Public schools and airlines are starting to turn on people with peanut allergies. Peanut allergies are becoming more common in children, and the severity of the reactions demands extensive effort in order to keep environments such as schools, day care centers and airplanes free from peanut residue. Many are starting to say accommodating the condition has become unreasonable.
Airlines not mandated to accommodate peanut allergies
Last year, the Department of Transportation announced that it wanted public input on whether to ban peanuts on airlines to accommodate people with peanut allergies, according to CNN. The ban was applauded by people with peanut allergies and parents of children with the affliction, but the DOT has announced that it cannot legally institute such a ban. A law prevents banning peanuts from airlines unless peer-reviewed scientific study confirms peanuts aboard planes will set off an allergic reaction in anyone aboard with peanut allergies. No such study exists, so the DOT cannot ban peanuts on planes. Some airlines already offer some measure of accommodation, so concerned travelers should check with an airline before purchasing tickets. However, airlines cannot guarantee peanut free zones or peanut free flights in advance.
Backlash against deadly reaction
Peanut allergies can be so severe that even being in the same room as peanuts or peanut butter can send a person with the allergy into anaphylactic shock, a condition caused by allergies. Because severe allergies are considered a disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools have to make arrangements so children with peanut and other allergies are safe. However, the extent of those arrangements causes some parents to resent the children with the allergies, according to ABC. An elementary school in Edgewater, Fla., recently erupted with protests as frustrated parents asked the parents of a girl with severe peanut allergies to keep her out of school; they were fed up with having to keep another child’s allergy in mind constantly. The school in question has a peanut sniffing dog that patrols the halls for contraband peanuts.
Increasing number of afflicted
Food allergies are becoming more common among children in developed countries. Peanut allergies already affect 3 million people in the U.S., according to WebMD, and similar rates of occurrence have been observed in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. However, the number of children who are born with or develop peanut allergies has tripled in the past two decades. In 2010, the Jaffe Food Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine released a study that documented a disturbing rise in the rate of peanut allergies in children. The study randomly sampled people at large and found that the percentage of children with peanut allergies had risen from approximately 0.4 percent of the population in 1997 to nearly 1.4 percent in 2008, nearly tripling in 11 years.
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