As a mom, I do everything I can to protect my children from danger. Helmets, seat belts, and of course, hovering over them when they're out in public. If either one of my children are out of my sight for even one nanosecond, I panic. I tend to be on the extreme side of things, but that's not the point.
I do the best I can to make sure my children stay healthy, too. Of course, certain things are out of my control. When my oldest son was three years old he got sick with a severe case of pneumonia and was hospitalised for over two weeks. He had surgery in his lung to drain fluid, and a chest tube, among other things, like IV's and countless numbers of x-rays. It was a nightmare, and something I never imagined my child would have to go through.
As a parent, I'm aware. And I'm alert. I know the dangers that lurk among our children. When you become a mom, you are instantly exposed to a whole new world of love and worry for your own child, and for other children as well. Your level of empathy grows. You feel for other parents in bad situations. You will cry when you hear of another child getting sick, or injured.
Wouldn't you take any steps possible if you could prevent your child - or another child - from being put in life-threatening danger?
When I was a child, I would eat a peanut butter sandwich almost every day at school. For a parent, a peanut butter sandwich is quick to make, and nutritious. What's not to love about that?
In recent years, however, peanut allergies have increased exponentially in children. And peanut products—including peanut butter—are banned from (most) schools. Although my children do not suffer from allergies, when it comes to preparing snacks for my children that will be brought to school, I make sure they're safe and peanut-free. I make sure that the packages I buy are clearly marked with the peanut-free sign. From granola bars to crackers, there is a wide selection of healthy snacks available that are peanut-free.
If my son has a play date at home with a friend who suffers from a peanut allergy, I make sure my house is safe. I ask the mom questions like "Is it okay if we have Nutella in our home?"
If a child's life is at stake, and we can prevent something bad from happening, that's what we have to do. Period.
Today I read about a young child in Florida who suffers from a life-threatening peanut allergy. Since her allergy is so severe, her classmates have been asked to wash their hands (and face) before entering the classroom, and after lunch. I see nothing wrong with this.
Some parents, however, are protesting—insisting that their children also have rights. These parents are arguing that the hand washing is taking away from their children's learning time. One mother said the hand washing was "taking a good 30 minutes out of the day."
(Insert eye-roll here.)
The parents who are protesting these measures—which, in my opinion, aren't even remotely extreme—are being very unreasonable.
One father said: "If I had a daughter who had a problem, I would not ask everyone else to change their lives to fit my life." How is hand-washing changing a child's life? I wish all schools would implement a twice-a-day hand-washing rule!
Some parents are even requesting this girl be home-schooled. I feel terrible for the parents of this child, and I feel even worse for the little girl who is caught in the middle of all this ridiculousness.
What example are these parents showing their children, anyway?
Doesn't it just make sense to do what we can to keep our children safe? Even if it means our children have to wash their hands twice a day?