooked in peanut oil or come in contact with peanuts did not realize that the previous order cooked, for a different table, had peanuts in it.

    I feel really bad for all the people who have a peanut allergy. I have severe allergies and asthma but do not ask people to get rid of their cats, not burn candles or incense or not smoke. With asthma and allergies anything can trigger an attack, sometimes doctors don’t even know what causes an attack, and if not treated properly it can be fatal. Imagine having an attack, not being able to breath and blacking out all at the same time.

    People need to be reasonable about what they are asking of other people. It’s not about not having pb&j it’s about asking other people to accomadate your needs. If my child was allergic to peanuts I would probably home school him until he and other students were old enough to understand the severity of the allergy.

    I understand the need for children to receive an education and the want of a normal childhood. But is it worth sending your child to school and being in fear everyday that someone might bring peanuts in any form or that maybe someone had something at breakfast and didn’t know. Is it worth putting your child’s life at risk?

  • VeraLynne

    Hello, I’m a teacher and was just told that we cannot have any peanut butter at all around the school due to allergies. I am most empathetic to those with allergies-but on the other hand I eat pb&j sandwiches at least 3x a week. Again, I’m not trying to be noncompassionate but I am broke and this is how I save $. I switch to hummus with fresh veggies but this is more expensive, and I don’t make meat sandwiches, and I don’t buy frozen meals bc of the cost and sodium. I also don’t do fast food bc as teachers we are NOT ALLOWED to go anywhere during our lunchtime. To buy a school lunch, it’s around $4 for teachers, and I work in a very poor district that serves very low-quality food like chicken patties (which I don’t eat), and the salads are covered in slices of warm generic cheese (I don’t eat that either)& are more expensive. I am empathetic to the children with allergies, and I have researched other lunch options for myself, but I eat my meals in the teacher lunch room, and wash my hands before and after my meals. I have never hurt a child by my eating habits in 10+yrs of teaching, and now my life must be severely inconvenienced by me having to pay out more money to have a lunch. There needs to be a compromise somewhere, you know? I don’t want to come off being mean, bc I am a very caring person, but this just isn’t a good solution. I am sorry for the parents with children with this condition. I just found out my 2 year old has an auto-immune disorder-which is extremely scary, and now can’t be around her siblings or other kids bc she can’t risk getting bruised. I don’t know how we can put her in a regular school, not even a daycare bc she will bruise easily, not to mention get sick. We have to get her red blood cell count done regulary, give her an insane amount of medication, and she has to get blood transfusions periodically. So parents, I understand your plight, I am most empathetic. But now with those hospital bills over my head, and a little girl I have to shelter from the world, I can’t afford to buy lunches, and I can’t afford not to work and lose insurance. I don’t think I should have to starve during the school day though either. There needs to be a compromise somewhere. My idea: if peanut butter has to be banned then schools need to give teachers lunchbreaks where they can LEAVE the school premises and have lunch at home or at a restaurant. BTW I can’t afford a private school for my child but I can’t expect every child at a public school to adhere to policies to protect my little girl. IDEA, which is funded by our government provides schools for students with special needs-which has nothing to do with mental capacity, and maybe some parents need to look into that option for the safety of their children.

  • VeraLynne

    One other thing: I read alot of bad things about public school personnel on here. Please understand, children say they are allergic to everything-when they are not. I hear it all the time. Cafeteria workers don’t know who has a real allergy and who doesn’t. Kids will always ask to move to another seat and use any reason to do so. Please don’t get mad at the cafeteria workers, they are just trying to keep order. I advise parents to volunteer and see for themselves. If one child observes another child getting to move to another seat bc he or she states that they have an allergy, then one can observe the phenomena of every student moving from seat to seat using that excuse…which is quite chaotic. Don’t blame the workers, blame the system. They’ve made so many budget cuts, and there aren’t enough workers to remember every child’s allergy, especially the children who move from school district to school district a few times a year. Write your representative and ask for more funding for your schools. Only when the staff to student ratios are lowered can public schools give your child the attention they really do require.

  • kit kat

    Give me a break people….open your minds! Let me get this straight…..you feel it is unfair that you cannot send your child to school with a peanut butter sandwich, because my child is severely allergic to peanuts??? It is like playing russian roulette! I find it amusing how quickly minds change when it is your child that can die as a result of the peanut butter sandwich.

  • alergic mom

    I am sorry to hear of all these children with peanut alergies, But in my household we have alergies as well… SEVERE alergies. But I have to agree with “mom” back in August of 2007, My 2nd son is extremely picky ,and has been since he was 2 (now 13) he will only eat peanut butter for lunch. I have to force him to eat something different for dinner. He is anemic, so I have to make sure he eats protein, and peanut butter is great for him. I was told by his school to pack what I gave him for dinner the night before… and who is going to stand over him to make sure he eats it? I have to during dinner time here to make sure he eats it! I am sorry for the families with those alergic to peanuts, but my son is alergic to grass (severe) and ragweed and mould. Should we remove all the grass in the world and around his school? I am fatally alergic to bee stings… Should we just kill all the bees in the world because persons with alergies to bees could die??? I didnt think so! My own nephew is alergic to peanuts, but he had to learn to deal with life,, and take his own life in his own hands you might say. his parents have to teach him how to avoid peanuts and such matter. So whats next?? should all grocery stores ban peanut products? after all those peanut butter jars may have come in contact with those fruit cups!!!!!! Deal with your issues… and teach your child accordingly. I love children, I have 4, and I was a pediatric nurse for years, and I know the reactions. But life goes on for EVERYONE, and if you cant cope in this world,YOU have to learn to adapt!!!!