March 28th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
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To most, they're just snacks on a plane or part of an innocent lunchtime PB&J. To an ever-increasing number of kids, though, even minimal exposure to peanuts can mean a trip to the hospital - or even death.

In Volusia County, Florida, parents of children at Edgewater Elementary School are demanding that one allergic girl withdraw from school, so that their children will not have to take such precautions as leaving their lunches outside or washing their hands before class. They argue that the time taken to enact these measures is stealing too much focus from their own children's learning, but the school is standing behind these measures, saying they're legally required to provide a safe environment for the first grader.

In a poll Eatocracy ran this past September, we asked, "Should schools make special accommodations for kids with peanut allergies?" Results - 75,384 of them - were as follows:

– Other (please share below) 1.37%
– Of course! Peanuts should be banned from school. 6.79%
– It should be on a case by case basis – perhaps one lunch period and not another. 11.48%
– Tough luck, kid. My kids shouldn't have to go without because of your allergies. 16.93%
– A nut-free table should do the trick. 30.36%
– The parents should come up with a solution for their kids, not the school. 33.07%

The majority of the voters seem to indicate that while they're okay with some accommodations being made, the onus should be on the individual parents. The over 2,200-plus comments got...heated, to say the least.

Peanuts should be completely banned from school and other public places...There is NO WAY an adult can keep peanuts away from their child 100% of the time. How can you expect a child to be able to fend off the constant barrage? - Chelsea

Really? I shouldn't have access to a peanut product anywhere "in public" because of your kid's problem? Man, you make me want to scatter peanuts everyplace I go. Sounds like a gene pool that needs to be drained. - Hera Sent Me

At least have the guts to say, "I don't care about your kid," rather than, "I'm sorry." It wouldn't really change your message but you'd be more honest...At this point all I can do is ask you to please not have any children. - Tim

You do everything you can, but at some point you've just got to let some kids die. Are we at that point with banning peanut butter? I don't know. But the survival of any species can't continue when the weakest are allowed to pass along their sickly genes. - Ian

Yes, there's a good chance the naysayers here were trolling to stir up trouble and likely, hopefully would not take glee in the death of an allergic child, but still, we were grateful to encounter a few more statements touting the need for modicum of compassion.

In all of this time I have never heard or heard of a child having a problem with accommodating his allergy -– it is ALWAYS the adults.

The kids are empathetic, supportive, compassionate and understanding. They have willingly given up peanuts to eat with my son. Parents have told me that their children have them read labels on their schools lunches and snacks as early as kindergarten so they can help keep my child safe. One parent said her child, who previously only ate peanut butter sandwiches, happily gave them up so he could be with my son. It's been a tough but eye-opening experience and I couldn't be prouder of my son and his friends. - Joan

These are not families looking for special treatment for the sake of raising themselves to a higher societal status. They have learned the lesson of the frailty of life and tend to look after all kids needs equally. They have realized that all life is precious and are much more likely to look out for your child should he or she need it. Remember what comes around, goes around. You never know when you might need the neighbors help that is looking for a little consideration from you today.

Think about it! Is peanut butter really that big of deal? - Michael

So, to echo Michael:

*For purposes of the poll, if you don't have kids, feel free to jump in and pick a theoretical side.

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Filed under: Allergies • Content Partner • Health News • Peanuts • TV-American Morning

soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. homeschoolyourdefectivekids

    If your kid is allergic homeschool or put them in a special school normal non-defective children should not be punished because 1 or 2 children are defective.

    October 31, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  2. Elisabeth

    This past year while I was in the hospital after surgery. My boyfriend at the time brought me trail mix and every time I ate one of the peanuts in it I grew short of breath. the doctors told me I developed a peanut allery at 26 yrs of age
    now I'm 34 and noticed when I had a peanut butter cup from my daughters trick or treat candy I had no shortness of breath,no rash or itching how is this possible?

    November 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  3. Madelyn

    Listen. I'm 15. I have been deathly allergic to peanut and nuts my whole life. When I was in the first grade my parents tired to let me have a normal life. So I could go to school like anyone else. People in town wanted me to wear a mask and gloves to school. They thought I should be home school. There was going to be know way I could go to school as a 7 year old and know not to smell, touch or eat nuts. It is just peanuts. Your kid can't not east peanuts for 8 hours so I can go to school. I'm not sick. And we needed everyones help. And we got it. I was in a peanut free classroom with an aid till I was 10 and could handle things for myself. My friends agreed not to eat peanuts around me because u don't understand how someone could be so selfish as not to pack peanuts for their kid to bring to school so I could go to school and be normal.

    July 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
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