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Sending peanut allergic ds to childcare........advice please

(26 Posts)
mymama Wed 19-Apr-06 05:35:51

I have finally built up the courage to enrol
2 1/2yr ds into 1 day of childcare each week. He is allergic to egg and peanut. I am meeting with the Director of the Centre and the actual carer next week and I want to cover all possibilities. I have several Anaphylaxis Plans with photo, antihistamine, epipens and doctors info to give carers. They are asking parents to please refrain from sending peanut products to the centre but they can't legally enforce this in Qld/Australia. What "rules" do you suggest I put in place. I am thinking ds should sit with carer during food time and handwashing before and after food for ds and other children. Obviously no craft with cereal boxes etc as well. Other suggestions I haven't thought of would be appreciated.

jellyjelly Wed 19-Apr-06 08:04:17

No eggs blowing or playing with egg boxes which some nurseries still do. Have they thought about if a child is sent in with peanut butter they have to sit on another table and then t hey wash very well after. My son is allergic to eggs and nuts but not to the degree that yours is and i too am very nervous about putting him into state nursery which starts next week.

if i think of any more will post but good luck.

jellyjelly Wed 19-Apr-06 08:05:00

What do the photos show?

sixtwosix Wed 19-Apr-06 08:12:29

perhaps a letter sent out to all the other kids parents about having a child with severe allergy to peanuts and eggs?

Emma7 Wed 19-Apr-06 08:55:21

We have a lovely boy at my school who has a severe peanut allergy and do all the things you suggested.
I think sending a letter to other parents would be a good idea. This boy once had a mild reaction at school and we couldn't work out why (thought we had everything covered) turns out one of his friends had eaten a snickers bar at lunchtime and washed his hands but it was in his breath . The boy has a special pen/needle thing that is kept in the office and his teachers are trained how to use it.
If you keep them well informed your son's carers will go out of their way to make sure his needs are catered for I'm sure. Try not to worry

mymama Wed 19-Apr-06 09:26:39

Photo is part of anaphylaxis plan to be placed around centre for staff who do not directly care for ds eg relief staff.

mymama Wed 19-Apr-06 09:28:34

Thank you for your replies. I am finding it very hard to let go but I think it is better now than waiting for school where there are less adults/children ratio. We don't have nuts and egg at home so I need to start "educating" him around others.

BernieBear Wed 19-Apr-06 10:10:40

Just wanted to wish you luck Mymama, I will be doing the same thing next year and my ds has egg, milk and peanut allergies (epipens etc) I will watch this thread with interest, let me know how you go. I met the HV here the other day who goes to all pre-schools and schools and trains staff in using epipens, so it must be pretty common by now.

rummum Wed 19-Apr-06 10:21:08

My son is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts, he also has an epi pen.
Do they have snacks/biscuits at drink time.. will you have to take your own snack..
what about if its someones birthday... do the kids get cake or sweets..
the school keep sons epi-pen in a plastic lunch box with his picture on the front.


good luck...

BernieBear Wed 19-Apr-06 10:35:32

Mymama is the one responsible for the best ever dairy, egg and nutfree chocolate cake, I now provide the entire cake for birthdays etc which my ds can take with him. Invaribly his is more popular than the birthday cake itself

mymama Wed 19-Apr-06 11:06:57

Thank you BernieBear it is a lovely cake. Think I mentioned on another thread that it is divine when made with "normal" ingredients also. I don't have a problem in the snack department as I will provide some snacks for him just in case. Funnily enough he doesn't really eat cakes or buns as he doesn't like the texture. He was originally allergic to wheat also and I think he got used to crisper textures with rice crackers etc.

threebob Wed 19-Apr-06 19:46:45

I know they can't legally enforce it - but they can surely become a peanut free zone if they want to be. The protein is so sticky on things that the amount of supervised handwashing they will have to undertake, it would just be easier to ban them. What do they do at school?

Several preschools and kindies here in NZ have banned them, so they keep on the right side of the disability legislation about access to education for all.

I think that your ds should sit with a carer during meal times, check that they all eat at the same time - I am currently rejecting kindies at a rate of knots because they have a rolling morning tea to "empower" the children to choose when to eat. I have noticed that the amount of crap in the snack box escalates with this approach.

Put a large sticker on his box and his bag with a photo and his name. Write something to the extent that he is to be supervised and not eat eggs and peanuts.

Watch they don't make things with egg trays as has happened everywhere I have ever taken ds to -until I point it out.

And keep on their back - I have found that every couple of months when they have not killed Bob they relax and do something a bit dumb, so now I say - oh, we've been to the docs and he's reminded us to check xxxxx.

Has the centre had an allergic child before?

brimfull Wed 19-Apr-06 23:55:55

My ds is also allergic to nuts and eggs.He started preschool last september when he was 3.

I know how you feel,it was nerve wracking at first but it's a lot easier now.

My ds has asthma aswell and the staff had to have training to give his inhaler aswell as the epipen.Ds is the first seriously allergic child they've had and they were really nervous but very professional about it.

Ds doesn't have a meal there but does have water and a biscuit.I personally check all the ingredients of the food that is used such as biscuits,chocolate at easter/xmas.When they had there xmas meal despite ds having his own food he was flanked by two staff to ensure he was safe.It is getting easier as he's more aware .
The superviser also pointed out to me that ds polished off some crumbs after biscuit time so we need to teach him not to and ensure the tables are washed straight away.

I asked ds's allergist about the risks from kids coming in with stuff on their hands.He was very reassuring ,the chance of the protein still causing a reaction was minimal.The parents are all aware of ds's allergy and have been asked not to allow there kids to bring nut/egg contaminates in.

