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November 8, 2005

Other parents providing treats?

The Kansas City Star just ran a piece from Parenting magazine regarding a question from a parent of a non-food allergic child. Claire McCarthy from Harvard Medical School responded to the question in a concise and informative manner, however, from the parent of the child with the food allergy, I have a different perspective.

The article said managing the food allergy situation wasn't simple and it needs to be taken seriously, because the allergic reaction can be life-threatening - a good message to send. It then went on to state how the other parents in the class need to read ingredients and look for hidden allergens in the ingredient listings.

Peanuts show up in places you wouldn’t expect. Nuts are often blended into cereals, granola bars and baking mixes. Many soups use nuts as thickeners, and a variety of foods are made with peanut oil. And many foods without nuts are processed on machines where peanut-containing foods were made, which can cause a reaction in an allergic person. Even plain M&M’s can have traces of them, for instance (as can lots of other chocolate candies).

I've said before (and will again, I'm sure), I do appreciate other parents not bringing food containing nuts to my kids classroom. On the other hand, how bad would that parent feel if they made a mistake? I know our friends would feel terrible. So, we do a combination of safe steps. First, we ask that parents not bring snacks containing nuts. Second, we always provide the snack for our own child. Think of it as two layers of protection. It works for us.

Posted by David at November 8, 2005 4:33 PM