My kids (and I!) love eating peanut butter. We frequently pack it for park picnics and the like. I do clean my kids’ hands after eating and try to clean the table. What are your thoughts on the ethics of this given peanut allergies?
I mean, it’s probably not a big deal because people with peanut allergies that would be triggered by leftovers on a park bench are probably very careful. (My kids have a cousin with a deadly peanut and less deadly but still dangerous tree nut allergy, but he’s not triggered by trace particles.) But also… it is very easy to switch to almond butter or sunbutter (or, if the kids are really lucky, cookie butter) for school/outdoor things. We still have peanut butter and other peanut products at home.
So… we haven’t intentionally packed peanut butter for outside or school stuff since DC1 was born, or maybe before that because when I was pregnant with DC1 they were recommending pregnant women avoid peanut butter (now they recommend the opposite). The most frequent mistake both on our side and from teachers is stuff like snickers bars. You just kind of forget they have peanuts.
There are tons of allergies out there that are dangerous for people and you can’t be careful about all of them. You have to think about the cost-benefit calculations given what you know. If you know there’s a kid with a deadly allergy, then obviously don’t bring that thing. Peanut is one of the easier ones to decide on because it’s relatively common among deadly allergies and there are so many reasonable substitutes. It’s like wearing a mask in public even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense– it’s easier for me to pop on a mask before going to a seminar than it is for me to try to figure out what the covid 19 prevalence is these days and make a “rational” decision based on that information. Like, putting on a mask is not hard. Getting a CO2 monitor and checking every room’s ventilation while they’re being used is harder.