s/o Allergies

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wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
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s/o Allergies

I read about a woman who was allergic to most smells in dyes and perfumes; they cause severe migraines when she goes out into public. Would you be willing to switch to a new laundry detergent and give up candles and the like if a kid in your child's school was allergic?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"wlillie" wrote:

I read about a woman who was allergic to most smells in dyes and perfumes; they cause severe migraines when she goes out into public. Would you be willing to switch to a new laundry detergent and give up candles and the like if a kid in your child's school was allergic?

For a year? Probably, if i had to. Part of me is always suspicious though as to how necessary things are. Might be wrong of me, but thats just the way I am. Since I don't know for certain, and it could be truly necessary, I would never say anything. But i would probably request that the following year, my child end up in a different class room...just so i didn't have to keep it up year after year if at all possible.

I'm not a fan of having my home life choices regulated in that way.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"KimPossible" wrote:

I'm not a fan of having my home life choices regulated in that way.

This. We don't use any scented products in our home so it wouldn't affect our lives too much. But in general I don't believe people should need to change what they do in their own home to accomodate someones allergies. What if a child was severely allergic to cats? Should we be asked to give away our cat. There is only so much you can ask people to do to accomodate a child/person with allgeries. Asking them to change the things they do in their own home is going too far. As unfortunate as it is, if you're really THAT allergic, then the onus needs to be on you to avoid the things you or your child may be allergic to.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Like Kim, I am very leary of people's "requirments" like this because from experience, people tend to exaggerate their illnesses and allergies (and their kids) for drama's sake. My kids both wear perfume to school. It's a Latin thing. We put cologne on our babies from day one (as did I when I was young and everyone I knew growing up) and I have never heard of someone complaining so much so that they ask people to stop wearing it.

Not to mention, I get migranes all the freakin time. And they do come on by smells. I can't walk by a Bath and Body works or a Yankee Candle without holding my nose or else I can feel the migrane behind by right eye coming. I do not allow strong candles or inscense in my home and the worst of my smell induced migranes come from christmas smells. F***ing pine trees and cinnamon! December is like one huge migrane month for me because everywhere is the smell of those stupid cinnamon pine cones and brooms at every cash register. But I don't expect people and stores to cater to me or for everyoen to stop having Christmas trees. I try to adjust my habits.

I just think people now a days feel so entitled to everyone changing for them and their needs so they can be comfortable. I don't mean to be harsh or uncaring,but at some point it just gets to be too much. And if there was a kid who for some reason had an allergy I might try and tone it down or maybe, depending how much I felt the concern was actually founded, stop using it. But part of me still thinks it's BS and I would rather they find another way to deal with it then by telling people what they can and cannot wear, eat, do. Where do we draw the line? I mean if there was a kid who was "super allergic to dog hair" woudl you tell all the kids in their class to get rid of their dogs because they bring the hair on their clothes?

Plus, I doubt a kid is wearing that much cologne or that the kids perfume sensitivity is so bad that you can smell it through the whole room and be sick. I'd rather they just move the kid farther away from the kid who wears cologne.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

"KimPossible" wrote:

For a year? Probably, if i had to. Part of me is always suspicious though as to how necessary things are. Might be wrong of me, but thats just the way I am. Since I don't know for certain, and it could be truly necessary, I would never say anything. But i would probably request that the following year, my child end up in a different class room...just so i didn't have to keep it up year after year if at all possible.

I'm not a fan of having my home life choices regulated in that way.

I completely agree with this. A lot of times I feel like it's the whole medication deal... The FDA and drug company will tell you not to exceed 6 pills in 24 hours (for example, tylenol) - if you take 7, it's really not going to kill you.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Heavy scents and candles seem to exacerbate DH's asthma, so we go completely unscented in our house. But we would never ask someone else to do the same in their own house just to make it easier on DH. Well, with the exception of my mom. My mom LOVES burning scented candles and there is usually one burning when we go to her house. It always bothers DH, but he has forbidden me to say anything to her about it because he doesn't want her to feel bad or feel like he's telling her what to do in her own home. But I want to, because I always feel bad for him, and it's my mom. She loves DH as much as she loves me, and I know she would stop burning them when he's around in a heartbeat if she just knew about it.

Otherwise, if it is not someone that you are superclose with like your mom, I would say that no, it is not reasonable to ask people to stop doing that in their own home.

I know that's a complete 180 from where I was in the peanut debate, but I don't really believe that strong scents can kill someone, unlike peanuts. As far as I know, it may give them a headache or (in the case of DH) make them have to whip out their inhaler more often, but I've never heard of it being actually deadly.

I will say that if I knew that strong scents was causing a classmate to have migranes or making their asthma act up, I wouldn't send my kid to school wearing perfume or cologne. Then again, that's not a sacrifice for me since no one in our house can wear cologne anyway.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I believe the onus is on the individual to keep themselves safe. If a workplace/school can reasonably accommodate than great, but it isn't reasonable to except others to change their habits at home for you.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I know that's a complete 180 from where I was in the peanut debate, but I don't really believe that strong scents can kill someone, unlike peanuts. As far as I know, it may give them a headache or (in the case of DH) make them have to whip out their inhaler more often, but I've never heard of it being actually deadly.

