May 28, 2013

Kids with peanut allergies now want $20,000 allergy service dogs to accompany them everywhere.

Allergy Alert dogs are "capable of sniffing out a single peanut in a pile of leaves."

132 comments:

rhhardin said...

Vicki loves peanut butter.

BarrySanders20 said...

That's $20,000. They still need $15,000 more.

Methadras said...

I'm allergic to leftists, they irritate me to no end. I want billions. Thank you.

Lem said...

Couldn't she just hold on for a year or whenever it is Obamacare is supposed to go into effect.

Help is on the way, little girl.

edutcher said...

Is it covered by ObamaTax or does John Edwards have to come out of retirement?

BarrySanders20 said...

My dog sniffs nuts for free.

Ann Althouse said...

"That's $20,000. They still need $15,000 more."

Thanks. Corrected.

KLDAVIS said...

The kid lived for 7 years without even knowing about the allergy, and those were the years when she was most likely to eat random foodstuffs and least likely to understand the consequences. Get a f'in EpiPen. It's not as cute, but it doesn't cost 20k and won't get hit by a car.

Seeing Red said...

Pretty soon that will be standard coverage under Obamacare.

BarrySanders20 said...

Can you imagine every allegic kid taking a dog to school? My dog is a pain in the ass, always moving, looking out the window at squirrels and things that look like squirrels like leaves and such. Then barking or whining to go investigate. And they do need to go out once in a while.

Does allergic kid get to take breaks to exercise Rover?

What about the kid next to her who's allergic to the frickin dog?

Hunter said...

Makes me want to sing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Found_a_Peanut

Sorun said...

I have a cousin with a peanut allergy. So far he's made it to 50 without a service dog.

rhhardin said...

You'd think a squirrel would be cheaper.

Henry said...

One kid. Not kids.

Idiot parents.

KLDAVIS said...

"What about the kid next to her who's allergic to the frickin dog?"

I have a bean that detects dogs...magically. Actually, it's a legume, related to the peanut. Only $5k a piece.

Tibore said...

If the allergy is genuine - and seeing as how the child had a bad episode and received medical treatment for it, it's logical to presume it is in this case - if there's something that can help her with it (in this case a service animal), and as long as the dog is trained by a legit service and the family is trying to raise private funds for this (that is the case here, according to the linked article), I have no problem with this. The dog will provide a very useful service and will be not be a pet (it'll be a working dog), and the girl lessens her chance of dying from accidental exposure.

Not to mention the fact that the young girl can learn some responsibility from helping take care of the dog. Again, this would be different from having a pet because there'd be some self-interest involved in caring for the dog that helps care for you.

If this were not a medically verified issue (I've heard of "psychological service dogs" before... I'm of two minds about that concept), or if there was any hint of "rip off" about this, then I may feel differently, but I get zero sense that that's the case here. This is a family not leaning on the government to help them and are simply asking others for aid. It's voluntary. I just don't see a problem with the way any of this is being approached, and above that, I hope they'll find success.

Henry said...

My son is deathly allergic to peanuts. So he doesn't eat peanuts. Amazing how that works.

Clyde said...

What is wrong with kids these days? When I was growing up in the '60s and '70's, we all ate peanut butter sandwiches AND NOBODY DIED! We didn't have seat belts or bike helmets, we walked to school and back again, we played outside, and we all turned out pretty well.

Nomennovum said...

Damn straight. The taxpayer owes everyone else a comfortable and risk-free standard of living.

X said...

I have or had an almond allergy that would close my throat. I stopped eating almonds and my parents kept some adrenalin in the fridge for emergencies. When I was a kid though, adults didn't fall for bullshit like needing a dog at school. Normal adults didn't panhandle back then either.

samanthasmom said...

The school where I taught had "peanut free" tables in the cafeteria. No peanut butter and fluff sandwiches allowed. It worked fine, but I suppose Mom would say it isn't fair unless no one can eat PB&J on her block. I was once denied a snack on a plane because they only had peanuts left, and someone 4 rows down had an allergy. I was hungry so I offered to move, but then everyone within 4 rows of her asked to move, too. It was actually kind of funny watching the flight attendant re-organize the seating plan mid-air to get only people she had given crackers to before she ran out near the allergy lady. The airline could solve the problem by not serving peanuts, but then they'd have the gluten-free crowd hollering if they served crackers . . . Maybe if you can't sit within 5ft of a peanut, you should stay home.

Jenn said...

Unless this article is leaving a lot out (completely possible), this family is preposterous. They didn't even know she had the allergy until she ATE peanut butter? It doesn't sound like she's extraordinarily sensitive, just a person with a normal food allergy. I have several myself. You read labels and you pay attention, and carry an epi-pen. I realize the peanuts and peanut oil are in everything now, but this is entirely manageable without spending the equivalent of a new car. If she were so sensitive that even the slightest exposure would kill her, they would have discovered it long before 7. Hell, she had enough exposure to peanut butter to know that the smell "repulsed" her. I don't think they really need to spend OPM to stay at an "allergen-free" hotel, much less the rest of it.

Jenn said...

Unless this article is leaving a lot out (completely possible), this family is preposterous. They didn't even know she had the allergy until she ATE peanut butter? It doesn't sound like she's extraordinarily sensitive, just a person with a normal food allergy. I have several myself. You read labels and you pay attention, and carry an epi-pen. I realize the peanuts and peanut oil are in everything now, but this is entirely manageable without spending the equivalent of a new car. If she were so sensitive that even the slightest exposure would kill her, they would have discovered it long before 7. Hell, she had enough exposure to peanut butter to know that the smell "repulsed" her. I don't think they really need to spend OPM to stay at an "allergen-free" hotel, much less the rest of it.

