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Forum: October 2012 Playroom

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  #1  
July 16th, 2013, 05:41 PM
bostoncreampie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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How do you feel about nut free rules in public areas?

I know I am totally wrong in this regard, but I will be honest and say that it bothers me. I understand that some people are highly allergic and could have serious health risks if exposed. But sometimes I am so irritated that I can't send my kids to school with the one snack or sandwich that they will eat.
It bothers me when people scold me in public areas or I get notes in my kids bags when we forget.

Shame on me. But it's true.
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  #2  
July 16th, 2013, 05:55 PM
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I can understand not sending birthday treats with nuts so that no kid feels left out. But I admit it would be frustrating to not be able to send peanut butter in my child's personal lunch.
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  #3  
July 16th, 2013, 06:38 PM
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It seems to be an issue more and more. My son's preschool scolded me for trail mix my husband sent in by accident. Their summer camp sent me a note home about the pb&j sandwich. We were at a play area the other day with "nut free zone" signs everywhere so we couldn't eat what we brought. I don't remember this ever being an issue when I was younger...
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  #4  
July 16th, 2013, 08:00 PM
jlstebbins's Avatar *Super*Mega*Mommy*
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I heard about this the other day at my breastfeeding support group. I didnt even know they had nut free schools and such.

But my friends cousin has a severe peanut allergy. She lives in Hawaii. The school she attended wanted to put her in a special school for kids with disabilities so they wouldn't have to make the school nut free. They took it to court and the family won.

She isnt disabled, she just has a bad allergy. Poor girl.
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  #5  
July 16th, 2013, 09:30 PM
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My dd used to have a life-threatening peanut allergy (until she was desensitized). I can't even begin to describe the terror of having a child who could die that easily. It put a huge damper on our day to day lives. We wound up homeschooling because of it. I was too afraid to send her (and my son, who has since outgrown his allergy). I will always remember the kindness of the few people who gave up their PB&J so my kids could participate in something (like a birthday party, for example). It was just one meal for them (as they could eat it at other times) but it meant SO MUCH to us. These people truly cared about my kids and I loved them for it.

Now that we don't have to worry about that anymore, I try to be considerate of those out there that are dealing with it. I can always feed them the PB&J at home, ya know? They can have an alternate meal around allergic kids.
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  #6  
July 17th, 2013, 03:27 AM
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I feel like there are so many allergies to so many foods that once you make a nut-free rule, where does it end? We just need to make sure our kids are VERY aware of what they can and cannot have, and to switch tables if they see something they are allergic to.
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  #7  
July 17th, 2013, 03:52 AM
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I am okay with nuts been out of school but the school my daughter goes to here will not even let them bring anything that "may" contain traces or is made in the a factory where they "may" use nut products. Hello, that rules out 99% of snacks. Really, pretzels are about the only snacks I can send with her; I spent several minutes ruling out different things that she likes at the grocery store. She is pretty picky about her snacks and she likes this bubble bar (made from rice crispies I think) but it "may" contain traces of nuts so she can't take it to school. I find it really annoying and shallow. So, if she brings fried chicken from home how do you know it's not fried in peanut oil. One of nieces has severe dairy allergy and nearly died last year because she must have touched someone's dairy product and touched her mouth with her touch (her tongue started swelling and she couldn't breathe and they had to get an ambulance at school and all) but all her school has not been made dairy free for her. From a young age she knew what to avoid and she does a good job about it. There will be slip ups like the incident that happened but there are other ways to address the issues. The mom, who is a doctor, helped the school write and put a procedure in place that involved having an epipen in school (an emergency shot for life threatening allergies). If we "fix" the school, do we "fix" the mall, church, park, etc? So, I can agree with excluding peanut itself (or not allowing stuff containing traces for public consumption) but I should be able to send my child with a snack that is affordable that she likes and not have my child starve because of another child. That is the part that really aggravates me.
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  #8  
July 17th, 2013, 06:38 AM
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I think reasonable steps should be taken to protect kids with life-threatening allergies, but "Nut-Free Zones" in public places are a little crazy IMO.

