What do you think should be done about nut allergies in schools?
February 2, 2007 2:59pm CST
Seems like there are an awful lot of kids these days with nut allergies. Most schools have "no nut" tables at lunch. My school district is even considering banning all nut products in the schools. Recently a teacher I know was chastised by a parent of a child allergic to nuts. It seems another student brought in a snack (not nuts) that may have contained trace amounts of nuts. He didn't bring it in to share with the class--it was his own personal snack. The teacher didn't see it. The parent was irrate that the teacher could have "allowed" this to happen. Don't teachers have enough to do and to worry about without having to monitor the foods other kids bring in? I agree something needs to be done to safeguard these kids from anaphylactic shock or whatever the reaction would be. But our teachers are drastically underpaid as it is. What about the kid that eats a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, doesn't wash his hands and comes into contact with the student who's allergic? Who's responsible for that? What can be done about this?
• United States
5 Feb 07
Hm. I have a severe peanut allergy, and at my school, no one really did anything about it. My parents told me never to eat anything given to me at school, so I didn't. Being alive, it seemed to work out pretty well, although I wish some of the teachers had been more understanding. I don't think a ban is the right way to go, though. There are people with milk allergies, wheat allergies, cucumber allergies, all sorts of things, and a lot of them can be serious. It isn't realistic to ban all of those things. I think the best thing to do is just to inform the children's teachers, at least in elementary school, and make sure they are aware of the situation and what to do in case of a reaction. The angry parent you describe seems pretty extreme. Even if it were for the class to share -- an alternate snack for the allergic child should suffice.
• United States
2 Feb 07
I'm not sure if this policy is district wide but my daughter's elementary school in San Mateo County, CA is informed of all stydents allergies. I don't know how well the staff recognizes each of the students needs but I do know that the lunches and snacks that are served are nut based free. Also, in my daughter's class, the teacher is very proactive in knowing that there are a few students who are allergic to nuts and doesn't allow food product to be shared (home brought lunches and snacks) and has made it a policy that no nuts or nut ingredients are to be used when parents bring in food for classroom events. So far it appears that putting some of the resposibility on the parents is working.
25 Jun 08
I also have a severe allergy to all nuts; can't say my school did much about it back in the day and I have heard they're a lot more strict about it now. I do wish their was better education about this. I think it's funny that this has become such a hot topic- it's a food! I don't get why it would be a big deal to refrain on having your child take nuts to school so that another child wouldn't have a reaction. I have read some crazy stories where parents have claimed their child's rights are being abused by them not being allowed to eat PB&J sandwiches at lunch. Really? I mean, i there kid was the one allergic, I imagine they'd be completely on the other end of the fence. The fact is, nut allergies are on the rise. My allergist has said that more and more parents are making peanut butter an early food for toddlers, and that is causing the increased amount of allergies. Immune systems don't fully develop until about the age of 3, and it's important to keep any possible high allergen foods away from children until that age. It's long been advised to avoid shellfish until later on; nuts just need to be added to that category.