9
   

What do you think about this?

 
 
aidan
 
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 06:28 am
I'm just interested to hear what peoples' initial reactions are:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110322/lf_nm_life/us_peanut_allergy

Peanut allergy stirs controversy at Florida school
Quote:
Barbara Liston – Tue Mar 22, 5:34 pm ET
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Some public school parents in Edgewater, Florida, want a first-grade girl with life-threatening peanut allergies removed from the classroom and home-schooled, rather than deal with special rules to protect her health, a school official said.

"That was one of the suggestions that kept coming forward from parents, to have her home-schooled. But we're required by federal law to provide accommodations. That's just not even an option for us," said Nancy Wait, spokeswoman for the Volusia County School District.

Wait said the 6-year-old's peanut allergy is so severe it is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To protect the girl, students in her class at Edgewater Elementary School are required to wash their hands before entering the classroom in the morning and after lunch, and rinse out their mouths, Wait said, and a peanut-sniffing dog checked out the school during last week's spring break.

Wait said school leaders will meet this week with parents to address concerns and try to halt inaccurate rumors that children's mouths were being wiped with disinfectant.

Chris Burr, a father of two older students at the school whose wife has protested at the campus, said a lot of small accommodations have added up to frustration for many parents.

"If I had a daughter who had a problem, I would not ask everyone else to change their lives to fit my life," said Burr.

Attempts to reach the girl's parents for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.


 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 06:38 am
well, back in the good old days you had one room school houses, maybe the solution is to put all the allergy kids in a segregated classroom (or rooms depending on numbers)

let's face it, PBJ is a cheap healthy lunch for kids and easy on a budget, telling parents they can't send it to school, could make life difficult for some lower income folks

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 07:01 am
@djjd62,
Not to mention the other stuff.

I think it's putting an undue burden on the children, parents and teachers.

Why not set up a camera, several cameras so the girl can be at home and participate via webcam?

0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 07:04 am
@djjd62,
Yeah - I'm of two minds myself.

On the one hand, as a mother, I'd be afraid to trust my daughter's health and life to the meticulousness of other children and adults/staff who might be resentful anyway of having to follow the rules.

But on the other hand, also speaking as a mother, I'd not think it was too much to ask my own children to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths so that this little girl would not have to be so isolated and could experience a somewhat normal life and school experience.

It's like I asked David once, if you could save a child's life by giving up your love affair with guns, would you sacrifice that for that child?

If giving up peanut butter at school or washing your hands a couple extra times a day would enable this girl to go to school - is that really too much to ask?

But then I go back to the fact that even if the people at school agreed to do it, if I were this girl's mother I'd be afraid to send her trusting in other people anyway.

And what liability does the school have in all this? And each individual person. Can you imagine if you were the person who forgot to wash his or her or a child's hands and this little girl went into shock and died?

It's just a source of a lot of questions and moral and ethical issues I think.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 07:15 am
There are NO food allergies in 3rd world countries.

Israel has a very low rate of peanut allergies in children. They introduce peanut foods early in small amounts in baby formula.

If this child is THAT allergic, she should be home schooled.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 07:37 am
@aidan,
Hmmmm.... interesting.

So many of the accommodations for the ADA were met with outcry and then turned out to be just folded into everyday life without much actual trouble. The measures don't sound that draconian to me. We do things to protect other people's health all of the time without thinking twice about it, this is just a step further than what they're used to.

Aidan, I'd agree that if the girl's peanut allergies are that severe, I'd worry, as a mom, about sending her someplace where people might not safeguard her health.

That said, there are a couple of things I wonder about re: this story, since I know at least three kids who have peanut allergies. First, can it really be that much more severe than what they have? They sit at the "peanut free" table at lunch, and their specific classrooms -- not the whole school -- are not allowed to bring in any snacks or treats with peanuts in them. That seems to work fine. Of sozlet's five years of school so far she's had two peanut-free years, it wasn't a big deal.

Second, one of the kids I'm thinking of did get exposed to peanuts (not at school, at a friend's house), and had an epi-pen and the whole thing was unpleasant but also was managed without too much difficulty, and he was fine.

