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 Post subject: childcare and allergies
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 12:49 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:35 am
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
It's great to see this forum for sharing information - this is my first posting. We are in the process of attempting to arrange childcare for our one year old who has a severe cow's milk allergy. It's been a challenging process as potential caregivers have so far been either intimidated by the allergy or seem to have an overconfidence in how easy they think it'll be to manage. We aren't comfortable with either of these responses.

Have others been through this? Any suggestions? Thanks!

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7 year old - no known allergies
1 year old - cow's milk allergy, asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
I think if you have a really detailed and concrete plan, it might help when you are interviewing people. Tell them exactly what they need to look out for, in checklist form. I do a lot of childcare, and see this with other subjects. One mother has told me that her child can snack at will on anything in the house, another has said hers can only snack she has pre-prepared into tupperware containers for this purpose, another has said her child may not snack at all but must have specific meals at specific times. Parents also set rules about television, music, shoes in the house and hosts of other things. Good caregivers should expect the parents to set the rules on this. If you are able to go into an interview and carefully explain exactly how they are to prepare his food, they should be okay because then it is not about their ability to 'manage his allergy' but about their ability to 'follow the explicit rules which have been set out for them by their employers.'

You also will want to be very clear with them on acceptable food they may bring. I like to bring my own food when I babysit, because I have allergies myself and cannot assure myself that any food they have in their house will be okay for me. I always ask first. Some people keep kosher, some people do not permit outside food for other reasons, and of course with an allergic child there would be cross-contamination issues. If they are there for long enough that they will be eating too, make sure you speak to them about what they themselves can/will eat, and provide options for them so they are not bringing in their own food and potentially bringing unsafe items near your child.

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
I would prefer a provider intimidated by allergies vs over confident any day. Or problems happened when the daycare provider was over confident and closed minded.
If I had to look again I would:
Ask open ended questions regarding how they planned to keep my child safe.
Ask what was fed to the children, where, who supervised who washed hands before and after. I had issues when the provider took the infants to the rest area and left teh 3 year oldsat the table alone. The other 3 year old helped himsef to our daughters' food rendering it uneatable to her (cross contaminated).
Ask about the use of the rooms outside of work hours. In a home do the grown children eat buttered popcorn in the playroom while watching movies? Could they use an old bedspread to cover the sofa and wash it?
I sent all of our daughters meals, beverages, suntan lotions and diaper wipes. I allowed te provider to offer her fresh fruit but only after ensuring she knew to use a clean knife and cutting board.
Make yourself available for discussion by cellphone or allow a few minutes of time at pick up or drop off. Be approachable and discuss what you went though when you first learned about your childs' allergies.
I have had some great daycare providers, it can work!

_________________
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: great ideas
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:15 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:35 am
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
Thank you for the information and suggestions - you've given me lots to think about.
The formal child care centres in my community don't take part timers so we're pretty much looking at a private caregiver situation where there is only one caregiver present. I am particularly uncomfortable with the multiple child setting where another child might share their foods when the caregiver is otherwise occupied. I have offered to send all of his foods, and am willing to pay a higher rate for the extra effort it would take to look after my child. However, the market for childcare is tight right now in this small urban centre and I'm finding that many care providers just aren't interested in taking on the extra responsibility and challenge involved in taking a child with food allergies.
I'm also making inquiries to see if we can find a "rent a grandma" who might enjoy the company of a little person for a couple of days a week, but doesn't have a number of other children in the setting.
Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again.

_________________
7 year old - no known allergies
1 year old - cow's milk allergy, asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
What about looking for a stay at home mom who has food allergies herself or a child or children with food allergies. I know awareness even within the food allergic population can vary too -- but why not give it a try and advertise for what you're looking for? One free internet site that does local city by city advertising is www.kijiji.com . Or what about posting a sign in your local library's children's dept.? Maybe at your local YMCA (if you have one).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Good idea Ethansmom. Wally, where are you located? There may be a SAHM on these boards in your area. Or maybe you could advertise that you're looking for a caregiver for your allergic child at your allergists office.

_________________
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: Sat May 05, 2007 10:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
If there is a support group in your area, I would try asking there as well.

You could also consider having someone come into your home and perhaps have one other child come to your home as company for your child. That would help offset costs but ensure that your child is in a safe environment, with you setting the rules about food.

I have also known of caregivers with their own children going to someone else's home to take care of kids there.

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: great responses
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 2:14 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:35 am
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
Great responses, thanks!

The Kijiji site is a fun resource to look at (I could easily spend too much time nosing around there)-- unfortunately my city is not listed. We do have another site with free local classifieds though, so I think I'll give it a try.
Our allergist is in another city, so a posting there probably isn't an option.

All this is new to me ... could you tell me how to locate support groups?

Learning lots!

_________________
7 year old - no known allergies
1 year old - cow's milk allergy, asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Chances are...if your allergist is in another city...anyone from your city would drive to that same allergist. Posting there might still work.

_________________
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: Re: great responses
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
wally wrote:
All this is new to me ... could you tell me how to locate support groups?


See our Support Groups forum to start: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=41 .

You can even post there asking if there is a support group in your area.

Look at one of the first posts in that forum - the one about the listing of Anaphylaxis Canada support groups. That is a good place to start.

You can also post on this forum (or maybe on the "Other allergy topics" forum) asking if there is anyone in your area who could help with childcare. But you have to tell us what city you live in. :)

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: support in sask?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 1:38 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:35 am
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
We're in central Saskatchewan. If there is a support group in the area, we certainly don't mind a drive to attend. It's interesting to note that several of the regular contributors to the forum are also from Sask.; anyone know of a Sask group...?

_________________
7 year old - no known allergies
1 year old - cow's milk allergy, asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Sorry, I don't know of any support groups anywhere is Sask.

_________________
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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