Nanny, PT.82-we must ban peanut butter

Boy's mom demands total peanut ban
Waterbury Republican-American ^ | April 7, 2007 | Dave Collins (A.P.)

A 6-year-old's extreme allergy is pitting concerns about the boy's safety against the right of his schoolmates to enjoy an American classic -- a peanut butter sandwich.

A nationwide increase in peanut allergies is prompting a debate playing out in his small elementary school in Seymour and across the country. But while some school districts have decided to bar anyone from bringing peanut products to school, Seymour and others say such rules are unfair to the rest of the students.

"I think more and more people are looking for protection from cradle to grave, and I really don't believe that's what society is all about," said Seymour school board member James Garofolo. "I really don't believe we can protect people ... from all the things out there that may pose harm to them."

Garofolo said local schools already have taken action, including designating peanut-free classrooms and tables in cafeterias. A total ban would be hard to enforce and open up the school district to lawsuits, if it failed to keep out peanut butter and a student got sick, he said.

Six-year-old Matthew Searles of Seymour is one of an estimated 12 million Americans, including 2 million school-age children, who have food allergies that are potentially life-threatening. More than three million are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts. The only thing they can do to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid foods that pose a hazard.

Many who are allergic can have an anaphylactic response, which can create breathing problems by constricting airways. It also can lead to a serious drop in blood pressure, a weak pulse, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Symptoms can be eased by an emergency injection of adrenaline. Schools are usually required to have injections available for young children, while teens can carry portable adrenaline shots such as the EpiPen.

An estimated 150 to 200 Americans die every year from anaphylaxis due to something they ate, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

The number of schools across the country that have banned peanuts doubled from 1997 to 2002. Earlier this year, Asbell Elementary School in Fayetteville, Ark., told parents to not send their children to school with lunches containing peanut butter, and officials removed all foods with peanuts from the cafeteria.

School officials in Pappillion and La Vista, Neb., and Ardmore, Okla. took peanut products off all school menus in their districts.

In Connecticut, Matthew's mother, Lisa Searles, has urged Seymour school officials to ban peanut butter in the schools. She acknowledges the efforts by school officials to protect her first-grader at Anna LoPresti School, but says more needs to be done.

"My son's allergy is like bringing a loaded gun to school," she said. "I was just very disappointed with the board. I feel they're ignorant. If it was their child who could die, it would be a whole different story."

Searles said she is considering moving her son to another school, and she has asked a lawyer for her legal options.

She also said she has taught Matthew how to deal with his allergy and taken him to a therapist, but the family continues to worry. She's concerned that children who bring peanut butter to school for lunch will leave peanut residue on playground equipment, computers or other property her son will touch.

"He's a nervous wreck," Searles said. "His nails are chewed down to nothing. Am I going to yank him out of school where his brother is and tell him why? That's a lot for a 6-year-old kid to have on his shoulders."

Doctors who specialize in allergies say there's a slight risk to Matthew contacting peanut residue from school property. A bigger risk, they say, comes from eating foods they don't think has peanut products but does, and sharing foods with classmates.

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network and other national health and education groups recommend that parents, children and schools learn about allergies and how to respond to allergic reactions, but stop short of calling for a ban on peanuts. States, including Connecticut, require schools to have plans in place to respond to such reactions.

Dr. James Rosen, a West Hartford pediatric allergist and medical advisory board member of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, helped develop allergy guidelines for families and teachers. He is against banning peanuts.

"The concern that I have is does this make these kids have their guard down," he said. "If a school says it's peanut-free, the kid becomes less scrupulous about the food he eats."

No votes yet

... how peanuts were mobile, even in paste form. It's amazing how they can fly right in the kid's mouth without his involvement!

schools could be held responsible for banning bees in the classroom which are more numerous than peanuts.

bill

My God! we've become a ban-crazy society. Ban this, ban that. All I hear is what next we can find to prohibit. What if I'm allergic to eggs: does everybody have to stop eating omelets?

My grade schooler has allergies and I deal with it by making sure that the teachers and admin, including the lunch crew, know all about it. My kid has also learned to ask lots of questions and to not eat anything that hasn't been cleared by myself or a teacher. I can't imagine a total ban on something, especially peanut butter. PB&J is the easiest lunch box filler, it is also one of the most economical foods. Will those who can't afford anything more than peanut butter be given assistance like reduced lunch prices? Probably not.

It used to be (I'm old, I know) that when you had a child who was allergic to something you would educate that child about the allergy and also caretakers and educators who needed to know.

We also, (this is totally off the wall I know) used to take Red Cross training so that if someone had a heart attack, accident or allergic reaction to something, b/c you don't always know you ARE allergic to something prior to an attack, there would be people on hand to care for the person until a doctor could help them.

