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Letter: Peanut allergies need to be taken seriously

Peanut allergies need to be taken seriously

In the March 19 issue of Refresh, there was an article about the Buffalo Bisons partnering with Skeeter Nut Free to offer “Peanut Reduced Seating” for the second season in a row, giving fans with allergies a worry-free ballpark experience.

Kelly Naab, of Clarence, requested the special designation last year for her 8-year-old son, Cooper, who has a serious peanut allergy.

My 17-month-old grandson was recently diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I never realized the seriousness of this allergy until it hit home. It was my grandson’s diagnosis that brought my attention to the article in Refresh.

There doesn’t seem to be enough public awareness of this major allergen. After reading the article, I was compelled to write this letter in hopes of spreading awareness.

Peanut allergies have tripled in the United States since 2007 and are still on the rise. I’m not just talking about a bag of peanuts or a jar of peanut butter. Any trace of peanuts or peanut oil in a product can be dangerous. It’s in cereals, breads, crackers, ice cream, candy, baked goods, the list goes on and on. This allergen can cause fatal and near-fatal reactions.

Please don’t wait until it hits home. If one of your children’s friends or classmates has a known peanut allergy, that child is at risk of a severe reaction (anaphylaxis) if the wrong food is eaten. Etch that red flag in your mind. This allergy needs to be taken seriously and needs immediate attention. Young children depend on the educated adults in their lives to keep them safe.

Kudos to Naab for advocating for all peanut allergy sufferers, to Skeeter Nut Free and to the Buffalo Bisons for stepping up to the plate and making some of its games a safe event for those with this life-threatening allergy.

Donna M. Kogut