False Sense of Security

Posted on: Wed, 07/07/2004 - 9:26pm
StaceyK's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

False sense of security ~ I don't buy that argument now, never have and I think it's intellectually dishonest. They are in effect saying if a safety precaution is not 100% effective guaranteed, there is no reason to put it in place. Why does it have to be so absolute - what is wrong with minimizing the risk even if it might not completely eliminate it?

[url="http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,10078528%255E1..."]http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,10078528%255E1...

It's almost completely impractical to ban these food products from coming into the school," said Dr Michael Gold, head of allergy services at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide and the chairman of ASCIA's anaphylaxis committee.

"Rather than expend energy trying to do that, it's probably better spent in educating the child who's affected and those who are immediately in contact with the child."

Blanket bans could lull the child with an allergy into a false sense of security and make them feel safe in dropping their guard, potentially leading to exposure to dangerous foods.

((Exactly HOW can you "educate" a child to see peanut butter film on doorknobs, play equipment and the like - will education give them microscopic vision or unnatural peanut-detection abilities? Give me a break.))

Posted on: Wed, 07/07/2004 - 11:03pm
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Bans have been a controversial topic on these boards and I usually don't comment however, I am going to in this case. I believe in bans in the primary grades but as children get older I agree that they can handle the issues that arise. My answer to how to handle the hidden transfer: I have taught my child to wash his hands thoroughly before eating and to move away from anyone eating. Also he eats in a meeting room with a friend, away from the lunchroom. Handwashing can be effective. This is JMHO. I am not challenging others beliefs--just outlining my own approach. It has worked for more thatn 40 years with my brother and is working for my 9 year old son. Take care.

Posted on: Wed, 07/07/2004 - 11:48pm
Batman's picture
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Joined: 08/11/2000 - 09:00

Kathryn,
I am interested in hearing more about this. Does your son get to select a different friend every day based on what they are eating for lunch? Does he feel lonely eating only with one friend?
Also - I assume that the lunch room is different from the classroom?
In my son's school, they eat lunch in their classrooms at their desks. Allowing kids to eat PB for lunch may contaminate his classroom (and lets face it, the janitor is not going to go into each classroom with a PA child and wash the desks after lunch...) and that would not be an acceptable risk to me. I could see how it would work with a separate lunch room though.
Take care

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 2:16am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

RE: I am interested in hearing more about this. SEE BELOW IN CAPS
Does your son get to select a different friend every day based on what they are eating for lunch? Does he feel lonely eating only with one friend? IT HAS VARIED---THIS YEAR HE ATE WITH THE SAME FRIEND EVERY DAY UNLESS THAT FRIEND WAS AWAY. THE FRIEND'S LUNCH WAS SAFE AS HIS MOTHER 'GETS IT' AND WAS RELIABLE ABOUT NOT PACKING UNSAFE FOODS --NEXT YEAR WE ARE GOING TO TRY EXPANDING THE NUMBER OF FRIENDS AVAILABLE SO THAT HE IS NOT SEEN AS CHOOSING ONE FRIEND ALL THE TIME OVER ALL HIS OTHER FRIENDS BUT THIS WILL DEPEND ON PARENTAL KNOWLEDGE AND WILLINGNESS ALSO
Also - I assume that the lunch room is different from the classroom?
NO FOOD IS ALLOWED IN ANY OF THE CLASSROOM AREAS WHERE MY SON WILL BE TAUGHT--COMPUTER LAB, LIBRARY, GYMS, FRENCH ROOM, HOME ROOM CLASS. HIS CLASSMATES EAT IN ANOTHER CLASSROOM FOR THEIR LUNCH AND HE EATS IN A SMALL MEETING ROOM NEAR THE OFFICE. HE IS NEVER ALONE AT LUNCH AND OFTEN ONE OR TWO MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS WORKING ON STUDENT COUNCIL OR OTHER PROJECTS DURING THEIR LUNCH WILL JOIN MY SON AND HIS FRIEND. ANY MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO DO THIS GET ALLERGY AWARENESS TRAINING WHICH HAS BEEN GREAT.
In my son's school, they eat lunch in their classrooms at their desks. Allowing kids to eat PB for lunch may contaminate his classroom (and lets face it, the janitor is not going to go into each classroom with a PA child and wash the desks after lunch...) AT OUR SCHOOL THE CARETAKERS GET ALLERGY AWARENESS TRAINING AND CLASSROOMS WITH CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES ARE MARKED ON THE DOOR WITH POSTERS ETC. THE CARETAKERS CLEAN LUNCHROOM CLASSROOMS AND OTHER LOCATIONS AND THEN WITH SEPARATE CLEAN CLOTHS AND NEW WATER IN BUCKETS ETC THEY DO THE ALLERGY CLASSROOMS SO THAT NO TRANSFER OCCURS DUE TO THEIR CLEANING. THERE WAS SKEPTISM AT FIRST BUT THE ALLERGY TRAINING AND THE VIDEOS USED MAKE THEM BELIEVERS PRETTY QUICKLY.
I AM IN AN ONTARIO ELEMENTARY PUBLIC SCHOOL WITH NO 504 PLAN BUT WITH GREAT INTEREST, AWARENESS AND COOPERATION FROM THE SCHOOL AND BOARD.