Henry said...

@Tibore -- I feel sorry for the girl. I don't begrudge her the dog. The passage that most annoys me is this: "To pay for not only Angel and her training, but to put up Grace, her 7-year-old sister and their mom at an allergen-free hotel in Colorado for two weeks..." (my emphasis).

There may be some misreporting going on, but according to the article the girl had an anaphylactic attack from eating peanut butter.

That's how we found out about my son's allergy. He ate peanut butter. He threw up.

The leap the parents have taken from the fear their daughter might eat peanut butter to the fear of all traces of peanut butter is egregiously wrongheaded. (Again, assuming the reporting is correct.)

These parents are teaching their daughter to be phobic, to live her life in fear. It's disgraceful.

Thorley Winston said...

The comments at the site are overwhelmingly unsympathetic with most commenters skeptical of the panhandling parents and raising the consequences of allowing children who aren’t blind to have a dog in school. Also a lot of other people claiming experience with food allergies suggesting that she just get an epi pen or making sure that the adults in her life have one with them at all times.


My faith in the human race just got raised a notch or two.


Ann Althouse said...

"if there was any hint of "rip off" about this, then I may feel differently, but I get zero sense that that's the case here."

The article says: "Angeli said she and her husband only learned Grace was severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts three years ago when her throat closed up after she decided to try peanut butter, having been repulsed by its smell her whole life."

That means she's been close enough to peanuts to smell them without having a reaction that led them to suspect allergy, and she survived the one peanut butter eating she tried. So why is the hyper-alert with a dog there at all times really needed? The dog can smell one peanut under a pile of leaves. That's impressive, but it doesn't seem that her sensitivity is beyond the level where she herself can smell it, since she successfully smell peanuts and was nauseated.

gerry said...

Ohhhhh. What happens when a peanut allergy dog causes an allegic reaction to a kid in a classroom with the kid who is allergic to nuts?

Maybe the dog-allergic kid could have a dog-detecting pit bull companion dog?

Strelnikov said...

Isn't there someway my tax dollars can be used to pay for this? If not, I'm awfully disappointed in our overlords.

Ann Althouse said...

"if there was any hint of "rip off" about this, then I may feel differently, but I get zero sense that that's the case here."

The article says: "Angeli said she and her husband only learned Grace was severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts three years ago when her throat closed up after she decided to try peanut butter, having been repulsed by its smell her whole life."

That means she's been close enough to peanuts to smell them without having a reaction that led them to suspect allergy, and she survived the one peanut butter eating she tried. So why is the hyper-alert with a dog there at all times really needed? The dog can smell one peanut under a pile of leaves. That's impressive, but it doesn't seem that her sensitivity is beyond the level where she herself can smell it, since she successfully smelled peanuts and was nauseated on various occasions in the past.

Nomennovum said...

My daughter, who will soon be entering college, is allergic to fish and tree nuts. I will be demanding a dorm be set aside for students with allergies like my daughter's.


Michael said...

I was on a flight recently where no peanuts were served because there was someone on the plane who was allergic. The whole plane denied peanuts because someone had an allergy.

Next, the no-gluten crowd will exterminate the cookies.

How on earth did we get as far as we did? Was the world always actually full of peanut allergies, gluten free adherents, homosexuals, transexuals etc all waiting for their moment?

I would like to believe but there is a part of me which calls bullshit.

Strelnikov said...

And we can call the condition "The Howard Wallowitz Syndrome", or "Wollowizardism" for short.

Henry said...

According to the parents' funding site, Grace's allergy is extremely severe:

Grace has had several reactions. She can go into anaphylactic shock by ingesting or coming in contact with the allergen. Each time, her reaction seems to be more intense. Her last exposure resulted in a reaction in which her throat started to close and her tongue felt funny (swollen). The next day, she had asthma trouble and soon after, she had trouble with the acids in her stomach causing reflux and stomach pains. It seemed to be a chain reaction stemming from the exposure that caused her to miss a lot of school. She was sick for weeks.

Perhaps her allergy is extreme enough to demand this kind of care. If nothing else, it's their call.

http://www.gofundme.com/angelforgrace

abby said...

My son was allergic to eggs and vanilla when he was growing up. I made a lot of things from scratch, had lots of recipes for him and told everyone we knew. We watched out and he was intelligent enough to ask when he was eating something. He is now a senior in college and outgrew his allergy. Make your child aware but not fearful. And I agree, what about the kid who is allergic to the dog? These parents are idiots.

Nomennovum said...

Before we got married, my wife told me she was allergic to peanuts, but I said, "No problem. You will never have to touch peanuts again as long as we are married. You won't even see any peanuts, as long as I can help it."

She said, "Good. I don't even like having them in my mouth. They taste horrible. They make me gag."

I soon discovered that I had misheard her. I could have sworn there was a T sound there when she said "peanuts."

LordSomber said...

Clyde said...

What is wrong with kids these days?


The problem isn't the kids. It's the parents.

Leland said...

In college, I knew a guy, who died after eating carrot cake. The vanilla icing was made with some almond oil mixed in. Will the dog detect stuff like that?

Martha said...

My son has a friend whose son was born with Ondine's curse, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) or primary alveolar hypoventilation, a respiratory disorder that is fatal if untreated. Persons afflicted with Ondine's curse classically suffer from respiratory arrest during sleep.

