Mom Wants Oak Trees Cut Down for Kids With Allergies

City of Vaughan

One Canadian mom says she's going nuts over her children's food allergies.

Donna Giustizia, a mother of two, says the oak trees near her teenager's school in Vaughan, Ontario, are a health hazard, and even though the school is nut-free, she says school administrators aren't protecting their students.

"A false sense of security is putting a sign on the door that says 'nut-free,' and there's nuts all over the place," Giustizia told The Star.

Giustizia says the trees around St. Stephen Catholic Elementary School are a deadly threat for kids with anaphylactic food allergies - allergies that cause shock.

She appeared before the Vaughan, Ontario, City Council last week to plead for the removal of the trees, saying : "The acorns are not only presenting a risk to the tree-nut-allergic students, but it is also becoming a great cause of anxiety among all students with nut allergies." Giustizia also said, according to The Star, that "acorns can also be used to bully and torment children."

Giustizia, who heads the school's allergy committee, says she's not suggesting the entire town become nut-free, but she worries that acorns on the school grounds could trigger an allergic attack.

Dr. Clifford Bassett, medical director of allergy and asthma care at New York University, says he's not familiar with any reports of children having an allergic reaction by playing with acorns off the ground.

"There's no relationship between acorns and peanuts," Bassett said. "If people have food allergies, they need to work with an allergist on prevention, avoidance and preparedness. People with food allergies need to be careful and have a plan."

Members of the Vaughan City Council say they're preparing a report on the nut problem to be read at the next board meeting.