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Help - how do I deal with holiday club that contaminated DS

(15 Posts)
wangle99 Fri 21-Aug-09 20:57:31

DD (12) and DS (5) go to a holiday club, on the medical form I have put that DS has wheat/gluten intolerance and must NOT be given anything without it being checked and if they are worried not to give it to him (they both take their own food and drink as food not supplied there).

Today DS comes home, goes to visit an Aunt, whilst there he doesn't get to the toilet, messes himself, DD discretely scrubs his trousers as he didn't have spare clothes with him.

He comes home and has diarrhoea again.

Went through everything they had today and it appears they all had a cup of hot chocolate (Tesco Value) and I know (and I've checked again today) that it has wheat flour in it.

How on earth do I deal with it? DD had been questioning everything with them but it was pointed out to her that they do know what they are doing and for her not to worry, DD is now really annoyed with herself for not mentioning it (even though I keep telling her its NOT her fault and NOT her job).

I am quite livid really as they are the adults and they should know to check things, we had been doing fantastically well no contamination for ages.

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.

MmeLindt Fri 21-Aug-09 21:02:31

What a shame, your poor DS. You must be so proud of your fabulous DD for looking after her little brother so well.

Are you relying on the holiday club for childcare in the school holidays? Could you take them out if this happened again?

I would definitely speak to the manager if I were in your shoes.

wangle99 Fri 21-Aug-09 21:05:53

They aren't going in for the rest of the holiday as going to Granny's instead however it provides after school club for DS's school as well and as I'm going full time at work in a couple of weeks time he was going to be going there after school.

I have emailed the manager I want to hear what his reasoning for not checking was.

I am proud of DD she is amazing at checking what DS can have grin

CMOTdibbler Fri 21-Aug-09 21:07:34

I would speak to the manager, but try and do it really calmly. Theres no point getting angry at them - these things do happen, and no one would think that hot chocolate would have wheat flour in.

My mum was devastated to gluten me - she is normally v v good, but didn't think that the chocolate shapes she had bought for a trifle would have flour on them

nannynick Fri 21-Aug-09 21:29:58

What if it had been peanuts - they could have had a serious incident on their hands.

They should have checked ingredients before giving to your DS. Mistakes do unfortunately happen - there was a case a little while ago where a child died due to being given incorrect food at a nursery.

The manager should take the situation seriously and review the procedures surrounding giving children food, using food products in play/activities.

The manager can't really do a lot more than review the procedures, remind the staff though. Human error is always going to be present - it's just a case of trying to minimise it happening.

Perhaps they can make your DS a placemat with his picture on it plus his allergy information, to help remind staff to check ingredients.

nannynick Fri 21-Aug-09 21:31:28

With regard to the peanuts, I meant if they had given a child with peanut allergy a peanut... rather than giving your DS a peanut.

wangle99 Fri 21-Aug-09 21:38:26

Nannynick - I did think about the peanut think myself it makes me cringe to consider what could happen.

I hope they will take it a bit more serious, I don't actually think they have procedures in place for dealing with children with food issues - or would they HAVE to have as they are ofsted registered?

I think I will make a point if DS is going back for him not to eat/drink ANYTHING there that hasn't be given to them by me.

tatt Sat 22-Aug-09 07:20:50

I would be telling the manager exactly how upsetting it was for your son and that your 12 year old had to clean him up. There is obviously an education job to be done so that they do check everything before giving things to him. They may use play dough for example and make it themselves.

Accidents do happen so may be worth looking at digestive enzymes like peptizyde to take. They reduce the damage from accidental exposure.

My child has a nut allergy and you can reduce the risk of accidents but you have to have a strategy for accidental exposure.

seeker Sat 22-Aug-09 07:58:24

Just a thought - could it be that the fact you have called it an intolerance rather than an allergy makes them take it a little less seriously?

desertgirl Sat 22-Aug-09 09:00:21

seeker, surely it is an intolerance (if it gives him diarrhoea) rather than an allergy? shouldn't have to call it the wrong name just to get it taken seriously.

wangle99 Sat 22-Aug-09 09:03:33

I actually told them he was coeliac as thought they'd take it more seriously - DS continually tests negatives to coeliac tests but is severely affected by any gluten and wheat starch.

I thought by saying coeliac they'd have more knowledge but they didn't know what it was (as many people don't).

I will see their response to my email but I might see if DS dietician will write a letter stating importance, she did offer before as we have had issues with DS school as well.

seeker Sat 22-Aug-09 09:42:46

It could be just me, but if someone said 'wheat intolerance' I wouldn't think "reaction so severe that poor child can't make it to the loo in time". Maybe I mix with too many "darling, I can't touch wheat or dairy" types!

They should certainly know what coeliac means. Maybe you could print some information off for them? But I would also try not to be too angry - mistakes do happen. I gave a coeliac friend some carefully wheat free home made Rocky Road once - and the marshmallows had wheat in them!

purepurple Sat 22-Aug-09 09:57:40

Well done to your DD.
But it does go to prove that when you live with something every day, it does become normal behaviour and part of your life.
So it is normal for her to question everything your DS eats and drinks and to check labels.
The same can't really be said for the staff at the holiday club. Mistakes do happen, and when it is not part of your everyday routine, then sometimes you can forget.
I know that I have forgotten to give medicine at the right times at the nursery where i work.
That's not to excuse the staff. But sometimes it is easy to be sidetracked and to forget.
You have to remember that this can happen in a group care situetion, your child will be just one of many.
That said, you do need to raise this with the manager. Proceedures need to be tightened to prevent it happening again.

Smithagain Sat 22-Aug-09 10:04:55

Speaking as someone who runs a holiday club, my comments would be:

- yes, they definitely should have procedures in place to prevent this sort of thing happening. We do, and we are just a volunteer-led church club, not a proper, Ofsted-registered-providing-childcare affair. You need to complain and make sure they tighten up their systems.

- BUT we did have an incredible list of allergies this year - which covered everything from proper, full-blown anaphylaxis to "gets a bit hyper if eats food colouring, but don't worry too much if it can't be helped".

We take all of them seriously. But it is confusing. And it's helpful if parents spell things out very, very clearly, in words of one syllable, so we know what we're dealing with.

From a personal point of view, I have a severely nut-allergic DH, so I am used to watching ingredients and being extremely careful. But I do have to keep reminding my volunteers, who are not used to it. It's so easy to forget to check just one thing. Especially something a bit unlikely, like wheat in hot chocolate.

Smithagain Sat 22-Aug-09 10:21:16

Thinking further - you say that you wrote the information on his medical form. If an allergy is remotely seriously, I would strongly advise speaking to the leaders direct - and spelling out exactly what type of reaction you are talking about. Raise your profile and make sure it's taken seriously.

For example: On our medical forms this year we had one parent who simply wrote "can't have milk".

Now, there is a world of difference between someone who just can't tolerate a whole glass of milk, and someone who has a genuine dairy allergy. We had no way of knowing which this was, without asking. So we phoned her and discussed. But we are pretty allergy-aware, on account of two of our leaders having kids with nut allergies. Other holiday clubs may have less experience and make wrongful assumptions. Make sure you are sure that they've got all the info they need.

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