School parents want girl with peanut allergy sent home - page 2

ORLANDO, Florida-Some public school parents in Edgewater, Florida, want a first-grade girl with life-threatening peanut allergies removed from the classroom and home-schooled, rather than deal with... Read More

  1. Visit  sunkissed75 profile page
    1
    In my community all schools are peanut free. I remember, before I had kids, my girlfriend saying that her daughter's school was nut free. At first I thought this was absurd as a pbj sandwich is usually a staple for most lunchboxes!! I mean it's cheap and kids love it.... how could this be?? Just because one or two kids has an allergy dosen't mean all kids should suffer... does it??!!

    However, peanut free schools are now the norm, no one thinks twice about it! And because it has been in place for over 10 years (at least) kids don't even know what they are missing. It has always been a non issue with them!! I am sure there may have been a few dissapointed kids the first week or two this concept was implemented, but kids are adaptable and like another poster said it's not like they can never have a pbj sandwich ever again!! Also, I think most kids are sensitive to the needs of other students, especially at the primary ages where nut free is the most important. In the older grades kids with the allergies know enough about their condition to not trade their yucky bolonga sandwich with a classmates yummy, potentially hazardous sandwich.

    This really is about education for the parents of the non allergic kids!! I can't believe I was so thoughtless in my thinking before! Seriously... so what if my kid can't have pbj... they can still have jelly! How about a honey sandwich or egg salad. Why even a sandwich? There are so many cost friendly lunch ideas all one has to do is google it and their kids will have the best lunch in the lunchroom!!!
    raidermom likes this.
  2. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    8
    My concern is that the student in Florida has a very sensitive and DEADLY reaction to peanuts. She can't tolerate peanuts being breathed on her. This isn't simply a case of not being able to eat them.

    If my child was in the same situation as this student, I would not send them to public school. Too many mistakes, even with the most well meaning of efforts, could cause this child to perish. Schools are made up of teachers, not medical professionals. I don't think a regular public school system can provide the kind of environment for this particular child that could ensure her safety. If it were a regular food allergy, then I think regular accomodations could/should be made. The parents of the 6 year old in Florida with the DEADLY food allergy are putting a lot of trust in the school system, and I don't have a good feeling about that.

    Schools are dealing with trying to maintain test scores and all kinds of behavior problems. I know my sons' school can barely keep up with which child needs to be excused to the bathroom because of medical needs. Several kids who have notes provided by doctors that have been submitted to the schools have been forced to soil or wet themselves because someone forgot, even though the student has all sorts of papers on file with the school about their condition. Do you think I would trust those same people with my child's deadly condition? Those students were embarrassed because of a mistake; the girl with the peanut allergy could die because of a mistake.

    She has a right to be at school, but I think her safety overrides that right.
  3. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    10
    So as this child grows up, the whole world will give up PB? Unh - doubt it.

    It goes back to the parent's responsibility. I had a child with severe asthma (intubations, etc). It was not the schools responsibility, it was mine and my husbands. We made sure that one of us was ALWAYS within 2-3 minutes of the school and yes, we rearranged OUR lives to make this happen for 10 years! My husband gave up military assignments, I gave up jobs. However, this was OUR child, not the school's. Again, goes back to accepting responsibility as a parent!
    Fiona59, halkogirl, tablefor9, and 7 others like this.
  4. Visit  Purple_Scrubs profile page
    6
    Quote from patient1977
    I know my sons' school can barely keep up with which child needs to be excused to the bathroom because of medical needs. Several kids who have notes provided by doctors that have been submitted to the schools have been forced to soil or wet themselves because someone forgot, even though the student has all sorts of papers on file with the school about their condition. Do you think I would trust those same people with my child's deadly condition? Those students were embarrassed because of a mistake; the girl with the peanut allergy could die because of a mistake.

    She has a right to be at school, but I think her safety overrides that right.
    This is a good point I had not considered before. What happens when there is a sub who is not aware of the child's condition? Or a new student enrolls who ate PB&J for breakfast and didn't wash his/her hands? There are just too many ways this can go bad. If the child is that sensitive to peanuts, I too would be homeschooling.
  5. Visit  kids profile page
    0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    So as this child grows up, the whole world will give up PB? Unh - doubt it.

