I recently read an article shared on FB by the BBC about a little boy who had suffered an allergic reaction to peanuts that were being served on a flight and the post posed the question, should peanuts be banned on flights?
At first I was angry reading all of the comments of people who still wanted their peanuts despite the fact that they could kill someone. And then I realized that many of those comments were rooted in ignorance; maybe some people are truly that selfish but hopefully it’s just that they didn’t understand why a peanut allergy on a plane was different than most other allergies in any other public place. So I thought that I would post some of the actual comments from the FB thread and address them as best I can to hopefully debunk some myths and misunderstands people have about peanut allergies.
We recently flew to Cyprus and were asked not to eat nuts or anything with nuts in……personally if the allergic reaction is that bad why put yourself at risk?
That would imply that everyone with a peanut allergy not travel for their entire life. People with peanut allergies have jobs; they might need to travel for business. And frankly, people with peanut allergies are entitled to being able to fly for pleasure just like anyone else. Why SHOULD they avoid flights because of an allergy?
Parents…ruining everything for everyone else with their incompetence.
Peanut allergies are not the fault of the parents. They’re just trying to keep their child safe. Peanut allergies are rarely outgrown, which means that there are more adults than children with peanut allergies out there as well. Believe me, anyone with a peanut allergy or a parent of a child with one would absolutely love to not have to deal with it. They’re not doing this for a fun time. But it’s a very real concern that even a whiff of peanut dust from opening a package of peanuts can trigger a life-threatening reaction.
And frankly…I don’t see how not serving a single snack is “ruining everything for everyone.” Eat some chips or pretzels. A person often goes hours or days or weeks or more without deciding to eat peanuts. Why is it so much to ask to not eat them for a few hours, when it can save lives?
Why not just have an epipen in the first aid kit and stop forcing everybody else to accommodate for the few.
Most people with food allergies carry one or more epipens with them at all times. But one or even two may not be enough to stop a severe reaction. The epi-pen gives you time to call an ambulance, it is not an “inject and you’re fine” medication. Anaphylactic reactions can also return after the epi-pen is given and has worn off and the symptoms appear to have been stopped. This can happen anywhere from several minutes to a few hours after the reaction began. If you’re in the air, you might not have time to land and get medical attention before the reaction returns or continues.
no why give a toddler nuts in the first place
A person doesn’t have to consume nuts to react to them. When you open a package of peanuts and can smell them, that’s because there are particles in the air that contain peanut proteins. Inhaling that dust can be enough to trigger an allergic reaction.
I understand their concern, but isn’t this rather a slippery slope? How far do you go? Ban alcohol if there’s a teetotal passenger on board? Refuse to serve meat so as not to make vegans feel sick? Refrain from serving scrambled eggs so that the smell doesn’t remind me of being operated on in hospital as a child?
Passengers eating meat isn’t going to kill a vegan. Passengers drinking alcohol isn’t going to kill an alcoholic; they still have the ability to make the choice to avoid it.
The air in an aircraft is recycled throughout the flight and a person with a peanut allergy can’t just walk outside of the plane into the fresh air. There is a huge difference.
So, should nuts be banned from trains, buses, cinemas, theatres, shopping centres, pubs, cafes, restaurants etc? Ridiculous!
Again, you can get get off a train or bus, leave the theater or store or pub. They also have better ventilation and a reaction isn’t as likely to occur from someone several tables down eating peanuts. You can’t leave the airplane.
What kind of self-entitled attitude is that? I understand it’s stressful to be in that situation but it is the responsibility of the parents to check. And be prepared. Just because your kid is allergic to nuts, you expect the other millions of passengers to deprive them of their snacks.
No!!! I want my nuts on my Singapore Airlines flight.
I’m not sure how it’s any less self-entitled to insist on eating peanuts knowing that you could put someone’s life in danger instead of just waiting a few hours until you’re off the flight. Passengers aren’t being deprived of all of their snacks…they would just have one less option of what to snack on.
No. People who might have Nut allergies should be exposed to nuts when they are children. If you’ve got a weak immune system, you should know it, and travel with your medicine. Parents should feed their kids nuts early so they develop properly and don’t have to worry about this later because they were sheltered.
People with a known peanut allergy could literally die if they are exposed to them, no matter what their age. It doesn’t have to do with a weak immune system; people with allergies actually have an over-active immune system to the things they’re allergic to. Feeding children nuts early might prevent allergies…or they might not. If the allergy is already there, that’s just dangerous to do unless you’re under the direct supervision of an allergist. Many people with peanut allergies are so sensitive that they can’t even attempt allergen tolerance therapy.
It’s ridiculous to torture nut eaters and nut sellers and nut farmers just because of one unlucky toddler born with a nut allergy.
I’m not sure how not serving nuts is torture. Even if you love peanuts, surely you’ll last a few hours without them.
Toddlers grow into adults eventually; peanut allergies affect adults as well.
Smoking is already banned from airplanes partly because it’s a health hazard to those around them, and frankly, it’s a lot harder for some people to go without a smoke for several hours than for someone to go without peanuts. Why is this even an issue?
It is ridiculous that everyone is banned from eating peanuts because of a few with allergies. The question is why are many people allergic. Nobody was allergic to anything when I was growing up. Parents, deal with it.
I think it’s more ridiculous that some people feel so entitled to eating peanuts that they care less about the lives of others than their own desires for a specific snack.
Over the top, what if someone had nuts at the airport before leaving, do they go into every building and car, bus, or train knowing no peanuts were eaten there.
People with peanut allergies will often pre-board the plane so they can wipe their seat and tray down to make sure there is no residual peanut protein residue from previous passengers. But if a person ate peanuts before the flight, it’s not likely they’ll be putting peanut dust into the air that is circulated throughout the plane. We can’t eliminate every risk of contamination but even just one less risk can mean someone doesn’t die.
Just don’t get it that over 300 people on a flight can not eat nuts because 1 has an allergy?
Surely a single human life is worth 300 hundred people opting for a different snack.
No. It shouldn’t be a society where we have to cater to everyone’s eating habits or allergies. Not fair to everyone else..especially since everyone else pays for their flight also.
It’s not a society catering to everyone’s eating habits or allergies. It’s removing a single snack for a few hours. Most food allergies aren’t triggered by someone simply breathing in particles in the air. Yes, you paid for your flight…and you’re still going to fly on it. You’ll even still be served snacks and meals and beverages. They just wouldn’t be peanuts.
However, if someone has an allergic reaction on that flight, you’ll make an emergency landing, wait around for several hours, and possibly miss connecting flights. Which is worse?
It’s nuts to ban nuts! Where were the parents? What were they thinking?
The child in this case didn’t eat the nuts; the reaction was triggered from the nuts people around him were eating. The parents were there, and gave the medication, which thankfully was enough to save his life. They were probably thinking, “oh my goodness, I hope he doesn’t die because of what someone else is eating.” I’ve watched my son suffer anaphylaxis and it’s terrifying. It would be even more terrifying knowing that you can’t get emergency medical help quickly if the Epi-pen isn’t enough.
Next they’ll be banning in flight hot drinks because people are lactose intolerant.
Drinking tea with milk beside a person with a lactose intolerance isn’t going to kill them. An intolerance is the inability to properly digest a food, which has to be consumed in order for there to be a problem. It’s not the same as an allergy, which is an immune response to an allergen that could be air-borne, ingested, or touched, and can cause anything from simple hives, to a full body, multi-system reaction (anaphylaxis.)
This only addresses some of the first 50 comments in the post..there are over 880. It saddens me to see that some people feel so strongly about eating their peanuts that they don’t seem to care that it could kill someone. Hopefully this helps to clear up at least some misconceptions about peanut allergies.
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