Survey says most parents do not favor bans on nuts in schools

According to a poll taken by the University of Michigan, most parents do not favor having a ban on nuts in schools.

More interesting than that, parents of children with food allergies are less likely to favor a ban than are those who do not have children with allergies.

The National Poll on Children's Health asked parents of elementary-aged schoolchildren about their lunchtime preferences and children's allergies. The most preferred option of parents of nut-allergic kids was to have no restrictions in the lunchroom, though a large contingent of those parents did favor a ban (47 percent and 22 percent, respectively).

Parents of children without allergies said that their most preferred option was to segregate the nut-allergic children into their own safe area (58 percent).

No single standard for managing environments

Sarah J. Clark, MPH, the associate director of the National Poll on Children's Health, stated in the poll's results that there is no single standard that has been proven to manage environments for nut-allergic and non-allergic children and no clear research to show that any one way is better than another. Given that, most schools create policies ad hoc or have parents or parental groups create those rules.

The mixed results of the poll show that there is no clear consensus on what parents, nationally, would prefer.

The survey included 816 parents of children aged 5-12 years with five percent reporting a child with a nut allergy. The National Poll on Children's Health can be found here.

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