With children heading back to school in the coming weeks, it’s time for increased attention on the issues many students face because they have food allergens. As they go back into the classroom, they must constantly be on the alert for allergens. Yet many don’t get a lot of help from those around them; a new British study may point to the cause, and it’s alarming.
According to the study, many people view life-threatening nut allergies as a ‘frivolous and self-indulgent fad.’ The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Leicester, among other institutions, found that kids with food allergies and their parents faced increasing hostility, mainly centered around schools’ decisions to ban potential food allergens such as peanuts from the school building.
The report concluded that some people even think rising food allergy rates are merely a reflection of supposed food allergies “invented and maintained by attention-seeking people.” Study author Dr. Emma Pitchforth says “People’s approaches ranged from skepticism, disbelief and in some cases complete lack of care, which could put the child in danger.”
The British study suggests an alarming amount of ignorance, particularly given the fact that food allergies seem to be on the rise. Making other parents aware of students with food allergies is one thing; making them aware of how serious the allergy can be is an entirely different matter. That’s a scary thought for parents whose children have food allergies.
How can schools get past this to create a safe environment for all students?
Read more about the study here: http://www.thetelegram.com/Opinion/Editorial/2011-08-26/article-2727011/…