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Allergy at nursery

83 replies

WorthThe · 05/09/2022 20:23

DD is 25 months and has an Anaphylactic allergy to dairy in all forms. It's really severe and she can react to trace amount and contact. It's been a bloody nightmare to tell you the truth.

She's starting at nursery soon and I'm incredibly anxious but think it's best for her. We've found a nursery we feel we can trust and the staff seem really switched on.

Even so, I've heard horror stories of kids being given the wrong food or milk when at nursery and DD is still too young to know to say "No".

I've had a t-shirt made up for the first day that says "Milk Allergy" in big pink letters. I was chuffed at the idea and think it's good for the staff (all 12 of them!) to know she's the kid with the allergy when they meet her.

Well, I told DH and he's just said he feels really uncomfortable with her wearing it and he said, and I quote "Jesus, don't do that to her. How could you plaster her medical needs all over the front of her?". I feel awful as I really don't see anything wrong with this.

AIBU to think the t-shirt is a good idea? I'm really questioning myself now.

OP posts:
nutellachurro · 05/09/2022 20:24

I'm with your DH on this one

She won't be known as the kid with the allergy

You'll however be known as the whacko mum

PrincessesRUs · 05/09/2022 20:25

I think the t shirt is a brilliant idea!! The kids won't know or care - it'd be really clear to staff. Do it! I think it's inspired!!

Hugasauras · 05/09/2022 20:26

I can understand both sides here and I don't think either of you are wrong or right. It's such a nasty allergy to have because dairy is so ubiquitous, young children have it all the time. Does this mean nursery just won't be serving any dairy products? I just ask because I would be less worried if I knew there just wasn't any dairy on the premises.

I would be extremely nervous too and want to be absolutely sure nursery were aware, but the T shirt feels a little heavy handed and like she was a dog wearing one of those 'Nervous dog' coats. Could she wear an allergy bracelet or something?

HowManyWaysAreThereToSayThatEverythingSucks · 05/09/2022 20:26

I think it's a good idea. Her medical needs should be plastered all over to make sure that everyone and really everyone is aware of them. It's only for adults to read so I wouldn't worry about bullying or anything like that.

However, if she is that sensitive I assume that the nursery will drill it into their staff anyway to be super careful.

Best of luck. Hope she has a good start at nursery.

Xpologog · 05/09/2022 20:28

I think the t shirt is genius. I don’t think any of the children will be reading it!! And as there are multiple staff it’s a good reminder to them.
I too have allergies and wear a bracelet with ALLERGIES in big letters on outside which is on show every summer with short sleeves. It’s never bothered me in 30+ years.

Russell19 · 05/09/2022 20:30

I don't like the tshirt idea. I'm also interested to know how practically it would work....surely a nursery can't be dairy free?

2020firsttimemum · 05/09/2022 20:30

If the t shirt is too much could you get a bracelet or some form of band for her to wear instead which is obvious?

I see both sides. As a parent I'd also be petrified that she would somehow get dairy too but I also see where DH is coming from

Thoughtful2355 · 05/09/2022 20:30

This reply has been deleted

Not in the spirit

AliceW89 · 05/09/2022 20:30

I’m not sure about the t-shirt, I’m not sure it particularly matters either way…but to be honest if she has a life threatening allergy I don’t think it would be unreasonable to ask to see their risk assessment. As others have said, are they eliminating all dairy from the premises? Do they all know how to use an epipen etc?

Thoughtful2355 · 05/09/2022 20:31

also shes a baby so it doesnt really matter if its plastered all over her clothes, she cant read it. She wont know, and as a 30 year old i really wouldnt have cared if my mum did this to me as a baby

FlipFlopShopInHawaii · 05/09/2022 20:31

I think the tshirt is a great idea, at least for day 1. OK, it'll be a bit of a talking point but it'll make staff remember her (although I'm sure they will anyway, but visualisation is always good).

This is a really tough allergy to manage, your poor DD. I hope she has a great time at nursery!

KarmaComma · 05/09/2022 20:32

I think it's a great idea!

WorthThe · 05/09/2022 20:33

Unfortunately no chance of the nursery going dairy free (if only!) which is why I'm so paranoid and anxious.

