Recently, I asked you, my readers to take a short survey for me, and the response was great! Thank you! I ended up getting one hundred and twenty five responses. To all of you who answered, thank you so much! It will really help me to have some good primary sources for my project.
As you might already know, I took two surveys. One from you my readers, and one from the students, teachers, and parents at my school. People who aren’t as exposed to the allergy situation as my readers probably are.
Without going into too much detail, I can definitely say that the difference in responses between the two surveys are enormous. Not only do the people from a school environment know less about food allergies, but a very large amount of them wouldn’t give up nuts to make a safer environment for a child with an allergy. My hypothesis going into this project was that knowledge of allergies directly corresponds to empathy, and that truly seems to be the case.
I would further describe the trends, but I feel the best way would be just to show you the results of both surveys.
The last question was a written response question, and since I can’t put all the responses here, I will provide a sample of three answers from each. Remember, the answers are completely anonymous. Even I don’t know who wrote them.
Question: If you were told to sacrifice eating anything with peanuts/treenuts in it in order to create a safer environment for a child with a nut allergy, would you? Please elaborate.
Here are five random responses from the general populous.
1. No. I really don’t care about their allergies and they should sit at their own table.
2. No, but I would make sure to clean up in order to not cause cross-contamination.
3. Yes I would in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the other person.
4. No, I wouldn’t because I believe that our society has handled the peanut allergy problem and that it doesn’t pose a big threat anymore. I believe it’s safe to consume peanut products around those with allergies as long as those allergies aren’t airborne. Those with allergies and their parents know to take precautions. I believe time would be better spent on other issues.
5. Depending on to what extent I would. But I wouldn’t if I was in a public place, mainly because at that point it is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to make sure that the child isn’t touching everything.
Here are five random responses from my blog readers
1. I wouldn’t think twice about it. I would do it instantly.
2. Yes. Having a child with these food allergies, and knowing how serious it is, makes me willing to make such a sacrifice
3. Of course, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for hurting a child because of something that I ate
4. No I don’t think this is the right way to build a safe environment for a child. The child needs to be taught what he/she can and cannot eat. By taking nuts out of a situation entirely, I believe kids can become lazy by default and not be vigilant about their food intake. It gives a false sense of security that they can eat anything and it’ll be safe. That said, I think banning it in pre-schools is a good idea since kids are too young to make that choice. Beyond pre-school seems to be a great learning opportunity for the child and their parents.
5. Yes. I wouldn’t hesitate to help create a safer environment for someone with allergies … food or other types.
The difference between each group’s responses was quite drastic. This has really opened my eyes, and I hope it opens everyone else’s eyes as well. There is a deeply rooted correlation between education and empathy when it comes to food allergies, and these survey responses motivate me even more to spread knowledge about allergies to all who will listen. I hope you, my readers, do the same.
Until next time!