I actually know someone who can go into anaphylaxis from just the scent of citrus (a citrus byproduct in an industrial cleaner used at the hospital we work in caused a reaction and she was literally carried down the hall to ICU by a doctor - had she worked anywhere else she would have died). It was an allergy she developed as an adult.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I worked with a woman extremely sensitive to fragrances. She would get bad headaches with perfumes. All the people who worked around her would leave the perfume/cologne at home and generally respected her sensitivities. It was no big deal. In fact, the dress code at that office was very clear about the use of perfumes or heavily scented lotions - leave them at home.

Above and beyond that, I'm not about to change my family's bathing/laundry routines in the attempt to eliminate every potential allergen (and allergens that are specific to that ONE particular person - it could be completely different for the next allergic person). My children use products that work for their skin because they are prone to eczema and rashes, and if there's an ingredient in those products that happens to make another person outside our home react with a headache, sorry. Now, if some little kid in my daughter's class was allergic to strawberry-scented lipgloss, then I'm not going to send my kid to school armed with Lipsmacker. That's well within the realm of reason.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"kris_w" wrote:

I believe the onus is on the individual to keep themselves safe. If a workplace/school can reasonably accommodate than great, but it isn't reasonable to except others to change their habits at home for you.

I actually know someone who can go into anaphylaxis from just the scent of citrus (a citrus byproduct in an industrial cleaner used at the hospital we work in caused a reaction and she was literally carried down the hall to ICU by a doctor - had she worked anywhere else she would have died). It was an allergy she developed as an adult.

Wow, I had no idea!

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

If anything, I can understand going scent-free a lot more than going peanut butter free. I can imagine lots of situations where peanut butter is useful, bordering on necessary (my kids school is peanut-free but not nut-free altogether, so we sub almond butter), but perfumes and colognes? Who needs those? I wouldn't expect people to stop wearing scents for me, but I do put it in the 100% wholly unnecessary category.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"culturedmom" wrote:

Like Kim, I am very leary of people's "requirments" like this because from experience, people tend to exaggerate their illnesses and allergies (and their kids) for drama's sake. My kids both wear perfume to school. It's a Latin thing. We put cologne on our babies from day one (as did I when I was young and everyone I knew growing up) and I have never heard of someone complaining so much so that they ask people to stop wearing it.

Not to mention, I get migranes all the freakin time. And they do come on by smells. I can't walk by a Bath and Body works or a Yankee Candle without holding my nose or else I can feel the migrane behind by right eye coming. I do not allow strong candles or inscense in my home and the worst of my smell induced migranes come from christmas smells. F***ing pine trees and cinnamon! December is like one huge migrane month for me because everywhere is the smell of those stupid cinnamon pine cones and brooms at every cash register. But I don't expect people and stores to cater to me or for everyoen to stop having Christmas trees. I try to adjust my habits.

I just think people now a days feel so entitled to everyone changing for them and their needs so they can be comfortable.
I don't mean to be harsh or uncaring,but at some point it just gets to be too much. And if there was a kid who for some reason had an allergy I might try and tone it down or maybe, depending how much I felt the concern was actually founded, stop using it. But part of me still thinks it's BS and I would rather they find another way to deal with it then by telling people what they can and cannot wear, eat, do. Where do we draw the line? I mean if there was a kid who was "super allergic to dog hair" woudl you tell all the kids in their class to get rid of their dogs because they bring the hair on their clothes?

Plus, I doubt a kid is wearing that much cologne or that the kids perfume sensitivity is so bad that you can smell it through the whole room and be sick. I'd rather they just move the kid farther away from the kid who wears cologne.

I have at least one student who gets severe migraines and perfume/cologne is a trigger. But then I also have young ladies who seem to think they are entitled to spray perfume/cologne any time and any place they want to. My rule is not in the classroom. Sometimes they forgot or a new student won't know the rule. Unfortunately, once they have sprayed it, it's too late.

Cigarette smoke is another one of those smells that can trigger allergies or migraines. I can tell you exactly whose parents smoke.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

If anything, I can understand going scent-free a lot more than going peanut butter free. I can imagine lots of situations where peanut butter is useful, bordering on necessary (my kids school is peanut-free but not nut-free altogether, so we sub almond butter), but perfumes and colognes? Who needs those? I wouldn't expect people to stop wearing scents for me, but I do put it in the 100% wholly unnecessary category.

True. The attitude that you know something you are doing (particularly as unnecessary as wearing perfume) is causing someone physical discomfort but you just don't care or feel that you are within your rights to do so just seems a little....unkind. I think in this case I draw the line at what I do in my house vs what we are wearing when we go out in public. So like, I wouldn't really stop burning candles at home (if we burned candles at home) or switch laundry detergents, but I would stop sending my kids out of my house and into school with perfume or heavily scented lotions if there was a classmate that had a real problem with it.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

Not wearing heavily scented products to school is completely reasonable. The OP mentioned using different laundry detergent and not burning scented candles in my home, that I think is unreasonable.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

Would it be unreasonable to ask the allergy kid to wear a mask?

