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Bell County School Officials Ban Peanuts From School

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

No peanuts at school. It may seem extreme, but officials from one Southeastern Kentucky school system say it's the only way to protect all of their students. Bell County School officials say this comes after a student's severe allergic reaction to peanuts at school.

Several years ago, Corbin Independent School banned peanuts from their schools after a students' severe reaction there. Now, Bell County High School administrators are taking similar measures after one student recently collapsed in the hallway.

A Bell County High School student, the school's principal does not want to be identified, was walking in the hallway recently when she suddenly fell to the floor.

"She was laying there, could barely breathe, couldn't see her breathing," said Student Camillia Garner.

When you have that type of reaction, the airway swells, closes down. The person begins the process of not breathing. Luckily, Tammy Redmond, who's also a nurse, recently taught her class about emergency response. So when the girl, who was known to recently have developed a peanut allergy, collapsed, students knew to grab her Epipen, a device that stops an allergic reaction.

The girl eventually recovered but school administrators say she has developed an allergy so severe, merely coming in contact with peanuts can set her off. So they're telling students they can't bring anything with even a trace of peanuts into the school.

"There's this girl that complains about it all the time. She's not too happy about it," Garner said.

The school is also adjusting its lunch menu and removing all peanut products from vending machines. Most students we talked to say they see the importance of it.

"There's other things they can eat, especially when it comes to another students' safety. I think it's very important they did that," said student Jennifer Rhymer.

Bell County High School's principal says the girl who collapsed recently has had some other less severe reactions since. He says she's staying home from school until she can get an allergy test to show just what all she's allergic to. But in the meantime, school administrators say they just want to take every precaution they can.

These are just a few symptoms you or your children may have because of allergies including an itchy mouth when food is swallowed, hives or raised, red, itchy bumps, rash, runny, itchy nose, or abdominal cramps. You can find more information at http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/allergy.html


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