The child required a tracheostomy during his first month of life and must be connected to a ventilator whenever he falls asleep. Now as a toddler he has a dog which is trained to wake him or alert someone should he fall asleep when not connected to his ventilator. He is developing normally.

Ondine's curse is much much rarer than peanut allergy.
In 2006 there were only 200 cases known worldwide.

Better use of a trained dog IMHO.

AJ Lynch said...

This week's paper claimed 25% of inner city kids have asthma due to cockroaches or some such.

And here I thought they had asthma because that made them eligible to get an SSI check every month?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Can you imagine every allegic kid taking a dog to school? My dog is a pain in the ass, always moving, looking out the window at squirrels and things that look like squirrels like leaves and such. Then barking or whining to go investigate. And they do need to go out once in a while."

-- Working dogs are much better trained than the average dog. I've seen working dogs on the Metro or the bus who have no problem with all the stimuli.

Ann G said...

I had a schoolfriend who was allergic to peanuts. She was careful, but she died on an airplane on her way home from holiday, in front of her husband and two children.

Peanut allergy can be a killer. She had an epi pen, she had alerted the airline and yet still the food she was served was cooked in ground nut oil.

It's also an allergy where increased exposure can make the episodes worse. So the first time you might just get a runny nose, but each subsequent contact becomes more and more dangerous.

I'm not sure a dog is the only solution, but what value do you place on a life?

ricpic said...

She should take up smoking as nicotine gives protection against all kinds of conditions, possibly including peanut allergy.

ad hoc said...

I have several family members with peanut allergies, some severe. The person with most severe allergy can't even stand the smell of peanuts/peanut butter or eat something with the "processed using the same machinery as products with peanuts" warning on the label. All the same, he has never deprived fellow plane passengers of their peanuts.

If the family is happy with the dog and is willing to absorb the cost, fine. When the child gets older, she will hopefully carry an epi-pen.

John Gout said...

The parents should be able to sniff out peanuts or other allergens on their own. Without dogs.

Original Mike said...

Won't the peanut dog search far and wide for peanuts to bring to his master?

Or, maybe they've trained the dog to eat the peanut.

EMD said...

My semi-personal anecdote about someone I knew/know with an allergy goes here.

Astro said...

Maybe this country's reporters in DC can hire dogs to help them sniff out bullshit.

wyo sis said...

If the family is dealing with this without involving public money I don't have a problem with it, except that it establishes an inequality and an inequality cannot be allowed in socialist world.
Social engineers will have a field day with this. At least until all other people's money is gone or it's a choice between money for a peanut allergy or an abortion. Then sacrifices will be made.

Nomennovum said...

I'm not sure a dog is the only solution, but what value do you place on a life?

Point taken, and every story is a sad one, but the flip side to your question is, "What cost do you impose on others?" Where the allergy sufferer pays for a peanut-sniffing dog, that's one thing and reasonable accommodation should be given to such dogs in public. However, should the taxpayer be required to pay for these dogs, if the sufferer cannot pay? Should the dogs be allowed on planes? Should the airlines be allowed to charge the suffer for the dog's "seat" on the plane?

Michael Haz said...

Why wouold anyone hide a peanut under a pile of leaves? That sounds like a lot of work just to amuse the dog.

Bob Ellison said...

EMD, my tangential response to your anecdote goes here.

Mark said...

Well, I am allergic to pet dander including dog. Will there be a dog free classroom for the kids allergic to this girls peanut solution?

I am sympathetic, my nephew just about died in November while out a restaurant from a pistachio. Not everything deserves such a huge response.

John said...

I grew up in the 50s and 60s. Have raised 2 kids to adulthood and have 2 grandkids.

I never even heard of peanut allergies until perhaps 15 years ago.

Somehow it was just never an issue before.

Why did it become an issue?

I do understand that it exists and that it can be dangerous to a kid. But why was it never an issue before?

How many kids died, or suffered serious harm, from peanuts before, say, 1990 or so?

John Henry

AllenS said...

Me and you, John Henry.

X said...

They still need $15,000 more.

they want $15,000 more. need has not been established. no details provided on the family's financial means in the article or the donation site.

Jane said...

No harm, no foul, if they don't ask for taxpayer money?

Most people, whether formally or informally, have a certain budget for charitable donations. A dollar donated here means a dollar they're less likely to give to some actually worthy cause.

G Joubert said...

At 20k a pop the dog outfit is realizing obscene profits.

Kohath said...

At least they're addressing their own problems instead of telling every other kid in the world he can't have peanuts.

Rocketeer said...

If the kid's allergic to peanuts, why the heck do they want a fancy dog seeking out a single peanut in a big ol' pile of leaves? Better to leave the peanut where it is, well-hidden in the pile, with the child and the parents blissfully unaffected and unaware of the peanut's presence.

samanthasmom said...

Maybe it's genetic. Maybe people used to die from their peanut allergies before they were old enough to reproduce? Maybe the invention of the epi-pen has allowed peanut allergy sufferers to create more and more peanut allergy sufferers.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hey! You posted your answer twice.

Rent seekers, I say dismissively using a phrase just recently learned, I'm trying it out for size, but I realize as easy as a thing like smelling specific things is to teach, or rather show, or rather play with a dog enough to habitually do, and rent seeking aside, if it gets the kid a dog then I'm for it. ♫ Call me... irresponsible...

Tibore said...

"Ann Althouse said...
That means she's been close enough to peanuts to smell them without having a reaction that led them to suspect allergy, and she survived the one peanut butter eating she tried.