Hey mother nature, my kid gets bad seasonal allergies. Can you like, get rid of all the trees, pollen, flowers, and grass? Kthnxbai.:)

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

Would it be unreasonable to ask the allergy kid to wear a mask?

Hey mother nature, my kid gets bad seasonal allergies. Can you like, get rid of all the trees, pollen, flowers, and grass? Kthnxbai.:)

I don't need to ask the the child/parents anything. I'm not the one with the allergies. But honestly if a kid is truly THAT allergic, then yeah, maybe they need to wear a mask because I won't be changing anything up in my own home.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"zefroim" wrote:

Not wearing heavily scented products to school is completely reasonable. The OP mentioned using different laundry detergent and not burning scented candles in my home, that I think is unreasonable.

I would imagine it would only be an issue if you were using heavily scented laundry detergent (which would be like putting cologne on the child) and there were 50 scented candles at a time. How else would the scent adhere outside of the house?

My bias here is likely that I like things to smell clean, not like perfume. The only reason I can think of for using a heavily scented detergent is to mask that one's clothes aren't actually being well cleaned.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

Would it be unreasonable to ask the allergy kid to wear a mask?

Do masks screen out scent?

Also, just from the few times I have had to wear masks (like dissecting things in A&P) that would SUCK to wear a mask all day every day. How hot and uncomfortable, and how socially awkward.

Between being asked to wear a mask and being asked not to wear perfume, I think being asked not to wear perfume is the less sucky and more reasonable option. Do people really care that much about wearing perfume? I can't really say I've missed it much in the 8+ years I've been with DH, although pre-DH I did have a perfume that I absolutely loved and thought smelled like heaven. But between getting to wear my perfume and making him sick, it's kind of a no brainer.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

See if, someone asks, i will comply, because its the nice thing to do.

How i feel about asking or demanding it in the first place is a little different. Its more the principle behind it rather than what the specific item is.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

I would imagine it would only be an issue if you were using heavily scented laundry detergent (which would be like putting cologne on the child) and there were 50 scented candles at a time. How else would the scent adhere outside of the house?

My bias here is likely that I like things to smell clean, not like perfume. The only reason I can think of for using a heavily scented detergent is to mask that one's clothes aren't actually being well cleaned.

We use All Free and Clear which literally smells like nothing. My neighbor LOVES Gain which is very heavily scented. I can smell the detergent when we're a few yards away chatting. However I still think it would be unreasonable to ask someone to use a different laundry detergent because it's giving their kid headaches.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Honestly, I just don't believe that there are that many people out there that are truly that allergic. Sorry, I just don't. I knwo too many people who exaggerate their "allergies" to make others tip toe aroudn them for thier comfort. I think that happens way more then people actually being that severly allergic to a bit of perfume.

BTW, I'm not saying I would let my kid spray it in school or even bring it to school. My DD's fav. perfume gives me a migrane. I don't make her not spray it, but I ask that she only spray it once on herself. It's pretty cheap so it is almost unnoticable by the time we get to school. So I'm not saying douse yourself or bring the spray wherever you go.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Do masks screen out scent?

Also, just from the few times I have had to wear masks (like dissecting things in A&P) that would SUCK to wear a mask all day every day. How hot and uncomfortable, and how socially awkward.

Between being asked to wear a mask and being asked not to wear perfume, I think being asked not to wear perfume is the less sucky and more reasonable option. Do people really care that much about wearing perfume? I can't really say I've missed it much in the 8+ years I've been with DH, although pre-DH I did have a perfume that I absolutely loved and thought smelled like heaven. But between getting to wear my perfume and making him sick, it's kind of a no brainer.

Yes!! LOL Seriously, I dare you ask a Latin man to not wear perfume. And it has nothign to do with masking the scent of uncleanliness. Consdiering my DH takes a shower everyday and spends 2 hrs in the bathroom primping. LOL

Also, if I knew my DH would get sick from perfume, of course I wouldn't wear it. And if a kid in my children's class really had an allery,of course we wouldn't wear it. I just feel like soemtimes this whole thing gets out of hand.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"culturedmom" wrote:

Honestly, I just don't believe that there are that many people out there that are truly that allergic. Sorry, I just don't. I knwo too many people who exaggerate their "allergies" to make others tip toe aroudn them for thier comfort. I think that happens way more then people actually being that severly allergic to a bit of perfume.

BTW, I'm not saying I would let my kid spray it in school or even bring it to school. My DD's fav. perfume gives me a migrane. I don't make her not spray it, but I ask that she only spray it once on herself. It's pretty cheap so it is almost unnoticable by the time we get to school. So I'm not saying douse yourself or bring the spray wherever you go.

