Friday, March 18, 2011

The Peanut Allergy Controversy

I just have to know, where do you fall?

I'm reading over at the stir, today, of course, and I really do see both sides of the argument. On one hand, you have a little girl, who will die if she breathes in peanut dust.

On the other hand, you have an entire school of children, whose entire routine is being constructed around one child's medical condition. Up to an extra half hour a day is being spent on washing hands and rinsing their mouths out. Thirty minutes a day, of class time.

*big, deep sigh.*

I don't like to play judge-y mommy. It doesn't fit me well.

This whole thing leaves me with questions, though. Does the child with the allergy go ANYWHERE but school? I mean, there are peanuts all over the place. The zoo, the grocery store, the movies, the mall, Target. Is she unable to go outside of her house at all, except to go to school?

Honestly, if it were my child, I would learn to love my new role as a homeschooling mom. I wouldn't expect several hundred other children to change their entire routine and their eating habits to accommodate my child.

Heck, not even that, I don't think I'd TRUST that a child coming in on the morning bus didn't have peanut butter on their sleeve.

I don't know. After three years of being a part of "the peanut free classroom" I asked to be removed. Peanut butter and jelly is a cheap staple item, and the cost of lunches was much higher without being able to supplement lunch meat with a good old pb and j.

Keep in mind, we have several possibly deadly allergies in this family, too. The tiniest bit of shellfish renders me unable to breathe- two of my babies swell up severely if they eat tree nuts.

If an entire school had to go into crisis lock down mode every time my kid entered, I'd keep them home.

What do you think?



Emmy said...

I agree with you. While I do think that concessions can be made to accommodate children with allergies and that we can all do a lot to help things go smoothly, there is a limit.

I don't agree with bullying a child or her family because of an allergy and have to go on record as saying the actions at that school are appalling.

However, even as a single mother, I would do everything in my power to use some sort of alternative to a public school. Even with all of the precautions being taken there are no guarantees and that's just a risk I couldn't take.

PB&J is still on the lunch menu at schools in my area. As far as I know we do not have anyone around here with an allergy that severe and if they exist they must be in private school or home school. If we had to, we'd happily give it up in our house all together so make sure it was never an issue at school.

But, if it requires peanut sniffing dogs and the results of one slip-up could be death...then something else needs to be done to get her education.

Anonymous said...

We are ruining the natural selection process...

XLMIC said...

That's harsh, Anon... but ...ummm... well.... true.
We have been in a nut-free class for three years now. My older two kids never had nut-free kids in their classes. My 6 stepkids were never in class with nut-free kids. It was a real shock to me when we had to deal with it that first year, but now I am used to it. I hate it, but I am used to it.

And I was thinking about what you mentioned when I was at the movie theater the other day... thinking about someone eating a Reese's peanut butter cup and wiping their hands on the seat... would it kill or trigger an allergic reaction?

I can't imagine needing to send my kid with a deathly allergy out into the world.

Lianne said...

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Thanks Lianne

thechattymommy said...

So hard of a topic!
I have a girlfriend whose son is allergic to peanuts and i can't imagine what she goes through.
Come and check out my giveaway if you get the chance.

milliemorganmedia said...

hello! i am following you through the weekend blog hop- your blog is so cute & i look forward to reading more of your posts. i would appreciate it if you would check out my blog & follow me too! thanks & have a great day!

Sarah, Three Boys said...

My son is in a "peanut free" school. You just can't pack anything with peanuts. They don't go crazy with the hand washing etc... I think that would be a bit much. I think I would keep mine home as well. To scary!!

MikiHope said...

I'm sitting here trying to figure out when this peanut allergy came into being--I honestly don't remember anyone with that allergy way back when--and I had lots of allergies!!
I am one of your new followers!!

Michele aka MikiHope

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Great blog! I love your name of it! I came from the blog hop and now a follower. Stop by sometime if you like.

Kelly H. said...

Great blog, none of my kiddos have any allergies (that we know of) and I think I would be worried every second of the day...
New follower, hope to see you follow back @

Pamela said...

I'm sure I'd take the homeschool option if my child had a severe peanut allergy. There are just too many chances to run into it.

New follower from the weekend blog hop.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

My boys have issues - not peanut allergies - but issues where they didn't fit in public school. I could not possibly expect an entire class of 25 students to bend to the needs of my child(ren), so I homeschool. It was a no-brainer for me.