Couple Praised for 'Ignoring' Child's Life-Threatening Allergy

Commenters defended a couple who refused to cut down their walnut trees after a neighbor said her son is highly allergic to nuts.

The Original Poster (OP), known as u/DishProfessional432, posted about the situation in Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum where it received more than 11,400 upvotes and 1,900 comments. The post can be found here.

Food Allergies

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), an estimated 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies—including 5.6 million children.

Food allergies in children in the U.S. have increased over the past 20 years, with Black children being affected the most, the AAFA reported.

Couple praised for 'ignoring' severe allergy
Here, a stock photo of a child refusing a container of nuts. Commenters criticized the child's mother for expecting all her neighbors to be nut free since her son has severe food allergies. stefanamer/iStock

The most common allergen in adults is shellfish, followed by peanuts and tree nuts. For children, the most common allergen is milk followed by eggs and peanuts.

In 2021, sesame was declared a major allergen as it impacts an estimated 1 million individuals in America.

These nine foods are considered the most common allergens for individuals in the United States:

  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Sesame
  • Fish
  • Shellfish


In the post titled "AITA for ignoring a kid's life threatening allergy?" the OP explained that she and her wife recently moved out of the city and bought a small acreage.

The OP said they moved to be free from any homeowners associations (HOA) or restrictions.

"The first week after we moved in we had a lot of people stop by—one of them was 'Amanda,'" the post read. "Almost immediately she appeared distressed."

The OP said Amanda asked why they had peanuts on their patio, to which they explained they are for the birds and squirrels to enjoy.

Amanda told them her 11-year-old son has severe allergies to peanuts, nuts, eggs, and shellfish and asked them to stop leaving the peanuts out for the animals.

"As she explained it, birds and squirrels could drop or hide nuts close to her house, a few roads over," the post read. "I will admit, I got my back up a bit because we had purposefully moved to a rural area to get away from restrictions, but my wife convinced me it wasn't a big deal and we could just switch to seeds."

The OP said although they switched to seed and the birds don't visit as often, she thought it was an alright compromise for the sake of the boy.

After compromising, the couple said their relationship with Amanda remained cordial, until recently.

The Walnut Trees

The OP said she recently started selling items at a local market, including walnuts from the trees on their land which has provided them additional income.

"[Two] weeks ago, Amanda came pounding on our door," the post read. "My wife, who is very non-confrontational, answered and Amanda demanded to see our walnut trees as she had heard from a neighbour [sic] that they were on our land."

The OP's wife admitted they had 10 walnut trees on their property to which Amanda replied that "obviously they'll need to be cut down."

"Tsk, tsk, we've already had this discussion," Amanda said.

But this week, Amanda showed up at the couple's home again with a petition signed by less than 20 people that demanded they cut down their walnut trees.

Redditor Reactions

More than 1,900 users commented on the post, many defending the OP's decision to leave her walnut trees intact.

"NTA. Amanda sounds nuts," one user commented receiving nearly 21,000 upvotes. "It's unrealistic to expect someone several streets away to cut down trees she didn't even know about for years."

"Listen, I have a pretty severe nut allergy and I grew up on a walnut and hazelnut farm," another user commented. "Unless I want to roll in the nuts I'm in no danger. I don't pretend to know how bad this kid's allergies are, but forcing the entire neighborhood to go nut free for the sake of her kids sounds super over-the-top."

"NTA but do start documenting all interactions with her. This is gonna get worse before it gets better," another user commented.

"If they are black walnuts the value could be as high as $15k. Each," another user commented. "People plant those for retirement."

The OP replied to the comment that they were indeed black walnuts and others suggested she get the trees appraised.

"This reeks of an over entitled mother that is using her child's allergy as a way to get her rocks off bullying people," another commenter wrote. "I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the kid doesn't even have an allergy and this drama queen parent just made it all up."

Newsweek reached out to u/DishProfessional432 for comment.

Other Viral Posts

In another viral Reddit post, a woman was criticized for lying about having a food allergy and a parent was slammed for serving a peanut butter cake for her son's birthday despite her nephew having a severe allergy.

One man was supported online after adopting a kitten even though his roommate is allergic.

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