Why the old song 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' needs a lyrical revision, pronto.
Pay close attention these lyrics of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," commonly sung at baseball games.
"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks,
I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root,
For the home team.
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one,
Three strikes you're out
At the old ball game."
For some kids, that whole "never get back" part in this classic song can be taken literally.
What do I mean?
Let me get a bit ... graphic here.
When a child with food allergies ingests something they're allergic to, physiological effects begin within five to 30 minutes.
And guess what: That includes eating it, breathing minuscule fibers/particles of it, or even touching it.
First, some itching might start, then swelling of the affected area begins and can worsen. If it involves the mouth or air passages, they can swell to a point of making it impossible to breathe.
That can end badly ... sometimes in death. It's why many people carry an EpiPen, or epinephrine injector, which causes a temporary reversal of the biological process. But emergency services are still required — it just buys a little time.
Scary? You bet.
So back to the ballgame, already in progress.
What's the #1 place you can think of that usually has peanuts?
The lyrics above probably clued you in ... that's right, baseball games.
Because peanut allergies have been rapidly rising for the last 18 years, a number of stadiums are featuring "peanut-free" nights, where they scrub the stadium before the game and do not allow any peanuts to be sold. At all. No outside food, either.
It's a small price to pay for kids to be able to enjoy a baseball game without that whole choking-to-death thing.
Ready for some numbers? All from FoodAllergy.org.
- Up to 15 million people have food allergies.
- 1 of every 13 children has some sort of food allergy.
- Every three minutes, a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room or brings EMS to them.
Here's a clip about what they're doing at one stadium in Kentucky to make the game more allergy-friendly, featuring Blake and Logan:
To find sports games near you without peanuts, try PeanutFreeBaseball.com and FoodAllergy.Org.
And for a shocking but reality-based view into what anaphylactic shock looks like, check out this clip — but it's a little hard to watch.