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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Health expert slams conkers ban
children playing conkers
Nut-related allergies can result in respiratory problems
A health expert has questioned a school's decision to ban conkers in case pupils were allergic to them.

The ban at Ivy Lane Primary in Chippenham, Wiltshire, was introduced over fears the horse chestnuts could trigger anaphylactic reactions.

The nut-related allergies can result in respiratory problems and even death.

But Hazel Gowland, of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said a "common sense approach" would have been much better than a ban.

Imposed bans

"We have no evidence that any child has reacted to conkers in schools but we do know that they are nuts," said Mrs Gowland, a former teacher who has a nut allergy herself.

"In my view, common sense is the best. You tell children who play with conkers to put their conkers in a certain place after coming in from the playground and get them to wash their hands.

"I do not like bans for no reason but I understand schools coming to this decision because they are frightened."

Bookwell Primary School in west Cumbria and Menstrie Primary school in Clackmannanshire also imposed bans because some children there suffer nut allergies.

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