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Nut ban at school

(125 Posts)
Topazblue Sun 23-Aug-15 20:23:32

I don't understand this, well I do. But had a rather heated discussion with a 'friend' this afternoon. Her do has a peanut allergy, my dc has a dairy/egg allergy.

Both docs have to carry epi pens etc so equally serious in my mind.

My dc reacts to egg and dairy just from being nearby. We have had incidents due to yogurt splattering at pre school and being nearby when meringues were being made.
I mentioned how I didn't see why there was a nut ban and not a dairy/egg ban when the allergies are just as serious

She got quite irate saying that peanut allergy IS more serious and I told her that as far as I'm concerned anaphylactic shock whether from a peanut or other allergy is still anaphylactic shock ???

Apparently though it would be unfair to have a ban on dairy and egg as children need to eat those things whereas nuts are easy to exclude.
AIBU to think that children should be treated the same whether it's a severe nut or other allergy and if you are going to ban one thing then ban them all or none at all ?

Topazblue Sun 23-Aug-15 20:24:14

Dc/dcs not do/docs (on my phone and it's correcting everything!)

howtorebuild Sun 23-Aug-15 20:25:10

AS is the same no matter what the allergy. Your friend has issues.hmm

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Aug-15 20:27:47

I'm not sure banning dairy and eggs in schools is particularly workable, is it?

I see your point but the fact is, nuts are much easier to ban.

So whilst it seems unfair, there's no point in unbanning nuts just because it would be pretty impossible to ban dairy, if that makes sense?

RaspberryOverload Sun 23-Aug-15 20:28:15

OP, YANBU. It doesn't matter what causes the anaphylactic shock, it's equally serious.

In fact, I believe there have been calls not to ban nuts in schools, by some societies or groups representing people with nut allergies (can't find the info right now, or I'd link).

In any case, each school should be risk assessing things properly based on the actual allergies the children have.

YakTriangle Sun 23-Aug-15 20:28:31

I agree with you. Nobody should say one person's serious allergic reaction is more important to prevent than another's. I assume schools find it easy to tell children they can't have nut products but banning dairy would be harder confused

starlight2007 Sun 23-Aug-15 20:29:01

I think the nut allergy is far easier to manage.

As a parent of a child with a severe allergy you will know how difficult it is to work through everything that contains egg and dairy..

The nut ban in school is far easier to manage.

I don't think it is about competetion of whose allergy is the worst

WombatStewForTea Sun 23-Aug-15 20:29:46

I completely understand where you're coming from and in theory they should be treated the same (within the same school as different schools have different rules) but in reality it is easy to ban nuts but so much harder to ban dairy/eggs as it makes. The school however do need to take responsibility to make sure your dc is safe. Do they have anything in place?

Littlefish Sun 23-Aug-15 20:30:15

We were advised by the school nurse not to have a "nut ban" as it is unworkable, and lulls people into a false sense of security.

instead, we write to parents of children in that class/year group and ask them to avoid obvious nuts and nut butters wherever possible for packed lunches and any party or special occasion food. We then risk assess all cooking/food/Playdough activities etc. We work with the parents of the affected child at every stage to make sure that we've thght of everything, but we do not issue a school-wide "nut ban".

The same precautions would be put in place if we had children with other allergies unless we are advised differently by the school nurse or the child's consultant.

MaudGonneMad Sun 23-Aug-15 20:30:33

YANBU that anaphylactic shock is the same.

YABU that it's as easy to ban dairy and egg. It just isn't.

In any case, the Allergy Society have come out against bans, I believe.

hazeyjane Sun 23-Aug-15 20:31:56

Agree with Worra and Starlight - it is just easier to call for a school wide nut ban, than a school wide dairy/egg ban.

RachelZoe Sun 23-Aug-15 20:32:08

Anaphylactic shock is anaphylactic shock. Your friend is being hysterical. I think in general nuts are sold as the "worst" allergy for some reason hmm, I do notice others aren't taken as seriously for some reason.

