nut aware plex

Nut aware signs like this one can now be seen at municipal facilities throughout Saugeen Shores.

Hub Staff

Keep an eye out for Nut Aware signage now visible at all municipal facilities in Saugeen Shores. The new Nut Aware Policy has officially been put into action and the signs are now distinctly displayed at Centennial Pool, The Plex, Southampton Coliseum and the Southampton Town Hall. In addition, the canteen at the Cameron ball diamonds will be enforcing the policy.

Anyone registering online for hockey, swimming or a variety of other activities will now encounter a disclaimer to acknowledge the Nut Aware Policy. Similarly, rental contracts will include a disclaimer and provide brochures from Food Allergy Canada to educate users. In addition, staff at the facilities will require standard First Aid training.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure all individuals can safely use the facility and accommodate those with Anaphylaxis which is now recognized as a disability under the Human Rights Code.

Elly Ward, mother of Hunter who has a life-threatening nut allergy, organized the policy approval in Saugeen Shores after working with friend Jennifer Trenbeth to put a similar policy in place in Owen Sound. In a March 22nd email, Ward said it was a long process but well worth the effort.

“Since severe allergies are listed under the Ontario Human Rights Commission, more and more public spaces will be asked (and required) to accommodate. Although I am aware that no space will be completely free of nuts, policies like this ensure that the public is aware of the severity of anaphylaxis and can take steps to keep others safe," said Ward. "It reduces the risk to my son and others with anaphylaxis when facilities do not sell products with peanuts and tree nuts. When they are not readily available, it’s less likely that they will be consumed within the facility. It is my hope that when reading the policy and seeing the signage, the public will choose not to bring peanut and nut products into the facility. I’m sure if it was their family member, they wouldn’t think twice, so I hope that empathy extends to keep other children safer in these accessible facilities," she said.

When asked how the new policy has influenced her family, Ward replied, “We have attended events more regularly and the anxiety of signing up for activities is definitely reduced. Moving forward, I hope that more public spaces, such as libraries and museums, become more allergy aware," she said, adding it's not difficult to make events food free, "or, at minimum, top allergen free so that everyone is fully included.”

See also:

Council tentatively approves Nut Aware Policy

Moms making moves for a safer, "nut aware" communityMoms making moves for a safer, "nut aware" community