But what do you consider "that allergic." You yourself get migranes from certain smells, so you know that happens. Like I said, strong perfumes exacerbate DH's asthma, so I know that happens. Forget deadly allergies, let's just talk about distracting physical discomfort. If your kid was getting a migrane at school every day and the solution seemed to be as simple as people not wearing perfume, would you really feel like it is over the line to at least ask? To me, it seems awkward to ask, but it seems like a relatively reasonable thing to ask for because no one should suffer much hardship over just not wearing perfume.

ETA: Maybe I should change that last line to read "no one should suffer much hardship over just not wearing perfume....except Latin men..." LOL

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Some of the clean freakiest type people i know LOVE scented stuff. I'm not one of them.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

But what do you consider "that allergic." You yourself get migranes from certain smells, so you know that happens. Like I said, strong perfumes exacerbate DH's asthma, so I know that happens. Forget deadly allergies, let's just talk about distracting physical discomfort. If your kid was getting a migrane at school every day and the solution seemed to be as simple as people not wearing perfume, would you really feel like it is over the line to at least ask? To me, it seems awkward to ask, but it seems like a relatively reasonable thing to ask for because no one should suffer much hardship over just not wearing perfume.

If you are going to be out and about amongst society, i don't know how you *avoid* suffering hardship over such a thing. Its just like you said...its something you can ask of close personal friends and family, not something you just ask of everyone you come in contact with all the time. There is a reason why you feel awkward requesting those around you to stop using the perfumes or detergents of their choice.

At least thats how i feel about it.

Seriously, i"m not trying to dismiss peoples problems...but we live in a society that uses perfume and scented detergents...just like we live in a society that uses peanuts and peanut butter.

I'm just of the opinion that you only ask if its absolutely necessary.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"KimPossible" wrote:

If you are going to be out and about amongst society, i don't know how you *avoid* suffering hardship over such a thing. Its just like you said...its something you can ask of close personal friends and family, not something you just ask of everyone you come in contact with all the time. There is a reason why you feel awkward requesting those around you to stop using the perfumes or detergents of their choice.

At least thats how i feel about it.

Seriously, i"m not trying to dismiss peoples problems...but we live in a society that uses perfume and scented detergents...just like we live in a society that uses peanuts and peanut butter.

I'm just of the opinion that you only ask if its absolutely necessary.

Well, when I was thinking about only asking close friends and family, I was thinking more about the "what you do in your own home" type scenario, like burning candles. I would never ask my kid's classmates to ask their parents to not burn scented candles in their own home, but I might ask my mom not to burn scented candles in her own home because she's my mom, and I feel like I can say something like that to her without her getting offended.

Perfume is different though, because that is no longer "what you are doing in your own home." If that makes sense.

I agree that you could never eliminate it everywhere, but it seems like it's something that you could cut down on in the places that your kid goes all the time like school. To me, that's no different than if I had a coworker that was really sensitive to smells, and management asked us to not wear perfume. Sure, s/he still might encounter it everywhere else, but at least at work s/he should be able to get her work done without a migrane. Same with kids and school.

Maybe it's because I don't think it's an unreasonable request to begin with?

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I actually know of some schools that are 'scent free zones'. As a substitute teacher this is something they make sure to tell me before I go into work there. I'm not sure why these specific schools are this way, but I assume it is an allergy or something. Its not a big deal to me cause I rarely wear perfume, but I would say if you know you are going into the school (ie. as a teacher or student) its not a big deal to not put on perfume in the morning, however, if I was just a parent dropping my child off, or unexpectedly in the school for some reason I don't think I would make a huge effort to bathe before I go or anything. And I definitely wouldn't, and don't, worry about scented candles or my laundry detergent. I think that would be a little extreme.

As an aside: I do ask people who burn any kind of candles to please put them out when my kids are in their house. Especially at a party or something where there are kids running about and not direct parental supervision. But this is a safety concern for me (Im paranoid this way) and I present it as such, usually saying something about how I dont trust my kids around it, trying to put it completely on me and my family, not on them if that makes sense.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Well, when I was thinking about only asking close friends and family, I was thinking more about the "what you do in your own home" type scenario, like burning candles. I would never ask my kid's classmates to ask their parents to not burn scented candles in their own home, but I might ask my mom not to burn scented candles in her own home because she's my mom, and I feel like I can say something like that to her without her getting offended.

Perfume is different though, because that is no longer "what you are doing in your own home." If that makes sense.

I agree that you could never eliminate it everywhere, but it seems like it's something that you could cut down on in the places that your kid goes all the time like school. To me, that's no different than if I had a coworker that was really sensitive to smells, and management asked us to not wear perfume. Sure, s/he still might encounter it everywhere else, but at least at work s/he should be able to get her work done without a migrane. Same with kids and school.

Maybe it's because I don't think it's an unreasonable request to begin with?

Could be. It would certainly not be a hardship on me. I never wear perfume, nor do my children. But like I said....its the principle behind asking...because this time its not something unreasonable to me. Next time. It might be.