    It goes back to the parent's responsibility. I had a child with severe asthma (intubations, etc). It was not the schools responsibility, it was mine and my husbands. We made sure that one of us was ALWAYS within 2-3 minutes of the school and yes, we rearranged OUR lives to make this happen for 10 years! My husband gave up military assignments, I gave up jobs. However, this was OUR child, not the school's. Again, goes back to accepting responsibility as a parent!
    Research is showing that many peanut allergic kids may eventually out grown severe reactions and desensitizing treatment is showing a lot of promise.

    Why does it seem so much more common now?
    One theory is that the kids are being sensitized in utero. Peanuts and their byproducts are cheap and deeply entrenched in the food supply.
  6. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    0
    One theory is that the kids are being sensitized in utero. Peanuts and their byproducts are cheap and deeply entrenched in the food supply.

    But haven't they always been?
  7. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    3
    I've been reading some of the media reports on this and one issue surprised me as I really hadn't given this much thought.

    In a peanut allergy - you are allergic to a protein.

    Regarding airborne contact - that is highly unlikely due to that fact. I think people are panicking (reminds me of the panic over linking autism and vaccinations).

    "As I point out in Food Allergies For Dummies, airborne reactions to peanut protein in peanut butter, candy bars, and even peanut butter crackers is very unlikely. The reason is because the peanut protein, which is responsible for triggering a reaction, is usually contained by some other ingredient in the food, such as chocolate or caramel. You may be able to smell the peanut butter, but the odor is the result of something other than peanut protein."

    Here is a link to the research by the gentleman I heard quoted last week:

    http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca..._faan_2003.pdf

    I agree that teaching kids to wash their hands is a good idea - regardless of the reason.

    But this case goes way overboard.

    Also, the myth of homeschooled kids being "unsocialized" has been debunked for a long long time.

    If this was my child, my highly allergic child, I'd teach my child at home.

    steph
    Fiona59, rn/writer, and tablefor9 like this.
  8. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    1
    Quote from patient1977
    one theory is that the kids are being sensitized in utero. peanuts and their byproducts are cheap and deeply entrenched in the food supply.

    but haven't they always been?
    i think so. it certainly isn't recent.

    just found this:

    http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...869095,00.html

    have americans gone nuts over nut allergies?

    . . . ."but like christakis, wood cautions against excessive alarm. "it's an unfortunate situation," says wood, "if a family with an inaccurate perception of the allergy leads a child to believe that a snickers bar from 50 feet away is a lethal weapon."

    Fiona59 likes this.
  9. Visit  Flare profile page
    4
    I tend to think the actual number of true peanut allergies has atayed relatively the same. What has increased is the number of doctors not wanting to get sued for misdiagnosing a peanut sensitivity that may oneday develop into a stronger allergy. I have students that have epipens and when asked if they've ever needed it, they say no. have even seen one or two over the years where dad was allergic or sensitive to some degree and the student had an epipen by default despite never once ingesting a peanut. We tried to enforce a rule that students could not have an epipen or emergency allergy action plan without current documantation from a pediatrid allergist. At the end of the day we had to back off, lest teh board face the wrath of the parents that want the "safety net" of the epipen
  10. Visit  tablefor9 profile page
    3
    Sounds as though this child's parents voluntarily chose to home educate this child. Good for them. Their child will be safer, and may very well receive a world class education as a happy result. This also shows a willingness to take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their family that is sadly lacking in the general population and a respect for the rights of others, which is also in shorter supply of late.
  11. Visit  HospiceAngelCNA/CPT profile page
    1
    I've read many responses to this issue, yes, it is quite the hot topic.

    I am now 41 years old and just 5 months ago (November 2010) I developed a sudden allergy to All NUTS and now have to wear an ID bracelet, carry around an EPI Pen, Liquid Benadryl, Xoponex MDI and Pepcid Tablets. I have been hospitalized 4 times due to exposure, both known and unknown. I even had to be hospitalized after an Allergen Study due to an systemic reaction. I never had a problem before, I was a huge nut eater..really every day, a main staple in my diet!

