Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts

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14 years 8 months ago #1457 by max2
Firstly for more info:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaphylaxis

We received a note home from school last week advising that they have a student who could suffer an anaphylaxis reaction should any of the students bring nuts to school.
Therefore the school is now a nut free zone and the teachers must carry a "pen" type device that gives the child certain medication should he react.

I emailed the school and asked if chips and biscuits were also being banned (not that my daughter takes chips to school) but she does take milk arrowroot biscuits from time to time, which along with other biscuits has a warning that they are made on nut processing equipment.

I know that sharing of a rubber (for instance) or a book (ie the school library) can be enough to set off a reaction in a person.

The school has not replied to me at all about the possible consequences of the other items.

Have NZ schools gone down this track yet?

For those familar with anaphylaxis, is the child required to take some sort of preventative daily medication to reduce the likelihood of a reaction from a shared item?

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14 years 8 months ago #60065 by reggit
I read recently that many schools are banning peanut butter for this reason.

It is so difficult, as so many food manufacturers are covering their butt now with 'may contain nuts' on the packet as a matter of course, even though the likelihood of it may be slim...

From what I have heard, even the smell of peanuts on someone's breath can set off the reaction in a very susceptible person. Poor kid...

But...it does make it very hard on a whole school...

As far as I know there is no preventative measures that can be taken apart from keeping them away from the nuts. The pen device may well be adrenaline, a friend of mine had to carry one for beestings for anaphalactic shock.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #60076 by oskatd
Oh, wonder if the schools will ban bees too?

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14 years 8 months ago #60096 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
I really feel for the parents and child but do wonder just how dangerously "sensitive" the child is - as per tiggers comment about the smell of peanuts on someones breath.

For those who are not sensitive, nuts are such a healthy treat and I would have preferred my kids eating nuts than chips for example. So, is it fair to have the whole school "nut free" for one child? Maybe he/she should be homeschooled.

How many children are there in the school? Can sufferers not be desensitized? One of my daughters wears a Medic Alert for potential anaphalactic shock if she takes a certain medicine family so I am aware of what we are discussing. Interesting situation that must be happening in other schools as well.

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14 years 8 months ago #60114 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
I think we have around 90 pupils in our campus, so its only a small one.

We are a nut eating family. I too prefer E to snack on nuts from time to time and it varies her lunchbox diet. Is portable, and ultimately doesn't go "off" when the weather warms up.

To be honest I have mixed feelings about the request. I feel the child is entitled to attend a school of the parents choosing, but then I question if it means they have to rely on 180 parents and their kids NOT to put something in their mealboxes and the threat is that severe, then I question their morals in allowing the potential exposure....

Do 90 families potentially have to change their routines for the power of 1? I don't know. It seems in these modern times, they do.

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14 years 8 months ago #60115 by reggit
Wonder how they cope in the big wide world where they can't control their environments - after all, school is just a small part of the equation! [:0]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #60130 by beedee
The biscuits that may have travelled along the same conveyer belt as peanuts is OK to the third party [the child affected] but he/she shoudnt share others food. there is no way the child can be taking antihistamines as a precaution, the amount would have themas a zombie..
YES we had a boyfriend landing up in ER, who had kissed his gal 5 hrs after she ate seafood, and he went down with a severe reaction and was hospitalised for 3 days.. so peanuts on the breath is a no no for the most severely affected.
Being allergic to many things myself, I am astounded at the reaction.. that this poor child is to sit at home so his/her peers can do their thing..
I hope your children or you yourself dont land up with an allergy, it can happen to anyone at any time.[V]
BTW the adrenaline inj lasts all of 6 mins[ if you are lucky] and then another is needed, or else death may occur.. the pens cost $100 and last 10 mths.. I think the aussie govn help buy them but NZ wont.

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14 years 8 months ago #60149 by reggit
I am not being unsympathetic, I genuinely do wonder how they cope in the rest of their lives...[V]

An acquaintance of my husband's died not that long ago from a restaurant meal which had something in it that he couldn't eat...but then neither he nor his family had any idea that his reaction would be that bad either.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #60154 by Llew
Replied by Llew on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
I know that people can be allergic to pretty much anything, and that many are allergic to nuts... and many are allergic to peanuts.

What I don't get is - peanuts aren't nuts, they're legumes, so how come we don't have people allergic to other legumes like peas? Or are they?

