Thank you to Allergy Eats for sharing this article!
Please read this article about a boy needing to have an ambulance called in his middle school.
Ambulance called to middle school for peanut allergy.
Now that you have read it, I can comment on it. This just shows how serious peanut or any allergy really is. They stated "They have said more than 40 Brookings students have life-threatening peanut allergies" They also stated "Mickelson does sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each day as a lunch option. Neiles said on any given day, between 75 and 125 students eat a PB&J as their main course. Mickelson does not have a peanut-free zone for lunches."
Does that not sound like a disaster waiting to happen? I am surprised it has taken this long for a child to fall ill with their peanut allergies. The worst part is that they have no idea how this happened. If you have NO peanut-free zone and NO rules about peanuts it is going to contaminate everything. What children deliberately wash their hands after lunch while at school? Take a classroom full of middle school aged children and tell me there are no kids in there that think a peanut allergy is something to laugh at and not as serious as we make it seem.
I will give you of an example of how easy it is to give a peanut allergic person an allergy. Jane Doe eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch sitting in her 2x2 ft space. Now, not only is that space contaminated but so are her hands and anything else that may have been touched. Jane walks out of the cafeteria doors where she touches the handle contaminating that. Now, any child that touches that handle will be contaminated. But, we are still on Jane. Jane goes to hand in her homework to her teacher. She now has contaminated anything in the classroom she has touched including her homework that the teacher has placed in a pile of other homework. Now, imagine Jane Doe and John Doe(The allergic child) are in the same class. John will be getting his homework back that could have been the page right under hers. Now, this may not always be a terrible situation. It may give John a few hives on his hand because of the minute amount of oils that are now on his paper. But, if John were to touch his eye or mouth the story changes. He brushes an eyelash or coughs into his hand and now his body has the possibility of going into anaphylaxis. You do not have to Directly take a peanut, rub it onto the couch cushion (as they are making it sound in the article) to cause a reaction like that. It can be as minute as Jane touched her peanut butter, Jane touched her homework, Jane's homework touches John's homework, John touches his eyes or nose and there ya have it.
Peanut allergies tend to have the most serious reactions and are becoming more and more common. More and more schools are becoming peanut-free zones. Parents think that this is taking it too far. In the article they say "Others have said banning peanuts from schools is going too far. They say peanut-free zones and educating students and staff on how to deal with allergic reaction would be enough to keep allergic students safe." These are people that have no idea of the severity of the allergy. If your child was the one allergic to peanuts your outlook would be completely different. Do we allow poisons in school? What if my child brought in a poison that if touched by your child could kill him but because my child is immune to it, he can bring it to school? These parents would go bananas over it. It is scary EVERY day for parents of allergic children. We send them off into the world where we are not there watching their every move. We are not there to be sure that they do not touch these allergens that could potentially kill them. Can we have this one security of having school, their home away from home, be a peanut-free zone? These parents are saying that their children eating their favorite sandwich should be more important than the safety of my child. The safety of those 40 children in that school!
I'm sorry to have made this so long. I just can get very opinionated on this subject. I could go on and on all day but I will stop myself now. My son is in a preschool type class and they are a peanut-free zone. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to every staff member at that school for the steps they take to keep my son safe. I do not know what is to come for when my son is in kindergarten and beyond but I hope that they will treat it in the same accordance. Or, at least enough to keep him safe.
If you have an opinion, feel free to post it here. That is what I am here for.