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Old 01-25-2006, 12:29 PM   #1
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Peanut Free School

Ok - so a coworker informed me today that her child can not bring a peanut butter sandwich, a Snickers bar or any peanut food as a snack or lunch item because they are trying to make the school "peanut free."

Isn't that ridiculous? Her child is not allergic, and no child in his class is allergic to peanuts but there may be a child in the school of about 800, that is allergic so he can't bring peanut foods.

Her child is a very picky eater and peanut butter is one of the foods he will eat, so now that has been eliminated as a choice.

I asked what would they do if he brought peanut butter anyway? She doesn't know, but imagines it would be a note or maybe some other action. Can you imagine your kid getting in trouble for bringing a peanut butter sandwich?

I hope they don't start saying they can't have hamburger because one of the kids may be muslim. Or pork if they have any Jewish kids.

Jeez.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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This is not an easy issue. The peanut allergy is very dangerous to the individual exposed to the slightest trace of peanuts.

How did schools handle this for the last 10, 50, 200 years? Is there a significant increase in peanut allergies? Or are schools fearful of lawsuits for failure to protect?
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:33 PM   #3
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Well apart from the Haraam / Kosher issues in the above post (Pork is relevent in both cases, Hindus might take exception to a beef provision) it does seem about right. What an utter twerp of a child would go out and eat a peanut butter sandwich if they knew that they had alergies (and we are not talking about mystery cake from the cafeteria here, I presume its individual packed lunches).
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
This is not an easy issue. The peanut allergy is very dangerous to the individual exposed to the slightest trace of peanuts.
I have to think that the parent of the child who is allergic needs to address the contigency of any exposure with the teachers and school. Not by making it the problem for every parent in the school.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by YellowKite


I have to think that the parent of the child who is allergic needs to address the contigency of any exposure with the teachers and school. Not by making it the problem for every parent in the school.
exactly....
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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NBCrusader is correct. This is not a normal allergy and it is very dangerous for those who have it to be exposed to any form of peanut oil.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by YellowKite


I have to think that the parent of the child who is allergic needs to address the contigency of any exposure with the teachers and school. Not by making it the problem for every parent in the school.
If the school enacted these measures absent an inquiry or request by a parent, they do seem draconian.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:43 PM   #8
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A Muslim who unknowingly eats pork won't actually die, they might feel a bit guilty but I'm sure they can get over it. Exposure to peanut oil can kill if not treated immediately for those have have this condition. I have a close relative who has this allergy.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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My bf's friend is deathly allergic to peanut anything. One time he ate something (without knowing) with just a minimal amount of peanut oil in it. His face started to swell and he had to be rushed to emergency. He could have actually died if he didnt get it taken care of right away
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by YellowKite
I have to think that the parent of the child who is allergic needs to address the contigency of any exposure with the teachers and school. Not by making it the problem for every parent in the school.
Not that simple. Aflatoxin, a mold which grown on peanuts and which in fact is usually the cause of "peanut" allergies, is far and away the leading cause of fatal allergic reactions, and the child doens't have to ingest peanuts to set a devastating reaction in motion. Just being near another child eating peanut butter granola bars can do it. It happened once back when I was in school, and it's happened once at my son's school too.

Not the most common allergy for sure, and its severity generally reduces sharply with age, but you only have to have a child die from hives in their throat in your cafeteria once to be convinced of the worth of considering such measures. There's some steakhouse chain that has crushed peanut shells scattered about the floor as their trademark--that always amazes me. Something Roadhouse or another--I went there with some friends once for lunch, and they didn't even have a warning sign on their door.

Religious prohibitions have nothing to do with it and make a poor analogy. I've never heard of a US school banning pork or beef anyway, though I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if a few in areas with high concentrations of Muslim, Jewish or Hindu students do. We keep kosher which means our kids have to eat a packed lunch.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:51 PM   #11
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The real question we should all be asking is WHERE DID THIS PEANUT ALLERGY COME FROM????
When I was a kid growing up in school in the 60's and the 70's THERE WAS NO SUCH THING...at least in the schools I attended. No one had a peanut allergy!!! So where did this "allergy" come from is the real question. Don't just assume that's it's always been here with us. Another very interesting one is asthma - nowadays it seems every school has several kids suffering from asthma - well, again from kindergarten to grade 10 NO ONE in any of my classes had asthma (and this is in a era where everyone was fully exposed to second hand smoke!!!). What happened???
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:53 PM   #12
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Thing about it is, it may be a case of a /very/ severe allergy, if the school is doing this. What's all the details, here? Let's not villify the school for trying to protect this kid without isolating him in a bubble.
Personally, I'd rather not pack lunches with peanut-based stuff than risk this one kid getting deathly ill.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:59 PM   #13
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But you're not going to be able to shield this kid from peanut products just by banning them from the school. Why not have a peanut butter lunchroom and a non peanut butter lunchroom
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:12 PM   #14
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Banning peanut butter/products was standard practice at my daughter's elementary school for several of the years that she attended. She was a picky eater, with peanut butter being one of the few things she would eat, and to be perfectly honest, the ban did annoy me at times - mainly early in the mornings while packing her lunch when I was struggling, trying to figure out what to feed her.

But honestly - when you weigh the inconvenience against the potential of the death of another child - wow. No contest. Imagine the fear that the parents of a child with peanut allergies must experience. They can either cloister the kid, or be scared shitless that the child is going to die due to contact with a minute amount of peanut product, every time the kid steps outside the door.

In light of that, the inconveniences to other parents shouldn't even be an issue.
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by MsGiggles
But you're not going to be able to shield this kid from peanut products just by banning them from the school. Why not have a peanut butter lunchroom and a non peanut butter lunchroom
Segregating the one or two children with allergies during lunch time will have a negative social impact and not necessarily protect the children from exposure to peanuts (dust from the nuts can be deadly).

A fair question remains: how has this been handled over the years?
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