Smell does not always trigger the allergic reaction; it simply depends on what exactly the person is breathing in. For example, in the case if peanuts, many times it's a class of aromatic compounds called pyrazines that a person is smelling, not the allergy trigger itself. It's possible for a person to inhale peanut dust that does include the allergen, but it's also possible to just be detecting the aromatics and nothing else. So the fact that she smelled peanuts without a reaction doesn't really mean anything.

Furthermore, she survived the one incident, but her throat did swell up. The fact that she survived that time doesn't guarantee she won't choke to death the next.

So why is the hyper-alert with a dog there at all times really needed? The dog can smell one peanut under a pile of leaves. That's impressive, but it doesn't seem that her sensitivity is beyond the level where she herself can smell it, since she successfully smelled peanuts and was nauseated on various occasions in the past."

Your implicit presumption is that the threshold for a dangerous response is one that can be detected by the child. That's simply not established via the facts available in the article. The fact that she's smelled peanuts in the past says nothing more than the fact that those episodes involved enough quantity to be detectable; it doesn't mean that every dose that can cause a reaction can be detected by the child herself.

Thorley Winston said...

I vote “no” on donating to the dog fund and a decided “hell no” on letting the dog in the classroom. Teach the child to use an epi-pen and make sure that she and the teacher each have one at all times.


Inga said...

My two granddaughters are very allergic to tree nuts, I demand a squirrel to sniff out tree nuts they might be exposed to.

Jane said...

agree with G Joubert -- this is a very profitable business wrapped up as a charity. Look at the website -- half a dozen kids asking for cash, mostly with only a fraction of the 20K raised. And the 20K is a fixed price, not this individual family's travel, hotel, training and dog costs. This group calls itself a charity, but another one (google peanut allergy service dog) is simply a line of business for a kennel.

sydney said...

There are people who are so sensitive to peanuts that they have a reaction just being near them, but I am not sure how successful a dog would be at preventing contact with a peanut.

DADvocate said...

I have an uncle who's a tree nut. Ran an arboretum for years. Protested against clear cutting, etc. He could really be a pain in the ash.

Jourtegrity said...

Alright, I got way too tongue-tied and confused when the writer put too many A words together in one phrase: "Angeli, a wetlands scientist, said Angel is one of only 52 Allergy Alert dogs"

Rob said...

Putting aside the overreaction by the family that a service dog is needed, it should perhaps be mentioned that the service dog at issue here is a labradoodle, a breed so adorable that even Justin Bieber is envious. If I were a kid, I'd want to take my labradoodle to school too.

Sorun said...

I hope that people with a peanut allergy memorize the Obamacare diagnostic code(s) for peanut allergy and save their doctor the time of looking it up.

John Gout said...

I vote “no” on donating to the dog fund and a decided “hell no” on letting the dog in the classroom. Teach the child to use an epi-pen and make sure that she and the teacher each have one at all times.

Or, since we have a food stamp epidemic in this country, why not make the recipients of government largess, you know, work for it? Put them on a leash and train these parasites to sniff out peanuts for people with allergies.

You're welcome.

David said...

How about adult supervision? And an epi stick.

My now 10 year old granddaughter has learned to just put a touch of any suspect food on her tongue. She can tell right away and it does no damage.

She also has learned to ask, but she always tests too. Trust but verify.

She learned all this at about age 5.

And her sister is allergic to dogs.

Bob Ellison said...

A beech tree and a birch tree grow next to each other in the forest. One day a seedling pops out of the forest floor. The two trees argue with each other whether the seedling is a son of a beech or a son of a birch. There argument goes on and on. Son of Beech, Son of Birch. One day a woodpecker happens by and the trees ask him to settle their disagreement - is the seedling a Son of a Beech or a Son of a Birch. So the woodpecker does what woodpeckers do best and he pecks the seedling. The trees anxiously await his verdict. The woodpecker says "I can't say whether it's a Son of a Beech or Son of a Birch, but I can say that's the finest piece of ash I ever stuck my pecker in."

Sorun said...

John, better that food stamp recipients be trained as doctors since we'll likely have a doctor shortage in the future.

Thorley Winston said...

Or, since we have a food stamp epidemic in this country, why not make the recipients of government largess, you know, work for it? Put them on a leash and train these parasites to sniff out peanuts for people with allergies.


I’d rather have as many of them find gainful employment as possible than create a make-work job that seems to have no other purpose than needlessly humiliating them. But that’s just me.

Alex said...

Another bubble child.

Alex said...

I had a schoolfriend who was allergic to peanuts. She was careful, but she died on an airplane on her way home from holiday, in front of her husband and two children.

Well your friend should never have eaten unknown food. Sorry to be harsh, but that's the reality of it right?

Alex said...

Dogs like to chase squirrels and cats. Dogs like to poo and pee all over everything. This can't end well.

James said...

My daughter, who will soon be entering college, is allergic to fish and tree nuts. I will be demanding a dorm be set aside for students with allergies like my daughter's.

Hopefully she isn't attending University of Washington. Here's a story that made national headlines about two weeks ago: Student Says Peanut Allergy Forced College Withdrawal

Bryan C said...

"At least until all other people's money is gone or it's a choice between money for a peanut allergy or an abortion."

That's easy. Disallow coverage for epi-pens while requiring in-utero allergy screenings. Problem solved.

samanthasmom said...

I have a golden doodle - very much like a labradoodle. She's very smart, but also cute and cuddly. Service dog or not, she'd be a hell of a distraction in a classroom of little kids. I pity the poor teacher who would have to compete.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I have to echo what others have said here: What about the students with dog allergies? Yes, I know labradoodles are supposed to be "hypoallergenic," but are you willing to take the risk of putting a dog-allergic student next to a peanut-allergic student with a peanut-sniffing dog?