This child has a severe allergy. It would have been the reverse for us in the good old days - instead of trying to change the world to accommodate this hardship - we would have been educated on how to survive as safely as possible in the world. This childs' life will be significantly limited because his mothers' control is limited to home - and obviously his elementary school building.

Now, if we had only known that we could just ban everything that might hurt someone or cause an allergic reaction in a human - think about all the summers spent on training that were just wasted.......

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Nationwide.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I forgot everything that is supposed to be banned. Walmart, I guess - of course I never go there any more because it's always TOO FRIGGIN' CROWDED, so I guess THAT ban aint all it's cracked up to be.

Was it Target also supposed to be banned?? I cant remember - I do go there tho. I like the Tar-szhay. And I think KFC was on the no no list at one point in time. Cant remember tho - their stuff gives me the Johnny Quick step anyway, so I guess Im a good banner there.

What else? I think at one time Carty wanted us to ban Little Caesars pizza, didnt he? 4 words: Fuck Carty - Pizza Pizza!!

What's the old line about "almost banned in Boston"? What, were lots of things banned there?

Smoking's banned - Numbers are showing that all the non smokers who wanted that arent ponying up and spending their bucks in the businesses they dictated their demands to, so THAT's a bunch of crap...

What else - Peanut butter now? How bout we ban allergic little kids from the public? Isnt that the current catch phrase now a days? Wouldnt it be for "the greater good" if we made little Matty stay in a plastic bubble? Last time I flew I brought a long a big bag of home made trail mix, but had to leave it in my carry on because some little passenger was allergic to my peanuts - pissed me off too, I'd blown off breakfast, thinking I'd munch on the trail mix on my way to florida!

Silliness. Silliness, all.

I don't recall if it was Carty who tried to ban Little Caesars Pizza - or even if it was THAT pizza. But some entity is trying to put an end to a reading incentive program by some pizza restaurant (Pizza Hut I think). The pizza place offered free pizzas to kids who read a certain number of books - I think there were 50,000 participants nationwide for years. Well the 'entity' decided that it promotes bad eating habits & endorces one restaurant over another - trying to end the program. I don't remember the particulars but could dig it up if I had to.

A peanut butter ban would eventually lead to a ban on using peanut oil in restaurants, and probably - a requirement of all restaurant menus to state the full ingredients (I bet the chefs would hate that). Just silly. I can see perhaps a symbol on each food item on menus to designate if had anything peanut related in it though.

I suggest that, if somebody has such severe health problems that he is taking his life into his hands going to a restaurant, he should not eat out at all. If you don't like or are allergic to smoke, don't go to bars. I don't like curry a whole lot, so I don't go much to Indian restaurants.

DON'T GO WHERE YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE IT. Seems pretty simple to me. Isn't that what life is all about? You can make a choice! What's so hard to understand? Think your kid is getting bullied in school or he doesn't like the food they serve at the cafeteria, send him to another school or MOVE to another district. Make a stand. Don't make yourself into a victim.

...where do I go to get garlic banned? And - all those who like to eat garlic and then smell like garlic for the next couple of days - you must not go anywhere I might decide I want to go...afterall - my right to not be impacted by garlic FAR outweighs your right to eat what you want.

Further, grocery stores shouldn't sell garlic because I might have to smell it as I go by in the produce department...And all those cooking demonstrations in the kitchen section of department stores? They can't use any type of garlic either.

Oh - and don't forget that it's probably something having to do with sulfur which causes the allergy - so let's start listing the sulfur content in onions and red wines - just in case.

Seriously, though. My allergy isn't life threatening - but I rarely go to Italian restaurants because they routinely feature garlic in their dishes. I also have to ask ahead of time before placing my order to be sure that the dish I've selected isn't made with garlic. And whenever ordering food at a deli (like salads or such), I have to ask the ingredients. Yes, this is somewhat tiring to do, but it beats the stomach pains if I don't...And, it's my responsibility to take care of this issue - not the responsibility of the rest of the world to accommodate me.

Now some might say that a life-threatening illness is different - or that it's different with a child. But my friend's daughter was allergic to milk products. By the age of 3, she'd learned not to eat anything that mom, dad or grandparents hadn't checked for her. It is possible to teach your child how to survive in the world rather than expect the world to cater to your child. It's not EASY, but it is possible.

Excellent post maggie. Now, all you smoking ban lovers - go back & re-read maggies post, but insert "second hand smoke" where she has mentioned 'garlic' or 'milk'. We are a ban crazy society. A society of wanting the govt to protect us, tell us what is good for us, when instead we should be exercising our freedom to choose. Not to drag up the smoking ban again here (I know, but I'm feeling a bit 'snarky' today)- but ask these anti smoker nuts to name 3 people who died of second hand smoke. Of course, they will name people who died of cancer, heart disease, etc. & blame it on SHS, when in fact it was more likely obesity, genetics or other factors than SHS. Then ask people to name 3 people they know that died from cancer because they couldnt afford treatment - maybe if the cancer society spent the money helping them rather than using cure donation money to promote a smoking ban, they'd be alive today. Yes, it's a big leap, I admit - but something to think about.

that's all I can say. You are right on the money starling. You can take out and replace ANY special interest groups desire into that.

