The Elusive Peanut-Allergic Sports Lovers

by chelseajin

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I busily cracked peanut shells with my hands, following everyone else’s example of tossing them on the ground as I kept my eyes on the game. The wind began to pick up, whipping dust storms of nut wrappings and half-empty bags of peanuts. I sat there, squinting into the sun, thinking, “I’m surprised no one is keeling over right now”.

Peanut allergies are notorious for causing anaphylactic shock–that sudden gasping and choking maneuver you often see in television shows. People with nut allergies are incredibly sensitive to the slightest amount of peanuts, so they fastidiously check candy wrappers. You may even see schools and restaurants with signs declaring that they are “peanut free” zones. A classmate of mine said to her mother, a nurse, that she wanted to bring some Halloween candy to her high school tutees. Her mother didn’t let the thought go further, “Who knows if one of them has a peanut allergy? Then you’ll have a lawsuit on your hands”.

People are usually careful when it comes to food allergies, which is why I’m baffled as to how allergic people either avoid going to a game or there are none who like football.

A study in 2009 to 2010 done on infants to 18 year olds by The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology reports that about 8% have a food allergy. The most prevalent of allergens being peanuts.

Considering that watching sports is often a family activity, it seems especially important to make a stadium a nut-free arena. An adult might be carrying an epi pen with them, a child is more likely to get into trouble and has to be with well-informed parents.

It seems that my surprise isn’t unwarranted, and the New York Post reports that Yankee Stadium only recently (since 2011) started offering “peanut-controlled suites” but in 2012 are only offering these seats based on demand. The Mets are also in their second year of offering peanut-free seats but with a waiver since there are peanuts elsewhere in the stadium. At the time the article was published, these tickets were selling for $93 dollars each. I hope you and your child really love baseball.

Sadly, there appear to be very few peanut-free stadiums. Americans can’t let go of silly traditions, like being able to carelessly shell peanuts at a game. People can argue that banning nuts oversteps our personal liberties, but in a world where everything is sterilized and allergies are on the rise, keep in mind it could be your child or grandchild who has to keep a wide berth from cherished spots.

Sources

Allergy Statistics

We Shell Overcome! New York Post

Additional Resources

Free to Enjoy Baseball (and more). List of peanut-free events in US and Canada

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