« Fighting Food Allergies | Main | Camping with Child Food Allergies »

September 12, 2005

Gone too far? Banning nuts from Middle School.

I read an child food allergy article from the Kentucky Lexingon-Herald about a local middle school banning PBJ, peanut snacks, and nuts of any kind. Is this going too far to protect your child with a severe food allergy?

The principal was quoted as saying, "He can't live in a bubble, so we change the environment." Seems to me what they’ve done is expanded his bubble.

The article described how the school keeps EpiPens on hand and that the student with a peanut allergy carries his own EpiPen. It also makes mention of other special need students with diabeties and bee stings allergies. So, should sugar be banned and bee netting be put up around the school as well? Sound silly? Yes, I think so too.

It went on to say that the principal’s office “hasn't fielded calls from parents angry about food limitations” and that "The children were very good about making sure nothing in this environment would put him at risk." My fear would be by the time kids are in Middle School or Jr High, they are telling their parents less about the details of their day. Plus, bullies get bigger and meaner as they get older. This is the danger in my mind. What about after school? What about at the baseball game? Will the student look out for himself or will mom or dad be there every minute of every day outside the classroom?

Look, I have a few years before my oldest starts Jr. High. I don’t have all the answers, however, I do believe that we need to let our food allergy kids become independent. We spent so much of our time and thought on keeping them safe when they couldn’t keep themselves safe in the early years. At some point, they need to spread their wings. In my mind that means, good communication with the school administrators, teachers, friends and parents. And most importantly, a child with the confidence and communication skills (and an EpiPen on their hip) to keep themselves safe.

Posted by David at September 12, 2005 8:05 AM