(How do we handle this right now? Service dogs for the blind tend to be labs. They shed a lot more dander than do labradoodles. So, I'd guess, do service dogs for the deaf, which seem -- from the ones I've seen -- mostly to be Boston terriers.)

AllenS said...

"Hello, welcome to Everyone's Hamburgers, how may I help you?"

Customer: "Yes, I'd like a... I'll bring in my dog, before I'll order."

bpm4532 said...

One word: bubble.

AllenS said...

"Trick or Treat?"

"Don't put a fucking thing in my fucking bag, until my fucking dog smells it."

AllenS said...

"Welcome to WalMart."

"Back off, motherfucker. My dog will take over now."

samanthasmom said...

I've had both blind and deaf students mainstreamed into my middle school and high school classrooms. They may have had service dogs outside of school, but they came into class with "service people", otherwise known as a dedicated teacher aide, not their dogs. The deaf child's aide was adept at signing, which was a distraction for some of the other kids. She moved too quickly for the kids to eventually learn to sign from her, but some of the kids couldn't keep their eyes off her. One parent asked for her son to be moved into another classroom because he had problems with being visually distracted. I supported it, but she took a lot of abuse for requesting the transfer from the school administration.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

samanthasmom,

Even if the service dogs aren't themselves in the classroom, I'd bet their dander was; it's not possible to be in close contact with domestic animals and not pick up traces of that contact. (Granted that probably most people in a classroom have pet dogs or cats or both, but the constant proximity of a service dog to its human master is a bit more intimate than most kids' relationship with the family pet.)

If the mere presence of peanuts within four rows of an airline passenger is enough to trigger fears of anaphylaxis, it is odd that service dogs aren't seen as a similar threat.

sinz52 said...

"What about the kid next to her who's allergic to the frickin dog?"

That kid needs to get a service cat, to warn him of the presence of dogs.

What about the third kid who's allergic to cats? He can take Benadryl.

AllenS said...

At the beach...

"Get your dog away from me. His nose is stuck up my crotch."

"Fuck off! There might be a peanut up there."

sinz52 said...

Michael: "How on earth did we get as far as we did? Was the world always actually full of peanut allergies, gluten free adherents, homosexuals, transexuals etc all waiting for their moment?"

The same way we survived plagues without antibiotics.

Religious clerics told people that God moves in mysterious ways and we shouldn't question what just happened to us.

Lem said...

Allergy Alert dogs are "capable of sniffing out a single peanut in a pile of leaves."

Isn't that like animal cruelty?

To consign a dog to wait for the day when his owner happens upon a pile of leaves so that he may fulfill his destiny.

Not to mention the scam vive... spotting a pile of leaves should not be that difficult.

The peanut is inconsequential once you spot the pile of leaves.

Move to New Mexico and avoid the entire north east territories, year round, just to make sure.

Somebody owes me $20,000 dollars.

AllenS said...

Really, how many people are killed every week in Chicago by peanuts?

Lem said...

ah ... that should read scam vibe.

gadfly said...

The child is ten years old and I do not read that she is mentally handidcapped - so why not find someone to conduct a training course on peanut avoidance, reinforced by frequent visits to her allergy doctor.

Medical insurance would cover these regimens quite nicely if the doc issues a script. But I suspect another motive altogether. Daughter Grace wants a doggie, Mommy! Please Daddy, I need an allergy dog or else I'll die!

Youngblood said...

About one half of one percent of the population is allergic to peanuts. That about one and a half million people in the united states. About ten people die from peanut allergies each year in the United States. That means that, even among those with peanut allergies, the chances of dying are ridiculously small. (The chance of hospitalization is pretty small, too. There are about 2,000 hospitalizations a year in the US from all food allergies.)

The reason that this was never an issue before becomes obvious when you take those numbers into account. It has never been an issue because it's not an issue.

Also, all that stuff about banning peanuts on planes is nothing more than fussiness. There hasn't been one documented case--not one--of secondary exposure at that level resulting in a serious allergic reaction. Not one.

What you're looking at is fussiness, not a legitimate health problem.

Julie C said...

The problem (for all of us) is that these types of allergies are being used to force the schools into all sorts of accommodations because of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Rather than spending time and money on actual classroom teaching, schools are having to either defend themselves from lawsuits, set up separate classrooms with specially trained teachers, coming up with all sorts of policies and training programs, inspecting the lunches of every kid in the lunchroom, etc.

John Gout said...

This country started going downhill when we decided to accommodate the disabled with ramps and special elevators and whatnot. Special classes for "special" kids. My kid isn't retarded, why is yours?

AllenS said...

Teacher: "Johnny, how many peanuts will you have, when you add 3 peanuts, with 2 peanuts?"

Johnny: "I'm gonna die!"

OK, this is my last one. You know what? If I had a child with a peanut allergy, he/she wouldn't be in public school.

viator said...

Obamacare will pay for it.

Along with transgendered operations, homeopathy, hydropathy, naturopathy, ayurvedic medicine, osteopathy, chiropathy, energy therapy, and bioelectromagnetism. It's all good.

Pogo said...

"According to the parents' funding site, Grace's allergy is extremely severe:"

Sorry, but public school, isn't for everyone. Homeschooling seems the best option here.

This ADA spendathon will lead to parents demanding 'therapy dogs' for their kid's anxiety disorder, especially during exams. It'll never end.

Schools are overextended as it is. Serious cuts are in order.

Julie C said...

