One of the elementary schools in our school district recently announced that it is eliminating edible treats for birthday celebrations, and it has stirred up some heated debates among parents.
Some parents are outraged by this new policy. They say that their kids look forward to these celebrations with their friends. Having a treat, such as a cupcake, is a treat for all the children.
Some parents are happy with this new policy. Nowadays, there so many more class parties and celebrations for every holiday, such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. that parents welcome the idea of kids not having a cupcake and sugary treats while at school.
Parents whose kids have food allergies, such as peanut or gluten allergies, are also happy with the new policy. Without the policy, kids with allergies are often “excluded” from the parties. They are not physically excluded, but they cannot have the treats that their friends bring in to class. Often, they may have safe snacks that their parents leave at school for them to eat for such occasions. With this policy, parents don’t have to worry about their children feeling “excluded” or made to feel different.
In addition, kids are impulsive, especially young children in pre-school and kindergarten. You can tell kids with food allergies that they cannot eat the treats handed out in class, but they may still have one because they do not realize what can happen. Other young kids may also share a treat with a child with food allergies even though no sharing is allowed.
Even when teachers know that kids who have food allergies are not allowed to have edible treats in class, a forbidden treat may inadvertently end up on the plate of the child with food allergies because mistakes do happen. Therefore, the new policy of no edible treats allows parents who have kids with food allergies to breathe a little easier when they are at school.
Does your child’s school have a policy against edible treats for celebrations? If not, do you think there should be one? Leave us your comments below.
Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. is a personal injury lawyer who helps victims injured in all types of accidents, including people with food allergies who are exposed to a food allergen due to the negligence of others. 877.944.8396
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