Gymnastics or other sports with nut allergy

Posted on: Sun, 06/17/2018 - 5:16am
Brittany.kaylasmom's picture
Joined: 05/31/2011 - 20:06

My oldest daughter has been diagnosed for about 7 years now with a peanut and tree nut allergy (and she has had anaphylactic reactions before). Both of my girls have been attending this gymnastics gym for about 2 years now. Over the last few months I've noticed how out of control this place is with nutty snacks everywhere! Seriously you'd think these kids and their parents believe that's the only way to get protein.

Every class I notice about 5 kids who walk around with their nut bars potentially spreading it all over the gym. I'm pretty sure they don't wash hands after eating them either so that opens the potential for contaminating bars and beams and mats and everything.

After I saw a coach go high five my allergic kid immediately after eating, I asked the office if they'd be able to implement a plan since their gym is a minefield for my daughter (and she can't be the only one!). They said they'd pass that along 'to the powers that be'.

This past week I watch a family come in and put pistachios all over the table next to where my daughter is practicing. Every crack, I cringe. Every crumb that falls. They are finally finished and leave nuts in the chair, did not wipe the table and did not wash hands. I go speak with the office again, and they tell me they won't consider making any changes. I tell them I'll consider pulling them over it and they just shrug their shoulders. Is there really nothing I can do? I feel like if I pull them, I'm only letting them down.

Posted on: Thu, 07/03/2014 - 3:58am's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, is answering one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for sharing your predicament with our community. We empathize with you as the office won’t consider making any changes to accommodate your daughter’s food allergy.
Although we’re all hoping for more agreeable, nut-free policies for places like this gym, we have to deal with the current circumstances as best we can. However, a nut-free environment may not necessarily be the solution. To read a firsthand opinion on why nut-free schools could actually be harmful to children with nut allergies, you may appreciate this account by a mother of a fourth-grade student. She gives insight into the obstacles our children face and how being overly sheltered can hinder their development.
In this article, another mother shares her account of spreading food allergy awareness in her teenage son’s school and helping keep the school bus safe for him.
Both of these mothers instilled a sense of independence in their children and made sure their children knew to be constantly cautious. The mothers also did their best to educate others about the dangers of peanut allergy.
Hopefully you can make some progress with fellow parents and decrease the risk as much as possible while keeping your children alert. You may want to try suggesting some nut-free snacks to other parents, or better yet take something for the entire class to show your appreciation of their cooperation. Some of our snack recipes are nut-free as well as peanut-free.
If there is no improvement and you continue to feel that your children are in a dangerous environment, pulling them may be the right option. Genuinely trying to educate others and trying to create a safer environment won’t be considered letting them down.
We asked our Facebook fans for their advice, and you can read their responses here.

Posted on: Sun, 06/29/2014 - 1:20am
mom1995's picture
Joined: 11/09/2004 - 09:00

So sorry for the issue. The fact is no there is nothing you can do. It sounds like it is a private owned business so they are not required to do anything. However you can go on yelp and google and every other site to offer your own review. As well as share with every parent you know. The bottom line is they do not care about the kids they are instructing. They just want the checks. So with that in mind are they really the kind of people you want in your daughters lives? There will be people in the world that just won't care it is unfortunate but true. Call around and find another option for your daughters with people who will put thier well being first. There were things our daughter did not do for the same reason but on the other hand we also found GREAT places that understood and cared enough to ensure her safety. The good is greater just harder to find sometimes. Hope this helps in some way. Good luck.

Posted on: Sun, 06/29/2014 - 2:32am
Brittany.kaylasmom's picture
Joined: 05/31/2011 - 20:06

Thanks for your responses. All I wanted to do was possibly help them and my family to make it a safe place. With the thousands of kids that go there, mine can't be the only one diagnosed. After lots of thinking and crying, I came to the conclusion that we would have to leave. And you are right about them being a place I don't want my children involved with. When I went to pay my final balance and withdraw them, the office manager screamed at me for politely disagreeing with her. So yes, so relieved to not have my family affiliated with them any longer. I did end up finding another gym that is much smaller, but also more focused on quality versus how many children and checks they could get going through there. The owner pretty much eased my fears immediately and I knew this would be a safer place for us.
I still would love to see some sort of regulations put in place for kids sports though. Not everyone understands, but seriously snacks are just as important as helmets and pads are in my opinion!

