A child suffering from a fish allergy has led to the school banning the food, but parents are saying the decision is over the top. The school insists that this is necessary for the life of the child, and understands that it will be disappointing for the children who enjoy fish and chips, fish fingers and tuna sandwiches, for example.
The child, who has not been named, will be joining full-time in September, and is currently going through the part-time induction period. She suffers from allergies to haddock, tuna and one other fish, although other types have not yet been confirmed and the school has decided it is better safe than sorry. However, there is a fear that parents will lash out against this ban because they feel it is over the top and unnecessary.
It has certainly been a difficult decision for the school. One 10-year-old in the school is allergic to peanuts, but nuts have not been banned. However, it seems like the allergy is not as severe as this new child in question, and medication can be used to help it. There are different levels of severity, and this new child suffers from reactions just by her mother touching her after eating tuna. There are possibilities that the reaction could occur through the air or just from the smell, and that is not something the school would want to risk.
Debates have started over whether the decision to ban the fish due to the allergy is as over the top as parents say. Some parents in favor of the ban has questioned whether having the fish in school is really worth the potential harm to the child, and attacked those against the ban for only thinking of their own children.
Stopping children from having fish in school for a medical reason is very reasonable. It does not stop the children from ever having fish again. Parents can have fish fingers, tuna and anything else they want in their own home, or while out at a restaurant. This is nothing like some of the other bans that have happened in schools that want to promote healthy eating.
The school did not even come to the decision lightly. The nurse stated that she wanted to find out more about the reactions to the fish. That would help her determine how severe the allergy was, and see if there was another way around stopping all children facing this dietary change.
There is some good news for the parents, as the decision will be reviewed at a later date. The girl is currently having more tests completed by her own doctor, which will also help to assess if it is only certain types of fish or all fish. It will also help to assess whether other precautions can be taken instead of a whole school ban. Fish may be back on the menu.
Schools are not the only places that need to be considered when it comes to allergies. This can happen a lot on planes if a passenger has a severe allergy, which is usually to nuts. It can lead to passengers being told that they are not allowed nuts on the plane, which can also lead to complaints that the decision is over the top.
Parents need to understand that the safety of all children needs to come first. It will mean a small dietary change in the school for now, but that decision will be reviewed. However, parents against the ban that has happened due to the fish allergy say that it is over the top, and there may be fears that they will go against the ruling by putting fish in packed lunches.
By Alexandria Ingham