How Protective is Too Protective of Kids with Allergies?

One thing I gotta say about my book club is it makes for great blog content! Another debate we had at our last meeting was the way in which children are treated in regards to allergies. Now honestly I have no idea how we got on this topic. I can say with certainty it has NOTHING to do with the book. But we are all great debaters and somehow the convo took us there and debate we did. Now for the most part I was a spectator to this debate because honestly I was not sure what side of the fence I fell on…until now.

The debate was basically, are kids in school being coddled when it comes to allergies? The women were discussing how children (now we are talking preschool and elementary school kids) are sent to separate tables when they have severe allergies (i.e peanut allergies) and many schools even ask kids to avoid bringing foods with these ingredients to try and accommodate the other kids.

Now for me this is a tough one to look at. As you have seen from my previous posts I feel kids are way to coddled in schools (see Everyone is NOT a Winner). However, these kids are super young and don’t yet really understand their allergy. Although I am not yet a parent I think I would rather my future child come home and feel left out because of their allergy then not come home at all because they died or got sent to a hospital due to an accident.

The problem is everything goes to extremes. Schools are so afraid of doing something wrong that when they limit something they just basically rule it out entirely. Should the whole class suffer because my kid as an allergy? The answer should be no. However, unfortunately some kids have allergies so bad that even the smell could set them off. On top of that a teacher can’t help if another kid offers your kid something with said allergy in it. There are so many factors that the line becomes blurry.

So I turn to you bloggers. Are kids being too coddled in school when it comes to allergies or are schools making the right move?

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14 thoughts on “How Protective is Too Protective of Kids with Allergies?

  1. I think there is so much litigation these days, schools are doing what they MUST do in order to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits. Having said that, I also believe that kids with allergies are being coddled. Why should an entire class have peanut butter banished because one kid has a peanut allergy? Just don’t give him a bite of your sandwich, dammit! (Spoken tongue in cheek but I’m trying to make a point here).

    • Its funny how you argue both sides here. I think really there is no other way. The schools are forced to be over protective because the parents are but that doesnt make it right.

  2. It does seem extreme, but kids are less likely to protect themselves against the allergy. And some bully could think it is funny to give them a peanut too. But then parents should warn the kid over and over and by the time they are in elementary they will know not to eat it. Preschool I think it is more valid. Main thing with allergies are kids are waaay too coddled to begin with and get the allergies then coddled more.

    • You are right! Kids will be kids and that is the problem! I guess the only thing we can do is hope that being coddled in general stops real soon and the allergy bit of it will hopefully follow.

  3. I agree with Mark, I think schools (and many other business) are doing what they must do in order to protect themselves from lawsuits. Everyone is afraid of being sued because many people are suing.

    But in all honesty, I think this is a bit extreme with the coddling. I mean if a child has allergies that severe, then they should be home schooled.

    Again, FABULOUS post topic, Shae! You always pick GREAT ones!

    • Thanks for the compliment my friend! And you are right schools are forced to avoid lawsuits but coddling is getting out of control! I guess the solution starts with the parents.

  4. I think the schools are doing the right thing. When you hear of a child dying because someone has accidentally put peanuts in a biscuit or treat it’s absolutely tragic. Thankfully none of mine had allergies but I think we have to make all kids aware of how incredibly dangerous these allergies are. This is a great post and a very interesting subject 😉

    • Very interesting. You are right death is a tragedy that needs to be avoided at all costs. Maybe when death is the consequence too careful isnt a thing.

    • Yes I have seen that is a debate as well. However, I think whatever damage has been done is done and we need to figure out how to deal with it because I doubt we can change it.

  5. If it were my child and they were that hyper-allergic to a food that inhaling put them at risk, I wouldn’t put them in the situation to be at risk. At least not until they were able to keep themself safe. Frankly, putting them in mainstream public schools would, in my opinion, be irresponsible of me as a parent. Again, this is my expectation of me, as the parent. With 30 kids in a classroom….unrealistic of me to think an educator COULD keep my child safe.

    I do think we go to extremes out of fear. Whether that’s driven by fear of lawsuit or fear of ultimately being responsible for a child’s life…it’s still fear. And in that environment, there are too many factors to take into consideration, things the schools just cannot control. Children have a “right” to mainsteam education. And then the burden of safety becomes the school’s. Everyday they’re responsible with unknown variables. Putting some structure to the KNOWN variables really is about all they can do to ensure safety.
    Personally, I feel for them…..that’s a lot of responsibility, day in day out that few really give time to recognize.

    • I dont think all parents get the option of choosing home schooling. Many parents need to work and cant be home with their kids and dont have the money to hire a tutor. I think thats why things get hard.

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