And really...i could be understanding of very extreme cases...but it goes back to what Lana and I were saying before. Unfortunately extreme is subjective and a lot of people cry extreme....so I'm rather critical of the issue.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"KimPossible" wrote:

But like I said....its the principle behind asking...because this time its not something unreasonable to me. Next time. It might be.

This is where I'm coming from with this issue and the peanut issue. It's totaly the principle of expecting people to acommodate you and your children. Yeah not wearing perfume to school would not affect us in the least. But lets say a child were allergic to cats. Is it reasonable to ask all the parents of the kids in their class not to have a cat at home? And fine scent-free schools isn't that big of a deal. Again I'll go back to asking people to change what they do in their own homes is completely unacceptable to me.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I see both sides of this issue, working in the disability field. I have one client who would get nasty hives, facial swelling, and trouble breathing just having a slight exposure to scents. And it didn't matter what it was - even just getting in her car, the off-gassing of the upholstery could set her off if she was having a particularly sensitive day. For her it was about a threshold -so if she removed all traces of triggers, she could tolerate some scents. But if she was overloaded, she couldn't even tolerate using toothpaste without it being a medical emergency.

So while a scent may be virtually undetectable to the average person, someone with extreme environmental sensitivities it could be life-threatening.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"zefroim" wrote:

This is where I'm coming from with this issue and the peanut issue. It's totaly the principle of expecting people to acommodate you and your children. Yeah not wearing perfume to school would not affect us in the least. But lets say a child were allergic to cats. Is it reasonable to ask all the parents of the kids in their class not to have a cat at home? And fine scent-free schools isn't that big of a deal. Again I'll go back to asking people to change what they do in their own homes is completely unacceptable to me.

No, that's not reasonable.

I think that to me there are two sides of the issue:

1. Danger to the affected person (i.e. I am willing to do more in a life or death kind of situation such as peanuts than I am in a less dangerous situation, such as cat allergies)
2. The "sacrifice" level of the request (i.e. if it is a big sacrifice like getting rid of your family pet vs a small sacrifice like laying off the perfume.)

I am willing to make small sacrifices like laying off the perfume for low danger issues. I am willing to make (some) larger sacrifices for higher danger issues. I am not willing to make large sacrifices (like getting rid of a pet) over relatively low danger issues (like cat allergies.)

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

But what do you consider "that allergic." You yourself get migranes from certain smells, so you know that happens. Like I said, strong perfumes exacerbate DH's asthma, so I know that happens. Forget deadly allergies, let's just talk about distracting physical discomfort. If your kid was getting a migrane at school every day and the solution seemed to be as simple as people not wearing perfume, would you really feel like it is over the line to at least ask? To me, it seems awkward to ask, but it seems like a relatively reasonable thing to ask for because no one should suffer much hardship over just not wearing perfume.

ETA: Maybe I should change that last line to read "no one should suffer much hardship over just not wearing perfume....except Latin men..." LOL

If a child really is getting a migrane everyday then I consider that moer then a distracting physical discomfort. And never said it was over the line to ask. People can ask whatever they want. I'mjust saying that I know of many an occasion where mothers become very dramatic and expect everyone to cater to their child for every little thing. This bother, that bother, this is uncomfortable, that is uncomfortable. And it has, IMO, created a society of kids who believe that everything and everyone needs to cater to them. And the line keeps getting pushed further and further back. And now it seems like schools are a "free zone" from everything and it just concerns me.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't probably do it because I think I am a pretty nice person who goes out of their way for others. Empathy is high on my morality list. I mean Alissa, if anyone has their "don't offend people" meter turned on high, it's me for heaven sakes. But as a debate, I am just venting and putting it out there that I think that this attitude of catering to every little discomfort and want seems to be going too far and it bothers the heck out of me.

and I certainly agree that to people who could care less about perfume and whose mornign routine doesn't include it, they might not care as much as those who do. Not that I put perfume over a persons quality of life. But I also don't trust people's assesment of what "quality of life" is.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"messy jessy" wrote:

So while a scent may be virtually undetectable to the average person, someone with extreme environmental sensitivities it could be life-threatening.

Yes, products that are labelled 'unscented' contain ingredients with a scent (some pretty harsh) but then masking fragrances are added to cover up the offensive ingredient. Only products labelled 'fragrance free' are truly that. Man, that would totally suck to to be sensitive to fragrances that you can barely detect. Not saying everyone should run around replacing all their stuff with fragrance free products, just that it would be miserable to be bombarded with offensive (to you) smells that aren't even perceptible by the average person.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

No, that's not reasonable.

I think that to me there are two sides of the issue:

1. Danger to the affected person (i.e. I am willing to do more in a life or death kind of situation such as peanuts than I am in a less dangerous situation, such as cat allergies)
2. The "sacrifice" level of the request (i.e. if it is a big sacrifice like getting rid of your family pet vs a small sacrifice like laying off the perfume.)

I am willing to make small sacrifices like laying off the perfume for low danger issues. I am willing to make (some) larger sacrifices for higher danger issues. I am not willing to make large sacrifices (like getting rid of a pet) over relatively low danger issues (like cat allergies.)

