Parents’ lack of consideration for child with peanut allergy

Have we lost all sense of compassion? Are we so self-absorbed that a few minutes of convenience are worth more than a child’s life?

I found this article from WKMG through a link on parenting.com. There’s a little girl in first grade with a severe peanut allergy. That’s a severe allergy, not an I’m-going-to-get-a-small-rash allergy, but an I-could-die allergy. Has the entire school gone peanut-free? Nope. Are kids not allowed to have their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Nope. The classroom is completely peanut-free, which includes any trace amounts that could be found in store-bought snacks and homemade goodies. When the kids come back to the classroom they are required to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths to make sure that no traces of peanuts come back into the classroom. This little girl’s throat could close up just by being touched by a child who ate something with nuts. Yeah, that serious.

Outraged parents are arguing that it takes too much time from their child’s education to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths a few times a day. Really? I used to teach pre-school. My kids were 3 to 4 years old. They had to wash their hands after breakfast, before and after lunch, and after snack time. Guess what. It didn’t take that long. It took maybe 10 minutes for 23 pre-schoolers to wash their hands and these parents want me to believe that it’s taking their first graders over 30 minutes? And besides, since when did proper hygiene become not worth our time? I’m sure these parents will be grateful when their kids get fewer colds.

I am appalled by the behavior of these parents. They need to grow up and start showing a positive example to their own children. Use this opportunity to teach them compassion and respect. Teach them to be grateful that they don’t have to read every ingredient on every label before they put something in their mouths. Teach them to be human beings.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you. A little compassion goes a long way. All four of my brother’s children suffer from severe food allergies. Two of them , peanuts. The third is violently allergic to a number of foods. Strawberries are a trip to the hospital. The boys break out if they play in a yard when peanuts in the shell were eaten the day before…just from the remnants of shells still in the yard, even after the parents cleaned. My brother and his wife are always, constantly afraid for their children. They’re in a school district where they’d not yet encountered even the peanut allergies before…and my sister-in-law has carried the brunt of the effort to educate them and get them up to speed on the issue. It’s not been easy, but at least there hasn’t been the selfish, inconsiderate protesting that has been seen in some schools.
    Publicity on this subject is helpful. Educating the public is the only way to go. Maybe then, when they encounter someone with one of these allergies, they won’t write them off as being silly or exaggerated. So thanks again…

    Reply

    • This has been a hot topic for me for years. I had a child with a peanut allergy when I taught pre-school. When it was first discovered and my room became a peanut free room, most of my parents were completely understanding. One parent fought tooth and nail with me. “My son only eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!” and on and on. I told her that I was more concerned about the other child’s life. She called the director and complained because I made her feel guilty by telling her that a child could die. The director wanted me to apologize. I outright refused. (That was the first of many, many issues I had at that center . . . but that’s for another day!)

      So, you are quite welcome . . . and thank you as well for sharing your thoughts!!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Nicole Elizabeth on April 23, 2011 at 1:30 am

    i heard about this on the news.. those parents make me sick. this is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about community, civic responsibility, and being good friends. i have heard of entire schools being nut free zones because of children with allergies, and i believe that is fine. every child has the right to a safe learning environment. children SHOULD be taught to wash their hands frequently. and i think it would be a great lesson in personal hygiene for the kids to brush their teeth after lunch. the parents crying bc their child cant eat PBnJ at school are completely selfish and need to get over themselves and start setting a good example for their children.

    Reply

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