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Nursery being uncooperative re milk issues with child

(15 Posts)
Triggles Fri 17-Jul-09 07:58:42

I am mainly curious as this seems to be a bit pushy by the nursery staff.

DGS is 3, is a good eater, likes and eats plenty of fruit, veg, meat, and such. He has a bit of a milk intolerance - it's not an allergy. But he HAS been to see GP about it. It's exactly the same type of milk issue that DD (his mum) had for a few years when she was about his age, then she seemed to grow out of it.

He can have milk in cereal, or milk products such as cheese and yoghurt. But drinking straight milk in a glass too frequently tends to give him runny poo, unless you water the milk down (so about 50% milk, 50% water). DD went over his eating habits and the fact that any glasses of milk are watered down with the GP, who said DGS was getting plenty of calcium and if it worked for him, it was a good plan. (DD did this as this was what WE were advised to do with her when SHE was going through this and it worked well)

Nursery initially was fine with it. Until it was noted that a few of their staff wasn't following it and was giving him undiluted milk and then complaining that he was having runny poo. hmm Then they said it was a pain to have to give him milk from a separate container (they apparently mixed it up in the morning and kept it separate from the rest in the fridge), but told DD they wanted to give him soy milk instead. (since they only have one or two others that drink soy milk, it STILL requires separate container, so I fail the logic in this)

They told DD she needed to take him in to see the GP as they wanted him to have soy milk. She AGAIN took him into GP, who again verified he was fine on the diluted milk and did not need the soy milk. DD told this to the nursery and it was okay for about a week. Then nursery decided they still wanted her to put him on soy milk and wanted her to buy it and provide it as well. She refused, citing the GP's info that he was fine on the diluted milk. THEN the nursery said, fine, WE'LL provide the soy milk then, but we want you to put him on soy milk. hmm She refused again. They've now said that they want her to take him into the GP yet again, insisting that they need a note from the GP saying it is okay for him to have diluted milk as they state the nursery will get in trouble from Ofsted if seen to give diluted milk to him as they will be "concerned over his calcium intake" even though he does eat yoghurt and cheese and such there, even though she has already cleared this TWICE with the GP. This is the first they've mentioned an issue with Ofsted. And they're STILL pushing the soy milk. I do NOT understand why this is such an issue for them.

They state they can't give him diluted milk now without a note from the GP, as they "cannot make medical decisions like that as they are just a nursery" but they can demand she give him soy milk without a note from the GP. How does this make sense???

Triggles Fri 17-Jul-09 08:01:24

Just a note also to say that DD is taking DGS into GP AGAIN today to get the requested note, but is getting very frustrated at this ongoing insistence on soy milk from the nursery and their attempts to push her into doing this. I guess I'm just curious as to why this is such a huge issue for them?

oopsacoconut Fri 17-Jul-09 08:08:32

Why are they mixing up milk? At 3 just normal cows milk should be what he is having. Also why do they have to mixit up seperately can they not just pour him 1/2 a glass and top it up with water? All sounds a bit odd to me. Nurserys should be following parents requests just as they would if your DD requested he ate no pork, it's not a medical reason but it is what is best for him.

oopsacoconut Fri 17-Jul-09 08:09:31

nurseries not nurserys

rubyslippers Fri 17-Jul-09 08:14:18

it is a really simple request which they should honour

but at 3 years old he can manage with water surely during the day rather than milk? May save everyone a headache

if he is having milk on his cereal and say cheese at some point as part of a meal then he doesn't "need" a glass of milk in the way a one year old would still benefit

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 08:20:40

have you tried skimmed milk?

tbh, I can see the nursery's point of view. They seem to be confused over whether he has an allergy or not (in which case they would be separating milk products etc.) and are worried about giving him milk and making him ill.

I would get the GP to write the letter confirming he has an intolerance and saying exactly what milk he needs.

But they should be able to separate his milk tbh, if needed.

Triggles Fri 17-Jul-09 08:24:32

He likes to drink milk, so if given the choice, he will choose milk over water. And they say they have to offer him the choice. It is regular cow's milk, it just needs to be watered down a little for him due to his system not tolerating it as well.

DD DID suggest they simply give him water or juice instead, and they said they had to offer him milk as they offer the other children milk. DD DID suggest that instead of mixing it up ahead of time that they simply add the water when they pour the milk, but apparently that's an issue as well.

They just seem to want to make this an issue. Why would Ofsted get involved in this anyway, as the nursery states??

Triggles Fri 17-Jul-09 08:32:22

foxinsocks - DD has made it very clear to them that it is a simple intolerance, NOT an allergy. They are well aware that it causes him runny poo to drink too much milk, as the runny poo was a daily occurrence at the nursery for quite some time, and they were routinely calling her and telling her to take him home due to it, until it was sorted that it was the milk that was contributing to it. Besides, if he had a milk/dairy allergy, she wouldn't be okay with him having yoghurt, cheese, and such.