Well there are some people that are severely allergic to cats, but that's besides the point. Who gets to decide how big of a sacrifice something is to someone? Culturedmom already explained that not wearing perfume/cologne could be a very big sacrifice to certain cultures. Not eating peanut products is a very big sacrifice to our family. I think Culturedmom explained it better than I am/can. People have come to feel that everyone needs to bend over backward to accommodate their precious little cherubs. What did people do 10, 20, 30 years ago when their child was allergic to something? They didn't expect the world to change to accommmodate theirs needs/demands. They sucked it up and dealt with it, such is life. As a society our sense of entitlement has gotten way out of hand.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

I, personally, do not think that kids should be wearing heavily scented perfumes at school or scented lotions for that matter. Why is it neccessary? In my last office, we were asked not to use scented lotions or heavy perfumes out of respect for other people, some had major sensitivies to them. It wasn't a big deal, and honestly I didn't mind not wearing those sorts of things. Of course, a nice perfume is always good too...I love to wear them for sure.

Just like on a 3-hr flight, I was stuck by an older lady that had gawd-awful perfume on. It made me have a headache by the time the flight ended...and she kept putting lotions on. I found it disrespectful. We were holed up in cabin and she was using heavily scented items. I think that is like a classroom, doors are closed and other children have to be subject to your (in general) kid wearing smelly stuff that could bother them. It's not fair to them either.

I find it unreasonable to go to an extreme in banning things, like laundry detergents. But perfumes that could bother other people? It's being respectful.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"RebeccaA'07" wrote:

I, personally, do not think that kids should be wearing heavily scented perfumes at school or scented lotions for that matter. Why is it neccessary? In my last office, we were asked not to use scented lotions or heavy perfumes out of respect for other people, some had major sensitivies to them. It wasn't a big deal, and honestly I didn't mind not wearing those sorts of things. Of course, a nice perfume is always good too...I love to wear them for sure.

Just like on a 3-hr flight, I was stuck by an older lady that had gawd-awful perfume on. It made me have a headache by the time the flight ended...and she kept putting lotions on. I found it disrespectful. We were holed up in cabin and she was using heavily scented items. I think that is like a classroom, doors are closed and other children have to be subject to your (in general) kid wearing smelly stuff that could bother them. It's not fair to them either.

I find it unreasonable to go to an extreme in banning things, like laundry detergents. But perfumes that could bother other people? It's being respectful.

I don't find that disrespectful at all. Going out in public can be uncomfortable. People wear too much perfume, pass gas, belch, are too fat for their clothes, yell, don't wear deodorant, smoke, spit, etc, etc, etc. It's ridiculous to expect people to be constantly concerned with the comfort of everyone around them 100% of the time.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

Most of the schools here are scent free. A lot of workplaces are as well. We made ours scent free because there were some people dousing themselves in purfume and it gave us all headaches (allergic or not!).

I don't have a problem with scent free shared public places. We all need to respect each other and try to make life for comfortable for each other when we are sharing space. If I know someone is sensitive to scents I am not going to put on purfume. If I know someone is allergice to pollen I am not going to bring them flowers. To me this seems like basic respect.

But in private spaces I do not see the need for these limits. My smelly candle is most likely not going to affect someone who isn't in my home. So I light my candles. If someone told me that they gave them a headache I wouldn't light them when that person was over - but I am not going to toss my candles.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"zefroim" wrote:

I don't find that disrespectful at all. Going out in public can be uncomfortable. People wear too much perfume, pass gas, belch, are too fat for their clothes, yell, don't wear deodorant, smoke, spit, etc, etc, etc. It's ridiculous to expect people to be constantly concerned with the comfort of everyone around them 100% of the time.

I find it a bit odd that something that physically makes someone hurt or ill, isn't a concern? If my child were having a reaction to another child wearing perfume, I would make an issue of it. Why should my child be subject to those things? Perfume isn't a neccessity and there are a lot of them that smell foul. I wouldn't expect a teacher to allow a student sit and pass gas all day either.

Of course your life shouldn't be centered around someone's comfort level. But we're not speaking of general comfort but rather something that actually causes a physical issue for another person. To just toss that aside as if you (in general) are the only one that matters, well I find it self-centered.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"RebeccaA'07" wrote:

I find it a bit odd that something that physically makes someone hurt or ill, isn't a concern? If my child were having a reaction to another child wearing perfume, I would make an issue of it. Why should my child be subject to those things? Perfume isn't a neccessity and there are a lot of them that smell foul. I wouldn't expect a teacher to allow a student sit and pass gas all day either.

Of course your life shouldn't be centered around someone's comfort level. But we're not speaking of general comfort but rather something that actually causes a physical issue for another person. To just toss that aside as if you (in general) are the only one that matters, well I find it self-centered.

