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Student Says Peanut Allergy Forced College Withdrawal


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#1 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:42 PM

http://gma.yahoo.com...ews-health.html




For Kelsey Hough, a tiny peanut is a big problem. So big, in fact, that the 26-year-old student says her life-threatening peanut allergy forced her to abandon her college program.

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During Hough's first year at the University of Washington, Tacoma, signs posted on classroom doors stressed the severity of her allergy. But the signs, which read "peanut/nut-free classroom" in bold, capital letters, have since been removed.
"I felt like I'd just been kicked out of school," Hough said of the school's decision to remove the signs and replace them with a letter, written by Hough, politely asking classmates for their cooperation. "I knew that I wouldn't be safe."
The school claims the original signs were "unenforceable," and that they can't ensure Hough's safety.


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People with severe food allergies can qualify for services through the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to Charlotte Collins, vice president of policy and programs for the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. In December 2012, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., requiring that the school make reasonable accommodations for a student with a severe allergy to gluten, also known as celiac disease.



OK, so my question is, what are "reasonable accommodations" in this situation?

Obviously the courts will eventually have to rule on that if there's a lawsuit.

I'm not sure how putting up "please don't bring peanut" signs does anything... if she's that severely allergic to peanuts that even airborne particles are a problem, there IS no way the university could keep her safe.


We had a bit of a row at my son's elementary school over this issue with a kid in a class that had severe peanut allergies and they requested parents not send food to school that contained peanuts, but I always thought that was an unreasonable request. As the school said, it's virtually unenforceable.


Is this girl going to withdraw from life too? Is she going to force her future employer to have a peanut free workplace?

#2 TheRed

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:34 PM

Aren't you being a bit callous griping about a few minor inconveniences while this girl and people like her will never be able to live a normal life?

It's not like they chose to have this condition and they like putting strangers through this just to ensure their own health safety. I can't imagine what that would be like.

#3 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:38 PM

Not callous at all... realistic.

 

I hate it for her.  It sucks.  I  have allergies, although nothing like this... and it's no fun.  I can't imagine being constantly worried about dying from something you might not even see.

 

My question is, where does "reasonable accommodation" end?

 



#4 SZ James

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:51 PM

oh no my peanut freedumbs

#5 Zod

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

I didn't know anyone with peanut allergies growing up.

 

They are everywhere now.



#6 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

oh no my peanut freedumbs


You and delhommey are on a roll lately... that time of the month?

#7 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:12 PM

 

Another theory is that children need to get exposed to common allergens, such as nuts and shellfish, from a much earlier age, to avoid developing allergies. Some doctors have been recommending waiting until 2 or 3, but Ferdman at Children's Hospital Los Angeles is a proponent of giving kids nuts very early.

 

An oft-cited 2008 study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology compared peanut allergies among Jewish children living in Israel and the United Kingdom. Peanut allergies were more common among the children in the U.K. than in Israel. This was associated with the fact that 69 percent of the Israeli children received peanuts by 9 months of age, compared with 10 percent of the infants in the U.K.

 

This pitfall, however, is that it was not a controlled experiment, and other factors may have influenced the allergies. More research needs to be done to support giving peanuts and other common allergens to infants. But according to Ferdman, more doctors are questioning recommendations to delay these foods.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2....gut/index.html

 



#8 TheRed

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:14 PM

Not callous at all... realistic.

I hate it for her. It sucks. I have allergies, although nothing like this... and it's no fun. I can't imagine being constantly worried about dying from something you might not even see.

My question is, where does "reasonable accommodation" end?


I think the better question is where does it begin.

What should they do, just live in a bubble all their life so they don't inconvenience anyone?

Bubble_Boy_movie_poster.jpg

#9 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:19 PM

 

One theory is that the Western diet has made people more susceptible to developing allergies and other illnesses.

 

A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences compared the gut bacteria from 15 children in Florence, Italy, with gut bacteria in 14 children in a rural African village in Burkina Faso. They found that the variety of flora in these two groups was substantially different.

