Posts Tagged ‘Nuts’

A Nut Allergy is Not a Disability

August 16, 2011

Being a father of a young girl with a nut allergy, I really hope that schools work hard to reduce the stigma of a child with anaphylaxis.  It would be a shame if she was ostracised or treated differently because of the allergy.  I personally am in awe of how she can deal with eating differently from her peers without so much as a whimper.  She just accepts her lot and doesn’t let it get her down.

I hope she never gets bullied because of it:

Children with potentially deadly nut allergies are being bullied for being different, say researchers.

And their parents are stigmatised as ‘neurotic and attention-seeking’ by other parents, they found.

Relatives of some victims of the condition are even suspected of deliberately giving a child nuts to check they really are allergic.

Overall, the impact of a nut allergy is so great that it could be considered a disability, the Leicester University researchers found.They interviewed 26 families from the Leicester area about their experiences.

Some children told how they were bullied by classmates, who taunted them about their allergy and threatened to trigger it.

What loving family member in their right mind would feed nuts to a child with a severe nut allergy to check if they are really allergic?    And for those parents that think we are “too neurotic” about ensuring that our children are safe and not exposed to substances that can kill them, take a long walk down a short pier.

Anaphylaxis: The New Form of Discrimination

April 8, 2011

As a father of a beautiful child who suffers from anaphylaxis, I couldn’t be more disappointed in the parents of Edgewater Elementary School for their repeated calls for a young girl with a peanut allergy to be removed from their school. Their reaction is alarmism at its best and warrants a strong and decisive response by the school board.  Unfortunately, the best they could do is blame Federal law for not being able to remove the child.

Some public school parents in Edgewater, Florida, want a first-grade girl with life-threatening peanut allergies removed from the classroom and home-schooled, rather than deal with special rules to protect her health, a school official said.

“That was one of the suggestions that kept coming forward from parents, to have her home-schooled. But we’re required by federal law to provide accommodations. That’s just not even an option for us,” said Nancy Wait, spokeswoman for the Volusia County School District.

Wait said the 6-year-old’s peanut allergy is so severe it is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To protect the girl, students in her class at Edgewater Elementary School are required to wash their hands before entering the classroom in the morning and after lunch, and rinse out their mouths, Wait said, and a peanut-sniffing dog checked out the school during last week’s spring break.

Wait said school leaders will meet this week with parents to address concerns and try to halt inaccurate rumors that children’s mouths were being wiped with disinfectant.

Chris Burr, a father of two older students at the school whose wife has protested at the campus, said a lot of small accommodations have added up to frustration for many parents.

“If I had a daughter who had a problem, I would not ask everyone else to change their lives to fit my life,” said Burr.

Am I missing something here?  Are we not in the year 2011?  So what if children are slightly inconvenienced my having to wash their hands and rinse their mouths?  How can the inconvenience of added personal hygiene measures compare to the possibility of an anaphylactic attack?

How dare the school for not taking a much more calm and rational approach.  Talk about pandering to parents!  Why couldn’t they just say that nut allergies are common, and with sensible but thorough measures, we can deliver great educational outcomes for all students with allergies?

My daughter has egg and sesame allergies.  Otherwise, she is a normal, sweet-natured and delightful person.  I would be horrified if there was a campaign to have her removed and homeschooled.

There is enough descrimination already in this world, let’s not add to it!


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