Dear Insensitive Peanut-Obsessed Momma, Get Off Your High Horse

posted in: Allergies, Challenges, Food Allergies | 35

You really do love your peanuts don’t you? You love them so much that you can’t help but roll your eyes and go off on a rant when you’re told to refrain from sending your child to school with PB&J because Sally Sue and Billy Bob could die if they’re exposed to peanuts. That must be really hard on you.

~One insensitive mom…

And who do these allergy kids think they are, wanting to hang out with the “normal kids”… your “normal kids”? How ridiculous. I mean what’s the big deal… a few hives, a cough, or in the worst case a trip to the ER? Maybe they have to pop some Benadryl or give themselves a dose of their trusty Epi-pen. I mean seriously, how many kids actually die from these “allergies” anyways?

Then when your kid’s classroom has snack day, it’s almost impossible for you to stick to the peanut free policy. This was you right?

“So i was in trader joes looking at stuff and everything that you could think of to bring in (you know animal cracker type shiz) was peanut free but had the disclaimer ‘may have been used on equipment that had peanuts’. So, wtf does this mean?  use it? don’t use it?  i just got it anyway, because i did it last year but the teacher never said anything ha. Anyway i don’t know what his new teacher will say. i just feel like, do i have to do handstands finding food if there are NO kids in his actual class with allergies??”

So “no kids” in your son’s classroom actually have allergies? Oh wait, it looks like you clarify this in the comments section of your post…

“Well it’s an across the board ‘no peanut’ rule, so i don’t know if anyone in his class specifically has it (he just started wednesday!). which is my overall point:  the general hysteria of allergies seems to span far and wide, when in reality it may just be a few children this impacts (and of course the school would  know who!)….”

Momma, it’s quite sad and unfortunate that you’re so ignorant you can’t take a step back and see things for what they are – changing. And you resist this change because you are, let’s see, lazy and selfish. That’s right. God forbid you put yourself in the shoes of the child who has to think about every single ingredient in every food item daily. Or how about the child who is too young to understand ingredients? What about his mom who wakes up daily and asks the good Lord to keep her child safe because, yes, food allergies can kill and they do. How many children need to die for this to become real for you?

Do you realize that 15 million Americans and over 17 million Europeans have a food allergy? Or that 1 in every 13 children under the age of 18 has a food allergy (roughly 2 in every classroom)? Do you know that every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room? Or that childhood food allergies cost nearly $25 billion every year. Oh, that’s right, you probably don’t read about this stuff because you are too busy with your own problems to care about significant changes in the health of our children and future grandchildren.

“i just got it anyway, because i did it last year but the teacher never said anything ha.”

HA? Who exactly are you tricking here? The school system or the child with a severe allergy who might just trust that mothers like you are mature and compassionate enough to not knowingly put their life at risk? You sound pretty impressed with your ability to ‘trick the system’. What a class act.

Another insensitive Mom…

Remember when it was cool to smoke on airplanes? It was the norm, right? That was not too long ago and then state-by-state we decided it wasn’t the brightest move to let people smoke in confined public places because smoking causes cancer and why should innocent bystanders be exposed to carcinogens? I bet you wouldn’t feel so comfortable walking that precious child of yours onto an airplane clambaked with cigarette smoke, right? No, not your sweet child. How could anyone ever put your child in danger? Good thing a few intelligent people pushed back on the smoking population to keep her safe. But food allergies, they’re different, right? I’m sure if your child had them, you would keep your mouth shut, slap her on the bum and let her go to school without a worry. Or maybe you would homeschool her, sure.

It’s time to wake up and realize that it is our maternal duty to protect the current and future generations of children. And with their being a good chance that we (as in we, the elder population) are the cause of these growing allergy cases, it is our responsibility as a society to acknowledge and address the issue so that our children will be safe – especially in their schools – and yes, even if they are not our own children.

Insensitive, peanut-obsessed momma, I wish you and your children good health. I also hope that one day you will have the strength to parent your children with compassion and lead them by example to understand that their peers’ lives are as equally important as their own. I hope you can someday let go and teach them that peanut butter and jelly are material things – things that really mean nothing in the big picture.

Sincerely,

Meg

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Comments

comments

35 Responses

  1. Awesome!! I LOVE IT!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! PS, you should join our group on fb “no nuts moms group”, we would love to have you!