What about diabetic kids? Do we have to get rid of all sugar or carbs in public places, too? I'm with Morgan that if we start down this path, where does it stop?
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  #9  
July 17th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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iv never even heard of that before I don't think it would settle well with me though i dont even want my kid to go to a school that has uniforms.

taking away choices freedom and opportunity (good and bad) does not make children make better choices or be more aware of their surroundings.....id rather my kid have the chance to do "wrong" and know/choose to do right ....if your forcing them to do right they will stop the moment someones not holding their hand.

will i tell my kid to be respectful and absolutely go out of his way to keep his offending products away from someone they could hurt absolutely but a food ban is to much IMO
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  #10  
July 17th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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I have mixed feelings on this. My older daughter has nut allergies. Not life-threatening, however, every exposure to the allergen makes the next attack worse. The public areas, yes, I completely agree with Kristen. Just don't go there if you're allergic to nuts. We have to avoid Chick-fi-la b/c they fry with peanut oil.

School, to me is a different thing. I know several times my daughter has been moved to a separate table while they ate pb&j sandwiches. She is very tender hearted & it hurt her feelings. Trust me, I do know how limiting it can be. Most candy/cookies are out of the question. The thing about telling your kids not to offer is all well and good, but little kids don't understand the ramifications. Can you imagine how scarred they would all be if one of their friends went into anaphylactic shock and died in front of them? I guess what I'm saying is I appreciate the schools that go nut free, my daughter's is not, because then I can send her to school with peace of mind that she's coming home safely.

Kristen, have you tried Sunbutter? It's made from sunflower seeds and my dh & dd love it!
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  #11  
July 17th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marybethsmom View Post
I have mixed feelings on this. My older daughter has nut allergies. Not life-threatening, however, every exposure to the allergen makes the next attack worse. The public areas, yes, I completely agree with Kristen. Just don't go there if you're allergic to nuts. We have to avoid Chick-fi-la b/c they fry with peanut oil.

School, to me is a different thing. I know several times my daughter has been moved to a separate table while they ate pb&j sandwiches. She is very tender hearted & it hurt her feelings. Trust me, I do know how limiting it can be. Most candy/cookies are out of the question. The thing about telling your kids not to offer is all well and good, but little kids don't understand the ramifications. Can you imagine how scarred they would all be if one of their friends went into anaphylactic shock and died in front of them? I guess what I'm saying is I appreciate the schools that go nut free, my daughter's is not, because then I can send her to school with peace of mind that she's coming home safely.

Kristen, have you tried Sunbutter? It's made from sunflower seeds and my dh & dd love it!
We are huge sunbutter fans! I love the chunky version. We still buy and eat that even though everyone can have peanut butter now.

I totally get what everyone is saying. If you are allergic, just don't go. But most people can't homeschool like I was able to. Kids have to go to school. There has to be a way to keep these kids safe.

Yashobo, I know what you are saying about how many snacks are cut out just because of a "may contain." I'm not sure how that should be handled! We had so few options for snacks because of that, but companies are getting better at having other foods that are safe. I'm not sure how it is there.

There has to be a way to keep these kids safe, but I don't know what the solution is. I do know that a boy died at a school about an hour from here and it was very traumatic for everyone. I don't think anyone minded the rule after that.

My kids have since gone back to school (they went for the last several weeks of this past school year and will be going this coming school year). The school does not have any restriction, but I wouldn't have a problem if they did because I know all the alternatives.

I do understand what Morgan is saying. What if you have to ban nuts, milk, soy, etc. Milk and soy are even more difficult to avoid, IMO (dd had a milk allergy, also). I think the desensitization that my dd went through is becoming more and more widespread, so kids around the country can be treated and this won't be an issue anymore.
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  #12  
July 17th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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We don't have nut allergies in our family, but I'm intrigued by Sunbutter...I'm going to have to check it out!
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  #13  
July 17th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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Its a little more expensive, but they LOVE it! Its nice that she can have it, b/c she really liked pb. I get it at Target.
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  #14  
July 17th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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I will just say that if my kids had allergies that bad, I would be homeschooling like Jinnah and would NOT be sending them to a public school.