I wasn't referring to not allowing perfume/cologne in school. I think scent-free schools are a good idea for more reasons than allergies/migraines. I was responding to you saying that a woman wearing perfume and using scented lotion on a flight was disrespectful. People have a right to wear perfume and use scented lotion in public. Flights are crowded places, I would expect probably everyone on that flight was made uncomfortable by someone. You just have to deal. Or don't fly.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"zefroim" wrote:

I wasn't referring to not allowing perfume/cologne in school. I think scent-free schools are a good idea for more reasons than allergies/migraines. I was responding to you saying that a woman wearing perfume and using scented lotion on a flight was disrespectful. People have a right to wear perfume and use scented lotion in public. Flights are crowded places, I would expect probably everyone on that flight was made uncomfortable by someone. You just have to deal. Or don't fly.

I'm the first person to say that flying is like taking any other form of mass transit where you're exposed to people you aren't usually exposed to. But I still think it's really rude for someone to constantly be applying scented lotion on a flight. Just like it would be rude to cut your fingernails in your seat or purposefully fart over and over again or watch porn with the sound turned way up or get belligerently drunk. Part of being in a confined space with the public is being respectful to people around you and none of those things are respectful.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"zefroim" wrote:

I wasn't referring to not allowing perfume/cologne in school. I think scent-free schools are a good idea for more reasons than allergies/migraines. I was responding to you saying that a woman wearing perfume and using scented lotion on a flight was disrespectful. People have a right to wear perfume and use scented lotion in public. Flights are crowded places, I would expect probably everyone on that flight was made uncomfortable by someone. You just have to deal. Or don't fly.

And I disagree; I paid for a flight as well - it's called being considerate. A big trait that everyone should have. I think it's silly to say "don't fly".

Well for the rest, Kate took the words right out of my mouth.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

So is wearing a thong when you are severely obese and having it stick out from under your muffin top disrespectful too? Because it makes me throw up in my mouth and throwing up in my mouth is physically uncomfortable.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"zefroim" wrote:

So is wearing a thong when you are severely obese and having it stick out from under your muffin top disrespectful too? Because it makes me throw up in my mouth and throwing up in my mouth is physically uncomfortable.

Is it a situation where showing your thong regardless of your weight is acceptable? I think dressing wildly inappropriately for a situation is disrespectful. I would find it disrespectful if someone sat down next to me on a flight in a bikini.

ETA: Are you arguing that it's not disrespectful to clip your nails in your seat or be a belligerent drunk?

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Is it a situation where showing your thong regardless of your weight is acceptable? I think dressing wildly inappropriately for a situation is disrespectful. I would find it disrespectful if someone sat down next to me on a flight in a bikini.

It was a totally ridiculous comparison (sort of). But my point was when you expose yourself to public places you're going to see, hear and smell things that make you uncomfortable. You just have to deal with it. Openly passing gas in some cultures is 100% acceptable. It's rather judgemental and arrogant to call someone disrespectful because they are doing things that make you find irritating.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"zefroim" wrote:

It was a totally ridiculous comparison (sort of). But my point was when you expose yourself to public places you're going to see, hear and smell things that make you uncomfortable. You just have to deal with it. Openly passing gas in some cultures is 100% acceptable. It's rather judgemental and arrogant to call someone disrespectful because they are doing things that make you find irritating.

It's judgmental and arrogant to say that someone is being disrespectful by watching porn at a loud volume on a plane? Or clipping their fingernails? Nonsense. This comes from someone who commutes via mass transit every day (train, not plane). People cannot do just whatever they want and be rude on mass transit and expect there to be no consequences. If someone is screaming at their partner on the bus, should we just deal with it because in their culture (whatever that is) that's acceptable? Of course not. Want to make sure no one is judging your behavior? Move yourself in your personal car or jet. Want to get in on that money saving mass transit and commercial airlines? Expect you will have to be respectful of the people immediately around you, even if you really like belching the alphabet at top volume.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"zefroim" wrote:

Well there are some people that are severely allergic to cats, but that's besides the point. Who gets to decide how big of a sacrifice something is to someone? Culturedmom already explained that not wearing perfume/cologne could be a very big sacrifice to certain cultures. Not eating peanut products is a very big sacrifice to our family. I think Culturedmom explained it better than I am/can. People have come to feel that everyone needs to bend over backward to accommodate their precious little cherubs. What did people do 10, 20, 30 years ago when their child was allergic to something? They didn't expect the world to change to accommmodate theirs needs/demands. They sucked it up and dealt with it, such is life. As a society our sense of entitlement has gotten way out of hand.

Well, that is why I said "to me." That is how I decide these situations - your criteria may be different than mine.

I get what you and Lana saying, but I still think that life is just....I dunno...better when we all try to help each other out where we can. I'm not saying that it's possible or even reasonable to accomodate each and every request from each and every person, but I guess I don't get the violent backlash against it.

Honestly, maybe I'm just lucky but I actually get very few requests from people. The only thing like this that I can think of that I've ever even encountered is that T's peds office is scent free. Other than that I honestly haven't had to deal with people asking for special accomodations, so I really don't see it as being this huge burdening every day kind of hassle.* I haven't had much experience with people asking me to bend over backwards for their little cherubs, so I guess I'm less jaded to it or something.

