Managing severe allergies?

(10 Posts)
greenbananas Sat 27-Oct-12 08:29:37

mmm, preschool 2 definitely not the right place then shock

Preschool 1 sounds hopeful. However, being trained to use the epipens is not everything - preventative measures are also very important.

Here are a few of the things that DS's lovely preschool staff have put in place to include him:

-All children have their hands wiped on the way in, to remove traces of whatever they have eaten/touched on the way.
- Children only eat at the tables, so that there should not be traces of food allergens on toys.
- Tables and floors are cleaned before DS arrives. They also clean the sinks and make sure there are not traces of allergens left on bars of soap etc.
- All play equipment is checked (e.g. playdough, paint, craft stuff etc.) for ingredients. If the staff are not sure, they also check with me.
- All junk modelling equipment is carefully policed, e.g. no yoghurt pots, cereal packets with traces of nuts. I think they threw a lot of stuff away when DS started attending, and I have replaced that with safe boxes and cartons from home.
- Snack time is carefully supervised. DS sits next to a member of staff and there is an empty space the other side of him, to minimise risk of other children putting their hands on his food. The member of staff stays there throughout snack time - that is their job for the duration of snack time.
- At snack time, all the children who want milk not water to drink are sat on a separate table from DS - he sits on the water table. This helps to protect him from spillages. All tables and floors underneath are cleaned afterwards.
- All children have their hands wiped by a member of staff as they get up from the snack table.
- Staff tell me about cooking activities weeks in advance so that I can provide alternative ingredients if necessary (although in practice they usually try to use appropriate ingredients which make the whole activity safe for him)
- DS has a "treat box" full of sweets and dairy-free choc (provided by me) which he can dip into if other children bring in birthday cake.
- All staff have been trained to use the epipen, even the office staff. All were at the meeting where an allergy nurse told them how to recognise and treat the signs of a reaction.
- The epipen, inhalers and antihistamine are kept within view in the kitchen area, in a box clearly labelled with DS's name and photo (i.e. NOT locked away in the office or in a cupboard). All staff can get at them quickly, but they are out of the reach of children.
- There is a poster in the kitchen area (provided by Anaphylaxis Campaign, I think) which reminds staff how to recognise and treat allergic reactions.

These measures (and probably others I have forgotten) have helped DS to feel totally safe and included at preschool. He knows he still needs to be careful, but the staff do everything they can to help - and all this is does not make him feel 'different' because they do it in such a matter-of-fact and inclusive way.

I do hope you have a similarly good experience with your Preschool 1.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 26-Oct-12 23:38:51

I have spoken to the two Local preschools.

Preschool one - massive, two purpose built buildings across the road to each other, though still the same people running it as it was 6/7/8 years ago when it was based in a single demountable and my older boys attended there and they didn't manage my older DS's Latex allergy at all well, hence the trepidation.

On the phone, explaining to manager, ask about possibility of setting up an allergy management meeting "Oh, does he have the old epipen, the new epipen or the Jext? We are all trained to use all of these every year"

Set up meeting for after half term, come off phone feeling slightly reassured.

Phone preschool 2. Based in a Community Centre, much smaller.

Oh well, we can't say that we can stop dairy from getting on things, or getting spilt. Oh, what's that thing called? Does he have an épée pen (pronounced like that). Start feeling a bit nervous, explain a bit more, and ask to set up an allergy management meeting. "Oh, we can talk about stuff like that on the induction day, not to worry. But it doesn't sound like this is the right preschool for your son" said in 'that' way that means it will be too much like hard work for them...

Such a difficult decision...hmmwink

At least I know now. And the first preschool have obviously got a lot better at managing allergies in the last 6 years!!

greenbananas Fri 26-Oct-12 22:34:39

CouthyMow my DS has severe (anaphylactic) reactions to tiny traces of CMP and is also highly allergic to various other things as well. It has been very scary sending him to preschool - I was thinking very seriously about HE - but he is now attending at a lovely place where they manage his allergies really well, in terms of both physical safety and social inclusion. This can be done!!! However, this preschool is the second one we tried - the first one was truly awful and their bad practices made DS very unsafe so that I simply didn't dare to leave him there.

I could write a great long list of things to look out for - but it really would be a long list, and it's late at night... am very happy to do this though, and am also happy for you to PM me.

Betty5313 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:59:01

I really hope you get it sorted. Is it possible for you to have him home for lunches then it is only snack time that is a problem?

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 25-Oct-12 20:26:34

And cereal bars...<<Shudder>> that would be sure fire anaphylaxis here.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 25-Oct-12 20:25:52

YY, it annoys me that schools don't bat an eye now at going Nut free, but he is actually MORE allergic to CMP than to nuts!!

Betcha I can't find a school willing to be CMP free.

I am starting to worry that my only SAFE option will be HE. But that won't be possible past 5yo because I'm on benefits.

It's worrying me.

Betty5313 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:45:26

Ps - one thing I have wondered about is whether the school is legally obliged to deal with it because of the dda?

Betty5313 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:43:40

I cant help much but thought i would share our experiemce. My dd has severe cmp intolerance (leads to colitis - potentially 4 weeks illness for every exposure), same to soy and also lactose. First nursery gave her dairy free spread made from soy and couldn't understand the problem. 2nd preschool were much better, still problems at snack time when biscuits and toast were often produced. They didn't give them directly to her but it is very difficult to make sure other toddlers don't 'share'.

Now having kittens over choice of primary school, local catchment school totally unsuitable because the children are told to bring cereal bars for break - one of our ultimate nightmare foods- and there are 400 kids to supervise.

The main issue we have found is that people don't realise how prevalent both cmp, lactose and soy are. They think if they don't feed her glasses of milk or butter on toast it will be fine!

Have pulled her out of preschool for the time being, amongst other things she was almost fed ready brek made with cows milk.

Also not sure whether just intelligent or potential asd - both run in the family and she has issues socialising.

It seemed as though we would have been deemed completely unreasonable to ask for no soy/milk containing snacks at break time but the school has a no nuts policy??!!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 25-Oct-12 03:21:56

He also has a moderate reaction (hives, itchiness, vomiting) from exposure to and ingestion if anything soy derived.

So, essentially needs a CMP, soy, nut free environment.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 25-Oct-12 03:20:41

How would a pre school manage multiple severe allergies?

DS3 has anaphylaxis to even the smallest traces of CMP and nuts. I know both the pre schools I can consider can deal with severe nut allergies.

I'm not so sure about how they would deal with a CMP allergy that is as severe as the most dangerous nut allergies, and requires a totally dairy free home to prevent reactions.

My DS3 even reacts to CMP, casein, whey, and any and all nut oils in other people's bathing products and toiletries such as body sprays and foundations.

How would you broach this with a prospective pre school?

Pre school is necessary for socialisation due to dxd hyperactivity and possible/probable ASD (too young to dx at 21m but highly likely according to Paed).

Am having kittens as I have to make a firm decision on whether he goes to pre school at all, and if so, which of the two possible options, by Easter next year.

Any advice?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now