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 Post subject: Kids Television Shows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
As a stay at home mom, with kids who can not go every where other kids go, and a daughter who gets itchy and mucousy when we go outside...I must admit they do watch more tv than I would like. I find that I shut shows off alot, because I do not like the content. They don't watch it all day or anything, but I always saw myself being one of those moms that was always out doing things with their kids. My reality now that I have kids is that the world outside the house is stressful...so unless we have a planned activity (such as gym or dance ) we tend to stay home.

It seems that a lot of kids shows make NUMEROUS references to food. Peanut butter references being the one that irritates me the most.

Barney loves to sing happy little "peanut butter" songs. A new show on CBC called "pinky" something has a segmant in the show where they show an item and you have to say what you do with it. For example they showed a glass of milk, and then childrens voices shouted "eat it". I was quite surprised, since so many little kids under 5 (there target audience) are allergic to milk, that they would do something so stupid. I told my daughter "no...we don't eat it, it will make you very sick."

In another show on CBC lately (I'm not sure which one ), there was a "peanut butterfly" flying around. My oldest daughter was terrified, she asked "are there really peanut butterflies? will they touch me and make me sick?"

On "timothy goes to school" the kids each bring their own lunches, and they share and trade...even peanut butter.

Dora goes through the "nutty forest". My daughter askes "is dora allergic to nuts? I hope she will be okay if she is? Where is doras mom? Why is dora going to the nutty forest without her mom?" My daughter was very concerned for Dora, I told her that Dora is not allergic to nuts. My daughter then asked "are there nutty forests in my world?" I do not want to have to go through a nutty forest!

I understand that this should be common in old shows, but when new shows are made, and they are worse, not better, the issue needs to be addressed.

So lately, I have been only letting them watch DVDs that I have seen, or Arthur (they are pretty allergy aware ). I have e-mailed treehouse, (cbc i will e-mail soon, I think they are not on strike anymore ), but when kids shows taunt my kids and push their allergens on them...it really annoys me. I don't think the peanut butter promotion is acceptable at all anymore, too many kids are affected, and a lot of them are probably at home during the day. MIlk has also become pretty common in kids under 5, so I don't think these references should be there either.

It is pretty typical, if we watched one hour of kids shows on tv, to see at least one if not 5 incidences of foods my kids are allergic to, being pushed on them. If anyone else has noticed this too...and is bothered by it "the more e-mails they get the better" to make them more allergy aware in their programming, especially in new shows that they are making that seem to be getting worse.

http://www.cbc.ca/kids/

http://treehousetv.ca/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
So just 5 minutes ago, my daughter wanted to watch "go, diego go". I told her yes, and planned to watch with her. She gets so left out of everything, so it would be nice if she could at least watch some of the new popular kids shows that her school friends like to watch.

When I changed the channel there, an armadillo was walking through the "nutty forest" and nuts were falling on him. Diego, was telling him to run (SERIOUSLY), and the armidillo said that he was okay because he has armour. My daughter looked absloutely HORRIFIED :shock: and asked if the armidillo was allergic to nuts. I told her "no" and quickly turned off the show.

I think that was one of the worst nut references that I have ever seen!!! Go Diego Go is under a year old...so you would hope that they would be a little more sensitive to the growing number of their target audience that has life thretening nut allergies!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I just wanted to let you know about a *good* allergy reference on a kids channel.

Last February my son was watching The Zone on YTV. It is hosted by Carlos and Sugar. They were answering e-mails.

E-mailed question to Carlos: Would you rather eat a peanut-butter and jam sandwich or a tuna fish sandwich?

Carlos answer: If I was at home, I'd rather have the peanut-butter and jam sandwich, but if I was here at the zone, I'd pick tuna because Sugar is allergic to peanuts.