Again, I totally get if it's something that just doesn't make sense for your family, but I still don't get the indignation that seems based in "Why should I have to do anything different to help anyone else out?" Really?

*I mean, besides from my own husband asking that our house be scent free, but that doesn't count since I knew what I was getting myself into before I ever married him. LOL

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

It's judgmental and arrogant to say that someone is being disrespectful by watching porn at a loud volume on a plane? Or clipping their fingernails? Nonsense. This comes from someone who commutes via mass transit every day (train, not plane). People cannot do just whatever they want and be rude on mass transit and expect there to be no consequences. If someone is screaming at their partner on the bus, should we just deal with it because in their culture (whatever that is) that's acceptable? Of course not. Want to make sure no one is judging your behavior? Move yourself in your personal car or jet. Want to get in on that money saving mass transit and commercial airlines? Expect you will have to be respectful of the people immediately around you, even if you really like belching the alphabet at top volume.

I suppose I'm much more tolerant than most people. Clipping fingernails, wearing perfume, I wouldn't bat an eyelsh at. Screaming into the phone or watching porn at top volume, yes that would bother me. I rode the subway twice a day for 5 years. I rarely saw, heard or smelled things that made me think twice about a person.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

Most of the schools here are scent free. A lot of workplaces are as well. We made ours scent free because there were some people dousing themselves in purfume and it gave us all headaches (allergic or not!).

I don't have a problem with scent free shared public places. We all need to respect each other and try to make life for comfortable for each other when we are sharing space. If I know someone is sensitive to scents I am not going to put on purfume. If I know someone is allergice to pollen I am not going to bring them flowers. To me this seems like basic respect.

But in private spaces I do not see the need for these limits. My smelly candle is most likely not going to affect someone who isn't in my home. So I light my candles. If someone told me that they gave them a headache I wouldn't light them when that person was over - but I am not going to toss my candles.

Yes, I totally agree with this. I think that it is possible to balance other people's needs with your own. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"zefroim" wrote:

I suppose I'm much more tolerant than most people. Clipping fingernails, wearing perfume, I wouldn't bat an eyelsh at. Screaming into the phone or watching porn at top volume, yes that would bother me. I rode the subway twice a day for 5 years. I rarely saw, heard or smelled things that made me think twice about a person.

Me, too (except I tend to take an early train home and don't infrequently see people rolling big blunts). But that's because most people are polite enough to not sit there and slather on smelly lotion or clip their fingernails onto the floor of a subway car. It's not an issue when people are being respectful of each other, that's why the disrespectful behavior stands out so sharply. I'm still not seeing what's judgmental and arrogant about expecting respectful behavior from other people in public. :shrug:

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Yes, I totally agree with this. I think that it is possible to balance other people's needs with your own. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

I don't think anybody is arguing that it needs to be all or nothing. I've stated repeatedly that scent-free schools, meaning not wearing perfume or cologne to school is a good idea. Asking families to change their laundry detergent and not usescented candles in their own home is going too far. This is having the ring of the peanut allergy. Peanut-free schools=good, not eating peanut butter at home=bad. We do need to all help each other out, but we need to make sure that it's a fair and reasonable request. My personal comfort level is drawn at asking me to change what I do in my own home.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Well then we agree, because I've already said a couple of times that asking people to change their detergent or not burn candles in their own home is going too far (unless you are close with them, such as close family, then maybe.) I'm just talking about things like perfumes and heavily scented lotions in public places such as schools and office environments.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"culturedmom" wrote:

If a child really is getting a migrane everyday then I consider that moer then a distracting physical discomfort. And never said it was over the line to ask. People can ask whatever they want. I'mjust saying that I know of many an occasion where mothers become very dramatic and expect everyone to cater to their child for every little thing. This bother, that bother, this is uncomfortable, that is uncomfortable. And it has, IMO, created a society of kids who believe that everything and everyone needs to cater to them. And the line keeps getting pushed further and further back. And now it seems like schools are a "free zone" from everything and it just concerns me.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't probably do it because I think I am a pretty nice person who goes out of their way for others. Empathy is high on my morality list. I mean Alissa, if anyone has their "don't offend people" meter turned on high, it's me for heaven sakes. But as a debate, I am just venting and putting it out there that I think that this attitude of catering to every little discomfort and want seems to be going too far and it bothers the heck out of me.

and I certainly agree that to people who could care less about perfume and whose mornign routine doesn't include it, they might not care as much as those who do. Not that I put perfume over a persons quality of life. But I also don't trust people's assesment of what "quality of life" is.

Yes, this! I'm not saying I'm not willing to do it....i certainly am willing to do it, but I have a skeptic mind towards anyone who says its necessary...even if I'm willing to do it.

Really, i agree with you Alissa...its a combination of how necessary it is, and what has to be sacrificed in return. I just often don't believe people when they say its necessary. Its just like the peanut ban, i'm of the personal opinion its almost never necessary..its simply in the statistics, these kids are not dying left and right, in fact its very unlikely that they will die.

Anyway, I digress.

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