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Many parents are just beginning to learn about peanut allergies and about how serious they can be.  Peanut allergies can cause a host of problems, and in some cases, they can be fatal. 

Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize just how sensitive these allergies can be.  If you use a knife to make a peanut butter sandwich, that knife will still contain trace peanut oil even after it’s been washed.  If you use that same knife to make a sandwich for a child that has peanut allergies, it could trigger a reaction.  It depends on the intensity of the allergy, but for most allergic children, it doesn’t take much. 

There was a case reported not long ago where a teenaged girl died after kissing a boyfriend who had eaten peanut butter.  This is terribly sad, especially knowing that it could have been avoided. 

Parents also have to be careful about handing out snacks or sending snacks to school.  Peanut products are present in far more foods than you might think.  Many items contain peanuts, peanut oil, or are packaged in factories that also process peanut products, so you should check the labeling on every package before offering a snack or sending one to school. 

Few people understand or realize the seriousness of peanut allergies, so it is a good idea to explain it to your child, if he or she has a friend that suffers from such allergies.  Your child will want to be very careful, and in most cases, children care enough about their friends to happily avoid peanut products.