ANCHORAGE - Lessons about good nutrition start at home. For some families it’s not about teaching kids what to eat but rather what not to eat.
“He was in the summer program and the whole classroom was served peanut butter sandwiches. Kai accidentally touched something, touched his face and he got hives,” said Kari Hebert.
Her son Kai is not only allergic to peanuts but milk and eggs as well. He’s part of a growing number of kids diagnosed with a peanut allergy. Studies show the number has tripled over the past ten years.
Kai is in second grade at Denali Montessori. Walking down the hallways it’s easy to spot the classrooms that have kids like Kai because they have “No Peanut Zone,” or “Peanut Sensitive Area” signs on the doors.
Teachers say they have a few students with peanut allergies every year and it’s usually not a big deal.
“Those kids who have those allergies are very aware of it and their parents know. Sometimes they'll be reading the labels just so see if there's peanuts,” said Kai’s teacher Keith Harjehausen.
Simon Mitchell is also a second grader with a peanut allergy. He wears a medical alert bracelet just in case he comes into contact with something he shouldn’t.
“It’s got my name and birthday. I don't just have a peanut allergy I have more allergies and then it has my mom and dad's phone number,” said Mitchell.
Parents say they teach their kids not to eat anything that doesn’t come from their own home because even though someone else’s sandwich looks good, it may not be good for them.