Sick of the "peanut bans don't prepare kids for the real world" argument
I get so tired of hearing the argument that peanut bans are unrealistic, and that they will shield kids from what it will be like in the real world.
People don't realize that the learning environment for Kindergarten and preschool isn't like your work cubicle, where you have your own keyboard, mouse, and phone that no one uses but you. Everything the kids use is shared. They have to work at the same tables as the kids eating the PB, use the same crayons/markers/scissors/gluesticks. They use the same playground equipment. They share the same play dishes, etc.
Imagine you are now in the "real world" as a severly peanut allergic adult. You work with someone who dips their big hands into the big jar of peanuts from COSTCO that seems to be around every office, eats the Reese's from the vending machine, or gets the PB cookie with their Subway order. Then they sit down and put their mits all over your pen, your stapler, your phone, your keyboard and your mouse. It doesn't look like there is peanut protein everywhere but there is. You sit down at your cubicle to work getting peanut protein all over your hands without realizing it. You put your hand to your mouth when you cough/sneeze, you use your phone, or you pop an Altoid. Now you've ingested it and have earned yourself a trip to the ER. Now that you are a grown adult wouldn't you speak up and insist that if people can't keep their hands out of the peanuts when using the stuff you need to do your job (shared equipment) that it just not be in the office? You absolutely would.
That is what the parents of peanut allergic 4 or 5 year olds are trying to do for their children who are too young yet to speak for themselves. I don't feel a young child should be forced to used shared facilities and equipment and yet be at the mercy of whether or not the other parents choose to comply with the peanut allergy rules.
I don't think that it "shields kids from preparing for the real world" at all. I think it teaches them how they are going to have to handle it.
Telling kids that they just have to take the risk and keep their mouths shut is not how I want to prepare my daughter for a life in the adult workplace. She is going to have to learn to insist that equipment not be shared, or that her environment be peanut free.
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