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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Life threatening allergies

    I got an inquiry from a parent with a child who will be 1 in December. She is looking for full time care but her child has anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, etc. Also he is allergic ( but not life threatening) to eggs, dairy, soy.
    Do any other providers have children with such allergies. Would you take a child with life threatening allergies. How do you work that in with your own family environment or other kids. I do not have the space for this child anyway, but would like to have some resources or info to pass along to this parent. Would you recommend a centre based program in this case ( of course they don't accept 12 mth olds..but if she has the option to wait till 18mths)
    thanks for any input!
    “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”


    ― Angela Schwindt

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I won't touch life threatening allergies and indicate that right on my profile. It's also in my contract. I will, however, take on the others. Sensitivities to eggs, dairy, wheat are fine.....a pain in the arse, but fine. There are some providers out there who take on life threatening allergies. I suspect, it's often because one of their own children has the allergy as well. I'm not sure how to go about finding them other than just asking in the initial email.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I don't take those kinds of allergies and explain to the parent that I am only one adult and as such even though their child might be having a severe life threatening reaction I still have a responsibility to the other children which could include bringing everybody in with us or putting the baby in a playpen before dealing with the ill child which takes time.

    I recommend a nanny in their home where the adult's sole responsibility is to deal with the child or a daycare centre where there are multiple adults and one can deal directly with the child while the others continue to care for the other children.

    It isn't that I am afraid of the allergy but based on realistic scenerios of just me and 5 needy children. What if you are at the park and so what if you have the epi- pen as you deal with child and another starts to run off or gets stuck at the top of the ladder. There isn't time to round up all of your charges and get them seated on the bench or strapped back in the stroller while you deal with the child.

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I have cared for children with life threatening allergies but they have developed these allergies once in my daycare and so I have worked with the child and their family to accommodate them. However, through those experiences, I no longer knowingly take on a child with life threatening allergies as its not so much whether I can accommodate them and more about not having ultimate control over what is brought into my house by other parents. There are so many parents who feed their kids peanut butter for breakfast and we all know how difficult it is to clean up. my dck's come most days with some remnants of breakfast on their face or in their hair.

    As for intolerances although not life threatening should still be taken as seriously because cross contamination can cause illness. Eggs and dairy are easy to eliminate. I had a child with a life threatening allergy to dairy and it was never a problem to accommodate. If you serve processed foods then egg is commonly used as a glaze or binding agent so I would read ingredients for that but if you cook from scratch then their shouldn't be an issue. Soy would be my concern. It is used as a filler in meat products already so you would have to be sure the meat you were buying was abf and hormone free to ensure that their were no fillers. Soy is hidden in baked goods, crackers and dairy so be super careful to research additional terminology used in ingredient lists for Soy.

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  6. #5
    Euphoric !
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    For myself I won't take a child with any sort of major allergy. I won't do peanut free as this is my home and we love peanut butter and nuts. I also had someone interested in my spot that had a gluten allergy and I also said no. I don't have time to be reading ingredients on food, to be making special foods or separate meals for 1 child (and we like our gluten around here lol). not something I would do especially life threatening.

  7. #6
    apples and bananas
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    I will do a peanut/tree nut allergy as my son is allergic as well so I already have a peanut free home.

    If the products that the child to are in my kitchen there's always a chance for cross contamination. I won't take the risk with a life threatening allergy.

    At the same time, I won't put my son in a daycare that has peanuts in the house either. I look for a peanut free environment.

  8. #7
    Euphoric !
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    I'm like much of the others. I state in my contract that I am not peanut free as I am not willing to take the risk for the same reasons already mentioned above.

    I have had children with other food issues, such as milk intolerance and sensitivities. I have cared for a child in a centre with gluten allergy and his mom provided all the food. To my knowledge, these are allergies that do not require epi pens so therefore I would be fine taking them into my home. In my experience, if these children did have milk or gluten, it resulted in sore stomach's and lots of poops!

  9. #8
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    I have a five year old dcb with severe allergies to nuts and tree nuts. He was my very first dck, so I really wasn't in the position to say no, because there are alot more providers than clients here, it seems. So far, however, it's been fine. My roommate in university had the same allergy and so does my husband's cousin, so we knew the basics. This boy has to actually ingest it, whereas my husband's cousin can have a reaction just smelling it on someone's breath. The mother said we can have nuts in the house, just not out when he is around.

    We've pretty much eliminated peanut butter in our house, because I can't trust my 4 and 5 year olds to not wipe their hands everywhere. I might have some on the weekend, and I only use one knife that is kept separately, I wash it with dishsoap and my fingers so it doesn't get on a cloth or dish scrub brush, I use a paper towel or paper plate that can get thrown out after, etc. It's in my contract that other daycare kids are not to eat peanuts/nuts etc before coming to my house, and not to pack it in their lunches. The whole school is nut-free anyway, so no one has had an issue with that.

    I still make sure that they don't share food, just in case another child HAS had nuts recently, and I read the ingredients for everything, and when in doubt, I don't give it to him and ask his mother.

    A note to anyone doing this - I've had to call Walmart customer service a couple times about their ingredient lists, and they are not always correct. For example, Walmart brand pancake mix: the original says "may contain nuts," the buttermilk says nothing. I called and asked if the 2 mixes are made in the same facility, was told yes, they are. So both could contain nuts. After that near miss, I essentially don't give him Walmart brand food (cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, ect). There's enough brands that say nut-free, it's easy enough to find other options.

    It's definately work, but we've found it to be an easier transition than we thought. I was also used to it though, and the thought of having to administer his epi-pen, while scary, isn't an unknown to me, so maybe that helped.

  10. #9
    Euphoric !
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    2/4 of my own kids are peanut-allergic, so I am well versed in EpiPen and Benadryl scenarios. *touch wood* I have not had to administer the EpiPen or the like. Benadryl will take care of what we have dealt with up to this point.
    However, I always ensure that we have one around. Non-life threatening can, unfortunately, turn into life-threatening in one reaction. Scary stuff. I would recommend looking into the Allerject over the EpiPen. It has voice prompts, and a countdown for administration. I believe it even reminds you to call 911 after the injection.
    Do your research, think about your own capabilities and make a judgment based on that.
    Personally, I would not be able to do a long list of allergies. I can ensure that our home is nut-aware, but dairy/wheat/soy/etc would be difficult for me.

  11. #10
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickyc View Post
    I also had someone interested in my spot that had a gluten allergy and I also said no. I don't have time to be reading ingredients on food, to be making special foods or separate meals for 1 child.
    I do not serve processed foods so do not have to be concerned with reading pre-packaged foods. Gluten free is super easy to implement as long as you eliminate processed foods which I do not serve in my daycare. I understand that if it is not a change made as a whole for the family or all the dck's then yes there is additional prep involved to make white rice for the majority and brown rice for one but IMO it's a worthy cause to switch it up for everyone as gluten is becoming a much more common intolerance, even for those who do not think they are intolerant, they probably are. With a little time to acquaint ones self with gluten free food, it could actually be of a great incentive for parents who do have children with the intolerance which will ultimately keep increasing the way things are going, and be of a greater demand and need by parents. That being said allergy and intolerance are very different.

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