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 2:49am
Lovey's picture
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Joined: 03/22/2004 - 09:00

"According to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy's guidelines, blanket bans are impractical, have not been proven effective and could foster complacency about avoidance strategies."
What serious studies have ever been completed to prove or disprove effectiveness?
Bans "foster complacency" is based solely on assumption not proven fact.
Our knowledge of the full nature of the peanut allergy is so incomplete, it would be impossible to make any such declaration with any degree of certainty.
Bans were initially considered by various medical experts not in isolation but due to the fact that peanut allergic children did die and almost died in school settings. Off-hand I can think of three school deaths that occurred not because of lack of education on the part of the peanut allergic child but because of human error mixed with the presence of peanut.
I continue to be uncomfortable with the lack of care, thought, and science many organizations are taking in developing their official positions. The costs if they are wrong are astronomical, but I suppose that they are not the ones who will have to pay for their errors.

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 6:49am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

False sense of security, I have a good example.
My son is grown now but when he was little there were big big fires in Laguna Beach not far from us. The news had extensive coverage and my son saw a picture of the devastated neighborhood, only the chimneys of a whole neighborhood remained standing.
My son said "Mom, if that were my house I would just hide in the chimney until the fire went away. The chimney's did not burn and the people would be safe there."
Absolutely scared me to death the way he made that connection. He made lots of silly connections when he was small.
I could see my son making the same connection about peanuts in his school. And that would be a life threatening mistake. Especially at school when others might not be as observant as we are at home.
My son is 19 and his RAST numbers are very high but he never reacted in elementary or middle school. Never once in a school filled with kids eating PBJ every day for lunch. Although that is maybe how his numbers got so high..... low level exposure.
I don't know how that happened. He stayed away from lots of kids back then and he stays away from any hint of his allergens today. Maybe that would be interpreted as isolation and unfair to a little guy back then.
So I do not know how I feel about school bans. His college has placed a ban on his dorm because his dorm is part of a community and he has to live there. I LOVE that ban, really love it. Having a place where my son knows absolutely that he will not encounter a peanut. And a place where he is a member of a community and respected for his differences.
So maybe I started this post out not in favor of school bans and may have turned myself around.
Still, a false sense of security is something to consider. Your education of your child would have to be as intense if your school had a ban. As long as people understood that and acted accordingly.
I wonder about a false sense of security on the part of the staff? That might be a problem.
Peggy

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 8:18am
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

