Calls For Removing Food Bans In Schools is a Recipe for Disaster

With the rapid increase of diagnosed food allergies among children (Australia now leads the world) and the subsequent increase in related bullying at schools against children with these life-threatening conditions, it comes as a surprise to us at TRIGGER that there has been a recent call to end blanket food bans of those items most likely to cause an emergency in a school.There has even been an alarming claim by those who support reversing these bans that they actually do ‘more harm than good’.

The facts:

1. Currently there is no cure for food allergies.

2. No preventive medicine can be taken.

3. Only strict avoidance of the allergen in question can protect a child with allergies.

4. Every child deserves to be educated in a safe environment .

If ‘strict avoidance’ is the only way to truly protect a child who could die from a reaction, how can removing  the banned food from that child’s school environment possibly do ‘more harm than good?’

Put a loaded gun in the middle of playground crowded with children and who among us wouldn’t be nervous that something terrible was about to happen? Like-wise, wouldn’t all of us feel safer if someone was responsible enough to remove that gun from the reach of those children?

In fact, wouldn’t that be our duty as adults and parents?

We have conducted our own research and have found that most teachers and parents of food allergy children we interviewed feel there simply isn’t enough awareness among parents of non-allergic children about the life-threatening dangers of food allergies to warrant the removal of food allergy bans.

While current food bans obviously do not provide 100% protection and no set of protective measures or rules in schools is perfect, what they do provide is an additional safety net of sorts- an important layer of protection in a scenario that requires several layers including;  education of all parents/teachers/children about food allergies, how wrong bullying is,  emergency training etc

To reintroduce banned foods to schools at this stage is simply a recipe for disaster- a needless risk to young children.

Sadly, there are countless stories of a bully who picks up a stone pretending it’s food and chasing/teasing an allergic child with it. What happens when that same bully now receives permission to bring the banned food to school ?

Until a cure is found or awareness is at such a level that people fully realise they are dealing with a potentially life threatening situation-  no change should be made that clearly increases the risk. It simply makes no sense.

The safety of our children should be paramount regardless of the issue being discussed and until a cure is found for food allergies or awareness is raised to such a level that all children are virtually guaranteed to be safe in their schools, no food bans should be lifted and further independent research is required.

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