The Results Are In
A few weeks ago I conducted a poll that focused on food allergies to gauge where my readers stand on various allergy-related topics and issues. Before I present my most noteworthy poll findings, here’s a little background on the people who participated:
- 57% said they suffer from food allergies
- Of that 57%, 36% have between 1–5 food allergies
- 93% of participants believe that restaurant management and staff should have food allergy safety training
Food allergy emergencies
Out of the 57% of poll participants with food allergies, 21% said they carry an EpiPen®. But surprisingly enough, 79% of all participants said they actually know how to administer this lifesaving drug. I honestly didn't expect the number of people who know how to use an EpiPen to be so high, but I am sure it helps that more and more companies are now offering EpiPen usage training in their CPR classes.
Classrooms, cubicles and peanuts
The most interesting takeaway from my poll was that 62% of participants did not feel like peanuts should be banned from schools or the workplace. As someone who has a severe peanut allergy but also has loved ones who enjoy eating peanuts in all forms, I understand both sides of the argument.
No, it is not exactly “fair” that because two students in a classroom are allergic to something, an entire classroom cannot consume it. But it also isn’t “fair” that those two students have to suffer in silence. One thing that a lot of non-peanut allergy sufferers don’t understand is the effect that the smell of peanuts can have on someone who is severely allergic. No, the allergy sufferer shouldn’t experience anaphylaxis from the smell alone, but it could certainly make them sick to their stomach. Also, their chances of coming into contact with a trace amount of peanuts increase in the classroom.
The workplace is a little different though, mainly because you’re dealing with adults. I don’t necessarily feel like peanuts should be banned at work, but I do think common courtesy should exist. If you know your cubicle/office mate is allergic, try to eat them when they’re not around. Also, wash your hands after consuming … before touching the printer, copier or stapler. I know all this probably sounds like a pain to someone without peanut allergies, but I also know you don’t want to be the reason why someone ends up in the ER or hospitalized.