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to wonder if there really are a disproportionate amt of children who are allergic to ALL nuts?

(156 Posts)
oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:12:13

firstly, I do comply with the zero nut zone policies

secondly, happy to be corrected, am genuinely interested!

but no nuts... AT ALL?? nuts are ideal lunchbox energy/protein snacks and nut butters are great sandwich fillings, much healthier than a lot of the alternatives .

I understand that peanuts are highly allergenic, but
1: other highly allergenic things are allowed; strawberries, dairy, soya, kiwis..
2: they're lagumes aren't they? how are a few almonds gonna affect someone with a peanut allergy? or is it common to have a serious allergy to ALL nuts?

when a child has a serious allergy to a particular fruit, that fruit is banned, fruit in general isn't banned! and it's not banned unless there is actually someone attending who is allergic

the zero nuts policy don't include "may contain traces of nuts" products anyway

please understand that I don't think it's a huge sacrifice to make if some cashew butter or a few almonds in my kid's lunchbox might cause another child to be seriously ill

but exactly how likely is that? that
1. there is going to be a kid in school who is not yet diagnosed
2. they are allergic to ALL nuts

(am genuinely curious)

BuntyPenfold Thu 10-Jan-13 21:20:20

I have thought this too. I always comply with the nut-free zone, but I often think it is a nonsense eg no pesto allowed, but seeded breads are ok.

My dairy-intolerant and very thin DS could use the extra protein too.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 10-Jan-13 21:21:22

Generally people diagnosed with an allergy to one or more nuts will be advised to avoid all nuts because of the cross-reactivity but yes, it is very unusual to be allergic to all nuts. I think about 5x more people are allergic to peanuts than a tree nut but there is a significant proportion of people allergic to both, around 20% iirc of peanut allergic people are allergic to one or more tree nuts.

this is fun but doesn't actually tell you what you wanted to know.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 10-Jan-13 21:22:14

I much prefer the policy of a pre-school near me. They are nut aware not nut free. Much better for all concerned.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 10-Jan-13 21:22:20

well pesto has nuts in and seeded bread doesn't. I think nut bans are stupid though.

whois Thu 10-Jan-13 21:26:55

Also, what happens to all the massive but allergy people once they leave school? At work there is peanut butter and nuts at work. Surely if an allergy is so dangerous you can't take any bits into school they are still dangerous to adults in huge open plan offices?

oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:28:18

"but there is a significant proportion of people allergic to both, around 20% iirc of peanut allergic people are allergic to one or more tree nuts. "

thanks for this, this was exactly what I was wondering

I have a family member who is severely allergic so something, not nuts or peanuts, (epipen allergic, has had full allergic shocks from very small amts), and as an individual is advised to avoid the whole food category (maily because serving staff can be lazy about checking ingredients properly) but they don't need their whole work place to avoid that whole food category. The serious reactions have occured when serving staff hadn't bothered to check and just said it didn't have that ingredient, never from someone else eating it.

oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:29:47

I thought pinenuts (in pesto) were actually seeds??

ThatArtfulPussy Thu 10-Jan-13 21:30:14

IThinkOfHappy - pine nuts are seeds.

kissmyheathenass Thu 10-Jan-13 21:32:13

Adults can be more careful about what they eat. I think the no-nut blanket policy is there in case children swap/trade food.

Ds is extremely allergic to cashew - full blown anaphylactic shock after a miniscule sliver. But he is fine with peaniuts, almonds, brazils etc.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 10-Jan-13 21:33:00

and cashew nuts are nuts and peanuts are peanuts. Both are regularly used in pesto. Maybe not in yours but then its back to the chocolate philadelphia being banned because they can't be sure its not nutella bollocks that we have had threads about. I'm just glad our school doesn't do it.

oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:34:21

are nuts significantly more allergenic then than other common allergenic foods that are allowed unless someone in the class is specifically diagnosed?

is it likely for a child with a serious nut allergy to get to school age without having been exposed to nuts before?

oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:36:14

"I think the no-nut blanket policy is there in case children swap/trade food"
then why not all high allergenic foods in the blanket policy?

yup I make my pesto with cashews, as am the non-serious type of allergic to pine nuts (just get hay-fevery, no big deal)

neolara Thu 10-Jan-13 21:37:02

Pesto often is made with cashews instead of pesto. It's cheaper.

