Banning food products in school due to student allergies - page 2

I found this article pretty interesting, and the comments after the article even more interesting. What do you guys think about banning stuff like pb&j due to food allergies, and how does your... Read More

  1. by   Flare
    I get that, but why just peanuts? I have a nephew that is severely allergic to strawberries. Even a strawberry yogurt being opened near him could be fatal, but you don't see strawberries getting nixed from the approved list. It creates a false sense of security to say it's a peanut free school. Mistakes do happen and there is the potential for a peanut product getting mistakenly brought in. It's better to prepare fpr the possibility of exposure rather than just assume everything is being safeguarded.

    Quote from FutureCRNA?
    Well coming from the mother of a (used to be) peanut allergic kid (just took the tolerance test in June after 9 years), it is terrifying sending your baby off to a place where he HAS to eat and you aren't there to make sure he is safe.

    When it's your child's life on the line, it is scary. If the kindergardener who sits next to him in class has a PB&J for lunch & still has it on his hands, then gets it on the desk and causes my son to have an anaphylactic reaction which can potentially end in death, that's scary stuff! Especially when the nearest hospital is 30 minutes away.

    Not only is it terrifying to the parent, but it's terrifying for the kid as well. My son had nightmares about having a reaction and he cried at the tolerance test (in a hospital) because PB was (and still is) scary to him.
  2. by   caregiver1977
    Some parents need to consider whether or not it is safe for their children to go to school if the child has a severe food allergy. I am not talking about what the schools are supposed to do, or that the parents have a right to send their children to school. Sometimes you have to consider what is safe for your child.

    Plus, why ban peanuts just at school? What kind of sense does that make, anyway? Do you take your child to the grocery store, church, McDonald's, etc? You can go to McDonald's and come in contact with a peanut from someone's sundae, even though McDonald's serves their peanuts in little plastic packages. If you ban peanuts from school, you might as well ban them from everywhere. That is not fair to people who like peanuts and can eat them.
  3. by   loriangel14
    The schools in my area have banned peanuts for years.One school my kids attended banned all nuts.It's normal where I live it's considered normal. We've been banning peanuts for so long no one thinks anything of it.
  4. by   FutureCRNA?
    Do you take your child to the grocery store, church, McDonald's, etc?
    Well I can only speak for us, but there were many restaurants that we couldn't go to due to possible cross contamination (Cici's Pizza is one if the few truly peanut-free, I suspect there is a nut allergy in the owner's family). It's really a big deal. As far as church, it's a SUPER small town (population 250 lol) and people knew and made accommodations. He could never eat anything without a food label though (pot lucks were a no-go). Walking through produce in a grocery store would make me really nervous, but we would just take a wide berth around the big bin of open peanuts.

    Oh and flying with him was the scariest of all. I specifically book flights on peanut-free carriers. Well one time something happened & we got put on another airline, which had just served peanuts. My baby was only about 3 or 4 at the time and I took a package of baby wipes and completely wiped down our row & they served non-peanut snacks. I was really worried about recirculated air & peanut dust but thankfully nothing happened. If he had been more sensitive, I'm sure it could have been disastrous.

    And our school isn't peanut free, but teachers did request that snacks for the class be non-nut (in lower grades parents would provide snacks), but normally we just brought in alternatives for our son because sometime people did. That way there was less likelihood of accidents, especially when he was too small to know the difference.

    I understand that there will be allergens around, but the point of my previous post was that when it's your baby, it's scary. If there was a classmate in his class who could DIE from strawberry exposure, I would be happy to make their classroom strawberry's a kid's life you're talking about.
  5. by   psu_213
    There are a ton a food allergies (and, yes I realize I am not the first person to make this point). I work with someone who has an anaphylactic rxn. to oranges. If someone is in the break room with her and they pull an orange out of their lunch bag, she will leave the room. Even the oils released when someone peels an orange are enough to cause a reaction. I am sure she is not the only person in America with the allergy. Should a school have to ban kids from bringing in an orange because someone in their class has a allergy to the fruit?

    Along with that point...what is a child going to do when they are not in an environment that has to ban allergens? What is the child going to do when they are at a restaurant where peanuts may be served? When they get older, will their college cafeteria ban nuts for them? What about in the lunch room at their job? I'm sorry that this sounds harsh, but at some point the child has to realize that he/she will be around nuts, and they need to know what they have to do to prevent exposure.
  6. by   amoLucia
    Just curious - will these nut-free institutions be banning homemade cookies and boxes of Russell Stovers chocolates from the front office?
  7. by   AngelfireRN
    As someone with a severe and very weird food allergy, who has lived to the ripe old age of 30-through...let me just say that, at a certain point, there has to be responsibility taken by the child and the family. No one made my school free of my allergen. My parents did not make our home free of my allergen. It was treated as an inconvenience.
    After a severe reaction landed me in the ER ( my allergen was added to a dish..."she's not really allergic, she just doesn't like it. She'll never know.") it improved.

    Thankfully, my employer is only too glad to notify drug reps who provide meals about me. I cook my own food when we eat at a house other than my own. It's a strange dance, but it's my life. My responsibility. The world can't be expected to cater to one, so one must cater to the world.
  8. by   100kids
    The problem with schoolwide bans on peanuts or nut in general is really that the environment is no safer for a child with a nut allergy. Are all of the children's lunches and snacks checked daily to make sure no one has a product manufactured in a facility with nuts? If not then the danger is still there even with the nut free sign out front. My guess is no one comes in with PB&J but there are plenty of foods brought in that may have cross contamination from processing plants. In our school the kids all wash their hands and wipe down their desks after eating (they eat lunch in their classrooms).
  9. by   caregiver1977
    I don't think that many people realize just how many foods you would have to ban, HEALTHY foods for most of the population for that matter, if you take into consideration EVERYONE'S food allergy. My school's cafeteria does not serve any peanut products, but they still service oranges and tuna fish like crazy.

    I still say that if a school is going to ban people from eating a food, and ban it in lunches brought from home, then the school needs to provide lunches and snacks for everyone for free--including all school personnel. I don't care if the child's family is as rich as Donald Trump--free lunch and snacks. If the school system will do that, then they can ban all the foods they like for all I care and I will comply with a smile
  10. by   Glycerine82
    It's overboard. Better to just have a peanut free table for those who are allergic.

    "No day but today"
  11. by   uRNmyway
    Quote from JustBeachyNurse
    Recent evidence has shown that 'banning' an allergen, especially in a school setting actually creates a higher risk environment due to a false sense of 'security' and adversely affects the child's ability to make suitable choices to avoid the allergen in the real world. We cannot create bubbles around our children, regardless of what their special needs are in life.

    Let me see if I can find the peer-reviewed journal article that stated just this.

    THIS! I totally agree. If you take all the responsibility out of the child's hands, then they don't bother to be careful on their own, they just assume everyone else is doing it. When I was in school, we had kids with severe allergies. We had no restrictions on what we were/weren't allowed to bring in our lunches. We just knew that they couldn't come in contact with some things, and we were not to share lunches with those kids.

    And Not_A_Hat_Person, I've heard of some kids that are SO allergic that they try to make anyone in their environment not eat ANY peanut butter, even at home. That is just ridiculous.

    This reminds me of a story I heard on the radio, about a child who was lactose intolerant and kept begging her mom for icecream when she would hear the icecream truck in their neighborhood. So instead of putting her big girl mommy pants on and tell her child no, the mom tried to get the icecream truck banned from her neighborhood. Sigh...