Can an allergy to strawberries be life threatening?

3 replies [Last post]
By JeannieLino on Fri, 08-24-07, 20:17

I feel dumb asking, as I suppose every allergy can be. Tis has come up in a discussion wrt school bans for peanuts. And myresponse was that if a kid had a strawbery allergy that was that severe, of course, ban strawberries...this other parent is of the mindset that you don't label the child handicapped, just give them tools to deal with the problem....

How about allergies to pet dander- so severe as to need kids lint rolled before coming into class?

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By momll70 on Fri, 08-24-07, 20:29

I guess it would depend on how severe the allergy is. Some people are airborne sensitive weather it's peanuts, milk, eggs. I would take care of the problem as it comes. If there is someone who has a life threatening dog allergy, then take following precautions.

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By lakeswimr on Fri, 08-24-07, 20:31

Any food allergy can be life-threatening. Some allergens are more potent meaning that much smaller amounts of them can cause severe reactions than the majority of allergens. Peanuts and many seeds such as sesame are supposed to be the *most* potent allergens taking the least amount of allergen to cause a serious reaction. Nuts are also very potent, although not quite on the level of peanuts and many seeds. That said, people have had very servere, even fatal, reactions to foods other than nuts, peanuts and seeds to very small amount of exposure. I know of one person who said their child had anaphylaxis to eating at a table that had invisible milk residue on it even after using a wipe on that table. The tragic death of Sabrina Shannon also involved very trace amount of dairy exposure.

Peanut and nut butters offer an additional level of risk because they are sticky, oily, messy and difficult to clean from hands and surfaces.

Also, the vast majority of food allergy deaths occur from peanuts and nuts. (something like 90%)

Another issue is airborne reactions. A child who is allergic to shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, etc should not have to be around those foods being cooked if they are likely to react. This can be every bit as dangerous as a peanut allergic person being around peanuts.

So, while it makes sense that those who are peanut-allergic are more likely to need a ban/restrictions/accommodations than those with some other allergens it doesn't mean that it wouldn't be necessary for other allergens.

In general, I think most with, say, milk allergy, would need accommodations that would be more along the lines of keeping dairy or at least spillable dairy out of the classroom, good cleaning of surfaces and hands if dairy is allowed in the classroom, not using dairy products in lessons, and a place to eat where dairy is not likely to spill on them rather than a total school ban of dairy. Many with peanut allergy get by without total school bans quite well, too.

In the case of strawberry allergy, I don't know for sure but I would assume it normally may not require as extensive accommodations as peanut allergy but I have learned to not assume on things like this. LOL!

As for the pet allergy example, that kind of child could exist. The school could accommodate in various ways. I know some schools use air cleaners. Perhaps some might place children who don't have pets in a classroom together, although I'm not sure if that is legal.

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By TwokidsNJ on Sat, 08-25-07, 02:38

Depends if it is a true IgE allergy or Oral Allergy Syndrome. Many fruit allergies are OAS, but they CAN be anaphalytic IgE allergies. Any allergy can be serious.

I think banning peanuts has to do with residue and pervasiveness. Strawberries aren't quite as pervasive. There are other solutions, such as...Maybe the child could be at an allergy friendly table, supervised well to ensure no one next to her is eating strawberries.

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