 

The children in the African village live in a community that produces its own food. The study authors say this is closer to how humans ate 10,000 years ago. Their diet is mostly vegetarian. By contrast, the local diet of European children contains more sugar, animal fat and calorie-dense foods. The study authors posit that these factors result in less biodiversity in the organisms found inside the gut of European children.

 

The decrease in richness of gut bacteria in Westerners may have something to do with the rise in allergies in industrialized countries, said Dr. Paolo Lionetti of the department of pediatrics at Meyer Children Hospital at the University of Florence. Sanitation measures and vaccines in the West may have controlled infectious disease, but they decreased exposure to a variety of bacteria may have opened the door to these other ailments.

 

"In a place where you can die [from] infectious diseases, but you don't get allergy, obesity, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disease, the flora is different," Lionetti said.

 

This study only looked at a small number of children, but the findings support the widespread notion of the "hygiene hypothesis" -- the idea that cases of allergies are increasing in number and severity because children grow up in environments that are simply too clean.

 

"That our immune system is skewed away from fighting infections, and toward fight things that it's not supposed to be fighting, like things in the environment or foods -- that's one thing that people think may be in play," Rudders said.

 

Still, this is only speculation.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2....gut/index.html

 

 

 



#10 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:25 PM

I think the better question is where does it begin.

What should they do, just live in a bubble all their life so they don't inconvenience anyone?

bubble_boy.jpg

 

No, they shouldn't have to live in a bubble... but you still haven't answered my question...  should everyone else be responsible for her well being?

 

Is she going to walk around with a sign on in public proclaiming her allergies?

 

What is reasonable?

 

 

 

 

Nanuq, I saw a study the other day that said the children of parents who clean their pacifiers off by licking them (as in when they were dropped) had a much lower instance of allergies.  The theory is that if you are kept too sterile and away from germs, your own immune system has to fight something... so it fights allergens and your own body.



#11 Happy Panther

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:29 PM

No, they shouldn't have to live in a bubble... but you still haven't answered my question...  should everyone else be responsible for her well being?

 

Is she going to walk around with a sign on in public proclaiming her allergies?

 

What is reasonable?

 

My kid's preschool sent around a letter and the teachers monitored it. I don't see anything wrong with signs either. It's not that expensive and would just be needed for her classes.



#12 TheRed

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:44 PM

No, they shouldn't have to live in a bubble... but you still haven't answered my question... should everyone else be responsible for her well being?

Is she going to walk around with a sign on in public proclaiming her allergies?

What is reasonable?


No, who says everyone else has to be responsible for her? It's a simple accommodation.

Ask yourself if you had a child with this form of allergy how you would feel about this subject.

#13 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:54 PM

No, who says everyone else has to be responsible for her? It's a simple accommodation.

Ask yourself if you had a child with this form of allergy how you would feel about this subject.


Believe it or not I have asked myself that...

Whether it was me or my child I would feel the same way.

I would teach my child to be proactive and protect themselves... I think asking people for help is fine. Only problem is, most people aren't gonna help you...


I personally think it goes beyond "simple accommodation" as you say... I completely see the universities side of it. They didn't want to be held responsible if say, someone brought a bag of peanut M&Ms to class... maybe they just forgot... she gets ill, sues them... how's that work?

#14 Happy Panther

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:02 PM

Believe it or not I have asked myself that...

Whether it was me or my child I would feel the same way.

I would teach my child to be proactive and protect themselves... I think asking people for help is fine. Only problem is, most people aren't gonna help you...


I personally think it goes beyond "simple accommodation" as you say... I completely see the universities side of it. They didn't want to be held responsible if say, someone brought a bag of peanut M&Ms to class... maybe they just forgot... she gets ill, sues them... how's that work?

 

Have her sign a release of liability



#15 Delhommey

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:02 PM

We have a girl here at work who's severely allergic to peanuts. She watches out for herself and we do everything in our power to accommodate her.

 

We're just weird in the way that we value her life more than our ability to munch on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups during work hours where she is.




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