Banning food products in school due to student allergies

  1. 0 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 school (or your kid's school) handle this issue?

    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/pb-...215000284.html
  2. Visit  Alibaba profile page

    About Alibaba

    38 Years Old; Joined Sep '05; Posts: 214; Likes: 237.

    23 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Flare profile page
    9
    i personally don't think that banning peanut products altogether is necessary. I mean peanuts are not the only allergen that can cause a severe reaction. If you're going to ban a product for one student, then you really should be doing it for everyone's allergies. Teaching students to be responsible after eating and having them wash hands and wiping down surfaces should suffice.
  4. Visit  Jolie profile page
    6
    Banning peanut products is an ineffective measure and probably violates the rights of other students and staff.

    The ADA requires schools to make reasonable accomodations for students with disabilities. It does not require fellow students to make such accomodations. Banning peanut products from a school entirely places an undue burden on students who have limited financial means to purchase other food products, have food aversions or even just strong likes/dislikes of certain foods, have nutritional needs that require a high calorie, high protein diet, or who lack the time and ability to research their food choices and plan their lunch around the "needs" of someone not living in their own household.

    It is also highly ineffective in preventing exposure, since as evidenced by this article, some students/families will fail to comply, either out of frustration, or by mistake, bringing an item that they don't realize contains peanuts.

    Far better for the safety of the allergic student and the sanity of everyone else to provide a peanut-free area for the student and selected friends to eat their meal, while following accepted sanitation practices to minimize the likelihood of inadvertent exposure. Notice I didn't say, "prevent inadvertent exposure" because that is not entirely possible. When humans are involved, human error will occur.

    The final step in this process is to develop a comprehensive health plan for this student, with input from the healthcare provider, parents, student, school nurse, education staff, lunch room workers, janitorial employees, etc., and educate everyone involved on how to prevent exposure, recognize exposure if it occurs, and respond swiftly to minimize effects.

    I understand how frightening a severe allergy can be to parents, but they do themselves and their children NO favors by insisting on overly-intrusive, unnecessary and ineffective measures when there are better ways to address their children's needs.
  5. Visit  Flare profile page
    1
    I'm going to paint this entire post on the wall of my office!!

    Quote from Jolie
    Banning peanut products is an ineffective measure and probably violates the rights of other students and staff.

    The ADA requires schools to make reasonable accomodations for students with disabilities. It does not require fellow students to make such accomodations. Banning peanut products from a school entirely places an undue burden on students who have limited financial means to purchase other food products, have food aversions or even just strong likes/dislikes of certain foods, have nutritional needs that require a high calorie, high protein diet, or who lack the time and ability to research their food choices and plan their lunch around the "needs" of someone not living in their own household.

    It is also highly ineffective in preventing exposure, since as evidenced by this article, some students/families will fail to comply, either out of frustration, or by mistake, bringing an item that they don't realize contains peanuts.

    Far better for the safety of the allergic student and the sanity of everyone else to provide a peanut-free area for the student and selected friends to eat their meal, while following accepted sanitation practices to minimize the likelihood of inadvertent exposure. Notice I didn't say, "prevent inadvertent exposure" because that is not entirely possible. When humans are involved, human error will occur.

    The final step in this process is to develop a comprehensive health plan for this student, with input from the healthcare provider, parents, student, school nurse, education staff, lunch room workers, janitorial employees, etc., and educate everyone involved on how to prevent exposure, recognize exposure if it occurs, and respond swiftly to minimize effects.

    I understand how frightening a severe allergy can be to parents, but they do themselves and their children NO favors by insisting on overly-intrusive, unnecessary and ineffective measures when there are better ways to address their children's needs.
    Jolie likes this.
  6. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    4
    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.
    KelRN215, caregiver1977, Jolie, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  Not_A_Hat_Person profile page
    0
    I agree with peanut bans, at least for young kids. A peanut allergy isn't like being vegan; it can kill. Schoolkids can always eat PB&J at home.
  8. Visit  Jolie profile page
    11
    I respectfully disagree, for a number of reasons:

    1.) JustBeachyNurse correctly stated above that banning food substances does not lower the risk of inadvertent exposure. What it does accomplish is to create a false sense of security, leading adults to become lax in their surveillance, sanitation practices, and preparedness for a prompt and effective response to an inadvertent exposure.

    2.) It infringes on the right of every other student and staff member in the building to responsibly consume food that is within their budget, preference, and dietary needs.

    3.) If peanuts are banned, then parents of children allergic to other foods will expect the same for the food to which their child is allergic. 80% of all food allergies and anaphylactic reactions are linked to one of the following: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish, eggs. Can you suggest a week's worth of nutritious and appealing lunches and snacks that contain none of these ingredients?

    4.) The notion that peanuts are more highly allergenic or dangerous than other foods is incorrect. While there may be more children with severe peanut allergies than severe allergies to other foods, virtually any food containing protein has the potential to cause an anaphylactic reaction in someone. Start banning foods, and we may as well settle for water for lunch.
    Flare, uRNmyway, amoLucia, and 8 others like this.
  9. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    1
    Who actually enforces the ban and makes sure it is enforced? How do you check to see that no one is carrying a peanut product in their pocket, book bag, etc? More and more I see where schools are NOT preparing children for the real world.
    Tina, RN likes this.
  10. Visit  Flare profile page
    7
    I have a dog trained to sniff out peanuts that lives in my office. I call him Skippy.
  11. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    0
    There are plenty of kids at my school who are allergic to tuna and other fish, but my school still serves it. Hmmm.
  12. Visit  calaab profile page
    0
    Our school system has not been serving peanuts or peanut based products for several years. They are actually getting ready to start offering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again in the next few weeks. I've spoken to all my peanut-allergy kiddos parents and they are fine with it as long as accomodations are made for their child to avoid exposure.
  13. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    0
    Quote from calaab
    Our school system has not been serving peanuts or peanut based products for several years. They are actually getting ready to start offering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again in the next few weeks. I've spoken to all my peanut-allergy kiddos parents and they are fine with it as long as accomodations are made for their child to avoid exposure.
    I'm not concerned about what the cafeteria won't serve, but I am concerned when the school bans in lunches from home a food that is healthy and safe for most of the population. I think if the school system is going to do that then they should provide free lunches for all students. I also agree with those who have pointed out that there are other foods children are allergic to and are not often banned.
  14. Visit  FutureCRNA? profile page
    0
    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.


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