I thought it was really cool that on a children's channel - after school - this was done.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I've noticed the many food references made in children's television as well and I must admit that I "flinch" when they specifically talk about nut products (like saskmommyof2 has mentioned above) because of the potential for my son to feel "left out". Because I know that he is going to have to live in a world with peanuts and peanut eating people -- I try to use the these instances as an opportunity to talk to him about his allergy -- by explaining to him that while others can eat peanuts because they are not allergic, he cannot. And also that, while he cannot eat peanuts, there are other people who cannot eat the things that he eats, like cheese, or milk, etc. I'm trying to balance out my motherly instinct to protect him from all things that will cause him any kind of "emotional pain" to preparing him for life in a world that eats and enjoys nut products. It's an interesting "tightrope" walk at times.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:29 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Markham, Ontario
ethansmom wrote:
I've noticed the many food references made in children's television as well and I must admit that I "flinch" when they specifically talk about nut products (like saskmommyof2 has mentioned above) because of the potential for my son to feel "left out". Because I know that he is going to have to live in a world with peanuts and peanut eating people -- I try to use the these instances as an opportunity to talk to him about his allergy -- by explaining to him that while others can eat peanuts because they are not allergic, he cannot. And also that, while he cannot eat peanuts, there are other people who cannot eat the things that he eats, like cheese, or milk, etc. I'm trying to balance out my motherly instinct to protect him from all things that will cause him any kind of "emotional pain" to preparing him for life in a world that eats and enjoys nut products. It's an interesting "tightrope" walk at times.


I agree Ethansmom - I take this approach as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
my "non-mom" 2 cents on the subject. I have lived with allergies all of my life and because I have the "non-standard" allergies, I still have an outsider's point of view on the whole allergy situation. Things have improved and more people are aware of the allergies that are out there, but we cannot ban nuts from the world no matter how hard we try (and I'm fighting to keep them). I am sure the intention is good, but I don't think that kids shows should eliminate all food references to nuts, milk or any other one... kids shows will not show any reference to fishing because I'm allergic to fish? Kids shows will not promote that drinking milk is good for kids because I'm allergic to milk? I know we live in a little allergic community that shows us that many many people have to deal with this, but there are many more out there who benefit from their kids being told that milk is good for them and we have to keep that in mind too. Your kids will face a world full of danger and you want to keep them safe, but to do that, you have to educate them about the world they are going to live in! If they live in a world where nuts don't exist, yes, they will fear for tv caracters that come in contact with nuts, but they have to learn that some people can actually come in contact with these things and some people cannot come in contact with things that they are used to eating!

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I never really expected that these shows should ban all nut references. I hoped that if they were more aware of how many kids are affected here, they would be more sensitive in new shows being produced. In a lot of the new shows, the references are more common than in the old shows.

The happy peanut songs, and nuts falling from the sky on characters is INSANELY common. They do not reference fruits, veggies or any other healthy food this much. Having allergies is really hard on a child. My daughter was crying last night before bed about how she is always left out at school, and how she can not trust any other adults to not feed her nuts. Sometimes, I just want us to be normal, if even for an hour. I want to watch t.v. and not have a discussion about her life threatening condition EVERYDAY!!! It is unbelievably difficult to relax, and destress about the whole situation when it constantly invades your home via the television. I do not want to have to tell her "no you can not watch t.v . because you have a nut allergy and I need a break".

I was hoping that with some awareness, new shows might come out where I know that for 30 minutes a day the outside world of nuts/milk/egg promotions will not be invading our home.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
I don't recall having shows like that when I was a kid and I watched a lot of TV. Yes allergies are hard but I don't recall crying because of it. I know it made me paranoid and a cleaning freak. When all teenagers are messy, my room was super clean and I wash my hands 50 times a day (that's why I have dry skin). Maybe try to explain to her that her allergens are like kryptonite to Superman. Meaning ordinary people are okay with it but it affects only him, like peanuts with her. Just a thought.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
You seem to have gotten my point vader.

I watched a lot of t.v. as a child infact a lot of the shows I liked are still on some channels. Flintstones, even the road runner who is excessively violent does not ever use promote peanut and nut products. Sesame street had some peanut butter references, but 20 years ago allergies were not as common. I don't remember specific comments like "peanut butter is good for you" like I hear today.

When I was younger society was in a "low fat" craze, and nut products were considered not good for you, I never ate them ...ever and our family never really had PB in the house either. Today everyone is "low carb" crazed and suddenly nuts are back on the menu as a healthy high protein food. Because apparently protein is good, carbs and fats bad :roll: seems to be all the rage, when our bodies need a healthy balance of the "right kinds" of all foods.