Posted on: Sun, 06/29/2014 - 11:18pm
aphalon's picture
Joined: 06/30/2014 - 06:09

You may be able to request disability accommodations for your allergic gymnast. There are federal laws (known as Section 504) that require a wide variety of facilities and programs to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities.
Simply keeping all snacks away from the gym mats and other equipment and asking all participants to wash their hands after eating would be a reasonable accommodation. Of course, your allergic gymnast will be on alert to protect herself and will carry her emergency meds with her, but there is no reason to create extra danger. It is also unhealthy and potentially hazardous to the equipment to have food all over the gym. My niece's gym keeps all food out of the room. Water in close able bottles is ok, but everything else is enjoyed in a waiting are outside the gym.

Posted on: Sun, 06/29/2014 - 11:20pm
aphalon's picture
Joined: 06/30/2014 - 06:09

One important point: Even privately-run businesses that are open to public participation must abide by the disability-accommodation laws. Consider that restaurants which usually exclude animals must allow service dogs.

More Community Posts

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

create a new community post
Latest Post by lillianaivr238753 Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:22pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by lillianaivr238753 Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:22pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by lillianaivr238753 Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:22pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by lillianaivr238753 Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:22pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 11/12/2019 - 2:43pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by absfabs Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:28pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by absfabs Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:23pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by Italia38 Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:10pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by Italia38 Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:47am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by sunshinestate Thu, 11/07/2019 - 3:43pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by sunshinestate Thu, 11/07/2019 - 2:48pm
Comments: 7
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 11/05/2019 - 3:44pm
Comments: 12
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 11/05/2019 - 3:35pm
Comments: 13

More Articles

For people who suffer from anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can result from an allergy to...

Anaphylactic shock (A-nuh-fih-LAK-tik shok): A severe and sometimes life-threatening immune system reaction to an antigen that a person has been...

In 1963 the American Medical Association designed a special symbol that would alert emergency medical personnel of special medical conditions when...

Finding allergy-free foods for an office potluck may seem impossible, but more options are available than you might think. Eating foods prepared...

One of the most difficult things for a parent to do is determine whether his or her toddler has a cold or a...

More Articles

More Articles

You no doubt have your own way of teaching people about your child’s food allergy, a way that suits your temperament, and style of communication....

Reliable peanut allergy statistics are not that easy to come by. There is a lot of available research on food allergies in general but not too...

Most people know that to enjoy whatever food safety accommodations an airline offers they need to inform the airline of their allergy prior to...

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

If there is a child at your children's school allergic to peanuts, the school probably discourages or may not allow peanut products to be brought...

If you are on a budget, but you need to wear some sort of notification that you have a peanut...

Unless we consciously carve out time for self-care, constant food allergy management can slowly erode our sense of well-being. Signs of allergy-...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...

If you avoid peanuts, it’s likely you know the joy of cashews. Slightly sweet and smooth in texture, cashews provide not only relief to those with...

The prevalence of food allergy has dramatically increased over the past two to three decades, and not just among children. Preliminary results...

When someone in the family is diagnosed with a food allergy, a choice must be made whether to ban the problem food or foods from the home. The...

Looking for a fun way to share what you know about your own food allergies? Or are you hoping to educate the people around you in a fun way about...

According to the results of a new study, children lacking Vitamin D may be more susceptible to food allergies. Researchers working at the Albert...

If you or your child has a peanut or nut allergy, identifying the presence of nuts in food becomes a priority, but what if the written or spoken...

Soap allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and itching. If you suddenly develop a rash or bumps on your skin, you may suspect that you have an...