In my earlier post, I mentioned a goal to address the fact that we had seen peanut shells in a play area at the Cincinnati Children's Museum and that I wanted to send a letter. I am so happy that I did find time to do this because here is the letter and response:
MY LETTER TO CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM:
I am a member of the Cincinnati Children’s Museum and I am writing with a concern that I would love to have your assistance with. During our recent visit to the museum, we were exploring fossils in the dinosaur dig area. We were shocked to find peanut shells included in the debris in this area. My son, Jonah, has a severe peanut allergy (among many food allergies) and is airborne allergic. What this means is that the mere airborne particle from moving shells around can result in an anaphylaxis episode for Jonah. As food allergies continue to increase (now 1 out of 20 children have been diagnosed with food allergies) and with one of the top food allergens being a peanut allergy, I am certain that my family is not the only family that will now have to avoid this area due to the peanut shells. My hopes is that you can explore this and find a solution that will allow my son (who is 5 and LOVES dinosaurs and fossils) to be able to enjoy this area of the museum. A simple solution would be to remove the shells, clean the box, and add other none-nut items (more sticks, leaves, dirt, etc) for the children and customers to continue to enjoy. I am not sure that the peanut shells or nut debris would be missed by many, but for the 5% of children with peanut allergies, it would be greatly appreciated! I am including some great resources (websites) to better understand food allergies, the impact on families, and how to make the Cincinnati Children’s Museum an allergy friendly area for all children to enjoy! Thank you for your time.
RESPONSE FROM CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM:
The area you’re describing is Nature’s Trading Post. The “free bin” contains items without point value that aren’t for trade. Free Bin items change daily. However, nuts of any kind should never be included as a free item.
I apologize for the oversight and will ask staff to check the free bin more often to prevent nuts from appearing in the bin.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are very sensitive to the health and well being of Cincinnati Museum Center visitors. We appreciate your time and effort to help us provide a safe environment for all who visit Cincinnati Museum Center.