Everybody has had these at one point, either in a sandwich or in a bowl of mixed nuts, at a party. They are in oils, foods, desserts and they are not a nut. They are a legume that originated in South America and have no connection to tree nuts. If you google peanuts almost everything comes back stating their dietary benefits, superfood, nutrition, or health benefits. I did not see anything about the dangers. These little bastards can also kill. They have a protein that can send somebody into anaphylactic shock. People die from this. As a precaution, most people with this allergy walk around with an epi-pen.
Everybody at one point, me included has heard the narrative about peanuts in school. “My kid likes peanuts and wants a peanut butter sandwich for lunch” I never contemplated this was a big deal. If you do not know the subject, like me at the time, you thought it was just an issue if you ate a peanut. Well here is the issue. It can be anything associated with the peanut; Oils, dust, or cross-contaminated.
Adults are knowledgeable of the risk, children are not. When I met my wife, son number two became part of my life too. Like any parent, we love our kids and will protect them at all costs. My wife was an experienced chicken hawk on peanut subject but I had a lot to learn! If I grabbed something at the market she knew instinctively if it was safe. I had to learn to read labels for all those gotcha’s; where it was made, does it have peanuts or peanut oils, or cross-contamination risk. More than once I came home with something and we had to toss it out. I even learned to look at the dog food label.
It has been more than 5 years now. I’m not at my wife’s level on the subject but I think I’m pretty good. I look at everything before I buy it. There was even a time or two I jumped down the waiter’s throat because he put something down before I asked about it. Parents have to be ultra vigilant on this, we may seem crazy the way we react but there is a reason. I get it if it is something you are not faced with you don’t know and there is no real reason for you to go find out.
Back to the school issue. Kids have to learn this, as a parent, we do all we can but we can’t be in school with the kid. Our kid is old enough now he knows what he can and can’t do. For little kids, at least through the 8th grade, it would be helpful if the schools would inform the other parents of the risks. I’m not suggesting they make it mandatory to only buy products peanut free in any way but I don’t think it is asking too much to have people avoid the obvious dangers like an actual peanut or any peanut product like peanut butter. It would also be beneficial to know all the kids with this allergy so they can sit together at lunch. I hate to say it but our kid had lunch alone all through 8th grade.
This is a serious allergy that has very little publicity but most allergies are like that because we don’t consider them to be deadly, but they can be. A little common sense and a little education can go a long way. Let me help https://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/peanut-allergy.aspx?gclid=CjwKCAiAuK3vBRBOEiwA1IMhugapXBuF3MrRZYqg9y7tBx9SW2IMR1X_DV6okKvNNWDA7SzG9x2vjRoCW7gQAvD_BwE