We didn't want her in the baby room for this reason, too much milk in bottles and milky faces / clothes.

OP posts:
ofwarren · 05/09/2022 20:33

I think the t-shirt is an excellent idea at that age. I'm with you OP.

WorthThe · 05/09/2022 20:34

We're having a meeting and going through the Epi Pen use with staff, yes.

I'm trying to take a Belts & Braces approach.

OP posts:
triballeader · 05/09/2022 20:34

I had ‘allergy warning’ with milk and nuts on large sew on patches on all my son’s tops for nursery. Regular staff knew who he was, that he had epi-pens et al . His photo was on the board with a clear warning of his allergies and where his epicentre could be located. Bank staff however did not have the same awareness so the badges reminded them he was the boy who had anaphylaxis to milk, nuts, peanuts, eggs and fish.

He wore them till he was in year 2 at school and had learned a little more of how to keep himself safe. TBH when you are on first name terms with the triage staff at assorted A&E’s just becuase your child ate, licked or [couple of times] used soap containing one of his allergens a visible warning for staff who have not seen a full blown reaction is not OTT.

Tumbleweed101 · 05/09/2022 20:36

As a nursery worker I think it is a good idea while she's new and staff are getting to know her. In a month or so tu4u

Snowjive2 · 05/09/2022 20:37

The T-shirt is an excellent idea, OP. It’s her life on the line here. It’s not possible to be too emphatic, especially when she can’t communicate her needs herself.

Wish I’d thought of this when my DC was little!

Hugasauras · 05/09/2022 20:37

I'd do whatever you feel is needed then, OP. It's such a serious thing that I wouldn't care about being 'that parent' or someone finding it odd when it's your child's life at stake. It suspect the nursery staff will be grateful for it too as they will be very aware of how important it is and anything that helps them is good.

I really hope all goes well for your DD Flowers

Westnorwood · 05/09/2022 20:37

Whatever you do with the t shirt you need to be very clear how serious her reaction is.

My son has a milk allergy but not anaphylactic, I would say a third of the baby room has some sort of allergy. But most of these are non IG so a unpleasant stomach and/or rash are the consequence. They need to be clear this is different and more serious.

loudlylikealion · 05/09/2022 20:38

If it makes you feel calmer and more relaxed it isn't going to do any harm. The only thing I'd say is to get a few (perhaps in jolly colours) so that when they change your DC they'll have one yo change into.

Marynotsocontrary · 05/09/2022 20:38

You can get bright, colourful allergy ID braclets for kids. They're by AllerMates, I think.

I'm not sure about the t-shirt though I understand the reasoning behind it. I think it's because she's more than her allergy, it's not the most important thing about her, it shouldn't define her. Or something. I'm not even sure. My DC also has anaphylactic reactions so I do know why you want to do this.

SouthOfFrance · 05/09/2022 20:39

Unfortunately with allergies it's not something that is easy or safe to keep quiet, like you might choose to do with other medical conditions. There needs to be a balance between respecting her privacy and not making her 'the allergy kid' and keeping her safe.

At the moment you and your husband are viewing this from different ends of that spectrum, I suspect you will come up with something that meets in the middle.

What do the nursery have in place already? I've seen some nurseries that have a place mat system, eg green means no allergies, orange is a preference (eg vegetarian) and re means allergy.
Do they have photos up on the wall of children with allergies and what they are allergic to/that they have an epipen?
Are you allowed to provide your own food and drink or do they make it all? If they make it how do they ensure its labelled correctly for your child?

I can see where you are coming from with the t shirt, but I'm not convinced it's the best idea. I think I'd want to know what the nursery is going to put in place first, and then possibly opt for a more discrete badge or wristband. Something enough for a new member of staff to see and query if needed, but not so obvious as a t shirt.

Good luck op, I have a dairy free daughter too (anaphylaxis) and I know its a daunting time. It definitely gets less worrying once they can advocate and understand for themselves.

loudlylikealion · 05/09/2022 20:39

Or perhaps a crossed out milk bottle

RandomUsernameHere · 05/09/2022 20:41

Sounds like a good idea, the other children presumably won't be able to read yet anyway so your DD isn't going to be embarrassed by it!

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