I hate to say this, but personally it seems that it is simply an inconvenience for them, and some of the staff have troubles remembering to give him the diluted milk, so they are pushing the soy milk. I'd be willing to bet that once they get the note from the GP saying to give him the diluted milk, that the nursery will come up with some other reason they can't do it. Cynical, maybe, but previously they just needed her verbal okay, then they changed that to needing her to run it by his GP, now they're insisting on a note. They keep changing their minds on what is needed.

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 11:57:22

it does sound odd but I think people have trouble understanding things that are not clear cut

also, a lot of nurseries have it in the back of their heads that mothers make a fuss about stuff like this hmm. One nursery once told me that 'allergies meant a child didn't like the food' though this was a long time ago and I do believe things have got better.

Ultimately, if they cannot be trusted to care for him adequately then she needs to look at other care. I have experienced severely bad care for my dd at the hands of a nursery and I think if your dd is worried about it, please reassure her that there are other forms of childcare (like a childminder etc.) that she may find listen to her requests a lot more closely.

Mummywannabe Fri 17-Jul-09 12:11:02

It seems far enough to ask for written confirmation from the parent to confirm arrangements for milk, we would ask for a letter from parent to place on file, stating its an intolerance not an allergy (this would then allow us to challenge any concerns raised by a well meaning hmm Ofsted inspector (some do get a bee in teir bonnet over things).

Sounds like the nursery are very confused? Not sure why when it seems like a simple request (i'm a nursery manager by the way). It can be frustrating when dealing with allergies etc and parents are not clear of willing to put things in writing (not that this is the case here).

I personally would be concerned by them pushing hteir own opinions to such an extent, a general conversation (oh have you tried soy milk) seems acceptable (purely to gain more information) but to this extent is nuts! Could understand if it was a much younger child that they would need G.P letter.

missfitt Fri 17-Jul-09 12:24:45

Ask the Nursery, in writing, to put their (unreasonable) requests in writing. angry

I bet you they don't have the balls to do it. And if they do, they have no sense.

Then when they don't, say after a week, write a letter stating that you expect that from now on they follow your DDs wishes that your DGS have diluted cow's milk as recommended by his GP and as your dd's wishes.

they fail to follow then send copies to OFSTED.

missfitt Fri 17-Jul-09 12:32:03

Ofsted would be interested in it. It is ignoring a child's dietary needs. He needs to have his milk presented in a certain way otherwise he has a negative reaction to it. (I provide food mixed with EBM for my dd2 at the moment) If the nursery I am using decides not to feed it to her because they think it is 'icky' or whatever, then I have a right to complain that they are not adhering to her dietary needs, it works in all sorts of ways, tbh.

Runny poo, the nursery admits is a burden to them hmm. It will be uncomfortable for the child as it means he will be having stomach cramps which ends up in runny poo (I have similar reaction to milk so I know from personal experience) and later on if he soils himself because he is not in control of his poo, it can be emotionally upsetting for him.

There is police called Every Child Matters that all services which work with children must implement - this sort of thing comes under the ECM policy.

CarGirl Fri 17-Jul-09 12:36:10

The nursery sounds like it's full of incompetent loons at the moment! Hopefully it is a misunderstanding at some level and their common sense has escaped them temporarily.......

missfitt Fri 17-Jul-09 12:38:42

DDS' nursery has a whiteboard in each room with dietary notices for each child. does this nursery have anything like that? This way whichever staffmember dealing with food, new or not, has a quick ref point to cater to a child's need. Eg your DGS' would say, dilute milk 50/50 with water. What is so hard about that.

It is not just about milk though, how many parents will have dietary needs for other children that they may not be following? Muslims, Hindus? I don't let the nursery feed my older dd grapes as they are a particular choking hazard (not allergy/intolerance/religious criteria) to small children. It is my choice and they need to adhere to it. A letter like your DD's on the nursery's file will flag things up for future inspection to actually inspect. They are signposts to tell inspectors where to actually look for where a nursery needs improvement.

purepurple Sat 18-Jul-09 08:56:37

As a nursery nurse I am amazed that they can not follow a simple request.

From what you said, they sound as if they have got confused between an allergy, which could be life-threatening and needs strict rules on storage and food preparation and a parental request for a food intolerance, which must be followed, as it is a parenatal request and won't do the child any harm, and will prevent him having an upset tummy.
I would write a letter of complaint, this nursery have failed this child.
What if it was a life threatening allergy? Hardly the actions of a well organised, capable nursery.
I deal every day with children who have specific dietary needs and I manage to remember it. It's not that difficult to pour a bit of water in to a cup of milk.

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