As a kids allergy nurse, peanut is a hot topic & something we deal with daily.
We understand that it is in the best interests of schools & daycares to not have this in their kids lunchboxes, as it minimises risk and keeps all the children safe considering the child to adult ratio is not what it would be at home, however I worry that it causes another issue…
Everywhere we go, whether it be the gym creche, vacation care, kids activities, the peanut is the enemy and I worry that it causes more anxiety and paranoia to the parents of peanut allergic kids and spreads fear through out the parents who havn’t even started weaning their kids yet!
Think about it, if you are chatting to a friend who is just starting to give their 4-6 month old child solids, doesn’t the subject of peanut always come up, like it’s a seperate food group all of its own?
So our advice, empower your peanut allergic kids, from an early age, to be self aware and keep themselves safe from the foods that cause them to have a reaction, but not pass our anxiety on to them, because we have absolutely no control over what others do.
We have no control over that boy who had peanut butter for breakfast & comes in with it smeared all over his top. (you generally have to actually ingest peanut to have anaphylaxis by the way…)
We have no control over the lady eating peanuts next to your child on the bus,
and we have no control over the fact that a majority of the population, worldwide, consumes peanuts, publicly around your chid, every single day.
So I would encourage parents of peanut allergic children to treat peanuts with a healthy respect but predominantly concentrate on educating your children about staying safe….. but try not to live in fear.
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