Monday, September 29, 2008

I was reading this entry at a blog I look at on occassion.

I don't understand all of the deadly food allergies that are suddenly around. In my elementary school, we had one kid with a nut allergy (he happened to be my neighbor - I babysat him on occassion). And that was it. No one was going to be on the verge of death if they looked at a carton of milk. No one was going to explode if they ate a piece of bread.

And that one kid with a nut allergy? His parents didn't expect every kid in the school to go nut-free because of him. He ate his lunch alone during the actual lunch-eating period, then all the kids washed their hands and they went outside or to the gym for recess. The parents in his classroom were asked not to send snacks with nuts for birthdays and the like, but that was the only real accomodation that was made.

Now, all of a sudden, everyone has deadly allergies to some food or another. And parents expect the whole school to change to accomodate their kid. Why should I not put cheese on my kid's sandwhich because one kid on some other classroom has an allergy? It's ridiculous.

Sorry if I'm offending the parents out there. I admit I'm not one, and my perspective may be different because of that. I was a teacher, though. And if we had a kid with allergies at the school where I taught, the snack rule I mentioned above was in effect, but parents weren't told they can never give their own kids peanut butter sandwiches, or bread with gluten in it, or milk or whatever because one kid in the class was allergic. It was that kid who sometimes had to make sacrifices. Because you know what? Sometimes in life you have to sacrifice. I don't like amusement park rides that go upside down. Does that mean I ask the park to suspend operations of those rides whenever I go so I don't feel left out? No, it just means I don't ride those rides. Food with blue dye in it makes my stomach do unpleasant things. Do I require that the cakes people at work bring in for birthdays or whatever never have blue icing? No, I just don't have a piece of cake that day. See how it works?

Is it a hard lesson for a kid to learn. Sure. But it is a lesson all of us need to learn someday.

And I firmly believe that the reason we have so many allergies, and "sensitivities" and whatnot popping up these days is that kids aren't allowed to get dirty any more. Parents are always on the lookout for the slightest bit of dirt and standing by with hand sanitizer, wet wipes, etc. When I was a kid, we were outside in the dirt all the time. I probably ate my weight in dirt (and lead paint, to boot) by the time I was five. And aside from some ear infections and some upper respiratory infections (that were most likely caused - or at least made worse - by my mother's smoking), I made it through kidhood unscathed.

OK. Cranky time is over. Back to your regularly scheduled...internet.

1 comment:

tomzgrrl said...

As a parent, and as a parent of a child with a very slight dietary issue -- I will say this: If it's life threatening, I understand the lengths that people go to the prevent exposure. That being said, if it's THAT severe, should your child be in school? Should there be a special classroom/lunchroom rather than ban it all together? I've seen the kids (as young as 4) coming in from recess wearing their epi-pens around their neck in case they got stung by a bee. Life threatening. I get it.

But I have not fought to have special provisions made for The Dictator to have her not be exposed to cow's milk -- meaning that there were times in preschool that she grabbed the wrong glass and drank a few swigs of something that was definitely not her soy milk (that I had to send in special every week). Because it's an intolerance more than a life threatening allergy, it's okay. She might get pretty sick to her stomach but she won't die.

If my child were highly and life threatening allergic to some common substance, I don't think I would TRUST the school to protect her to the level required. I've seen parents send Mountain Dew and all kinds of idiotic things in school lunches that are NOT allowed by school policy. So, what would make it any different if the school requests no nuts or dairy. Unless the school checks each and every lunch every day (and hoses the kids down every morning in case they spilled their breakfast milk or peanut butter toast) -- it's unrealistic to expect it to be a safe environment anyway.

I hear you. But, let's be sure to give each kid a trophy if they do participate in the "no nut" ban. They should all be winners. (Note the sarcasm -- another pet peeve of mine -- give them all a trophy just for trying.)