I mean, I've also been lectured by the parent of someone who gets a anaphalactic response to cashews, I didn't & don't understand how banning peanuts would help.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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14 years 8 months ago #60157 by reggit
From that wikipedia link:

"As the peanut is a member of the legume family unrelated to other nuts, individuals with peanut allergies may not be allergic to the other types of nuts, and vice-versa."

Sounds like there is a particular substance in peanuts that causes it which isn't present in other legumes.

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14 years 8 months ago #60177 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
beedee - I wasn't intending to be insensitive but I guess that can't be avoided if you say what you want to say on this subject. I have people in my life who are wickedly sensitive to mushrooms and capsicums as examples. However, they still work, visit, socialise etc but just make their sensitivities known to those they are mingling or eating with.

The problem here is that 89 children are being denied a healthy food group in their lunchbox because one child is sensitive. Just doesn't sound fair to the other 89. Besides, of those 89 children, how many would this child actually come into contact with in the course of a day. His classmates and no doubt his best friends but there will be so many that just aren't in close contact with him and therefore pose no risk - depending on just how his allergy reaction is set off and that we don't know.

I personally think it is up to the parents to find a solution for their child that does not impinge on the lives of so many. Sure, people can go to school without nuts and be supportive but what about the nanny, the caregiver, the grandma making lunch on a casual basis. So easily not passed on and therefore why not educate the kids at school on how to deal with this.

What about "Crunchy Nut cornflakes?" Can the other kids have nuts for breakfast and not affect this child. If so, how sensitive is the sensitivity. I'm just going to say it - overreactive parents? Seen it happen. Nor do I understand how the rights of so many are just wiped out with a letter home. I mentioned home schooling because if my child was so at risk that this outcome is required, I would not be sending them to a school where I couldn't watch over them until they were old enough to manage it for themselves. Each to their own I guess.

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14 years 8 months ago #60181 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
I have to say I agree Didi, if E was the one, and her life was that fragile and dependent on not coming into contact with something, I certainly wouldn't be sending her to an external school....

I wouldn't feel its discrimanatory towards her, just something we would take on board as the hand of cards she/we were dealt at conception/birth... we would manage and perhaps find like minded/affected others to form social networks that we all learn from when younger.

Interesting it hasn't come up in NZ yet....

Oh, the letter was for "nuts", not specific for peanuts or nuts, so it would be interesting to know more.. and how it was determined there was an allergy that that type of item.

Thought I would ask.

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14 years 8 months ago #60263 by beedee
Yes there are schools in NZ that don't allow peanuts.. AND I will agree that banning all nuts is silly, and I don't think the school is handling it well..
I dont socialise for that reason..[xx(] but the thought that a child is denied living normally where possible because they DONT have a choice...:( so maybe a wee give and take on both sides.. Im guessing the teachers have panicked and gone the full monty, all so that they dont have to give that epipen.. a meeting to sort out the true status would be worthwhile..
Airlines no longer serve nuts due to the allergy aspect.

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14 years 8 months ago #60271 by maggies mum
Replied by maggies mum on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
If it's just nuts the child is allergic to, then if the banning of them means he can go to school then I can't see what the problem is.

If parents want their children to eat nuts then they can eat them at home surely? It's not much of a sacrifice to make is it where a life of a child could be at stake!

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14 years 8 months ago #60290 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Anaphylaxis - allergy to Nuts
Interesting "food" (no pun intended) for thought all the same.

As someone who sent her child to school with nuts on occasion for her mid morning snack, and now cannot but sees kids with chips, and see the school take no action re associated products such as the chips and biscuits, then I question how serious is it really, and is it really necessary to ban the entire school population as a precautionary measure?

Having said that, a child died in a Sydney school in the last 18 months or so because he was "dared" to eat (I think it was a peanut) during a camp or something. And so he did...

the NSW education dept is being sued because the school was made aware of the allergy... and it was thought the teachers should have done "something" to prevent it.

What a horrible situation for everyone involved.!

I hate to say it, but kids will be kids, (because its a cop out), but kids do absolutely stupid things, and say absolutely stupid things, and certainly there is a cut off time when they recognise what they are doing is SERIOUS, but at what point are tax payers and parents liable?

What would happen if my Hubby handled a library book after his dose of afternoon nuts at home, and that child tomorrow (as an extreme example) checked that book out for home reading and reacted?

where does the responsibility start and stop? with some allergies, its just not about what comes to school or the workplace directly.... and I think this is one of them for those whose lives are really dependent on the product being totally removed from their lives.

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