Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a diet staple for many children — but is eating them in public a big no-no?
As San Francisco’s SF Gate reports, one mother was surprised to find herself scolded by a fellow shopper during a trip to Target. According to the mom’s post on the UrbanBaby parenting blog, the woman was upset that her daughter was enjoying a PB&J while perched in one of the store’s shopping carts. The woman “lectured” her about how the sandwich could pose a threat to someone with a peanut allergy.
If she was looking for sympathy from other moms, however, she was sorely disappointed.
The majority of responses let her have it — both for allowing her 4-year-old daughter to eat in a well-used shopping cart and for putting allergy sufferers at risk.
“You feed your child in a Target shopping cart?” read one response. “That is disgusting! Your problem is much bigger than the peanut butter!”
“That’s really inconsiderate,” another poster commented. “So many kids have life-threatening allergies to peanut butter. Eating it in a shopping cart GUARANTEES it will be smeared on the handle, etc. It’s really awful you would do this. Sorry, but imagine if it were your child with the allergy.”
“I hope no child dies because of any residual peanuts on the cart,” another person added.
The original poster explained that she had been careful to wipe down the cart and her little girl afterward.
“I follow all rules everywhere about nuts (don’t sent them to [daughter’s] school and respect nut-free places, etc.), but I feel like if there is no specific rule, it’s fair game and it’s on the people with allergies to protect themselves,” she added.
That sparked a heated discussion about whether parents of children with peanut allergies are responsible for protecting their kids from potential exposure, or if everyone should be expected to avoid peanuts in public as a “common courtesy.”
“I have friends whose [kids] have nut allergies,” noted one commenter. “They do not expect everyone in public to acquiesce to their kids’ needs. If it is that life-threatening, don’t take them out.”
“What a horrible response,” shot back one critic. “Do not take out these kids so that [the original poster’s] kid can enjoy their PB&J sandwiches while sitting in a shopping cart. Sure, confine them to their home surroundings because we do not want to inconvenience [her] child.”
According to Food Allergy Research & Education, an estimated 5.9 million children under the age of 18 — or 1 in 13 — have a food allergy. As reported this week, the number of children “at risk” for life-threatening allergies is up 104 percent, with peanut allergies accounting for 22 percent of cases.
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