Peanut Allergies – Hate the Peanut, Not the Parent!
I continue read articles and comments where parents are very angry that treats have been fired from the classes or peanut butter is no longer allowed in a school. Their anger is even after they've been told the changes were made for health and safety concerns. Some people feel children with peanut allergies are being sheltered and it's not teaching them to live in the real world. But does the "real world" need to begin in elementary?
When a child is in kindergarten, should they be expected to safely walk to and from school by themselves? Are they mature enough to handle getting lost or diverting a stranger who is trying to get them to approach their car? Since someday they will have to walk by themselves, should that someday be when they're in kindergarten? Obviously not! We teach them about hidden dangers and what to do in emergencies. And when they get older and show they understand what they need to do to stay safe, we let them have more freedom and become more independent.
The same is true for a child with a peanut allergy. In elementary, they can not always tell what items have peanuts. They do not fully understand cross-contamination and certainly can not read all those confusing ingredients on the labels. They believe that the adult or classmate offering them a treat understands peanut allergy safety, and would never do anything to hurt them. They may not notice if their classmate just ate a peanut product and then touched the book that they are getting ready to go read.
But some parents continue to make fun of the parents who children have peanut allergies. They make jokes at how the parents are being so overprotective and get upset when the parents ask them to make changes to help increase safety. They say cruel and hateful things about the parent and the child.
Some parents complain that they can no longer bake beats and send them into the classroom. They're upset because their child is unable to experience school parties like they had when they were younger. But is sending in cupcakes really more important than the safety of a child? Most likely, your child will forget the cupcakes you baked for their party in 2nd grade. But, they will remember the compassion you had for others, and they will remember that for a lifetime.
You're right when you say … we did not have allergies like this when we were youngger. But, we have them now. And the truth is, children are dying from them.
Please think about this for a moment …. Imagine, getting a call from your child's school and hearing that your child was just rushed to the hospital and could possibly die. How would you feel? Every day, there are parents who have children with peanut allergies, that fear that call. There are some parents that actually get that call.
We are sorry for the inconvenience this causes you, and we do understand the frustrations you feel. We are actually on the same side – We hate this whole peanut allergy thing too!