DS also wears a medic-alert bracelet,it has proven to be a useful tool to encourage ds to tell people about his allergies which is really important.

mymama Thu 20-Apr-06 01:19:02

threebob - the school bans peanut products but there are a few mums who think this is disgusting and won't be told what to put in their child's lunchbox. These mums think children with allergies should attend special needs schools . The lovely deputy prinicipal told them we don't want people with this attitude in our learning environment and that perhaps they may need to find another school for their children. Soon shut them up!!

Have been for a chat with the carer this morning and she seems very nice - nervous about the whole thing but very nice. They also have another child with egg/fish allergy and he attends the same day as my ds. They do ask for no peanut products and they leave egg products in another fridge to send home the day he will attend. They are actually having first aid training tonight and have asked for me to supply my trainer pen for the demonstration. During meal times they plan to have a carer sit with him and they have wet wipes on the table to wipe hands during/after food times. My ds will also wash his hands thoroughly (he is a thumb sucker) quite often. I am feeling quite confident actually and really looking forward to next Wednesday. It will be my first child free day in three years .

Chandra Thu 20-Apr-06 01:26:46

Good to hear things got sorted that well. Best of luck next week.

ghosty Thu 20-Apr-06 02:51:19

Gosh, Mymama ... your post re. other mums made me think of a friend of mine who is having all sorts of bother with school and her son's severe peanut allergy ...
She and her husband (she is a nurse and he is a doctor) have presented to the Headteacher, assistant principal, staff AND the governors several times and all they have achieved so far is a paragraph the the school newsletter asking parents to avoid putting peanut butter or nutella in sandwiches. It must be a nightmare! Another mum at school and I were discussing this the other day and she said that she felt it wrong that she can't make her son peanut butter sandwiches especially because he loves them so much. She said, "Surely it is a condition that XXXX has to learn to live with so why not start now?"
XXXX is 6 and a half and he is very very mature about it (sad that a child so young has to be so grown up about food etc) ... so I think his parents have educated him well ... but I don't understand how parents don't see that by NOT putting peanut butter in sandwiches they are actually helping someone AVOID what could be a LIFE THREATENING reaction ...
It makes my blood boil and when i said to the other mum, "What would you want if it was your son with this life threatening allergy?" she couldn't answer me ...
Many many schools and kindies in NZ are nutfree now (DD's creche is ... we have a list of non desirables - and I am happy to comply) but obviously not every nursery/school is 'there' yet ....

mymama Thu 20-Apr-06 05:37:08

ghosty it is sad to hear how much trouble your friend is having. I still get amazed at people's attitudes sometimes but I have learned to live with it. I actually had a woman at school argue with me that only peanut butter is banned not peanuts . Do you think I could convince her that peanuts were a problem too!! There is quite a lot in the media here in Australia at the moment so here's hoping the message gets through soon.

mymama Thu 20-Apr-06 05:39:35

Just ordered some very cute NUT FREE Zone labels from StuckonYou.com for his lunchbox etc. The have his name and an angry little "peanut" on them that has been crossed through and says NUT FREE Zone. They also have egg and dairy free ones too if anyone interested.

threebob Thu 20-Apr-06 11:34:10

I would need a custom made sticker for ds!

I have had parents "apologise" to me for "accidentally" putting a peanut butter sandwich in a playcentre lunch box, by saying "but it's all he'll eat".

To which I once said "well it's a good job it's not all Bob will eat or he would have either died of starvation or an allergic reaction by now. I'll take my child home now and explain to him that he can't play here today because your child is a fussy eater".

We don't go there any more - but I'd had a gutsful. It was the Health and Safety lady FFS.

jellyjelly Thu 20-Apr-06 19:37:17

Can i have the details of the stickers please.

I am a bit scared about sending my ds to nursery which starts next week as another part of the nursery gave hima cake with eggs in before, i dont know why he didnt react but i thanked all the gods that night.

mymama Fri 21-Apr-06 01:39:32

threebob - Love the comeback re the fussy eater. I will have to remember that next time my brother in law makes snide comments to me. You can customise the sticker but has a maximum of 6 lines with 30 characters per line.

Don't know how to do a link but website is stuckonyou.biz. Choose the country you are from and then go on to order. The allergy free labels are under "personalised stickers" then "allergy free" labels. I customised a label under the "create your own" label because I wanted egg and nut on the same label.

Chandra Fri 21-Apr-06 02:05:20

at how selfish people could be! I don't get to understand some people's attitudes... i.e. evne when mos friends know well how allergic DS is, there was this mum who brought chocolate covered peanuts and almond to my house as a dessert! but the most surprising part of it is that her DD has had a reaction to tree nuts and assume that peanuts are perfectly OK.

vnmn Sat 22-Apr-06 15:34:50

My ds will start pre school this year and needless to say I am really nervous about it.I have learnt a lot from your mails.I cant understand why adults find some really obvious things so difficult to understand and be so selfish

mymama Sat 22-Apr-06 22:00:36

vnmn - it is surprising and shocking but I personally think it is a lack of understanding. Before ds I "knew" about allergies but I didn't have a full understanding of the implications. Although I would not have sent the food along to daycare/preschool if requested. My ds is only 2.5 yrs and I am trying to educate him and give him lots of confidence to deal with his allergies. The reality is that he will most likely have peanut allergy for life and will come across this sort of ignorance many times. Is your preschool confident to handle his allergies? So far I have found that the school and the childcare centre are really caring and understanding. Good luck with the preschool.

mymama Wed 26-Apr-06 11:49:09

Well today was the big day and it went very well. They were so lovely and had put more procedures into place then I had requested. They are very nervous but will adjust with time. ds was very brave and did not cry when I left, however had a few little tears through the day (so did I). Thanks for all of the advice.

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