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Take me out to the ballgame -- hold the peanuts

July 25, 2008 | 12:03 pm

Newpeanuts The San Diego Padres tried it. And the St. Louis Cardinals. Now the Seattle Mariners are joining the list of teams to dedicate some stadium sections (during certain games) as peanut-free zones.

As the Seattle Times reports, those sections will be thoroughly cleaned before the game and peanut products will be banned during the events. Beer, of course, should be fine.

The reason, of course, is peanut allergies. Food Allergy Buzz is keeping track of the growing list of peanut-free games, zones and skyboxes.

Some folks are less than happy about the restrictions. And Allergy Moms, for one, seems baffled by the criticism, saying: "Most of the commenters do not realize that trace amounts of an allergen, and in some cases airborne allergens, can cause allergic reactions. And for the most part, these peanut free sections are created so that children can attend these games."

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that eight foods account for 90% of food-allergy reactions: cow's milk, eggs, peanuts (I KNOW they're not real nuts -- put that pen back down), tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soybeans and wheat. It says that 3.3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts and 6.9 million are allergic to seafood and that, combined, food allergies cause ... 150 deaths annually.

Such allergies are the source of constant worry and eternal vigilance on the part of sufferers (and their parents), with the mercifully rare death making headlines across the nation. Here's more information on allergies -- special allergy alerts available -- from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

But here's an interesting observation published in the Boston Globe awhile back. The writer, a pediatrician and parent, says: "Although, as a parent, it may seem that peanut allergies have reached epidemic proportions, the evidence is surprisingly thin."

-- Tami Dennis

Photo credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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Comments (15)

Oh COME ON! Has anyone ever dropped dead at a Dodger game because he or she was close to a peanut shell???
This is over the top. Enough. Let us take care of ourselves!
It seems as if the lawyers are running the world.

My nephew has deadly allergies to eggs, wheat and fish. If someone even touches egg, then touches him, he will react. Food allergies are no joke. Anyone who says that these allergies are all "in our imaginations" obviously hasn't ridden with my nephew in the ambulance trying to keep him alive.

political correctness = fascism

demarciar... absolutely beyond the point of all reason...

Give me a break…we are talking about 200 seats in the entire stadium that WERE NOT SOLD! No one is going to be inconvienced or have their peanuts snatched out of their hands if they sit in the section! It’s group seating people, we’re choosing to sit there! Tell me what other group is not being accommodated at a ballpark, who can’t attend because it could be LIFE-THREATENING!!!! People in wheel chairs can attend, people who are hearing impaired and blind can attend, people with cancer can attend, people with diabetes can attend, people who are overweight can attend, people who are allergic to sun can attend; AND NONE OF THESE ISSUES CAN BE LIFE THREATENING BECAUSE OF THE ACTUAL PEANUT IN THE BALLPARK! The peanut mess at ALL ballparks is the one thing keeping this small population of families out of stadiums, and if the stadiums want to accommodate 200 seats, clean them thoroughly, put up signs and call them peanut controlled, so be it!! Good for them!! The people who are allergic to inhaling peanut dust STILL won’t attend because it could kill them! However, it will allow a few more families the ability to enjoy a live, right in front of them, all American past time. They may even catch a foul ball!!! Come on people, really? This is really that big of an infringement on your lives? How? Who are the ones being selfish? You can’t possibly SHARE the stadium’s empty seats with a group of children who can’t have peanuts who may have never been to a ballgame? Really?

This is not about lawyers running the world. This is about showing compassion to kids who have a disability you cannot see and that can kill them with the smallest exposure of 1/164 (!) of an amount of peanut dust. My kid has almost died from eating peanut butter and he NEVER was able to EVER go to any of the Angels games when we lived in So Cal and the entire Little League went. Yeah, you can saw suck it up...but these kids can NEVER eat out and what's one or two games a season. You can eat peanuts all you want. The sad thing is many people never have compassion on these kids ever and are not understanding which is evidenced by the comments regarding this post. My 11 year old son has anaphylaxis to peanuts, potatoes (!), mustard, garlic and much more. He never asks for stuff to be changed b/c of him but it limits participation in a lot of stuff where food is involved. So once in a while can you please just let a few hours go by without peanuts so that children can have the experience and joy of an American Pastime at least ONCE in their lives? Wow--the virtriol over trying to make something safe. My kid could die over peanut exposure and within a couple of minutes if it is without medication. It is no joke at all.

This is idiotic.

I am a disabled, wheelchair-using sports fan. While I'm not into baseball (soccer-football is my game), I am pleased that an attitude of inclusiveness is being displayed by these clubs.

I know what it's like to be excluded or have to go through all kinds of hassles to watch a game. The responses objecting to these changes blaming political correctness or the undue influence of lawyers are just excuses for a refusal to have any consideration for anyone besides themselves. The self-righteous, knee-jerk whining over something that does not in any significant way hurt their enjoyment of the sport is what is truly idiotic.

I'm alergic to people, can you empty the entire stadium when I attend, if not, then I'll sue!

Wow! I'm amazed at the comments posted here that show such lack of sensitivity to children and their families who want to enjoy a common american pasttime. These people are PAYING and have asked to be in a particular section that the stadiums have agreed on a limited basis to offer to them. Anyone is allowed to sit in the section, they are just asked to refrain from partaking in one particular food that is POISON to others for a few hours. Everyone else in the stadium can eat their hearts out. I'd hate to share the same ANYthing, let alone breathing space, with someone who thinks is fascist to extend this common courtesy to others. Your mother needs to give you a good tongue lashing!

Obviously the people against having these designated areas do not know anyone who has food allergies. My son has had two anaphylatic reactions from being touch by someone who ate peanuts at school. That is our reality. Food allergies are on the rise. Soon you may know someone who has a severe food allergy.

What people tend to not understand is that anyone at any time in their lives can become allergic to anything. So those who are less than compassionate may just have to deal with this one day either with themselves or with their loved ones. What goes around comes around, just remember. We do not know why our children have these allergies--we just know that they DO have them and that they are life-threatening. Whether you care to have compassion or not is not a concern of mine. But if a ball park, museum, or preschool wants to go preanut-free then YOU as the non-allergic individual can deicde whether or not to participate in this obvious "hassle" placed upon your lives. Just try going grocery shopping for 3 kids with multiple/severe allergies and even worse--worrying about them out in the "real world". God bless you.

I am shocked at the lack of compassion. Clearly anyone opposed to this has never had to worry if their children who are their life will die when the leave the house each day. We're not talking about a rash here. We're talking about living the rest of your life with a child in the ground.

This is why God mad televisions.

when fed small amounts of peanut protein, peanut allergies in some children disappeared.



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