Your Kid's Peanut Allergy is an Inconvenience

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My oldest son came home from his first week of kindergarten with a letter stating that peanuts and peanut products were not allowed at school. What? He has eaten peanut butter sandwiches every day for years. What am I going to send for MY kid for lunch? He also loves peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars for snacks. What am I going to send for MY kid for a snack? What about MY kid?

But. What if MY kid were the one with the allergy? What would I feel? Terrified. I would be terrified every day that I sent MY kid to school. What if another kid ate peanut butter toast for breakfast? What if another mom ignored the rule and sent peanut butter crackers or a peanut butter sandwich and that kid was sitting next to MY kid? Absolutely terrified is how I would feel.

peanuts

Image: Matthew Hurst via Flickr

I saw a news report recently about a thirteen-year-old girl that died at a summer camp. She took a bite, one bite, of a treat served at the camp. She spit the bite out because she knew it was not right. She received three epinephrine injections, but she died anyway.

Peanut allergies are on the rise. Allergic reactions can range from mild irritation to a life threatening situation. There is no cure for peanut allergies, so managing the allergy means strict avoidance. Peanut butter is oil-based and that means that even washing hands, tables, or drinking fountains may not remove all of the peanut residue.

If it were MY kid with the allergy, would I ask for 800 other students at MY kid's school to be slightly inconvenienced to keep MY kid safe? Absolutely. Are we going to read labels and be diligent in sending safe snacks and lunches to school to keep a few other students safe? You bet. It might be a slight inconvenience, but it's worth it if even one other mom can send her child to school, knowing that he will be safe.

Peanut Free Snack Options:

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Some Granola Bars
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Fruit Leather
  • String Cheese
  • Cheez-its
  • Annie's Bunny Snacks
  • Rice Cakes
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit Squeeze Pouches
  • Sun Chips

Peanut Butter Alternatives:

  • Sun Butter (Sunflower seeds)
  • Almond Butter
  • Nutella
  • Hummus

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