    So, as you can see, I'm very much aware of my issues and make it my point to notify people of my allergy. I can't even be in the same room as someone who is eating any form of nuts! My Family has gone to great lengths to make sure that any home I go to is nut free, Christmas was especially hard as my Mom make really good stuff that contain nuts, but it was done. It was the first Nut Free Christmas for us (aside from the family..but what can you do about them?)

    Anyhow, I do think that some of the requests that the parent is making is a little off the wall, but do we know what the childs real issues are? Is the child familiar with her issues? Has she been educated? Is there some way that this child can receive an education...free of nuts? We make exceptions/allowances for children receiving chemo, right? no dairy, citrus..etc? I do believe that this childs medical issues need to be looked at more closely to see just what the child needs. JMO! And then the school situation needs to be looked at and see if this child can be reasonably accommodated.

    I don't like it that my Family/Friends have to restrict their diets to exclude nuts just because of me, but they all understand and are aware of what it can and will do to me if I do come into contact with the once love nut, now the enemy!

    Side note, I also used to eat peanut butter by the spoon-full, directly out of the jar...now, I cant even be near it!
    Last edit by HospiceAngelCNA/CPT on Mar 28, '11 : Reason: grammatical
    raidermom likes this.
  12. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    7
    Quote from tablefor9
    Sounds as though this child's parents voluntarily chose to home educate this child. Good for them. Their child will be safer, and may very well receive a world class education as a happy result. This also shows a willingness to take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their family that is sadly lacking in the general population and a respect for the rights of others, which is also in shorter supply of late.
    I thought that when I first saw the article. But when I read it more closely, it became clear that the parents being referred to were the parents of the other kids in the school.

    Here are a few more questions and considerations:

    Has it been established just how serious this child's allergy is? If so, by whom? Her pediatrician? An allergist?

    Is desensitization a possibility?

    What are her parents willing to contribute to finding a solution? Are they just expecting the school system to make this work, or are they actively participating in the process?

    In a situation like this where there are so many variables and so many things that could go wrong, it isn't only the school-wide restrictions that are a burden but the awful possibilities that hang over everyone's heads.

    If this little girl is truly life-threateningly vulnerable, why would her parents put her in a situation where her safety depends on hundreds of others, most of them children?

    Sometimes it seems that the politically correct and the "everything has to be the same to be fair" people want to legislate away reality. The truth is that there are people, children among them, who have to deal with disabilities and conditions that, on the scorecard of life, don't seem the least bit fair. Of course, accommodation should be made whenever possible, but there has to be room for some sense of balance.

    Along with the risk to the child with the peanut allergy, what about the risk to the school community if someone inadvertently makes a mistake? What if she has an attack and has to be hospitalized? What if she dies? How will blame be assigned? How will the guilt--both legal and emotional--be handled? Who will pay for the likely lawsuit?

    I cannot believe that responsible parents would knowingly expose their daughter to life-threatening danger on a daily basis and bet all the marbles on everyone else doing their part.
    Fiona59, llg, mustlovepoodles, and 4 others like this.
  13. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    5
    Some more questions:

    1) How are they going to make sure all the students in this class properly wash their hands and mouths? Have you all seen the way 6 year olds wash?

    2) How are they going to know if one of the classmates has peanut butter/peanut products on their clothes or hair?

    3) How are they going to handle her contact with other students in the hall, playground, etc.?

    4) If her peanut allergy is that severe, wouldn't it be better if her classmates/teachers didn't eat peanut products at home? How is anybody going to enforce that?

    5) Students this age often have parties for holidays that involve candy. Are those cancelled?

    6) What if a student decides to play a dirty trick on the allergic girl? Don't tell me that's not a possibility.


    I just don't think the school can suddenly function as a hospital. They are not staffed with nurses and doctors; they are teachers. As well-meaning as everyone may be, too many things can go wrong with dire results.


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