What gets me fired up is when doctors (or FAAN) trot out the "false sense of security" argument and present is as a [i]mutually exclusive[/i] choice!
Especially for younger children, [b]if you combine risk reduction practices WITH education [/b], then the false sense of security argument is a fallacy.
I don't think that any PA parent who pursues risk reduction practices in an intelligent way would do it to the exclusion of education, yet these types of idiotic comments in the press paint that very picture.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 8:51am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I believe the "false sense of security" argument or stance, if you will, is complete and utter b/s. I always have and unless something radically changes for me (my PA son), I always will.
My son has a "peanut free" classroom. He travels throughout the school to do many other classes and has just completed his fifth year of doing so. Jess knows that when he walks out of his classroom he is no longer in a "peanut free" environment and I'm sure in his head, he must have some things he thinks about or precautions he puts into place for himself, personally.
He has remained reaction free (except for the one incident at the school last year, which I now believe was ingestion) for five years of school. One of the things I do credit with that is his "peanut free" classroom since the children do eat in their classrooms.
I believe in a "peanut free" classroom for as long as I can request one, which, to my understanding, depending on the school (here, in Ontario, Canada) is either grade 6 or grade 8.
Then, with cafeterias in middle or high school, we'll be faced with a whole new set of challenges.
I cannot even begin to imagine the psychological effect that having a life threatening allergy must have on a child (or anyone for that matter - for the *big* people here). I have the *right* to request a "peanut free" classroom for my son and I'd like to provide him with a little bit of a safe haven (and he does understand that mistakes do happen, children do bring stuff in they're not supposed to, etc.) while he is away from his peanut/nut free home.
As far as him eating away from his classmates, I do disagree with this. It's okay if other parents feel okay about their child eating separately from other students, but for my guy, no. He is social and outgoing and he wants to eat with his classmates.
Perhaps it has made our experiences with the schools more difficult because I do ask for the "peanut free" classroom he has the *right* to, I don't know. But I would prefer to have a trying time (if I do - it has not always been the case) with the school than to have my child segregated.
Even in calling the Ontario Human Rights Commission this past Fall to basically get my son through the door of the school period, the person that spoke with the school from OHRC said that he wanted a peanut BAN. A pretty strong word. One I don't use myself actually, but essentially is what I want, in his classroom alone.
Would I love a "peanut free" school? Yes. Do I think my son would have a false sense of security or that I, as his parent, would?
No. Bloody he**.
With a lot of these arguments that we keep hearing over and over again, quite frankly, I'm getting quite sick of them. Sick of hearing them. Know that it is not my experience and not that of my son. I know my child is responsible for his allergy. I know he is empowered and aware.
Batman, you had asked Kathryn about the cleaning of classrooms, etc. I'm pretty sure that Peanut Trace (morgansmom) did post her written school plan here. They had a card system that they used in her school so that the custodial staff knew what needed to be cleaned and how and apparently it did work quite well. It may even be in my written school plan for my son because Peanut Trace is the one who wrote my son's up for me. Her child was also anaphylactic to milk.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 5:03pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

This is just my impression but here goes:
Whenever I read a statement that includes the "False sense of security" claim, I take it that the issue is not with the accomodations, but with [i]labels[/i] such as "Peanut Free" or a stated condition such as "Ban". Unless of course, one views a label such as "Peanut Free" or a stated condition such as "Ban" to be [i]an accomodation[/i] in itself. Which then for *me*, possibly explains the "False Sense of Security" thing. You know, feeling so strongly about needing the presence of certain labels and stated conditions. But again, I could be wrong. It's just my impression.
I mean are the labels as necessary as the accomodations undertaken in the name of the label or stated condition?
edit to correct typos and add a few words.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited July 09, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 07/09/2004 - 12:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

A very looooong time ago - I saw that *false sense of security* in action. This is a true story - happened at least 10 years ago.
A child entering grade one had anaphylactic reactions to peanuts. The mother went in to the school requesting a peanut ban. She and the school staff honestly believed that by saying no peanuts or peanut products or may contains are allowed in the school theywould make it a complete 100% safe place for this child. Their intention was that he would be able to eat anything brought in to the school.
I argued up and down that it was NOT doable. Not 100% safety. It turned out that at daycare this little boy would grab pb sandwiches from other kids because he loved being the centre of attention. Loved totally freaking his mom out.
Done that way - it is a false sense of security. [b]However[/b], I don't know of anyone these days who would think their child could just walk in to a school with a peanut ban and eat whatever. I don't know of anyone these days who would not include educating their child about the allergy as the [b]major[/b] part of keeping him/her safe.
*************
This false sense of security arguement is old and outdated.

Posted on: Fri, 07/09/2004 - 6:49am
Lovey's picture
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Joined: 03/22/2004 - 09:00

Now this, in my humble opinion, would be creating a VERY dangerous false sense of security:
"Most Cleaners Protect Against Peanut Allergy
Household Cleaners Effective at Removing Peanut Allergens
By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Monday, May 10, 2004
May 10, 2004 -- A good hand soap and household cleaner may be all parents need to make their home safe and protect their children from peanut allergy attacks."
[url="http://my.webmd.com/content/article/86/99203.htm"]http://my.webmd.com/content/article/86/99203.htm[/url]

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