I think it's just crazy to not ban a substance that children are carrying epi pens for. I'm sure the non allergic kids can cope without eggs and dairy during the school day.

bikeandrun Sun 23-Aug-15 20:32:46

My daughter is vegetarian, there is a nut ban in her school, if there was a dairy and egg as well i cant think of many sandwiches she could actually eat!

lavendersun Sun 23-Aug-15 20:33:47

Topaz - I feel for you, we had an epipen for dairy and didn't require physical contact either. I think it is easier to ban nuts, diary is virtually in everything, egg more common than nuts.

I doubt it would be possible to exclude dairy from a school environment. These things are part of our nation's staple diets, nuts less so. Dairy is often used as a filler in cheaper food products. You couldn't tell the whole school to search out dairy free bread or egg free baking (easily identified by the pancake like appearance in my kitchen).

DD had to sit on her own sad for years. Heartbreaking once they realise what is going on.

When her levels came down enough (aged almost 8) we went on a reintroduction programme (Uni of Leicester research I seem to remember) and we are now epipen free.

Life is much easier.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 23-Aug-15 20:35:33

I've said this before. If you ban one surely you have to ban all and banning nuts just tells people nuts are more serious when clearly people are in danger from other allergens too.

no one needs eggs or dairy either so that argument is void.

trickster78 Sun 23-Aug-15 20:36:01

My daughter is allergic to dairy, egg and nuts. We have a nut ban at school. I often find that people assume that reactions to dairy and egg will not be as 'bad' (lethal) as reactions to nuts. This isn't the case. I'm on a campaign to educate everyone I come across!!
Personally I am pleased that we have a ban as its one less thing to worry about, my daughter has a dairy and egg free school meal (all school meals are completely nut free) and initially was sat one place away from anyone eating either dairy or egg in their meal. Fortunately for her, her allergies to egg and dairy are not airborne so this has been relaxed and she is able to sit with others.

godsavethequeeeen Sun 23-Aug-15 20:36:29

if they banned everything that caused AS the kids would have hardly anything left to eat.

One of my dc's has fruit and nut allergies and carries an epi-pen, I really don't expect the school to ban any of it. We have to manage it as best we can.

Topazblue Sun 23-Aug-15 20:37:20

Yes- ds sits on the 'allergy table' at the end. Tbh it isn't helping as it's just a table with every child who has an allergy so he's often next to a dc who for eg has an egg allergy but will have a yogurt in their lunchbox or a nut allergy but has an egg sandwich, you get the idea. It's basically completely pointless having an 'allergy table'

I'm going to speak to them again at the beginning of term. It just irritated me today to be told that a nut allergy is different when it the same !!

ecuse Sun 23-Aug-15 20:37:42

You're right they're equally serious. She's got a point in saying that an eggs and dairy ban is an awful lot harder logistically.

houseofstark Sun 23-Aug-15 20:37:51

I think generally people misunderstand egg/dairy allergies and think they are always 'just' intolerances i.e. your child may be slightly unwell if they eat them.

Your friend really should know better, given her child has an allergy also.

lavendersun Sun 23-Aug-15 20:38:54

But Giles shopping for dairy free bread isn't that easy - you can't buy bread from the Sainsburys or Morrisons bakery at all for instance - there is no way that could be enforced in a school. Cheap bread often has skimmed milk powder added as a filler.

Completely impractical.

Andrewofgg Sun 23-Aug-15 20:39:43

How does a nut-ban work? If a youngster (especially at secondary school) buys nuts or nutty chocolate on the way to school and then eats them in the playground (or come to that in the building) - who can prevent that from happening or be held responsible if it does?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 23-Aug-15 20:44:55

Every thing is "may contain nuts" too so and kids probably are walking around with traces on clothes/face so realistically no child is any safer with a ban on anything.

Smartiepants79 Sun 23-Aug-15 20:46:02

Of course they are just as serious but I agree with others banning dairy AND egg would have a massive impact on foods available for all the other children.
It not workable as far as I can see.
Your sons school does need to come up with a different system though. The allergy table sounds crazy.

80schild Sun 23-Aug-15 20:47:21

Agree with OP there are a couple of kids in my son's class who are seriously allergic to egg and it is just as serious. I take the view ban it all or ban nothing however, if you ban it all it becomes impossible as egg is in everything (at least it seems this way from play dates).

The way they manage the allergy at DS' school is by saying children who have egg in lunch boxes sit on a different lunch table from the allergic children, which seems to work.

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