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Halifax primary school bans bananas

Ling Bob Primary School, Halifax.

Ling Bob Primary School, Halifax.

A primary school has banned bananas - because a member of staff has an extreme allergy to the fruit.

Ling Bob School in Halifax has asked parents not to put bananas in pupils’ lunchboxes because of the health concerns.

A letter headed “Urgent Warning” was sent to parents informing them bananas can no longer be eaten as a snack or form part of the school lunch menu.

“A member of staff has developed an extreme allergy to bananas,” it said.

“When she comes into contact with a banana she is having an increasingly severe anaphylactic shock reaction which is potentially life threatening.

“Thank you for your support in helping us keep our staff safe, but do still enjoy eating bananas at home.”

But one parent told the Courier she, and other parents, were annoyed to receive the letter without a full explanation.

She said there had been no meetings to discuss a ban or alternative options, such as isolating where bananas could be eaten.

When she expressed her concerns to the school, the head teacher Rosemary Solan rang her and explained the situation in more detail and insisted isolating bananas was not an option.

“As soon as a banana is opened the allergic reaction is brought on by spores in the air but none of this detail was in the letter,” said the parent, who didn’t wish to be identified.

“I’m satisfied now but there will be lots of parents who don’t know the full story.”

The ban affects all children attending the junior, infant and nursery school based at Pellon, Halifax.

The school refused to comment and referred calls to Calderdale Council.

Its spokesperson said: “We take the safety and well-being of our staff and the children in our care extremely seriously.

“The existing precautions were not offering a sufficient level of protection, which led to the decision not to have bananas in school.”

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FACTFILE

Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction, which can be fatal and must be taken extremely seriously.

First aid can help, but an adult having an anaphylactic reaction also needs medical attention.

Such reactions are caused by certain foods, insect stings or drugs, which results in rapid chemical changes in the body.

The most common triggers are nuts, eggs, shellfish, pollen, dust, latex, certain medications, wasps and bee stings.

Symptoms:

• Blood vessels dilate, producing red, blotchy skin

• Air passages become constricted, resulting in breathing difficulties

• Face and neck may swell

• Heart, brain and lungs may suffer from a dramatic drop in oxygen supply

• Casualty may wheeze and gasp for air

Medical advice is to get emergency help and resuscitation may be necessary.

If the person is conscious and has medication (such as an auto-injector) help them to use it and place them in an upright position which will help with breathing.

 

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