  2. Lindsey Riley

    It is such a shame that there is no compassion left in this world. I can only hope and pray my daughter encounters very few people like this in her lifetime . What gets me is it’s ok for schools to accommodate children with behavioral issues and wheelchairs no questions asked , but when there is a peanut allergy it’s the end of the world and such a huge inconvenience for everyone even though a child could DIE from something as innocent as a bite from a cookie . Ridiculous ! So glad the parents in my child’s class this year are wonderful and try very hard to keep my child safe . A peanut free classroom is essential to ensure she has a safe place to be at in school .

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Hateful food allergy comments make me laugh. Why would anyone out themselves as being so ignorant and lazy???

  4. Melissa Carico

    Right on mama!! I have had to blaze that trail with my now 13 year old son…filled with tears and smiles, hugs and heartbreaks..keep on keepin on!!!

  5. Nancy Fuentes

    From one food allergy mom to another…THANK YOU! I wouldn’t have been so nice! I’d like to knock these ruthless moms out! I feel horrible for their children who will never be taught compassion. I will NEVER back down nor apologize for keeping my child safe!!!!

  6. GREAT! However if you really want to stick it to them skip the world “allergy” it softens the plea, argument and angle and I know you want to go right in for the KILL! “Anaphylaxis”, “Anaphylactic allergy”, “deadly disability”,”deadly allergies” or “life-threateing food allergies”. Even OAS and EOE can turn into anaphylactic episodes so enjoy these words with your passion and help educate. Your impact will go into the jugular if you use the common soft wimpy word “allergy” less and define the right word. Redefining the word “allergy” is just not working for us. Bravo to you for your courage to speak the truth!

  7. Brenda Dohn

    Thank you Meg for writing this blog. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I will share this, and share some more! Great read!

  8. There was a day really early in the school year when I realized that we hadn’t gone grocery shopping for too long. So I started trying to cobble together a little lunch for my preschooler, who attends the public preschool. And I put a package of those premade peanut butter crackers in his bag, and then ten minutes later, I gasped. Actually gasped.

    I had forgotten his school was peanut free. Last year a classmate had a coconut allergy, so coconuts were barred from his specific classroom, but no classes in his little wing of the elementary school allow peanuts ever. I felt so horrible I had forgotten this and took the crackers out of his bag. I have no idea if any kids in his class this year had allergies, but I don’t think I’d have forgiven myself if I caused a reaction because I forgot this over the summer. I was glad I remembered in time to pull them out of his bag before school.

  9. Thank you Meg! That article was a perfect example of an ignorant and insensitive person. I want to believe that there are more caring and sensitive people out there that would be compassionate & understanding of this major allergy pain some of us have to go through. My 4 year old is deadly allergic to almost everything. I grew up in a country where hardly anyone ever had food allergies or ever heard of them. However, when I saw the way my little “peanut” reacted to certain foods consumed by me while nursing him I knew something was wrong. After getting his test results we were floored by the number of foods that he was allergic to. Please know that even though we struggle every day to find something for him to eat that he is not allergic to and that tastes somewhat eatible we do not go around and ask people to make special arrangements for our son. We take 100% responsibility for his safety and well being. However, the schools are responsible for safety and well being of all children that go there. But All we ask from other parents is understanding and some compassion. Your child might feel bad if he can’t have his favorite peanut butter sandwich at school but my child can DIE from it. I am sure if I or my child had a choice we would choose to be “normal”.

    • Wow, G. Your story is pretty similar to mine (minus the other country part :) Thanks for sharing.

  10. Although I agree with respecting others and their diagnosis, there is also a very successful treatment for many allergies, including peanut allergy. Our 2 year old has it, and I do not expect others to change their life for him or us. As much as it is nice for others to respect our situation, I also respect their. The nasty attitudes are not necessary but my family and our son is not entitled either because he has an allergy. In addition, when he turns 6 he will be getting the treatment, as we already spoke to his allergist about it. I can NOT fathom why a parent would not do the treatment if their child is a candidate, and I have known some! My opinion is if they choose not to do the treatment, others should not have to make accommodations for the child. And yes, our son is allergic to peanuts!

    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your response. I think you bring up an interesting point about the “treatment”, though your lack of specificity will probably throw some of the other allergy moms off a bit. Perhaps you can elaborate a bit on this “treatment” so that other moms in the allergy community can understand where you are coming from and respond accordingly.

    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your response. I think you bring up an interesting point about the “treatment”, though your lack of specificity will probably throw some of the other allergy moms off a bit. Perhaps you can elaborate a bit on this “treatment” so that other moms in the allergy community can understand where you are coming from and respond accordingly.