Some people won't care until it affects them directly - be it a life style tax, an SUV tax, banning THEIR favorite food from the marketplace, laws on parenting.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Peanuts don't have to be mobile because people are.
Coming into contact with someone who has been eating peanuts can be just as deadly as the nut itself.

I'm not coming in on the side of banning them but face it, if your child could die because little Johnny ate a PB&J at lunch and didn't wash his hands and then touched your child, or touched something your child would be touching then you'd be wanting something done too.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/conditions/05/18/peanut.allergies/index.html

Hmmmm...

Everything in this world is not black and white. Its not Ban or No Ban. Things can be done in the middle of here and there
-oHEILo Kat

Funny-I don't believe that was your outlook on the statewide smoker bans. Rather than have both smoking and no-smoking places in the hospitality industry, I thought you took the attitude "It's my way or the highway".

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BRING THE TROOPS HOME-NOW!
Why should one more drop of our soldiers blood be spilled on foreign soil? Why fight/die for 'freedom' anymore when our citizens are pissing it away at the voting booth?

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'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

*

Personally I think(and have always thought) had there been more compromise with the smoking issue there might not be as many issues with it now. But thats just my opinion.
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There IS NO compromise with the rabid smoker-haters. None. It's a war, NOT a debate any more.-The Dark One

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But because I didn't jump on your particular bandwagon you assumed you knew what I thought.
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No, I apparently merely got you confused with someone else. A thousand pardons, your a$$holiness.-The Dark One

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BRING THE TROOPS HOME-NOW!
Why should one more drop of our soldiers blood be spilled on foreign soil? Why fight/die for 'freedom' anymore when our citizens are pissing it away at the voting booth?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

?

I think at one time Carty wanted us to ban Little Caesars pizza, didnt he?

I don't rememeber that one.. why did he want to ban Little Caesars?

...I think that I did write something similar prior to the election ... on Toledo Talk...

Look, OhioKat, PB&J has been a staple food of children for generations. It's not some nasty transuranic contaminant that we should ban. Get a grip. Kateb is correct: That extreme minority that is so sensitive to peanuts should educate themselves and remain on guard for exposure. Anyone with such sensitivities should be so cautious. If they find that they can't remain in society without being assaulted by peanut residue, then they simply have to leave mainstream society. Fortunately for today's nonmainstream children, there are plenty of alternate educational opportunities, like home schooling and smaller class sizes in charter and private schools.

If we demonize the dreaded peanut, then what's next? Do we have to equip all housing with wider doorways and elevators just in case the people with iron lungs have to get around? Do we have schoolchildren wear gloves and masks just in case some pathogen gets passed between them?

Sheesh! There are some things that society does NOT have to adapt to ... and peanut sensitivity is one of those things. Sure, it sucks for the extreme minority with the ailment, but society cannot withstand the costs of adapting to everyone's particular foible.

Nothing funny about it.
I posted over on Toledo Talk before the smoking ban vote that I was never against smoking in bars and other places outside of resturants.
Personally yes, it would be nice to go to a bar without coming home smelling like a stale pack of cigarettes but I remember how much smoking was a part of the whole hanging out in bars thing so I never had an issue with it. I certainly never thought smoking should be stopped in VFWs or other private clubs.

My thought on the ban as it stands now, is just this, for the time being it is the law. It should be followed until it is changed.

Personally I think(and have always thought) had there been more compromise with the smoking issue there might not be as many issues with it now. But thats just my opinion.

But because I didn't jump on your particular bandwagon you assumed you knew what I thought.

Maybe if you'd actually read posts and think about what was said instead of jumping on keywords, starting flame wars, and thinking of new and interesting ways to insult people you'd start to find out that other people actually have vaild opinions.

I'm sorry for thinking a child has the right to go to school and be safe from something that could kill him.
Wait..
no I'm not sorry for thinking that.
You can teach your child to take precautions but that doesn't stop someone elses kid who just ate peanut butter from touching your child.

I didn't say ban peanut butter, as a matter of fact, I actually stated that I wasn't in favor of a ban.

Tables could be set aside in a peanut free zone. All the kids could be taught to wash their hands before leaving the lunch room or going back to class. Steps can and should be taken to keep ALL the kids safe.

Everything in this world is not black and white. Its not Ban or No Ban. Things can be done in the middle of here and there and if you wouldn't try to take those steps for your child, well then thats just sad.

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