Punkey, I'm wary of blaming the victim here. I know the parents of all three of these kids -- one is a set of doctors [the mom is a pediatrician], who have two other kids with no allergies.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 07:41 am
@PUNKEY,
i remember watching a 60 minutes report on a nutritional called (i think) Flumpynut, it was a vitamin enriched paste made with peanuts, it's commonly used in Africa and they've never had a case(as of the story a couple of years ago) anaphylactic shock,the doctors were kind of mystified

a british researcher is looking into inoculating people with peanut allergies by introducing peanuts to the diet in low doses and increasing the doses on a regular basis, he's had some successes on a small scale and wants to try a larger trial

i'm 48 and didn't know one kid who had peanut allergy while i was growing up
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 07:49 am
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

Yeah - I'm of two minds myself.

On the one hand, as a mother, I'd be afraid to trust my daughter's health and life to the meticulousness of other children and adults/staff who might be resentful anyway of having to follow the rules.

But on the other hand, also speaking as a mother, I'd not think it was too much to ask my own children to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths so that this little girl would not have to be so isolated and could experience a somewhat normal life and school experience.



I would weigh in heavily, exclusively actually, on your first point.

You absolutely cannot trust an entire group of people, including children, even if they were not resentful to meticulously following what needs to be done. These are not medical professionals.

It absolutely does not matter what you, as a mother or just as an observer thinks is or is not too much to ask. The reality is some will think it's too much to ask, or even if they don't think that, will at some point fail to follow procedure.

We must all deal with reality, not what we think things should be at a particular moment.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 08:12 am
@sozobe,
I looked into the whole thing a little further because I was curious about the severity part, found this, sharing because I thought it was useful:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2455/are-peanut-allergies-for-real
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 08:15 am
@djjd62,
I think that was Plumpy'nut, I've read about it too.

From what I've seen though that's a corellation-not-causation thing. The underlying issue seems to be more about the level of cleanliness in American households -- when the immune system doesn't have as much to battle, it turns on itself (allergies).

So there are more American kids with allergies, but then they don't tend to have as many diseases as the African kids who would be getting Plumpy'nut.

That's in terms of the increase anyway, I'm not sure that allergies are completely avoidable. Allergies have existed for quite a while.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 08:35 am
If the child goes to school shouldn´t the theacher be trained in giving an injection in case of an attack?
I am curious about her future life. If she goes to college how can the whole college be peanut free? How about job? Can you trust everybody not being in contact with a peanut? If she wants to fly some place, an airplane is seldom peanut free, the same will be for any store, restaurant you name it and you cannot prove that everybody who is there is peanut free. 'Even learning to drive the car might have a peanut some place.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:01 am
@saab,
Oh God - ANOTHER thing for teachers to be trained for?
No way would that liability be accepted.

I'm going back to my peanut butter on toast breakfast . . .
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:08 am
I don't know what the answer is for this little girl. I really don't. I guess my question has more to do with whether or not the other parents should feel put out by having their children asked to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths after lunch.

As I said, I wouldn't feel that was too much to ask of my children if that child was in their class.
And I wonder why the other parents want to put their child ahead of this child.

Because, yes, her life is going to be difficult in many other ways. I guess it's just the attitude of 'Oh come on - don't ask my kid to wash his/her hands just so this kid can come to school' that is sad to me.

sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:12 am
@aidan,
Yeah, I agree with that. When I was looking into it a bit more I found out that they were actually picketing! That's just ridiculous IMO.

http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/24/parents-picket-girl-with-peanut-allergy-ask-her-to-withdraw-from-school/
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:16 am
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

I guess my question has more to do with whether or not the other parents should feel put out by having their children asked to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths after lunch.



It doesn't matter what they "should" feel.

What matters is the reality of how some WILL feel.

If a parent wants to trust their child who's allergic to be in an environement where someone WILL do something at some time that will induce a reaction, that's up to them.

Doesn't matter if it's sad or not. It's reality.

