Messy play with shaving foam

(32 Posts)
kelly0402 Tue 17-Jun-14 19:13:54

Today was the second time in two weeks that the group leader at our local baby and toddler group has used shaving foam as the activity.
I don't deny that I'm not the biggest fan of shaving foam but my son has had an awful reaction to it. I've been up the doctors and he now has medication to keep his airways open.
When I approached the group leader about this I was told if I didn't like it then I should go home. I did and, obviously, sought medical attention.
Sadly I live in a rural area and this group is often a lifeline for Mums like me, who don't have a car.
The Childrens Centre just told me to write it down but I know nothing will be done about it. All I'm asking is for some variation in activity that doesn't include an irritation to my son. I'll gladly not attend the 'shaving foam' sessions but they seem to occur quite frequently.

jeanmiguelfangio Tue 17-Jun-14 19:19:35

Oh that's rubbish! At our childrens centre it is part of certain activities but there are plenty of other things to do at the same time. You can complain above he childrens centre im sure, maybe try LEA- someone will come along in a minute who knows the structure. Its not like you dont like it, it gives him a serious reaction. Plus there are plenty of other things you can do for messy play. YANBU

Waggamamma Tue 17-Jun-14 19:20:08

It's a difficult one, because what if another child has a reaction to playdoh and another to poster paint and so on. It would really limit the activities they could do.

It's hard to cater for everyone within a large group. Could you not just do a different activity with your ds elsewhere in the room? Or miss group that one week?

k311i Tue 17-Jun-14 19:51:47

I agree that you can't limit activities because of one child, I was more upset over the Group leaders attitude, it's an ongoing issue with this group and sadly no one at the Childrens Centre seems to really care.
After looking at the ingredients of shaving foam though I'm not sure why it seems like such a popular activity. Even a sensitive brand is full of irritants that can cause irritation to a young child. My friend lets her kids use this in the bathroom and then immediately afterwards will bath them. At a morning group it's impossible to wash them thoroughly.
There are plenty of other messy play options that could be explored, or at least take into account a child's allergies and give the Mum a heads up if it would affect her child.

Missda Tue 17-Jun-14 19:57:19

They shouldn't limit the activity.
Could he wear disposable gloves?
In our school we use this:
www.boots.com/en/Kids-Stuff-Crazy-foam-bathtime-fun-foaming-soap-225ml_1361286/
Could you suggest they use this?

lozster Tue 17-Jun-14 20:08:18

Shaving foam is used at the childrens centre I go to and it has crossed my mind (having some experience in the area) that the product ingredients should be on display and parents advised to look at them before they or their child touch the product. Play-doh and paint is different as they are made for children to use in a play context. Shaving foam is not. The activity should have been risk assessed and allergic reaction considered as part of this. This wouldn't mean cancelling the activity just putting some measures in place to minimise risk. Your sons reaction may be rate but it is serious. Hope he is ok soon.

lozster Tue 17-Jun-14 20:15:36

Also, do you know the brand/variant used? If so you can search on line for the product safety sheet so that you/ your doc can perhaps identify the likely ingredient that has caused this reaction and avoid it in future.

tiggytape Tue 17-Jun-14 20:33:39

I am not wishing to alarm you at all but nut oil is sometimes found in shaving foam and is one of the reasons that many settings do not do this activity.
Often it is almond oil but sometimes it is peanut oil.
It may be a completely different ingedient that he is allergic to but, if nut allergy is suspected, repeated exposure is not advised as each subsequent reaction can be stronger.

Please don't panic but it might be worth checking the brand they used and seeing if it contains nut oil and then perhaps telling your GP if it does.

Sorry this doesn't help with the original problem but perhaps if they are using brands with nuts, they need to reconsider the activity anyway.

tiggytape Tue 17-Jun-14 20:35:04

(it may be listed as Arachis Oil but that is just another name for peanut oil).

Tanith Tue 17-Jun-14 20:40:12

Pretty poor attitude from the playgroup leader imo. I'm very surprised if it's a Children's Centre: they are supposed to be inclusive and that means managing children's allergies.

I once had a child allergic to cornflour and I've had children with severe eczema. Messy play activities can be tailored to ensure that all children are able to take part.

If it's a Children's Centre, I really would write a letter of complaint. Point out that your son does have an allergy to the product and ask how they intend to work around this.