I'm not trying to suggest that it's not my problem and I shouldn't have to deal with it, but in reality, I do think that if there is THAT much danger, it should be the responsibility of the parents to shelter them from the danger and not my responsibility to make sure the danger isn't exposed to them.
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  #15  
July 17th, 2013, 08:27 PM
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..I have never heard of this before, is it at a set thing for all schools or just some? I think it would drive me crazy spending that much time weeding out what my girls can or can't bring to school for lunch.
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  #16  
July 18th, 2013, 12:53 AM
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I am in agreement with Kristen on this one. I have NO problem being told that for bday parties or other snack days the shared treats have to be nut free. Josiah's preschool is nut free. But it seems there are other ways to protect the small minority of students who may have life threatening allergies than to limit the entire population's choices for a school lunch. Honestly, if I had a child with allergies severe enough that they could die from exposure to certain foods, I would be requesting extreme precautions at lunch time, perhaps even a separate eating area. And like Kristen, I would most likely be homeschooling if I was faced with that dilemma. And IF the allergies are that severe, I think it is really important that the children be taught how to protect themselves at as early of an age as possible, because they will have to advocate for themselves their entire lives.
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  #17  
July 18th, 2013, 01:29 AM
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Sorry ladies, I'm lurking (that's what happens when you are wide awake at 4am I guess lol)

I just wanted to throw my two cents in here because I've been on both sides of the spectrum.
My kids' school has a no-nut rule and it really bothered me until this past year. My step son is a ridiculously picky eater and went through a period where he literally wanted nothing to eat at school except for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have to be honest and say I was pretty upset that this put ME in a bind to figure out what to feed him.

And then a few months ago my youngest (4) developed a nut allergy.

Now I'm one of those moms that has to read everything my son wants to eat. I have to ask at every restaurant whether or not there are peanuts or tree nuts in every meal he wants. I have to carry an Epi pen with me 24/7 just incase he accidentally gets a hold of something with nuts in it and stops breathing.

I don't agree that public areas should be peanut/nut free because that's a little drastic, and families dealing with this allergy will typically know which food places to avoid in the first place.
I am, however, very grateful that our local schools are so diligent in preventing severe reactions. Nut allergies are also most common in school aged children, which is why it makes total sense that schools are where they are making a more strict environment. I don't think it's fair to say children with an allergy like this should be homeschooled- my son has the same right to experience what a child without an allergy does.
I also don't agree that this should be compared to other things like diabetes. A nut allergy can be fatal within minutes of exposure. If a child with diabetes eats what they aren't supposed to, chances are they will be fine but not feel well for awhile. They also take medication to prevent issues, whereas children with nut allergies cannot prevent (other than avoidance), but only treat when it happens.

A small inconvenience for your child can literally be the difference between life and death for mine.

I do hope you never have to experience the fear of having a child with such a serious life threatening allergy in order to understand this all. Us parents of kids with allergies DO appreciate when the community is helping to look out for our children --- as you would be if it were your child.
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  #18  
July 18th, 2013, 06:05 AM
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My son has no nut allergy but when he was in public school a Kid in his class did and they said y son would need to wash his hands extra well after eating because at he time peanut butter was one of the few foods my kid could and would eat (gfcf diet). I didn't feel comfortable sending him to school with pb after that. We switched to a nut free spread after that which was fine for my son and didnt put the other kid in danger. We homeschool but ya not an option for everyone and shouldn't be forced on a kid due to an allergy. Our world has become so entitled and selfish though that you never know what could happen. Someone could just ignore a nut free rule and then a child is dead, all over a snack or sandwich the kid could have just had later in the day or on the weekend.

Sorry for lurking. I understand the frustration since pb is one of the few foods y kid can and will eat, but I was glad to find an alternative if it meant not putting another life at risk. That kid had autism also but his parents were not equipped to homeschool him so I don't think that is a fair solution.

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  #19  
July 18th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Unfortunately, homeschooling is not an option for us. My job provides our medical insurance.
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  #20  
July 18th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Also keep in mind it's not just about kids not ingesting the nuts. There are kids with severe allergies where if you eat nuts and have nut residue on your hands, then touch them, they can have a reaction.
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