      • Hi Meg,

        I think if a parent wants to know about the treatment they should contact their doctor. I have heard of some doctors that have told parents that there is no treatment, which there clearly is. I don’t think it is appropriate for me to go into specifics, as I am not a doctor but we have discussed it at length with our specialist. However, if a parent is interested in it and their doctor says there is no treatment or anything else against doing the treatment,I would suggest they contact your local Children’s Hospital. Although our allergist has a private office, he also practices at our local Children’s Hospital and this is where they do the treatment, they just have to be 6 years old. However, other doctors in our area have make comments such as there is no treatment or it is not worth it, but from what I have researched and what our specialist says, it is nearly 100% successful. I would rather do the treatment and know our son is safe, because no matter how much precautions are taken, there is always the risk. There have been several cases recently where parents have taken countless precautions and the child still ended up ingesting something and passed. I wish more parents knew about this or knew how to get the information and find a doctor/hospital that does it. It is time-consuming, but I think it is less time consuming than worrying about him. There are also some doctors/hospitals doing the treatment for multiple allergies, but I do not know if these doctors/hospitals are harder to find. Hope that helps.

        • Hate to be the negative nelly here, but I’m curious. If this is “nearly 100% successful”, where are the findings? Even if you aren’t a doctor, surely you can provide us with more information than “go to your doctor but some doctors say it doesn’t exist/isn’t worth it”. If some doctors say it doesn’t exist or it isn’t worth it, there’s probably a good reason for it – maybe it hasn’t been properly studied. You’re being way too vague. You say you’ve researched it, so where did you find your information?

          • She is referring to OIT, oral immunotherapy. We are currently doing this with our daughter. The problem is that there are only a handful of doctors in the country that offer this in private practice. Although very successful for many, it is not 100%. For more info on doctors that do offer the treatment, and to talk to other parents who have done it or are researching it, come to our Facebook group Peanut Anaphylaxis Cure https://www.facebook.com/groups/peanutanaphylaxiscure/

          • I originally found it on the internet, inquired about it with our specialist, who was pleasantly surprised that I researched and asked him about it, and noted that our son is a candidate for when he is 6 years old. I just re-googled it and found another breakthrough just in the past couple months that I did not know about, which appears to still be in the research stages but very promising results thus far – very interesting. It’s not that difficult to google something or ask your doctor. And yes, many doctors have their own agendas and it is not always what is best for the patient. I had numerous doctors refuse my 4 year old a nebulizer for his asthma, and even refused to diagnose it even though he averaged 8-10 visits a year in the ER for the first 3 years of his life. Again, I sought out doctors and did some research, found a strong doctor and our son is now down to 2 ER visits this past year and one was my error because I did not give enough time for the medication used a home to work. I have a friend who I told her about the peanut allergy treatment, she googled it and found it within 5 minutes and started to explore treatment for her daughter. I do not know if she followed through or not, but again, it’s not that hard to do. If someone is interested in it, then google and talk to your doctor. I am not being vague, I am just not going to do it for someone else, I did it for our own child – others can too. Maybe other will find things I did not. However, if you are resistant to it, then don’t explore it.

          • Interesting.

        • I’m having a difficult time following your argument without understanding this “treatment” you refer to. I think it would be helpful for all if you dropped a link to a medical article/page. Yes, there are some pretty amazing things happening in the medical community – much of which is still in the study phase. It will be interesting to see where this takes us and it’s certainly very exciting. In the meantime, for those allergy parents and children who are not engaged in these studies/treatments (for whatever reason – it’s not always so black and white), they deserve respect.

          • I wrote “nearly 100%,” again, I am not a doctor so I do not know the exacts, which is why I would not give any information on it. I also do not know how many doctors perform this, etc, which again is why I suggested speaking to your doctor. Thank you Pamela for the group information!!! The group goals you listed is fabulous and connecting individuals to doctors is amazing!!! Where I live, we have a whole department in the Children’s Hospital that does it, wish there was more places like this so people had more options. We are trying to educate ourselves on this as much as we can, as we have 4 years before our son can participate. Very helpful! I am never comfortable giving out medical information or even referring others to sites, since I think that should only be done by professionals. Just my opinion and choice. But if someone is interested in the treatment, I hope they are able to get it!! It should be available in every place; here’s hoping it is in the near future!