Moolin Tue 17-Jun-14 21:13:54

They have this at DS's nursery. He doesn't have sensitive skin or allergies and still had a reaction to it, albeit mildly.

I've told them not to let him touch it when they have it out, which seems to be working fine.

drivingmisspotty Tue 17-Jun-14 21:23:46

Blimey, I had no idea shaving foam in messy play was so popular. They used it once at our childrens centre and I thought bit was bizarre-it is so obviously an adult product and I wouldn't want prolonged contact with it myself even when I'm using it. Surely there are plenty ofmore apappropriate messy activities they could be running? YANBU

ShineSmile Tue 17-Jun-14 21:52:47

It is ridiculous! Who thought of using shaving foam for messy play? Wth?! Children put everything in their mouth, why would you purposefully let them play with chemicals? It is absolutely ridiculous and really should be banned!

Tanith Wed 18-Jun-14 16:13:52

Depends on the brand. Some are just soap, some are specially formulated. It is lots of fun to play with, but you do need to be careful with younger children and watch out for potential allergies.

FreeSpirit89 Wed 18-Jun-14 17:28:29

I volunteer at my local children's center and there's usually a try with shaving foam in for the kids. But there are many other activities too. Could you not encourage your DC to play with something else?

I think YABU to think they shouldn't have the activity though.

WooWooOwl Wed 18-Jun-14 17:36:17

Were there other activities available that your son could do?

If there were, then I don't see the problem. You have identified an allergy, so now you know you need to keep your child away from that particular activity. You can't expect them to stop using it altogether. It would be reasonable to expect them to provide gloves for children who would still be able to play with the foam if they were wearing gloves though. That's what we used to do at my nursery for children who didn't like the feel of certain messy play activities as they would often still get the benefit if they outdo cover their hands.

k311i Wed 18-Jun-14 18:45:54

It was the only activity provide except for free play. Gloves or aprons would have been nice but not provided.
There are lots of alternative activities that can be provided for messy play but rarely is it anything other than shaving foam.
The centre manager called today and asked what I thought they should do to resolve it. Apparently the group leader is only there to do paper work and open the door. No responsibility as to the health and safety of anyone attending.
I suggested the alternative Kids Spray Foam soap that missda (thank you) sent a link for. Sadly similar ingredients but at least it's a product design for kids.
Looking at alternative activities and groups for my son.

KnackeredMuchly Wed 18-Jun-14 19:41:39

What an odd product to use! I would have thought messy play items be somewhat edible?

KnackeredMuchly Wed 18-Jun-14 19:42:56

Could you take spray cream with you?

Firsttimer7259 Wed 18-Jun-14 19:45:10

You could suggest they use squirty cream instead. Much yummier

Hissy Wed 18-Jun-14 20:29:45

Shaving Foam?

confused

They never did that at the Montessori..

wink

k311i Thu 19-Jun-14 10:42:27

Back at the doctors again today. Shaving foam has appeared to open an avalanche of issues and now my sons face is swollen.
Edible messy play product would make more sense to me but then there are kids with dairy allergies etc so it's hard.
My sons more interested in sitting up the activity table like a big boy than the actual activity so even if they had an alternative table with crayons and paper on, he'd always choose colouring over anything.

fluffymouse Thu 19-Jun-14 10:48:21

Tbh this sounds like a bit of a non issue. There are other activities on offer, it is up to you as a parent to guide him to what is safe for him.

By avalanche of issues you mean an allergic reaction that includes a rash, and some facial swelling, but not threatening his airway?

Medication 'to keep his airway open' is a bit overdramatic. I'm assuming you are referring to antihistamine tablets, which wouldn't have any significant effect on his airway.

k311i Thu 19-Jun-14 11:02:43

Those were the doctors words when he gave me the meds. Sorry that it sounds a bit over dramatic to you. And no they're not antihistamines, he takes them aswell.

ChuffinEllAsLike Thu 19-Jun-14 11:02:52

My son is allergic to shaving foam and other messy play things.

They just dont use them when he is there. Theres a million other thinbs that they can use, and they do. No one misses out.

I hate this 'what if they are allergic to paint or play doh, should they all miss out?' Bullshit. No one misses out, you just have to plan it differently. It would be a different story if it was your kid being excluded because of immune issues that were out if their control. hmm

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