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Peanut allergies

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smasher_Sloan, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I see a piece on the news where some kid with an acute peanut allergy has been given a peanut-sniffing dog. The dog smells something, the kid knows to steer clear of that area.

    Here's what I'm wondering: I'm sure peanut allergies have been around forever, although now it seems like the whole issue is much more prominent. Peanut content is noted on labels of products where it's not obvious. Peanut products have been dropped from school lunch menus. Airlines don't pass them out.

    Have these allergies become much more acute, or much more prevalent in recent years? I'm sure someone here has been affected by this.
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    That's a good question. What did people with peanut allergies do 20 years ago? Suffer? Die? I'm not being snarky, I honestly wonder. One of my best friends from back home has a son who is terribly allergic to peanuts, to the point that she can know just by looking at the front of a label if he can have the product or not.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I worked with a girl who was so allergic to peanuts, she couldn't fly unless it was a peanut free flight. You couldn't have nuts in the office or she would have a reaction. If she went to a place that served peanuts, she couldn't stay.

    Her theory was that the peanut allergies were becoming more prevalent and seemed to think that an outside source was causing it. Like meat hormones or something like that.
    My theory is that those kids who did have the allergies died when they were very young, so that's why they weren't so common when we were all younger. They just didn't simply survive childhood and it was called sudden infant death syndrome or some other such medical term.
  4. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I've been wondering about the same thing. I am introducing my baby to solid food, and reading up on when to introduce certain things. Many pediatricians say you don't have to avoid traces, but no peanuts or peanut butter until after age THREE.

    The argument is that the odds of having the allergy are reduced if you wait, and the allergy is so dangerous it's simply not worth the risk just so your child can have one particular food.

    When I was a kid, I never knew of anyone with a peanut allergy or even heard of it.
  5. Sandoval

    Sandoval Member

    My sister has been deathly allergic to peanuts for as long as I can remember - around 30 years now. At least once when she was in school, they had peanut butter cookies or something for school lunch and just being in the same area and smelling them was enough for her to almost stop breathing and have to get rushed to the hospital. Think they stopped serving them after that...

    She never flies (although not because of her allergies) but I do a few times a year and I always think about what would happen if she were on a flight where they handed out peanuts. Based on what I saw happen to her a few times when we were younger, I truly believe that there's a good chance she would be dead before the plane landed. I know that you can request a peanut-free flight, but based on how many other things the airlines screw up, if I were her I wouldn't risk my life on the flight attendants getting the message.

    Not sure if peanut allergies are more common now or not, but it was something I grew up with and just accepted as somewhat normal. Weird thing is that peanuts and peanut butter are some of my favorite foods, but I would have to eat them in a different room from her to avoid another fun trip to the ER.
  6. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    The allergy also seems to be less prevalent in other parts of the world. There are countries in West Africa that use a lot peanuts in their cooking. Their populations do not seem to suffer the allergy to the same level.
  7. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    Same is true with Crohn's disease (which I happen to have) -- almost unknown outside the industrialized world, and they don't know why. Also, the Northwest U.S. has the highest rate of MS in the world, and they haven't figured that one out, either.
  8. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    That's cause it's all in your head, ya wuss.
  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    That was a joke, by the way.
  10. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    As soon as I stop crying, I'll probably realize that. But for now, I just need to be left alone. ;)
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Definitely a good question. I started hearing about this a lot when my daughter was in preschool and we couldn't send PB&J. I wondered why we were so worried about some kid getting the sniffles until Mrs. OOP explained to me just how bad the reactions are.
  12. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I heard some parents are slowly trying to eliminate peanut allergies by feeding their kids something like half a peanut a day. Then a week later it will be one peanut and so on, until the allergy is gone.
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