Some parents lobbied the school board to set an official pesticide policy. The parents didn't want the school district to use Round Up anymore to kill weeds at the school's numerous fields. The school board went along, because it was "for the children" of course.

They mandated the facilities people only use "natural" pesticides, such as cinnamon oil.

Did you know that some people are allergic to cinnamon?

So, they stopped using pretty much anything, and now the kids who have hay fever and pollen allergies are suffering big time.

But hey, they aren't using Round Up anymore!

Gene said...

Sydney:There are people who are so sensitive to peanuts that they have a reaction just being near them, but I am not sure how successful a dog would be at preventing contact with a peanut.

How close does one half to be? Inches? Feet? Can someone like that go into a 7-11? Walk past the concession stand at the movies? What happens if a peanut vendor asks him/her to pass along a bag of peanuts at a baseball game? What if there are peanut shells under the seat? Man, I don't think Sarin gas is this bad.

Michael Haz said...

The Organisation of Women Who Wear Pantsuits released the following statement earlier this afternoon:

"For too long supermarkets have got off the hook, stocking bakers' mags in the face of widespread opposition, but this time we have the law on our side," said Kat Banyard, founder of US Peanutista. "Every shop that sells bakers' mags – publications which are deeply harmful to peanut allergy sufferers – are opening themselves up to legal action."...

"One woman said to us: 'Those magazines don't do peanut allergy sufferers any favours, they are appalling and demeaning to peanut allergy sufferers, but what can little old me do about it?' Well, employees need to know they don't need to put up with it any more."

Michael Haz said...

I am quite allergic to the celibacy found in many places. I want to be able to take a service hooker with me at all times.

Michael Haz said...

You know, in case. An epi-pen can't do everything.

Michael Haz said...

Really, how many people are killed every week in Chicago by peanuts?

The violence is mostly between the Jifs and the Skips, but some regular folk get caught up in it.

sydney said...

Gene,
Airplanes seem to be the biggest culprit in environment exposure. Because they are a very closed and contained environment which means that peanut dust circulates through the cabin. In an airplane, it can happen no matter how far the allergy sufferer is from the peanut. The same would apply to any room that isn't well ventilated if peanuts are served to the masses in the room.

samanthasmom said...

Sydney, that's what there should be child-free flights, too. Who wants to take a plane ride with snotty-nosed kids who aren't related to you?

Chip Ahoy said...

Speaking of peanuts, while we're on it, how does this sound? Ferran AdriĆ  (elBulli) set up in Washington for a while researching historic American food, Benjamin Franklin and such, and he found a recipe for pbandj that included some kind of meat so his take on it is to use regular sandwich bread and spread a teaspoon of peanut butter around in a little circle there in the center of the bread then plop a teaspoon of delicious refreshing sweet fruit preserve on top of that, and then, dramatic drum roll, a small slice of foi gras and a top layer of bread, using a biscuit cutter or a glass to press and seal, the packet is lightly toasted in a pan. I imagine the peanut butter melts inside, the delicious refreshing sweet fruit preserve become warm and so does the foi gras as the outside of the bread toasts. And then you end up with a pile of these little toasted packets like ravioli and a whole lot of wasted bread crumbs.

mesquito said...

Of course. When I was I elementary school I had one "hyper" classmate. And Donald was fucking certifiable. Normal 99 percent of the time he could do about 50 pullups. Latent energy. Once in a while he'd just freak out and mr Wilkerson, a former B-17 pilot, would snatch him up and deposit him elsewhere. . We wouldn't see him for a few days. Now half of all kids needs special handling.

I carried PB with me for 6 straight years. No one died.

DanTheMan said...

>>The violence is mostly between the Jifs and the Skips, but some regular folk get caught up in it.

It's the Chun-Kee's and the Da Smooves that really don't get along at all.

Helenhightops said...

If they don't have the money, I think it is alright for them to ask for crowd funding. I, myself, would find a way to get the money from family if I didn't have it, but, if they are not ashamed to do it, this is a worthy cause. I see nothing wrong with asking for a service dog. It sounds as if she has a true life threatening allergy, and I am just glad my children are not so afflicted. Nut allergies are clearly on the rise, for reasons as yet unknown. I have direct knowledge of two persons who were DOA at the hospital from food anaphylaxis. I can't imagine letting my kid walk out of the house every morning knowing if she ingests peanut protein she could die - it's in all kinds of stuff. If the dog gives her an extra measure of safety, I'm all for it, because an allergy like that is a true handicap in a world where peanut allergens are ubiquitous.

Freeman Hunt said...

It would be easier to stop serving the girl her meals under piles of leaves.

MadisonMan said...

Once the dog finds the peanut, what do they do?

Someone upthread said Homeschool. I say Amen.

Hi from Washington Regional Medical Center Freeman :) This is my penultimate visit to your fair county, I think. Boy do I have a lot of work to do by Friday.

Thank goodness for skype. So I can keep the sibs up to date.

On that subject -- why not just get tablets for each of her classrooms, and skype it if her parents don't want to homeschool? That would cost less than $20K. And you don't have to buy peanut-free dogfood!

btw Everyone: Write a will! Do it right now! Don't make your brother make arrangements for it at the last minute!

John Lynch said...

Hey, if they want to pay for it.

When I was a kid I didn't know anyone with a severe allergy to anything. Now they are everywhere.

What changed?

Carl said...

Part of the problem is the extreme looseness with which people use "allergy." Some allergies are genuinely life-threatening. For that person, the allergen is a serious poison, and if sufficiently quick-acting can easily kill you. A dose of eipnephrine may save you, but it may not.

