Odd experience this weekend.

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 1:27am
Sarahfran's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

I was on the other end of things regarding peanut allergies this weekend. I work in the education department of an arts organization. This weekend, we had a Girl Scout event--the girls come in, we do workshops with them to help them earn badges, they have a snack, and attend our concert.

We make accomodations all the time for various reasons--we regularly rearrange seating for people with hearing problems, we take out whole rows to accomodate wheelchairs, once we had an entirely kosher (even hiring a rabbi) dinner when two strictly kosher Jews were attending, and we've provided only peanut-free concessions and snacks when we're told of an allergy. The thing is, we don't make any of these accomodations unless we know they need to be made.

At the Girl Scout day on Saturday, one mother told us after snack time that her daughter had a very serious peanut allergy. I felt awful because the granola bars we had weren't peanut free, and a candy mix included some Mr. Goodbars. Of course if we had known about the allergy, we would have made sure the event was safe for her daughter. But I was irritated that she was mad at us for not making the accomodation even though we didn't know it was needed, and then I was even more irritated when I found out that she didn't even have her daughter's epi-pen with her (it was in the other bag, in her husband's car)!! It just seemed the height of presumption for her to be angry with us when she had done NOTHING to make sure her daughter was safe.

So, was I wrong? From now on I'm going to just make sure everything is peanut free to avoid complaints like this, but it was so strange to be on the other end of this, and now I realize the frustration others must sometimes feel when dealing with parents of peanut allergic kids. Everyone here seems to take the initiative to keep their kids safe, but obviously there are others out there who expect the world to accomodate them without them doing their part in return.

Sarah

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 3:30am
Klutzi's picture
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Joined: 03/10/2002 - 09:00

Sarah,
I think being irritated at her for being upset at you is normal. It was that mother's place to make sure it was made known before hand that her daughter was PA.
I do not expect places to always be peanut free unless it is some place that has been told about my DD PA & TNA, like our church & houses of my family.
I've worked in Food service before. How are you to know if someone has an allergy unless they tell you ahead of time.
I definitely think this mother had no right to be mad at you when 1. she didn't notify you before hand & 2. she didn't even have her daughter's Epi-pen.
I feel this allergy is severe & I need to take precautions for DD & I can not expect anyone else to unless I tell them precautions are needed.
Peanuts & Tree nuts are NEVER going to go away & my DD is going to have to learn how to live with them.
Just my 2 cents,
Lea
mom to DD, Jamie, 3 1/2, PA & TNA

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2004 - 4:36am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I suspect she was mad with herself for forgetting the epi-pens and was then very anxious at the event with nuts around. I think she took it out on you unfairly as well. But I suspect this is why she was reacting the way she did. Just a hunch.
I generally assume an event will be unsafe unless I ask for accomodations ahead of time. becca

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