    • As a non-allergy mom, I’m happy to make accommodations for others with deadly or severe or ever moderate allergies because I’d like other parents not to do things that will kill/hurt my child, too.

    • Anne,
      I am sensitive to others, and I appreciate your logic. We all have passions and issues that impact our lives more than others. I expect reasonable accomadations for people with disabilities. I will refer to an allergy as a “disability.”
      The author, Meg’s, request to simply ban peanut products in schools is not reasonable. I have been in schools where there are peanut allergy tables for children who suffer from allergiies. This is reasonable accommodation.
      This logic can be applied to most social issues. This is all part of living in a civilized society.

      • I agree Adam as it is all about balance. Our 4 year old is not allergic and he has been taught about his brother’s allergy. He says “I can’t give my brother my food because he could get sick and die, and I love my brother.” But we also don’t hold them back from our 4 year old. It’s all about a balance for everyone. But I agree with Meg that there is NO reason to be rude about it like the examples Meg posted – such as using the word “normal.” We are all “normal” but each have our own issues, a peanut allergy is just one of countless things we could have. My 4 year old is “normal” with severe asthma; my 2 year old is “normal” with a peanut allergy.

      • “Reasonable accommodations” actually makes a great deal of sense to me, Adam. That being said, “reasonable” for one child will differ from another based on things such as the severity of his/her allergy and age. Regardless as to Whether you’re faced with sending your non allergic child to a peanut free classroom, a peanut free school, or asked to bring in a peanut free snack that will be shared with all students, it is pretty clear that change is occurring because as a civilization we are up against an influx of allergy cases that cannot be explained. It’s time to embrace this reality with an open mind and with respect. Poor attitudes/outlooks from parents often get passed down to their children, creating a bullying effect. I read the other day from one mother that a child in her son’s school was chasing him around trying to rub peanut butter on his face because he was annoyed by his peer’s allergy. This type of behavior/bullying is horrible, completely unnecessary, and likely preventable via parental leadership. This post is not about whether or not nuts should be allowed in schools. Instead it is about attitude and how we embrace change as parents.

  11. My school recently started a “go” bag system. If your child has any allergy (mine happens to be bee stings), your child gets a 504, and the teacher/aid/monitor carry around their EpiPens to all their classrooms/cafeteria/recess, etc. ALL the staff has also been recently trained on the use of EpiPens and the importance of acting immediately. We are not a nut “free” school, but we are a nut “aware” school and try and make sure that ALL the students have a safe school environment. Be safe!!

  12. Great post!

  13. Great post. I think a huge problem is a number of parents whose children don’t have allergies but the parents say they do. For example they don’t like milk so they say they are allergic. It makes light of children with real allergies. This happens in the school I teach at. We try to explain if you don’t have an epi pen or doctor’s note, that is not an allergy.

    • Thanks for this input, Kerri. It’s really interesting to hear directly from someone who works in a school regularly. I have to say I’m quite surprised that apparently there is an abundance of moms who say their children have allergies when they don’t and I am curious how you determine if they are lying.

      • Meg,
        In the public school I work at, if a parent says their child has an allergy, they need to have doctor’s “orders” and an epi for the classroom. It if sort of gross how many people toss around the term “allergy” and don’t really get it. I have a “peanut safe” room. I have one student who can be near it but just can’t eat it. So we have a peanut free table, wash tables after eating and wash hands again. We eat in our classrooms at my school.

        • Oh, and one way I realized someone was not being truthful about the allergy, was when they said their child had a “wheat” allergy but on pizza day they ate the whole wheat pizza. When I asked, the parents said she is only allergic sometimes. I tried to explain that is not how allergies work, you can’t be allergic on Fridays but not Tuesday pizza day. They didn’t get it. :(

          • Wow, that’s pretty ridiculous. I really hope this is not as common as it’s sounding. Yikes.

  14. Totally respect peanut ban. Having a high schooler, I have seen what exposure can do to a child with allergies. My gripe is I have a child with severe allergies to perfumes. He gets, at the very least, migraines, severe reaction is asthma. Where is your support when asking kids to refrain from spraying half a bottle on for school. All I get is “nothing we can do. Freedom of expression”. I got your back, how about returning the favor?

    • That is such a bummer that your son has a severe perfume allergy! That is definitely a difficult situation to be in. I think that if your son’s reaction is life threatening (assuming it could trigger an asthma attack?), the school should be more open to listening to you and at least communicating that there is a student (anonymous) with this allergy. When did you find out that he was allergic?

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