Obviously the number of people with that kind of allergy, to anything, is quite small. But it's not zero. And it would be perfectly understandable for one of them to be extremely paranoid (and perhaps, quite reasonably, want the assistance of a special dog), since from her point of view the rest of us casually throw around and munch on and readily serve to her deadly poison. Imagine if you moved to Styria and the peasants there were all immune to arsenic, such that they casually sprinkled it in their soup, left sweepings on the cutting board where you made your sandwiches, didn't bother washing it out of glasses before serving you iced tea. You'd be freaking paranoid, too. Particularly if you had to send your 7-year-old among them without your supervision. They don't even take the risk seriously, since they can't really imagine someone who gets sick from just eating arsenic. You'd gladly pay $20,000 for a special dog that could alert the kid.

But at the other extreme we have "allergies" which involve merely getting a little sick, and others which are frankly psychosomatic. I just don't like the smell of durian so I get sick to my stomach if forced to eat one...whenever I smell fish I'm reminded of that time I got food poisoning and feel ill...et cetera.

People have also appended the idea of allergy to the supposed ill effects of long-term eating of certain foods -- gluten and sugar for those currently on the fringe, saturated fat for those currently in the mainstream. Sure, maybe eating white bread (six weeks old, a little green around the edges) made you feel just a little ill, but maybe that's because you're allergic to gluten and you know that stuff kills over time!

It's regrettable that so many people wrestling with their likes and dislikes, and their magical thinking about food -- nearly everyone appears to believe that eating exactly the right foods can extend your life by decades, when the reality is if it can be measured at all, it is probably months at best -- have cried wolf about allergies, and consequently the very few people with genuine weird life-threatening allergies are routinely mocked for it.

They'll probably have to invent some other word that means honest-to-God-allergy.

Rusty said...

Service monkeys are getting the short shrift here.

gerry said...

osteopathy

Just for the record, a DO is equivalent to an MD. Four years post-grad, with residency specialties and so forth. Just like MDs.

SGT Ted said...

A dog for a peanut allergy is tre stupido.

The dog will hit on the scent of peanuts, much like a drug dog hits on the cocaine or pot residue on bill of money. That will include a bag that smells of peanuts because there was a sandwich in it previously. After about 4 hours of sniffing, the dog is useless, much like the bomb dogs at airports.

The reliance on misplaced sympathy and the ignorance of others to get your way is what this is.

Yea imagine the health hazard with all the dog shit and piss at the playground and school yard. Notice the complete disregard for children with pet allergies.

SGT Ted said...

Bottom line:

They are panhandlers and they are accustomed to playing on the sympathy of others to get free shit.

It is of a piece with their lifestyle.

SGT Ted said...

Don't even get me started on gluten, the latest craze of the food hypochondriacs.

Phil 3:14 said...

"Service monkeys are getting the short shrift here."

Are they anything like survey monkeys?

Rocketeer said...

When they say "service dog," what I'm hearing is "service oompa-loompa."

Freeman Hunt said...

Just for the record, a DO is equivalent to an MD.

Does anyone who is not an osteopath think this?

Tammy said...

After reading this, I'm disheartened by the number of ignorant posts.

Anaphylaxis is a serious and dangerous problem, and quite frightening as well. It can, and often does result in death.

Read some food labels in your house and you might be surprised how many contain peanuts.

Peanuts are notorious for causing fatal reactions. Many people are so allergic that yes, that person eating them 4 rows away on the plane that has recirculating air may cause a reaction. What would you like that person to do to cause you the least inconvenience? How quietly should they die?

Epi pens are great. After the reaction in the plane begins, the epi can be administered. Then, you can all gather up and wait for 30 to 60 min and watch as the epi wears off and the person dies. How fun is that? Unless, of course, the epi pen causes the person to go onto cardiac arrest, then your show will be over sooner.

Epi is an emergency drug to keep you alive until you can be treated with more extensive drugs such as histamine 1 blockers, histamine 2 blockers, steroids and breathing treatments. Once it wears off, without further treatment, most people see their symptoms return in greater ferocity. Epi raises the blood pressure to prevent shock. Where does the swelling come from? A person swelling does not poof up with air. The water present in the blood and other tissue rushes to the effected areas causing instantaneous dehydration and possibly shock.

That "little" allergy problem could cause death before an epi pen could be administered. Anaphylactic shock causes the heart to stop.

But, hey, you got to eat your peanuts. So what if someone died! ? It's totally worth the risk because access to that emergency treatment is so easy to come by on a plane.

I wonder how many of those complaining that their right to eat peanuts is sacred , would flip if the person next to them on the plane lit up a cigarette which decidedly would not kill you today.

1 in 13 children have severe food allergies. Most attribute the rise in allergy to modifications and additives in our food. Why didn't people have peanut allergies 50 years ago? The belief of many is because they ate peanuts that had not been genetically altered like the ones we eat today. Most of the peanuts grown in America have been altered. If you read statistics, allergies are on the rise only in developed countries such as the US

The service dog this girl wants is 100% privately funded. I hope she raises enough money. Her parents are not ridiculous. I personally witnessed a child in a school cafeteria stop breathing because another had eaten peanut butter and then high fived this child without thinking.

Peanut free zone said...

