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 Post subject: Babysitting
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I am interested in finding out what other families do for babysitting. I feel that it is too big a responsibility to ask a teenager to be responsible for an allergic child. I'm getting some comments from friends about being overprotective ( there's that word again) .

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Actually, only my mother babysits. I too think it is quite a big responsibility for a teenager. I occassionally babysit my friends allergic kids. I had heard that locally a 12 year old had to administer an epi-pen to a child she was babysitting while on the phone with 911. Thats great that she was capable and all, but scary for all involved.

Do your friends who think you are over protective have kids with allergies?

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DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6463
Location: Ottawa
We don't use a baby sitter. I have one friend whom I trust. I have ony used her 3x in the past 5 years. We have approached our daughter last daycare provider about it and she seemed receptive. I don't feel very optimistic though because she has two teenage boys involved in sports. I don't think she has much free time.

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:10 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Clarington
When my PA son was little, I too was hesitant to find anyone other than family members to look after him. It seemed like such an awesome responsibility to give to a teenager and what if they didn't fully appreciate the magnitude of this job.

However what occured to me while reading this is if you belong to a support group why not network with these people to find a well recommended sitter. What about those teenagers who are anaphylactic themselves as your babysitter-who better to understand the situation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
We, too, have rarely had a babysitter but for my mother. I can't even leave my PA boy with my sister-in-law because by the way she talks, she simply does not understand the issue of his allergy.

On the very odd time we have had a babysitter, it has been at our house (which does not have ANY peanuts in it) and usually after dinner when there is no eating. When my son was really little, it would be even after he had gone to bed. Of course I still review the epi-pen and all the info on his allergy, and I also ask that the babysitter doesn't bring food to the house. As we tend to have a date only every 6-12 months (SAD! but true), I usually have to 'retrain' a new person each time. I have found that they are aware of the seriousness of allergies because of other kids at school. This tends to help.

My son's best friend's mother is a close personal friend, and she regularly watches my son when he is over for a playdate. She understands the scariness of his allergy, and we have gone through all of the information on the epi pen, what he can eat, etc. We have had good experiences and it helps my (almost) 8 year old focus on fun with his friend instead of fear of his allergy. This is very important to us, so I am grateful I have found a mother without an allergic child who is understanding of this element of his allergy.

Caroline
ps As my daughter gets older, she does want to babysit. She has taken babysitting courses, and has of course been involved in living with her little brother's allergy. I will be willing to have her watch her brother in a couple of years.

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks everyone for the input. You have all echoed my feelings. Ideally I would love to find a responsible university student who is also nut allergic. But I still think I would worry. I seem to be in a constant state of worry these days. :cry:

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 926
Location: Oakville, Ontario
We rarely go out without our kids, and we usually get my parents to babysit if we do go out, however, we are VERY fortunate to live 2 doors down from a very responsible teenage girl. We have her babysit on occasion. We have a good relationship with the whole family, and her mother always stays at home when we go out and her daughter babysits. She is well versed in handling the Epipen (probably better than most adults!), and we review the use of the Epipen and trainer from time-to-time. In addition, we have an arrangement with our neighbours across the street with a nut allergic mother (who has a peanut allergic son) to be contacts in case of emergency. There is no way we would feel comfortable going out without someone very responsible taking care of our son with multiple food allergies.

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15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Here's what we've done in the past 5 years since the allergies were diagnosed:

1. Initially: no babysitter. Didn't trust anyone plus the kids were so little it wasn't like we had a life anyway...

2. After a few years of that: found out about Canadian Sitter.ca ( http://www.canadiansitter.ca/ ) from a friend. It helps university/college-aged babysitters and parents connect. You can look at the site for free and do a test run to see if there is anyone in your area available. But you have to join (the minimum used to be 3 months) to get contact info. It worked for us - we did find people - and they even have a section in the profiles where the sitters can list whether they will babysit kids with special needs. I'm sure most aren't thinking of allergies when they say Yes, but for me it showed an openness that was important. I believe the Profile also lets them indicate if they have taken first-aid courses. That too helped me in my search. (People who are/were also lifeguards are great - lots of first aid training!)

3. We eventually started using one of the teachers from my youngest's daycare, who offered to care for the kids after I gave her a ride home one day. (See - it pays to be nice to people!) That was 2 years ago and she's still with us. She's a very mature 23 year old and adores the kids. And we adore her. We trust her so much that we actually left the kids with her for 24 hours and went away for a "short weekend" last fall.

4. For times when we're not out for too long, we''ve just started using a 12-year-old neighbourhood girl who - yes - is allergic to peanuts and nuts. Her parents live 5 houses away, her dad is a paramedic, she has taken her babysitting course, and of course is very allergy aware as she's been allergic all her life. The nice thing is that I can guarantee HER a peanut/nut-free environment. My kids are now 6 and 8 so it's a lot different from way back when they were 2 and newborn.

5. If my parents are in town (which is rare) we will leave the kids for an hour or so with my mother (NOT my dad - it just wouldn't work) but not for any kind of mealtime. It's just too stressful for her. If necessary, we put a safe snack on the counter with the instructions that they can only have that.

I don't personally think the word "overprotective" can really be used when it comes to babysitters and allergies, and as with so many other things, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing someone. Age is just one of them. Some 14 year olds are probably way more mature than some 40 year olds! But it's still a lot of responsibility and I think it's only natural to be very cautious.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
This is something that really bothers me also; I've needed a sitter for during daytime when I worked. The home was unfortunately not peanut free and the more I think about it I really don't want ds there. The kids know they can't eat pb sandwiches when he's there and tell him to go home. I know that I have scared my sitter into being very careful but it's still unerving.

As for in home care; my neighbour has a wonderful 17 year old. I had used a couple other teens but found they've become "lazy" when it comes to babysitting (spending hours on the phone or computer) not ok when the kids are up at all. If they were in bed I wouldn't have a problem with it.

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ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


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