Smokies baseball hosts peanut-free night

Potentially deadly food allergies affect an estimated one in every 13 children. Those allergies can keep them from taking part in activities many of us would never think about.

Wednesday, the Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus Center teamed up with the Tennessee Smokies baseball team to make it possible for kids with peanut allergies to enjoy a night at the ball park.

During most baseball games, peanuts cover the floor and the concession stand. Even peanut oil and residue can cause some people with severe cases to have a reaction.

Before Wednesday's game Jerrian Allen,10, had never been to Smokies' park because of his severe peanut allergy. He wasn't sure what to expect, but it didn't take him long to catch on.

"I get to eat nachos," he said as he scarfed down his portion.

Eating from the concession stand may not seem like a big deal to some, but Jerrian's mom would typically never let him eat from a ballpark kitchen.

"I'm afraid as far as what's in the food, what it's cooked in; our options are very slim," Brittany Ewing, Jerrian's mom, explained. Cross contamination is something she doesn't want to risk.

The slightest bit of peanut residue can cause him to stop breathing. Jerrian was able to eat his snack without his mom worrying.

The Smokies staff spent the week before the game scrubbing every square inch of the stadium and putting away every peanut and cracker jack in the place.

"It's a lot of pressure washing and a lot of hosing down," explained Bryan Webster Director of Stadium Operations, "We want to make sure all the peanut residue gets rinsed off and everything is as clean as we can possibly get it."

Allergy Asthma and Sinus Center Allergist Dr. Ty Prince said it's a huge opportunity for them to increase awareness.

"When I was a young allergist we used to have one or two children per school with food allergies. Now it's two per classroom so a great increase," he said.

"It's just awesome they care that much," said Ewing.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment