Allergies: Elementary vs. High School and beyond?

Who doesn’t love a pizza lunch*? I remember having pizza lunches as child in elementary school.  Well in Toronto a couple of schools want to take pizza lunches off the menu because of the rules that regard fun raiser of specific  food because of kids who could have allergies to wheat or dairy. A co-chair of a school board ( Brenda Coady) thinks the idea is stupid since the lunch raises more then $15,000 per year.  Another person a spokesperson for Allergy/Asthma Information Association says that wheat and gluten are rarely life-threatening the way peanuts are. The only risk there is for wheat and gluten if is a person who is allergic eats the said something with wheat in it. So as long as the kid isn’t eating the product he/she would be safe.

In 2006 the board’s policy prohibits fundraising events that include include life-threatening allergens  ”  peanuts, peanut by-products, tree nuts, fish, milk, soy, egg, sesame seed, shellfish and wheat.” With the exception of  sesame seeds, the rest is responsible for 90% of all food allergic reactions.

The board consider the pizza lunches as a service instead of a fundraiser.  Since the lunch was one less lunch for parents to provide during the week (or month) Until the new rules were put into place the school board didn’t realize it was considered a fundraiser. Coady  says  that, we  as a society, should be working to put procedures in place so we can live with the allergy instead of giving these kids a false sense of security

.

Why do we as society try to protect elementary school kids from Peanut products to Pineapples and beyond by banning those products in elementary schools. Do parents  expect high schools or colleges or universities to be Peanut free or something.  I mean I wasn’t aware of peanut allergies until Gr.6 in elementary school  because there were flyers on the wall asking us kids not to bring in Peanut or nut related products. By doing something like this, we are  making a false sense of security for kids with allergies and that’s isn’t what we should do.  Also non-allergic kids are missing out on popular food items. As far as I know I didn’t have my first taste of Peanut Butter til I was in Gr.9 on a Sunday.

My elementary school didn’t have a cafertia so we ate in our classroom, or if we were a class out in portables we would take our lunches into the main building into the music classroom and eat there.  My elementary school wasn’t exactly safe even if someone had brought in PB (if it hadn’t been banned). There was only one Epi-pen in the whole building and it was in the office. Problem here? Yeah there was–the only people in the office at lunch time were Gr.7/Gr.8 kids and anyone else on the playground were playground supervisors who go home after lunch.

In secondary schools there are very few bans on food of any kind. Its not like kids are able to go home from lunch. There’s even a higher chance of them getting exposure to nuts or nut related products in colleges or universities. Even when they start to go to work wether its in a restaurant  or in an office. They will be exposed to sooner or later.

What next will restaurants need to put up signs saying what food they serve which might cause an allergic reaction? Do you guys expect you’re child’s future boss to let him/her work from home because a co-worker might have brought in a PB&J sandwich?  What about kids with special needs or Austim who will not eat anything BUT Peanut Butter?  What about families that the only thing they can buy is Peanut Butter? Since that’s a cheap thing for those people to buy.

There are some reasonable ways to work around this. Step 1)teach child about their allergy. 2)send note to school and teacher(s) saying that the kid can’t have X product. 3)Ask for a special table (or for schools without cafertias-a peanut/nut free classroom)  for you’re kid to sit at if they’re allergic to PB/nuts. 4) if the kid is old enough (roughly 8-11)  teach kid to use Epi-pen.

*Not at elementary schools with cafertias  but other schools. Pizza ban in Toronto Star’s paper link is right here: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/education/article/1265925–pizza-lunches-at-risk-in-peel

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: