DEBATE: Are allergies a disability?

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 19th, 2011, 1:33 pm

There's a big hub-bub going on in FL right now over a school taking drastic measures to prevent peanuts. People in the comments are comparing allergies to disabilities. Are they? Do they fall under the ADA? At what point does it fall on the allergy-sufferer to be responsible? What are reasonable measures that YOU would take if a co-worker or fellow student had a severe allergy? DISCUSS!
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Postby Pit♥bull » April 19th, 2011, 1:41 pm

Children of school age may not be aware they have peanut allergies, these allergies can be so severe as to cause death. Schools should in my opinion ban peanuts.
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Postby Malli » April 19th, 2011, 2:12 pm

I think after a certain age, they should lift the ban, but for 5th graders (or a certain grade around that age) or less, then yes; young kids forget, or if peanuts are called something else on the package, or they just forget to check and trade items in their lunches, etc, etc, etc.

On the other hand, Wes has had asthma so bad it would kill him in a severe attack -since he was a baby baby, and has carried a Puffer around for his *entire* life, and knows to use it, so....
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Postby call2arms » April 19th, 2011, 7:16 pm

I don't think allergies are a disability, but a risk... It's a thin like between keeping kids safe, and keeping everyone else form eating peanuts!! Shellfish also cause allergies, I remember more kids in my elementary school being allergis to that than peanuts, and who would ban shellfish as a whole??? It's going waaay too far in my opinion.

It's food, maybe they should ban soda and unhealthy snack machines first, if they're going to ban something. A kid that knows that he/she has allergies should know to not ever exchange lunch snacks and the like, and that's it. I remember 6 year olds being able to do that.

Now it's peanuts, in 10 years it's going to be something else... Banning foods isn't a solution, it's more about the awareness from the staff/class/teacher and the kid himself that matter.
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Postby hugapitbull » April 19th, 2011, 7:37 pm

I don't see banning foods any differently than banning breeds.

The American public needs to learn the words 'responsibility and accountability'.
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Postby mnp13 » April 19th, 2011, 8:07 pm

Peanut allergies can be lethal. I know of a child who is home schooled because she has a lethal level allergy to milk, as in if I spilled milk on the table and wiped it up with a napkin, then she touched the table she would go to the hospital in an ambulance (and has many times.) If she was to eat something with milk in it, she'd be lucky to survive the experience.

If that school has a child with a lethal level allergy, I can understand it. Kids don't always think.

I agree that this country doesn't understand the meaning of "personal responsibility" but when you're talking about kids under 10, a little protection can make a huge difference.
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Postby call2arms » April 19th, 2011, 10:31 pm

Yes, but in the case of the child you're talking about, that would be banning milk. Peanuts. Shellfish. What else?

I agree, from a complete other point of view, that if it was MY child, I would be very happy to know my child would have a lot less chances of being exposed to an allergen that can cause his/her death.

But where do you draw the line?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 20th, 2011, 7:12 am

How about on airlines? What if somebody is allergic or extremely sensitive to fragrances (Michelle :wink: ) - should she be able to get a fragrance-free flight?
Or people who are deathly allergic to animals? I constantly am covered in dog and cat hair.
I'm all for reasonable accomodations but at some point there needs to be personal (or parental) accountability. If you are going to DIE if you touch someplace that milk was, or if somebody breathes near you who was eating peanuts, then perhaps mainstream school/society isn't the safest place for you.
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Postby Pit♥bull » April 20th, 2011, 7:39 am

Back to peanuts...
There are instances where the children/parents have no idea the child has a peanut allergy until it's too late.
This seems to be the most common allergy to be fatal.
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Postby plebayo » April 20th, 2011, 9:45 am

I don't think foods should be banned. IMO it is the parents responsibility to list any and all allergies, and the school's responsibility - if the child is way young, to make sure if the classroom is having a party that there is food that the child can eat. Also it is pretty rare in schools to offer peanuts or peanut contained foods because even when I was a kid peanut allergies were a concern.

I think children with allergies should bring their lunch to school. It probably works out to the same cost as buying a lunch at school and you can give your kid a more balanced lunch by making it. When I was in grade school we got menus every month, if said child has allergies but wants "hot lunch" I think again, it is the parents responsibility to tell the child they can have "this" on the menu.

I think we can only protect our kids so much. One time I was at my aunt's house and ate a blue oreo. I walked back over to my parents and my throat started closing. You're right, we don't always know our allergies but you can't ban everything.

I guess if you're worried about your kid dying from an allergy you should homeschool them. What about kids allergic to smoke? It's likely your child will go to school with another kid who smells like cigarette smoke and they can't help it. It's likely your child will go to school with someone who has tons of pets.

I also think it's lame that people don't put responsibility on their kids. I've had an inhaler my entire school career, we kept one in the office and one in my backpack. I did as was told, I didn't play with it, if I needed to use it I told a teacher. Even at kindergarten age I was able to take responsibility for it. I think if you can't trust your child to do as their told then you probably need to look at your parenting skills.
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Postby iluvk9 » April 20th, 2011, 2:39 pm

At our middle school, we have a "peanut free area" in the cafeteria. Those that are allergic to inhaling peanut dust ( 8) my new description) do not eat in the cafeteria that holds 450. But at this age, they are very aware of their allergies and if they have an epi-pen, they know how to use them!

In the classroom, we are not allowed to "do food" that has tree nuts.

We also have a few SEVERE allergies to apples, wheat, peach fuzz, latex gloves (used in our science labs) and many bee-sting allergies. The nurse gives us a list (1500 kids in building; list averages 150 ) and we are required to know who in our classes have problems.

The good thing is that by 12-14 the students are well aware of their allergies and are great self-advocates.

I think many young kids think of it as a disability until they get a handle on it and realize it is what it is.
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Postby mnp13 » April 20th, 2011, 2:44 pm

I agree that by the age of 10 or so, they should understand it. But a first or second grader? That's debatable, and even if the child with the problem understands the risks at the age of 6, a friend may not.

How about on airlines? What if somebody is allergic or extremely sensitive to fragrances (Michelle ) - should she be able to get a fragrance-free flight?

My aunt has pet allergies that would force a plain to land to get her to a hospital, and she has had to change flights because of the presence of service animals (yet another reason that the fakers piss me off). I've asked to change seats before because of perfumes, I know within seconds (literally) if something is going to be a problem for me, though sometimes it's too late at that point.
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 20th, 2011, 3:22 pm

As a SD handler, we don't have to move or change our plans because of someone with an allergy. They are expected to move away, get a new plane, move to first class, etc. So I guess, you could say in some respects that a physical disability trumps the allergy. We've have this problem before, and John plants himself and stays put.

I get what you're saying Michelle about fakers, but on the other hand we've come across "fake" allergy sufferers too.
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Postby mnp13 » April 20th, 2011, 3:25 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:As a SD handler, we don't have to move or change our plans because of someone with an allergy. They are expected to move away, get a new plane, move to first class, etc.

and I agree with this.

We've have this problem before, and John plants himself and stays put.

as he should

I get what you're saying Michelle about fakers, but on the other hand we've come across "fake" allergy sufferers too.

yup. and that's just as big of a problem.
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Postby Malli » April 21st, 2011, 2:35 am

Yeah, I think kids under the age of 12 (I think?) cannot be held criminally responsible, and I think this ties in with that. Although this isn't the same thing, its kind of on the same level of thinking.
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Postby iluvk9 » April 21st, 2011, 6:00 am

Here is an interesting story....

I was proctoring NY State SAT's. Very important for college bound seniors and very serious. My friend was proctoring in the next room. They allow a few "10 minute breaks" between some of the sections.

A teenager (16-17 years old) comes back in and after the test starts, tells my friend, the proctor, his throat is closing up. She goes into emergency mode, calls for proctor backup and after assessing the situation, calls for an ambulance.

Seems the teenager, who has had peanut allergies his entire life, decided today was the day he would throw caution to the wind and took a bite of a friends candy bar, knowing full well, there were some peanuts in it.

Now it is funny, but at the time, it wasn't. :dance:
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Postby Malli » April 21st, 2011, 1:05 pm

leave it you to throw a wrench in a serious discussion!
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby Pit♥bull » April 21st, 2011, 1:13 pm

Malli wrote:leave it you to throw a wrench in a serious discussion!
I'm betting Joyce will give you one of these :neener:
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Postby iluvk9 » April 22nd, 2011, 6:02 am

Malli wrote:leave it you to throw a wrench in a serious discussion!


You're welcome?

:dance:
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