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 Post subject: "Peril of peanuts"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Peril of peanuts
CAROLYN ABRAHAM

From Monday's Globe and Mail (20 Feb 2006)

The Toronto Maple Leafs were up two goals over the New Jersey Devils in the first period when Aly Young smelled it.

The thick, musty scent stung her throat. Her eyes watered. The 15-year-old scanned those sitting around her at the Air Canada Centre and there they were, on the laps of the couple seated directly behind her — peanuts, cracked fresh from the shell.

Ms. Young popped four antihistamine tablets, but by the second period hives broke out. Then her throat tightened. She reached for the emergency epinephrine injection she carries to treat her severe peanut allergy, but it had expired. “I started to get freaked out.” On-site paramedics administered oxygen, but by the third period, Ms. Young was struggling for air in an ambulance, fighting anaphylactic shock. ...

--------------------------------------------------

For the full story, see http://tinyurl.com/fh79g.

So here's a question: how many people on this forum (or their children) have reacted like this? And to what allergen?

(I need to find out how to do polls!!! :lol: )

K.


Last edited by KarenOASG on Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
I was at the Dome watching a Blue Jays game when the guy sitting beside me went to open a bag of peanuts still in the shell. Hubby and I changed seats just to put a bit of space between me and the peanuts. They guy looked at me rather oddly, so I just explained that I was allergic to peanuts and would prefer a bit of space between me and them. He changed seats with the person he was with - but he still just was to uncomfortable to eat them. He put them away, and asked me if I had any allergies to red licorice - and bought a bag of that to eat instead. (I wish I had bought it for him, since he was nice enough not to eat the peanuts even though I hadn't asked. :oops: )

Anyway, I've never reacted to inhaling peanut. Might have had a reaction to inhaling sesame though.

I know of someone that reacts seriously to popcorn. (Know on-line.) And I know of someone that reacts seriously (life threatening) to inhaling fish. (Know in-person.)

To do a poll - when you start a *new post*, below the area that you type in there is a separate area for polls.

*********

I don't support this ban. I would support a food free area, but not banning one food from the ACC or the Dome.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:30 pm 
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Location: Toronto
FYI, in the Winter '06 issue of Allergic Living, coach Pinball Clemons said he is "working on creating a peanut-free zone" for football games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Maybe a zone would be easier to implement. Interesting idea. /G


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:46 pm 
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Location: Toronto
In places as big as these stadiums - yes I think a zone is a good idea. But, I want people with other allergies to be just as safe - so either no food, or arrangements available for people with other allergies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
as far as a poll goes---

I have two sisters with anaphylaxis.

sister #1 -- very recently has had reactions (respiratory) to peanuts.

sister #2 -- when she was very young, had breathing problems which we discovered later was because the person at whose house we were eating was cooking with peanut oil. (her asthma attack corresponded with the time when the oil started to be cooked)

Also, she does react (respiratory) if people are eating peanuts in the same room as her. At work it is a major problem because people eat in the office and one guy becomes hostile when the peanut issue is brought up. Fortunately, she is going back to school in the fall so will be quitting soon.

She has had reactions to fish when it is being cooked.

As for me---not sure. Sometimes I think I do a bit, but it might be stress in my case.
I did have a weird reaction a few years ago, though---I was just sitting in my apartment talking to my sister and I felt some chesttightness + I don't know why exactly (aside from the chesttightness) but I felt that I was definitely having an allergic reaction and I mentioned this to my sister...she said she was also feeling some chesttightness. Then we smelled a nutty smell...I went out in the hallway because I noticed that my neighbour at the time would cook with her door open and vent the cooking smells into the hallway. I believe she might have been cooking with peanut oil or sesame at the time...I explained the allergy situation and asked her to close her door which she did promptly in spite of a bit of a language barrier. (but I know that a reaction to cooking oil is different from a reaction to being around peanuts)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:20 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Karen, Wondering if maybe the poll could be done as a separate topic (and then, as AnnaMarie points out, you'll see the polling details)?

The issue I wouldn't mind discussing from the G&M article is the larger one that it raises, and that Dr. Shafer addresses in the following quote from it (though someone should tell him that no one eats at the ballet):

"To impose the burden of abstinence raises questions," said Arthur Schafer, director of the University of Manitoba's Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics. "How great should the restriction on liberties be to accommodate the vulnerable?"

"If we agree that what [Ms. Young] wants is justifiable, then it would be appropriate to do it everywhere -- should we ban peanuts at cultural events, the ballet, rock concerts, movie theatres?"

