I also think that the vast majority of nut allergies are just about that kid eating nuts, and not about being touched. I mean, these kids are out in public, or on public transportation, in playgrounds, lots of places where nuts are consumed. Sometimes they still give them out on airplanes. I think there are serious scary allergies at that level, but there is also hysteria around the slightest bit of discomfort on the smaller end, and the hysteria is what makes people callous instead of caring, because they're frustrated by it.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 6 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities; in schools, this law guarantees a child with life-threatening allergies access to a free and accessible public education in the least restrictive environment. However, the courts have repeatedly said that accomodating one student's allergies can not put an undue burden on the other students and parents. Here's how it works in our school district. None of the prepared foods in the cafeterias or vending machines have any peanut or tree nut products at all, but other kids can bring their own lunches containing those items. If your child is so allergic that they can't even be around others who have eaten those products, then the district provides homeschooling support, and there's at least one charter school that is totally peanut & tree nut free, but the district doesn't require any class or any table in any other school to be nut-free. If your child qualifies for free lunch and has a documented dairy, soy, or wheat allergy, then your child will be given an appropriate meal; if your child doesn't qualify for free lunch, then you're on your own to provide an appropriate lunch. One of Tiven's best friends has a dairy allergy; while many of us keep him in mind and don't send birthday treats with any dairy products, his mom asks to be to notified if anyone doesn't want to be bothered with dairy-free treats so she can send something for him. There's another child in a different grade with a peanut allergy whose mom does the same.
As for the increase in allergies, allergies are an immune system issue and babies' immune systems are very fragile. Soy formula has been proven to increase the risk of both peanut & soy allergies, but the newer dairy-based formulas don't seem to be solving the problem, either, which supports the argument that breast is best. A study in Sweden a few years ago showed that kids who were born by c-section had a 7-fold increase in food allergies; the current theory is that the child isn't colonized with beneficial bacteria from the mother's birth canal and that delay in colonization affects the immune system, which leads to allergic reactions. And our modern "sanitize everything" mind set doesn't help; not only are kids not exposed to some of the bad bacteria that can challenge (and thus, build up) their immune systems, they aren't even being exposed to the good bacteria, and to make matters worse, they're crawling around on chemicals, chewing on chemicals, sucking on chemicals, and that has to be a huge challenge to the immune system. I've literally seen parents rub hand sanitizer on their hands before picking up their baby, but then letting baby suck on their fingers!
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
I think the real trouble comes from the fact that allergy testing really doesn't tell you HOW allergic your child is. Our allergist tells us that Ethan is "Very Allergic" to peanuts and tree nuts. It's not very helpful because we just aren't sure if touching another child who has touched peanuts will cause a problem or not. He also said he's seeing more and more kids with true allergies.
As far as why? I wish I knew. I'm not one of those parents who don't let my kids get messy. I hate sanitizer too. Our family histories show no food allergies, just some sensitivities to dairy. I was addicted to peanut butter while I was pregnant with him? Maybe that's the problem? I honestly wish I knew what went wrong...I digress, sorry!
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
My Ovulation Chart