Squeakygate Thu 10-Jan-13 21:37:36

A school in Yorkshire banned bananas recently i seem to remember, due to a staff member being allergic.

SavoyCabbage Thu 10-Jan-13 21:38:57

We are in a big school, the children eat in their classrooms. Foods are 'banned' in the classroom if there child in that class with anaphylaxis.

Dd1 is allergic to peanuts so the other children in her class are not supposed to have peanuts. They can have other nuts though.

Dd2 has a boy who is anaphylactic to many things. Peanuts, nuts, eggs, salmon. He is only allergic to eggs and salmon if he eats them, not if he touches them so we are allowed to put those things in our lunch boxes but he doesn't sit next to them if they do.

One class isn't allowed celery but the others are all nuts or peanuts. In reality, people do bring the 'banned' items in for lunches. It's quite hard to moderate. People forget as one year they can bring a food and the next they can't.

I think the difference with adults in the workplace and children in schools is that adults are more responsible for themselves. The allergic adult could choose to not sit next to the person eating a snickers. The adult wouldn't wipe his nutty hands on the table, or not wash them and then launch into a clapping game with his allergic friend. He wouldn't have to search a field for a grown up to tell that grown up that he was getting a rash or red eyes and rely on that grown up who is looking after hundreds of children, to correctly diagnose him and make sure he gets the right medication.

Sam100 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:39:14

Almonds are technically not nuts - they are actually the seed of the fruit of an almond tree - so like the pips in an apple or the pit of a peach. But the kids won't believe me and won't allow them in their packed lunch because school won't let them have nuts. They also refuse to take tomatoes for their fruit break!

oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:40:26

"A school in Yorkshire banned bananas recently i seem to remember, due to a staff member being allergic"

yeah but that makes sense because someone there is actually allergic to them
I worked with someone who was so allergic to oranges that even traces of the oils could cause a reaction, so we had a no orange rule!
it wasn't a no fruit rule
other work places don't ban fruit incase there's someone there who doesn't yet know that they have a serious allergy to it IYWKIM

Binkyridesagain Thu 10-Jan-13 21:40:33

DH is allergic to nuts, we're not sure if its all nuts as he has never fancied trying them, any he has eaten have been accidentally, cashews, almonds, pistachios, he reacts to.
He also has a peanut allergy but it depends in what form the peanut is, dry roasted he's fine, peanut cookies he can eat one with no problem but that's it, peanut oil is a no go and crushed peanuts are a no go.
The only nuts I don't eat are pistachios as DH reacts very badly to them and I would rather be able to kiss him than eat them.

gobbin Thu 10-Jan-13 21:41:26

Actually, if you've ever witnessed how quickly a child can decline into anaphylactic shock having consumed the minutest amount of a nut product and then set that alongside kids not being allowed nut products in school, you may reconsider which of these groups is the hardest done by.

Not being allowed nut-based products during the school day is hardly a big sacrifice. My boy used to stuff his face with peanut butter and marmite sandwiches when he got in from school in order to keep the foul nutty sludge running theough his veins lol!

BuntyPenfold Thu 10-Jan-13 21:41:31

When at nursery we had a child severely allergic to dairy products, gluten and citrus, other children were still allowed to eat dairy,gluten and citrus because it was too difficult to arrange a blanket ban confused It was a worrying situation for staff, but no one could find a solution.

neolara Thu 10-Jan-13 21:41:31

oldebaglady - I believe most kids with nut allergies are diagnosed between starting eating solids and around 2yo. Once a child is diagnosed it's entirely possible for a child with a serious nut allergy to get to school age without being exposed to more nuts. It's done by the care giver (parent / nursery etc) being completely obsessive about checking every tiny thing they eat. And by very scrupulously monitoring the environment to avoid nuts. There is no other way of keeping your child safe.

apostropheuse Thu 10-Jan-13 21:42:35

Dear God they really banned bananas from the whole school? Surely the adult member of staff could avoid them?

Do they remove them from the supermarket she shops in...just in case?

oldebaglady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:43:02

i still don't think I'll get away with almond butter sandwiches though unfortunately!

ConfusedPixie Thu 10-Jan-13 21:45:06

I've wondered this in the past, interesting to see the percentage of people allergic to peanuts and tree nuts!

I don't get why we ban just nuts and not other highly allergic things too, like the OP said, are nuts just a more common/likely allergy?

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