Others go on to suggest that the question becomes one of whether bans would stop with peanuts - or as AM suggests, move on to other allergens. And whether so-called "bans" lead to a sense of false security for the allergic, as there are no guarantees about what people bring with them or have on their hands.

Interesting and topical - wondering what you guys think?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:48 pm 
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Location: Toronto
As a child I used to go to the O'Keefe Centre (now renamed the Hummingbird Centre - but that's a dumb name :P ) You were never allowed to eat in the seating area. Ballet, opera, Tom Jones, Dolly Parton, David Copperfield - and many other shows I can't remember. NOBODY was allowed to eat or drink in the auditorium.

However, sporting events are a complete different ..... everything. I would like to see these places have a *food free zone*. Only water allowed. I think it's unreasonable (and unfair?) to ban peanuts, but not concern ourselves with other people's allergies. I think we need to work together.

As for the *false sense of security* - I think many years ago that was true. But, not anymore. The actual people with the allergies (and their parents) realize that banning something does not mean you can completely let your guard down. You are still just as careful. We all live with the knowledge of products having trace amounts of our allergens - we KNOW a nut ban doesn't mean no nuts. It just means less nuts. And less nuts means less chance of a reaction. Unless of course - you're allergic to fish, in which case less nuts might mean more fish. (Speaking of sandwiches here.....)

OK. I'm getting tired and rambling. I think I better go now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:47 pm 
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On October 9, 2004, I had a reaction to inhaled fish... while attending a concert! I attend a lot of concerts and have to know a lot about the hall where they are held. People may not eat in the actualy concert hall, but in the surrounding areas. Turns out that the day I chose to go, an office had rented all the balcony seats and held their Christmas office party on the second floor, just outside the concert hall... a fish and seafood buffet just for coincidence :evil: . I don't have to tell you that I scared the director of the place and that I can simply call her now and she lets me know the plans for food for the days I will attend.

But because I follow a band on tour accross the province, I have to make sure everywhere I go and many places I have found have a bar that also serves sandwiches and stuff to people before they see the concert. This is a lot of extra work for simply attending a concert, but this is how my life is. When I attended a concert at the Corel Centre in Ottawa this fall, I had to call and ask what was served in all restaurants in there to make sure that if fish was served that I would not be walking by and that it was not a take out place as people were eating inside the arena before the concert... and so was I as I had brought my lunch! Going to the bathroom, there were coffee cups all over that had milk in there for sure... food was everywhere... but that's life!

I am for or against peanut bans? against (I got my reasons). Am I for or against food-free areas: 100% for it! Banning one food will rise the risk of other foods, and we cannot ban food from everywhere. Food bans just for food bans is not the solution. There are limitations in this life and we have to live with it... just too bad if I can't go into grocery store! I can't force the population to go fish-free because I want to do my groceries!

Contrary to what I read in previous posts, I have met many people over the recent years who rely on peanut bans as a sense of security... and there are no garantees in this life and they don't seem aware of it! I think about my allergies 24/7, most people think about my allergies when they see me! Mistakes happen!

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:45 pm 
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Interesting, thoughtful answer Mylène.

Maybe restricted food areas will grow as a concept, as demand grows along with the rise of allergies.

I just don't want them to restrict water, though. I'm big on sipping the H2O. /g


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:40 pm 
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You start raising exceptions to the rules ;). I agree that water is probably not dangerous to people, but everything else is... so food free zones would mean full food-free zones! I have to impose my fish-free rule when I attend specific events, but I also have to ask the caterer if anyone else has come forward with some food limitations as I ALWAYS bring my lunch, so I have to take into consideration other people's limitations too when I make my lunch (will not bring peanut butter sandwich if someone raised the flag on peanuts... but unfortunately for some, this is what I eat for breakfast...)

When your life revolves around food allergies, you think about all of those things every second of your life... even walking down the street as there is a restaurant near by that could be cooking fish right now, or the house down the street when I'm walking to the corner store, they're having fish for dinner... I don't miss BBQ season that much, but I know it's coming back every year... Some things in life we have to deal with and we can't change the world around us.. but we need to keep in mind the million of other people out there that share our lives wether we like it or not.

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Interesting question. First, I'd like to say that I entirely support peanut bans at the ballet :lol:

But, really, I don't have a decided opinion on the issue. I sympathise what that young woman is trying to do, but I see Mylene's point about needing to accomodate people with all allergies. Peanut allergies are among the most severe and are the most widespread so banning peanuts at sporting events would help the largest number of allergic people--really, I don't think that substituting pretzels for peanuts should be that big of a deal if it could help save lives. But I do see an objection to this argument---any argument which is based on numbers does not tend to favour minority rights (and all allergic people by definition constitute a minority).

