Rx NURSE KRIS: Smell the Roses. Skip the Pencils.

There’s a very popular fundraising craze popping-up in schools across the country.  Gourmet scented pens and pencils made specifically for kids to“sniff”.
Am I alone in worrying what sniffing pens and pencils in elementary school could eventually lead to?

Why Pencils and Pens?
For the life of me, I can’t figure out how schools can encourage kids to “sniff” objects not intended to smell good.  But they do.  In fact, there was so much sniffing and focus on these pencils in my daughter’s class, the teacher finally banned them from her classroom– too distracting. Too distracting indeed, but also bothersome and here’s why, “…one  out of five school-aged children in America intentionally abuse [sniffing or huffing] a common household product to get high by the time they reach the eighth grade.”  This is a stat straight from The Partnership for Drug-Free America.

Quite frankly, I have to wonder how this crazy idea ever got off the ground? It’s circulating around schools the same way DSP Dixie circulates around a cocktail party — with speed and seduction.
But how can kids resist with flavors such as bubble gum, cotton candy, cinnamon and rootbeer?  It’s like having a party in their pencil case all-day-long!

Some might argue kids are becoming addicted to these things.  They collect them by the bundle.  I see them sitting, sharing and sniffing.


When I was a kid, if I even thought about sniffing a marker, my parents warned me I would end-up with brain damage.  Now, these pencils and pens are NOT likely to cause any brain damage. In fact,  one  manufacturer says “…the scents are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and generally regarded as safe.”

But a “safe scent” doesn’t deal with the action of sniffing.

They’ll huff…and they’ll puff?
I worry about the message this sends to a society of young children (as these are most popular among primary school kids) already facing the potential tempation to huff or inhale household products.

Let’s not send mixed messages. Let’s not give them a head-start in elementary school.


Can’t we think of a better fundraiser?
Maybe it’s simply a sign of the times, but I can’t help but wonder whatever happened to the good ‘ol bake sale where all there was to “sniff’” was the wholesome scent of homemade cookies and cupcakes?

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One Response to Rx NURSE KRIS: Smell the Roses. Skip the Pencils.

  1. Bridget says:

    Never even thought about this. Never really knew much about huffing and sniffing, but now I am going to become educated. Thank you so much for bringing to the attention of parents!

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