Five years ago, at a San Francisco elementary school, a nurse stood by to ensure that the children scrubbed their hands as they arrived, while their packed lunches were confiscated and searched for nut products. The measures were a precaution to protect a 5-year-old boy at the school who had a severe nut allergy.
Recently, a Massachusetts school district evacuated a school bus full of 10-year-olds after a stray peanut was found on the floor.
Do these safeguards seem a little, well, nuts? Harvard professor Dr. Nicholas Christakis thinks so. One of Christakis' children attends school in the district that ordered the bus evacuation, and the episode prompted the physician and social scientist