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Paranoid Mother Alert

(14 Posts)
Twinsmum Tue 10-Jul-01 20:09:24

Hi everyone,
The nursery my children go to regularly visit a local farm. I'm sure at some point over the summer they'll arrange another visit and my two are old enough now to be invited along.
I can't help but be nervous about this. I seem to remember lots of stories in the papers last year about young children catching e coli at farms and that you shoudl wait until they are five.
Anyone any advice? (My children are 2.)
I'm sure any mums living on a farm will look at this and think 'she's mad' (and in fact I spent many happy holidays as a little one on a farm in wales)..... but I just want to be sure I wouldn't be putting them in any danger if I allowed them to go on a trip.

Cam Tue 10-Jul-01 21:38:45

My child went on a farm trip last year when she was three with her nursery school and the teacher was very good at explaining that the children would all wash their hands immediately after touching animals and again before being allowed to eat. I do think, given these precautions, that the benefits of the visit to little ones outweigh the dangers. Ask the teachers about their health and safety intentions with regard to the outing.

Tigger Wed 11-Jul-01 07:56:22

Is this a working farm that the children are going to?. Ecoli is caught through contact with cow dung, so make sure your kids know to wash their wellies and hands properly and their should be an antibacterial handwash available for washing hands. Ask if their will be any contact with the animals like touching calves, as calves like to sook peoples fingers. I shal return folks, just looked out the window and Ermentrudes calf has escaped into the bottom garden and mother is not very happy!

Suew Wed 11-Jul-01 11:35:54

The most-visited farm in Nottingham has excellent facilities for handwashing and warning notices everywhere to remind kids. There are basins at every turn and loads on the way into the cafe.

If it's set up for visits you may find it's the same case at the one the nursery visits.

Marina Wed 11-Jul-01 13:06:14

Like Suew's example, I think most farms that offer children's visits are now bristling with taps and soap dispensers, precisely as a result of that tragic case. The first time we went I washed my poor little son's hand three times (this was November) and stalked him with a wet wipe constantly at the ready. My husband has a hilarious snap, ostensibly of son admiring goose, but with an unhinged looking mother clearly visible in the background.
Twinsmum, we had a super time, I'm sure yours will enjoy themselves. As Cam says, every nursery nurse in the land must know about e-coli by now...and if you're even a little anxious, give yourself a welcome day off and go with them. Our nursery always appreciates parents volunteering for outings.

Tigger Wed 11-Jul-01 14:07:18

Ah have returned, ok I don't think that you are mad about your kids going to a farm and worrying a little. My son spends most of his time looking like a walking disaster area when he is outside and I'm quite sure that my two are now immune to most things on our farm. If you are unsure, phone the farm before your son goes and ask them what their hygiene procedures are and how close they can get to the animals that are there, and what contact they have with them as well. Ask what their safety policy is as well, and if they have any disinfectant for feet etc not just because of the F&M, more the fact for cleaning wellies when the kids are finished on the farm.

Do you know anyone else who has been to the farm, who could maybe tell you what it is like? Just make sure that they wash their hands before they eat anything. They will enjoy themselves and I'm quite sure that the staff etc from the Nursery and the farm will take all necessary precautions.

Batters Thu 12-Jul-01 09:33:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twinsmum Thu 12-Jul-01 18:33:52

Hi, Thanks for all the advice!
This is such a great site for getting a bit of support.
(PS. I think I'll probably go with them...)

Twinsmum Wed 18-Jul-01 13:20:10

Hi all, me again.
Just wondered what you all thought....
A trip to the farm has now been mentioned and I did voice my concerns re. handwashing etc. Also mentioned that I'd be happy to come along and help.
Response I got was that they couldn't understand why I was concerned (if fact the deputy manager was quite insulted and said 'what, did you think we wouldn't wash their hands then'), didn't have any particular guidelines re. taking young children to farms.
Re. me going she initially said that there wouldn't be any space on the bus but then later said 'well, you can come if you want to, as long as you know that you'll be totally responsible for your own children.'
So, not exactly welcoming to say the least.
As it happens I can't go on that date because of a long standing work commitment, but I can't help but feel a bit miffed by the reaction.

What do others think?
1/ Would you expect a nursery to already be aware of the potential risks of something like e-coli (and not be suprised if a parent asked about it)

2/ Do the nurserys you use encourage parent involvement?

Marina Wed 18-Jul-01 14:18:27

Twinsmum, you've been unlucky there I think. They are very aware of e-coli and other health hazards at our son's nursery, but don't seem to mind anxious Annies like me and dh double-checking. Most nurseries DO welcome parental involvement (and it is usual to be responsible for your own children if you go along, but that fact can be conveyed in a positive way!). Did you just catch her at an awkward moment? Our nursery manager is quite moody with the parents sometimes and occasionally we've come away thinking we are about to be expelled. Always for no good reason, and she is excellent with the children. Wherever possible we raise questions etc with our son's keyworker, who handles grumpy toddlers and grumpy managers with equal charm and tact. Don't let it put you off, I am sure deep down she was thrilled you offered.

Tigermoth Wed 18-Jul-01 15:56:16

Twinsmum, sorry your nursery gave out negative vibes. I too like - and expect - to be made to feel welcome to take part in my child's day. If a nursery consistently made me feel I was interfering I would be very concerned. In my experince, most nurseries and schools are only too happy to have parental involvement.

Slightly off the subject, my paranoid mother fears surfaced when I was shown round my son's pre-school nursery. One of the activity tables had been converted into a 'workshop' with small, but very real hammers, nails, wood blocks, chisels, saws with serated edges, winches etc. Just seeing all those little 3-year-old thumbs and fingers busily at play sent shivers down my spine. I immediately queried this with the nursery teacher and was told it was our local LEA nursery policy, and all children were highly supervised. I continually expected my son to return home minus a digit, though glad to say it never happened.

Robinw Wed 18-Jul-01 18:13:19

message withdrawn

Batters Wed 18-Jul-01 18:50:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twinsmum Thu 19-Jul-01 18:09:08

I think I will have a chat with a couple of other mums there and see what they think.
I dont know many of the other parents although one mum in particular has become a good friend.
I don't know why I've let this get to me (I took a long time choosing the nursery and have never had any qualms about leaving them 2 days a week) but I've been really upset by it.
I feel like I'm 'dumping' them somewhere. Its that old guilt thing I suppose.....going out to work and leaving your children with someone else.

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