Food Allergies

Peanut-Sniffing Dogs To Protect Allergy Sufferers?

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Seeing-eye dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs are just two of the potential occupations for a canine. Now, some areas around the country are testing the use of 'peanut-sniffing' dogs. These animals are trained to detect small quantities of peanut residue. This residue cannot be seen easily by humans, yet is enough to cause a dangerous reaction in those who are allergic to peanuts.

Should peanut-sniffing dogs be used to detect peanut residue in schools and other public places? In Edgewater, Florida, school officials brought in a peanut-sniffing dog to check for peanuts in the school building over spring break. The unusual step was taken because a first-grade girl at the school has severe peanut allergies. The school has also imposed other policies such as frequent hand-washing, directions which some parents say go too far.

In Maryland, schools have decided against peanut-sniffing dogs, and are instead considering whether to ban peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and other lunchtime favorites that contain peanut products. The schools also have "peanut free" tables in the lunchroom to protect those with severe allergies.

What do you think? Are peanut-sniffing dogs a reasonable precaution to protect those with peanut allergies, or does this idea go too far? What is the right response to protecting those with peanut allergies in public places? Read more about this debate here: http://rockville.patch.com/articles/peanut-sniffing-dogs-not-in-maryland...

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