Iowa court declares youngster's nut allergy a disability

An Iowa tot who was denied service at a daycare due to her tree nut allergy is required to be cared for at that daycare under an Iowa appeals court ruling on Wednesday which declared the youngster’s allergy a disability.

Girl with tree nut allergy must be allowed in to daycare center says appeals court in Iowa. Photo via Jason Antony.

The ruling came from a lawsuit filed by Shannon Knudson, the allergy sufferer’s mother, against Tiger Tots Community Care Center after they refused to accept the youngster in to their care because they feared liability. Knudson claimed that the daycare was discriminating against her daughter and should be forced to accommodate her.

The ruling won on appeal, overturning a lower court’s opinion which said that the daycare had the right to refuse a child who’s care would be extraordinarily burdensome. The Iowa appeals court disagreed. They said the child’s allergy is a disability and must be accommodated under the American Disabilities Act.

A child with tree nut allergies can suffer severe reactions, including anaphylactic shock if they come in contact or ingest any food stuffs with tree nuts or have contact with someone who has residual tree nut particles on them. According to, it is often recommended that people with tree nut allergies also avoid peanuts.

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