There are many children who have peanut allergies. In fact, it is one of the biggest reasons for a severe allergic reaction. Kids with peanut allergies have to be careful with what they eat, touch, and are around. The impact it has on their lives can be very difficult.
Peanut allergies are caused when a person’s body has a bad reaction to peanuts. Some students at Hollywood Hills Elementary (HHE) have this allergy.
Jack McKelvey, a third grade student at HHE, has a peanut allergy. His mom shared some information about how severe his allergy can be.
“It impacts everything Jack does from the minute he wakes up to the minute that he goes to bed,” Jack’s mother Mrs. McKelvey said. “So, when he is at school, he has to be careful as to what he is touching and sharing.”
People with peanut allergies may go into anaphylactic shock, which is an allergic reaction. Reactions happen in different ways for different people.
“Anaphylactic means that multiple systems of [the] body have gone a little crazy and think that peanuts [are] a bad thing and try to attack the peanut,” Mrs. McKelvey said. “So, Jack may, if he has eaten or touched peanuts, get hives, [a] rash, or have trouble breathing.”
HHE students are not the only ones impacted by peanut allergies. Some members of the HHE staff have their own children who have these allergies. Speech pathologist Mrs. Forman has a daughter who is allergic to many foods including peanuts.
“I found out when I fed [my daughter] a snack when she was seven months old and didn’t realize she was allergic. I fed her bananas and she had a reaction after she woke up from her nap,” Mrs. Forman said. “Many people think that ‘oh, it’s just a nut,’ but it has a life-threatening possibility.”
Sonia Popovici, a second grade student, also has a severe allergy to peanuts. She understands the importance of avoiding peanuts.
“[Peanuts] are really dangerous,” Sonia said. “If [people] have an allergic reaction to peanuts, it could be really bad.”
When people have an anaphylactic reaction to eating peanuts, they need to immediately use an EpiPen.
“An EpiPen is like a needle with medicine inside and it can help me,” Jack McKelvey said. “When my throat closes up, I can use it and then I can breathe again.”
As a school, it is important to be aware of peanut allergies, so students are able to help their friends stay safe.
“I want people to know that lots of people can have [peanut allergies] and it can occur at any time, so they have to be extra careful around people who have peanut allergies and other allergies,” Jack McKelvey said.
Photo by The Panther Post Staff