A lot of kids programs seem to have "taken it upon themselves" to promote healthy foods to kids, which would be a good idea if so many little ones were not deathly allergic primarily to nut products and milk, which are being promoted a lot. I don't think that those who make these shows realize the impact some of them have on kids with allergies including crying and feeling different.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
I used to watch tv and wonder why every character on tv liked fishing! It was in every program I watched! :evil: But allergies were not common and I knew it was me who was different and had to find ways to deal with it. I know how stressing it can be, and believe me it's not just because she's a child! I still dream of having a break for 30 minutes in my life too, but as an adult, I now have a chance to watch cooking shows and people selling products and showing me how to cook salmon to perfection :evil: , and rubbing it that fish is excellent for your health and all those crazy things! I never get a break from my allergies as I don't have one of the popular one! If I could trade all of my allergies to be allergic to peanuts, I would do it in a second!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
Are you kidding? Peanuts is in everything? Fish is easy to avoid compare to nuts are peanuts. I would make that trade with you in a hearbeart.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I think I'm mostly in agreement with Mylene on this one. Fish is a harder allergy to live with then peanut (in my opinion). And fish and fishing is on tv a lot. You tend to notice it more when it affects you - and I recall my friend commenting about that when her son was diagnosed with a fish allergy.

As for kids shows talking about food - my biggest complaint was when the cookie monster started talking about healthy eating. For goodness sake - he's the cookie monster, not the carrot monster. :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:29 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Markham, Ontario
AnnaMarie wrote:
As for kids shows talking about food - my biggest complaint was when the cookie monster started talking about healthy eating. For goodness sake - he's the cookie monster, not the carrot monster. :evil:


Haha, that got to me too!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Have to agree with young vader here...peanuts has got to be worse. My husband has a fish allergy ( not by inhaling ) so we avoid fish in this house too. It is not as big a deal as avoiding peanuts. People everywhere walk around in public eating nuts. Vending machines sell nut filled goodies, and even candy machines in my hospital er have nuts in them. They are an easy "take with you", drop on the floor spread it around food. Fish tends to be isolated to restaurants, kitchens and peoples homes more. My little one is very sensitive to milk left on surfaces, and it is in more foods than peanuts, so for me milk is even worse than peanuts.

They NEVER talk about eating fish in kids shows. Most little kids don't eat fish. Fish allergy is the 4nd most common allergy (shellfish is 2nd), although not amoung kids because kids rarely eat it at all. The peanut/nut bans that you seem so upposed to mylene, are primarily directed towards keeping kids safe from accidental exposure, and from being bullied by other kids with it. Latest studies have shown that as many as 5% of kids now have peanut allergy, and I don't think that 5% of canadian kids need to be excluded, put in danger, or made to cry on a daily basis. Lets not forget that kids watch shows which rave about peanut butter before school. This probably adds to the bullying problem if these kids come to school and are mad at the "allergic kids" that they can not have it for lunch.

Some kids watch unsupervised and if their favorite character tells them that peanuts are good for them...they just might try them. You never know which shows will suddenly promote it, at least if there were a few that were aware and did not promote food parents could let their kids watch them without wondering what they will hear if they leave the room to go to the bathroom. I am quite surprised that some of you think that increasing awareness in the world of kids television shows is not a good thing. I am not opposed to food on tv, I would just like options where my kids can watch and not be told to eat their allergens by their favorite characters. Keep in mind that the target audience is 5 and under, and 8 and under for before school shows.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
youngvader, I'll trade you right now ;)

Try to explain to a friend that her goldfish can kill you! Be a 5 year old for a second and stand up to try to explain that to your friend's parents! Come back to me and tell me that kids don't eat fish on TV! They may not eat them, but they have them in their room, they go fishing (remember Huckleberry Fynn????)

Bullied kids because of allergies are not new, believe me. "In my days", it was probably even more because the teachers didn't care! They had no clue what allergies were and did not see a tuna sandwich or someone's dead goldfish in a ziplock bag as bullying! :evil: It was just seen as children playing!

I seem opposed to nuts and peanut bans (and probably am) for one reason and one reason only: we cannot ban every allergen from this world and yes, these days it's 5% kids allergic to peanuts, tomorrow it's going to be 5% allergic to milk, and who knows, fish may even make a come back amongst kids in a couple of years! Fish can kill me, you eat fish. Peanuts can kill you, I eat peanuts. I'll respect you if you identify yourself as having an allergy and I'll get rid of my peanut butter jar in my office, but I will not live in peanut free world just because 5% of kids are allergic!

And is the racial proportion respected in kids's shows or could some kids feel left out because their race is not represented in tv shows? I barely remember seeing a kid in a wheel chair in kids's shows when I was young, but they did exist in reality, so these kids probably went home crying everynight too...


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