0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:22 am
Soz said:
Quote:
Yeah, I agree with that. When I was looking into it a bit more I found out that they were actually picketing! That's just ridiculous IMO.

http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/24/parents-picket-girl-with-peanut-allergy-ask-her-to-withdraw-from-school/

Very sad. I wonder how that will make the little girl feel. Now on top of being/feeling different - she'll know she's unwanted there. How sad.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:24 am
@aidan,
I wouldn't take a chance. If it's really a life or death situation, she'd be home-schooled. Too high a probability of error on the part of the school.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 09:26 am
@Irishk,
I don't think I would take a chance either. But that doesn't negate the fact that I would hope my child was valued by other people enough to know that they wouldn't mind their children having to wash their hands two extra times a day for her.

You know maybe it just has to do with a sense of community and helping others-doing unto others as you'd have them do to you.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 10:35 am
Speaking as someone who has a severe tree nut allergy, peanuts are a legume, I think there is too much hype and a lot of misunderstanding as well. My mother was a nurse. You can eat off her floors. She was a clean nut and I believe this IS what caused my allergies. I also believe certain foods were introduced into my diet before my antibodies got a chance to figure out what was good and bad. Peanut is an additive that is used in so many foods, it is used as a cheap thickener and introduced to babies way before it should be and I believe this is why so many kids are having problems now.

There are hundreds of books on how people should introduce food into a child's diet, but most people get lazy and opt for the easier solutions. Breastfeeding a child for over sixmonths has also proved to be a deterrent to severe allergies. I think African women have us beat in that regard. Also, Africans don't buy the crap we do, they don't snack like we do, they have pretty basic diets and yet, they can't eat milk product or some wheat products. Early famine aid proved the can't eat everything and some products were actually killing them. So they do have intolerances just like everywhere else.

I can understand bans on peanut butter in the younger grades, I can understand the precautions of washing hands and cleaning mouths, if those kids have come in contact with nuts. Children do touch each other often, wrestle and hug, and this could cause a problem, so cleanliness is good.
However, what I don't understand is the need to declare football stadiums and buses (for example) peanut free. Next it will be libraries, churches, businesses and shopping malls.
Allergies are caused when the body is introduced to a foreign protein to early or too often, bee stings. I can't walk into most fish restaurants and or homes with cats. Why, because the air, the furniture, the door handles all have fish oils or cat dander on them, then I rub my eyes and I'm blind. I don't normally go into anaphylactic shock because I haven't ingested the offender. I can't watch someone gut a fish or enter a fish plant, because doing so releases protein rich oils into the air which I could breathe in or could land on my skin. But I can swim with the fishes...
I can hold a walnut in a shell. I just can't eat one or even the tiniest piece and if I choose to rub the cracked/opened walnut stained hands on my face, you guessed it, trouble.
With that being said, peanut allergies are the same. If a kid eats a sandwich next to you, or in my case a tuna sandwich or nutella, I don't have an attack. I might feel a wee bit uncomfortable, my eyes might sting, my skin might feel itchy, but anaphalaxis, no.
Once kids are old enough to understand the consequences, and their families and friends get the message, say grade six, these restrictions should be lifted.
I have almost been offed by so many close friend/family it's not even funny. They all know about my allergies but seem to forget when they invite me over for salmon with hazelnut stuffing and walnut swirl ice cream. It's not their fault though, it up the the person to be vigilant and after a certain age, allergy sufferers should be. I have two epi-pens and a closet full of allergy medicine. If my friends invite me out for sushi, I politely decline.

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 10:46 am
@sozobe,
I have had similar experiences. There is a boy in my daughter's class that has peanut allergies. They are supposed to have snacks with peanuts in them as they eat snack in their classroom. At lunch, there is a peanut-free lunch table so they kids can have peanut butter sandwiches at lunch.

They do have to wash hands/use disinfectant during certain times of the day -like coming back from lunch/after recess, but that doesn't have to do with peanut allergies just normal keeping germs at bay.

Although who knows how severe this allergy is for this girl. My opinion is - if she wants a more normal life though - she is going to have to make small risks.
0 Replies
 
 

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