It may be quite unnecessary to ban peanuts from schools and airlines since allergists can enable an action plan to assist severe peanut allergy sufferers.
"Highly allergic people may react after ingesting minute hidden quantities of peanuts or even after touching or smelling peanuts. These patients often live in fear they will come in contact with peanuts," said Dr Sami Bahna, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), as saying.
Advertisement"There are ways to make life liveable and less frightening, but there is no guarantee that specific allergens can be removed entirely from an environment," he added.
Allergic reactions to peanuts can include abdominal pain, hives, swelling of the face, throat obstruction, wheezing and anaphylaxis, which are a sudden, life-threatening allergic reaction.
"Unfortunately, life is not risk-free. A minority of people are severely allergic to peanuts, but it is not reasonable or possible to expect schools or airlines to be peanut-free. Consideration should be also given to the freedom of the vast majority of non-allergic persons. Also, peanut is not the only food that can cause severe allergy, "said Bahna.
Regarding the airlines, he suggested that people and parents of children with severe peanut allergies should ensure that the airline carried emergency treatment and educated their personnel about food allergies.
Bahna will present his perspective on the issue at the ACAAI annual scientific meeting in Phoenix this week.