I cannot believe you people!!! I have a child who is allergic to peanuts and I will do everything in my power to make sure he is able to live a safe and happy life. If this means sending him to school with a dog that can prevent him from a deathly reaction...THEN THAT'S WHAT I WILL DO!!! Unless this matter personally affects you or your love ones....YOU HAVE NO OPINION IN THIS MATTER!!!! No one likes to see their child suffer in anyway!!!!! When you have to give your child an epi injection at the age of FOUR, you never want to have to do it again!!! And @Clyde...you're right, back in "your day" peanut allergies did not seem to be an issue, but these days IT IS!!! So, before anymore ignorant people want to give their two cents....I suggest you DON'T!!!!!

The High Desert Chronicles said...


We have a child with life threatening food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, milk (both cow and goat), wheat, eggs, and soy. She was diagnosed at 9 months old.

Food allergies are extremely dangerous, and by all the comments left on this blog post, I can see how ill-informed you truly are about the dangers of life threatening food allergies. They don't call it life threatening for the hell of it. These are diagnosed by an allergist, and the epi pen is there to keep that child or adult alive until they can get to the hospital.

We wouldn't show this much ignorance to a blind child with a service dog. If a blind child was about to head in a dangerous situation, the dog would become alert. We also wouldn't begrudge a person from having a service dog for epilepsy.

The lack of empathy for families dealing with life threatening food allergies is absolutely stunning.

Our daughter is only six, and at the recommendation of her doctor, we've had to homeschool her. We can't go to a restaurant with her, family functions are almost always out of the question, and forget about birthday parties and play groups. Taking her to Barnes and Noble for story time on Wednesday had to end because all the children are given cheese snacks and cookies.

Should I stop everyone from eating things that my child can't eat? Hell no! BUT, if I had the opportunity to gift her with a service dog that was $20,000 you better believe that I would do it, without batting an eye. That dog would allow us to bring our child into social situations where she could remain safe and free of medical attention; be around other children who DO eat what she can't, so she could at least lead a quazi normal life. She didn't ask for this to happen to her, but it did.

We'll support her in every way we can. People think nothing of spending big bucks to buy their kid a car, new iphone with data plans, computers, expensive clothes, or even a top notch education. These dogs are the difference between life and death, and they raise the quality of living for those who live with these types of challenges.

The kind of comments I've read are also echoed in schools across the country, by many children. These kinds of negative attitudes are leading to children being bullied and sometimes attacked with the very foods that can kill them.

We need empathy, not ridicule. Some children will navigate this world just fine managing their food allergies, and others, like my little girl, are going to need all the help they can get.

I completely understand how inconvenienced others feel by coming into contact with a food allergic person. The protocols at our house are intense. We no longer fly on a plane because the last time we did, the flight attendants served peanuts a few rows over, and my child not only broke out in hives, but also started wheezing and had a seizure. I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't want to be trapped way up in the sky because someone absolutely had to eat a bunch peanuts that was their "right" to eat.

Would you walk up to someone with a loaded gun, point it at them, and insist that it was your right to pull the trigger since it was your gun? That's what food allergies are like. People feel they have the right to expose others who are clearly allergic, and then don't want to claim responsibility when the *gun* goes off.

I can give the same illustration to schools. Can you imagine if children were allowed to come to school with loaded weapons or any weapons for that matter?

Well, food is actually a lethal weapon to some children and adults.

Let's be a little more empathetic to what's happening. Step into their shoes for just a little while.

AnitaHaven said...

Wow. Most of the comments are just horrible! I'm not sure how severe this little girl's allergy is, but I know how bad mine is! I don't have an allergy to peanuts but it is something just as common. My allergy is classified as type one hypersensitivity. I start having a reaction just from it being in the air. I once had a grandmal seizure from RESIDUE. Anaphylactic allergies are not the joke you all seem to think they are!

As far as all of your "allergic to dogs" remarks, most dog allergies are not anaphylactic. And reguardless if they are or not the school will make sure that the two children with the allergies do not have the same class.

And lastly, if my children get my allergy you can bet that they will be getting allergen detection service dogs!

JenniferCushman said...

Wow! Can you say ignorant? Peanut allergy is variable. Our daughter did not have a peanut allergy until 18 years old. It is so severe that she doesn't have to eat it or touch it, only inhale peanut. In the past 24 months, she has had 24 anaphylactic reactions. When a college can not ban all peanut products from every building, dorm, apartment, etc., a peanut sniffing dog would be an amazing blessing for her. My husband and I have a gun to protect us! If our daughter needs a peanut sniffing dog, than so be it! We hope to PURCHASE one for her soon! But by all means, if our expensive health insurance would share in the cost of $20,000 to save the nearly $250,000 they have paid in the past 2 years....I believe it would be cost effective!

Kim Chabre said...

As a mother of a child who is deathly allergic to peanuts let me share some facts for those who are obviously ignorant about the severity of peanut/tree nut allergies:
1. Epipens do not always work.
2. Food is not always labeled correctly.
3. I don't know what is in school food, nor do I know what a kid brought from home. My kid won't have a reaction that Benadryll will clear up, it will KILL him, but I have no reason to be "paranoid".
4. Parents pack PB&J sandwiches for their child's lunch. Some become irate when asked not to because somehow it infringes upon their parental rights. Well it's also their right to own a gun, so I guess they should send their child to school with a gun too and I'll pray that my kid doesn't come into contact with the sandwich or gun because they are equally deadly.
5. Anaphylaxis from dog dander is extremely rare and dog dander is on the clothing of dog owners. Anaphylaxis is not rare for individuals with peanut/tree nut allergies.

If it's absurd or unreasonable for a child who could die from the tiniest exposure to peanuts or any other kind of nut to have a service dog, than it doesn't make much sense for a blind child, a child with seizures, or a quadriplegic child to have one either.

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