Parents of kids with nut allergies know that an accidental run-in with a nut-based product is no joke. In fact, for kids with severe allergies, coming into contact with certain nuts can prove fatal.
That's why a seeming prank at a Toronto park has disturbed several parents.
Last Wednesday morning, Sarah Bolton took her 2-year-old son Lewis to Dufferin Grove Park. She then noticed something strange covering an entire play set: peanut butter.
The Toronto Star reports:
“It was everywhere. All over the hand railings... on the ladder, all over the swings, all over the slides.”
“It’s just a really scary situation. It would have to take a sociopath to do something like this."
Sarah posted her discovery to Facebook, and alerted other online parent groups:
What's more disturbing? This isn't the first time locals have reported peanut butter smeared on park equipment.
According to CTV News:
A spokesperson with the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department says the city has received reports of peanut butter spread on children’s playgrounds in Carleton Park, Perth Square and Hillcrest Park. The first report came to the city in June from Perth Square.
However, the incident at Dufferin Grove park was the first time city park officials actually saw peanut butter covering equipment, which they reportedly washed off immediately.
Parents have a right to be genuinely concerned.
According to Food Allergy Research & Education, the incidence of food allergies among kids is on the rise:
According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.
A spokesperson for the parks urged parents “to report any incidents of vandalism in parks to 311 and to report any suspicious or potentially criminal behavior to the police."
CTV has more on the story here: