Raising Awareness of Peanut Allergies

Some very delicious bacon maple Virginia peanuts ready to be eaten.

whitleyspeanut

Some very delicious bacon maple Virginia peanuts ready to be eaten.

Tomas Russo, Co-Business Manager

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Peanut allergies are a devastating problem within the United States of America. Millions of Americans are affected by this problem each year. And with allergic reactions occurring only minutes after consumption, it must be taken seriously by everyone. Yet, people still think it is okay to eat peanuts in peanut free classrooms. That is completely unacceptable and this article will go into detail of why you should never do that. 

This means absolutely no eating peanuts in the personal bubble of someone who might be allergic. If someone who is allergic comes into contact with peanuts, they can go into anaphylactic shock, which includes the inability to breathe, vomiting, nausea and possibly shock. 

Some people also have varying levels of severity, ranging from not being able to consume peanuts or not being able to touch peanuts completely. It is important to respect everybody’s unique situations. 

I went to the C.H.S. nurse to find out more. Around 30 or 35 kids in the school have peanut allergies, and of those, around 1 or 2 have serious reactions per year. “The reaction is fast. It starts out with respiratory, then you could be having a tough time with the airway, then we would have to use Epinephrine (epipen), then 911 is called.” 

Something I also learned is that when an epipen is administered, it only lasts 15 minutes. So 911 must be called if it is a serious reaction. That is why all epipen packs have 2 doses, in case help doesn’t come within 15 minutes. 

One solution to help people with peanut allergies is desensitization, by taking daily oral doses of the food allergen to hopefully reduce the allergic reaction. 

What is it like to live with a peanut allergy on a daily basis? Noah Boswinkel says “The only time it’s a problem is if I’m at a new restaurant and I have to ask if they use peanut oil, or if anything I order has nuts on it. Having a peanut allergy doesn’t affect that much of my life. I hate the taste and smell of them anyway.” Regardless, it is of the most utmost importance to never under any circumstances consume peanuts in the vicinity of someone with a peanut allergy. Just don’t do it.