I'm not sure whether having a food free section would catch on---those seats might not sell. A lot of peanut-allergic individuals aren't all that cautious about their allergy. i.e. I have a cousin in her early 20s who eats may-contains.

(An aside: This issue does not directly affect me---I'd be more likely to campaign for peanut bans in libraries :lol: where I am much more likely to be found.)

I *would* like to see a whole culture shift in regards to how we see food. Let's return to the days when it is rude to eat in front of people! Obviously, people are going to need to eat on long train or bus trips, but on a 15 minute subway ride? I've seen people who work with the public munching on food on the job---that should be seen as a major breach in etiquette. Also, if there are allergic people in an office, all allergen-containing foods should be restricted to the cafeteria.

Instead of coming up with abstract solutions, I think each situation needs to be looked at separately. I'm less concerned with allergens in places where people choose to go--I think it is very unfortunate that people with allergies should have to live a restricted life at all--but at this point I think that it is more important to make spaces safer where people *have* to go. i.e. schools, hospitals, airplanes, offices, and, yes, grocery stores (no bulk nuts in the produce aisle. store samples that are eaten with one's fingers shouldn't be given out.) Once these places are made more "allergy safe" I bet a change in public sentiment will follow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
Probably the most effective way to rid the areas of peanuts, and peanut products is to stop selling them at the arena. I see no reason why peanuts in the shell, which create a mess of the most common allergen need to be consumed while watching sports in public. I honestly feel that "peanut free zones" encourage others to try to sneak it in, make a mess of it or throw it at those in the peanut free section. If the arena stopped selling it, the majority of it would not be there...honestly, how many people would swing by a store to buy peanuts before hitting the game.

I do like the food free section, perhaps those seats would sell to others who do not want their kids to pig out at the game, and those who like having a clean seat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:25 am 
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Location: Toronto
saskmommyof2 wrote:
If the arena stopped selling it, the majority of it would not be there...honestly, how many people would swing by a store to buy peanuts before hitting the game.


When you go to either the Dome or the ACC this stuff is all for sale OUTSIDE. Many people buy it there - and it is not just authorized people selling it, they are kind of like the scalpers. Not supposed to be there, but as long as they behave nobody really complains. So, for these specific venues, banning the sale would not really limit the amount.

Anyway, personally, I think people have the right to eat their peanuts and make a mess with the shells.

I would support a food free zone even though I think it would be not in my own best interest. Let me explain why. When I was at the Dome a guy sitting near me willingly without being asked put away his peanuts. I've had similar expereiences - sometimes I have asked people to please be careful with the peanut/pb - but only once was anyone ignorant and not willing to do this. (In that one situation my complaint didn't initially include the info that I was allergic - they were throwing food and people and I asked them to stop.) Anyway, if there is a food free zone, maybe that's not where I want to sit. Maybe I want cheaper seats - or maybe I want better seats - or maybe my husband's boss gave us his seats and they're right behind home plate. So, I'm sitting there and someone goes to open a bag of peanuts - if I say "please don't" they will say "go to the food free zone" - and why shouldn't they say that. But - I'm willing to support a food free zone for other people to feel safe.

As for water - I actually knew a young girl that got hives from tap water. Even for her baths, they had to use bottled water. And, there is a condition where people get hives from cold water.

However, water would have to be allowed. Otherwise people would be dehydrating. But, for other drinks you would have to leave the food free zone. Maybe have wet-ones at the door and everyone has to wash their hands when entering. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:23 pm 
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AM,

I'll respectfully disagree. Bosses' tickets aside, I think there might be something to a food-free area at certain sports facilities. Take baseball - I know a few parents of peanut-allergic kids who feel they can't take their kids to the games. Peanuts and shells are simply everywhere. Their feeling is: what are they going to do - wipe the kids' hands every time they've jumped up or touched something? And these folks are major ball fans, so it's a pity.

I keep thinking of how difficult it was to get wheelchair ramps into buildings not so many years ago. For people with allergies, you don't even have to build anything.

Would the food-free area be popular enough? Hard to say, but it's an idea that certainly could be tried on an experimental basis without incurring big costs. Some people would likely be attracted to such a zone to avoid food mess - so it wouldn't just be those with allergies. With disclaimers about corporate liability and the fact that no "ban" as such is guaranteed, might be plausible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:34 pm 
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Gwen, I don't think we truly disagree. I support a *food free zone*. I said that for me personally it would not necessarily be a good thing - but I definitely DO think for most people with allergies - especially children - it is a good thing. I would like to see someone try it. If it is well advertised I think it could be successful.


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