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For the Love of the Game: Peanut-Free Ballparks

Growing up in North Carolina, my hot, sticky summers were spent at baseball games. My own childhood memories smell like grass and hot dogs at the ballpark, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. So when I read that cheering on home runs at a pro baseball game is strictly off limits to 1 percent of kids in the U.S., it really hit home, so to speak.

Parents of children with peanut allergies are all too familiar with the long list of life’s simple pleasures that are off limits to them. One of those pleasures: sitting in the stands at a pro ballgame where peanut shells cover the ground. The risk is especially great for kids ages 2 to 4 who are more likely to pick up the shells and play with them. For many, direct exposure to shells can trigger an allergy attack.

The wonderful news: leagues are making strides to let everyone enjoy America’s pastime with peanut-free game nights, promising to provide peanut-free food at vendors’ booths, making it a safe zone for all fans. Check your local team's game schedule to see if there are peanut-free ballgames near you.

Three cheers for allergy-safe baseball!

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