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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Any Of Your Dcks Have A Peanut Allergy?
SunflowerMama 05:23 AM 12-13-2010
I just had an interview yesterday for a full time spot and the little girl has a peanut allergy. I used to work at a preschool that was peanut free but I'm nervous about it being in my own home. I would just hate for something to happen. My girls LOVE PB but I could probably switch them to almond butter but was just wondering if any of you have kids in care that have peanut allergies and how much it effects what you serve.
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SilverSabre25 05:54 AM 12-13-2010
At the end of the day, no, I wouldn't do it if my home weren't already peanut free. Peanut allergies are dangerous, wicked dangerous. One reaction can be fatal, and even if a person has never had an anaphylactic reaction before, one can happen at anytime. Peanut allergies can get worse without warning and can be triggered by touching something touched by someone who ate peanut butter and didn't wash their hands. Not everyone's allergy is that bad, but it would make me nervous, and I wouldn't feel confident enough that I could keep the child safe. MOST allergies, I'm fine with, but not a nut allergy. I actually advertise as allergy friendly (esp. dairy and gluten 'cause those are in my own family) because I know enough about food allergies that I feel confident in my abilities to keep most kids safe, but not with a nut allergy unless my home and daycare were nut-free to begin with.

Here are the things to consider:

-The nature of the allergy--is it mild or severe? Does she react by ingesting the PB, touching the PB, smelling the PB? Is it an anaphylactic reaction, or just a rash or tummy upset?
-The ages of the kids in my care--mostly toddlers who aren't good about not sharing? Preschoolers who will understand? School agers who might be used to peanut-free things already?
- Does she need an epi-pen or just benedryl?
-Are the parents requesting/requiring/expecting your home to be peanut free 100% of the time (even when she's not there) or just while she's there?
-Do you need to search out foods that are made in peanut-free facilities (this will require a lot of change on your part--MOST foods carry the peanut cross-contamination warning, and very few are truly safe--you'll have to change out most of your snack products, cereals, etc, and it will be more expensive because most of those are organic/natural type things).

Peanut allergies are not just about "give child A soy milk instead of cow's milk"--they're a lot further-reaching than that and require lifestyle changes. They can't be cheated on, they can't be messed with.

FYI, if she has a peanut allergy, she may also not be able to have other nuts (such as almonds)--your safest bet would be to switch to Sunflower seed butter (also known as Sunbutter) and it is VERY different in flavor and hard to get used to.
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marniewon 05:57 AM 12-13-2010
I do not, nor would I ever. My family likes PB also, and I would not take that away from them. PB/peanuts are in so many foods - some you wouldn't even think it would be in. I would not limit my family like that. I also wouldn't want that liability. Not only do you have to make sure that you don't have anything with peanuts in your house, you have to make sure no other families have PB for breakfast before coming, etc. Personally I would leave that to the centers who are peanut free.
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momofboys 06:00 AM 12-13-2010
My son has a peanut allergy yet I still enjoy eating it. My son is not the type who has a problem merely from the scent of the peanut product. Having a peanut allergy is something that can be dangerous but in most cases it does not mean those around them can't eat it. You just must be careful about washing surfaces & cleaning kids' hands/teeth who have eaten the peanut butter. Find out the extent of the allergy before you automatically become frightened away by the allergy & disclude this child from care.
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SunflowerMama 06:14 AM 12-13-2010
Originally Posted by janarae:
My son has a peanut allergy yet I still enjoy eating it. My son is not the type who has a problem merely from the scent of the peanut product. Having a peanut allergy is something that can be dangerous but in most cases it does not mean those around them can't eat it. You just must be careful about washing surfaces & cleaning kids' hands/teeth who have eaten the peanut butter. Find out the extent of the allergy before you automatically become frightened away by the allergy & disclude this child from care.
Her parents said it's only when it's ingested and it's not other nuts. Just peanuts. She's had 2 reactions at her old school and her eyes began to swell. She does have an epi pen that I would have to keep here. She didn't ask upfront that I clean my house of peanut products but definitely left that impression. I haven't acepted her yet but personally have no experience with any nut allergy so it definitely is concerning to me.
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melskids 06:22 AM 12-13-2010
i would have her sign something , maybe add it in the contract, that she is aware that there are peanut foods in your home that the child may come in contact with. just a thought....
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boysx5 06:25 AM 12-13-2010
I have a dcb with it and I just don't serve anything with peanuts or made in a peanut place. I read every label that was hard at first but he has been here since the summer and now it is easy. I have never served peanut butter and Jelly and my own kids don't eat so that was not hard for me. good luck
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momofboys 06:27 AM 12-13-2010
Originally Posted by SunflowerMama:
Her parents said it's only when it's ingested and it's not other nuts. Just peanuts. She's had 2 reactions at her old school and her eyes began to swell. She does have an epi pen that I would have to keep here. She didn't ask upfront that I clean my house of peanut products but definitely left that impression. I haven't acepted her yet but personally have no experience with any nut allergy so it definitely is concerning to me.
Do you know the circumstances surrounding her old school? Is she a school-ager or are they saying "school" in reference to daycare? That does sound tricky. I guess we are lucky in that my son (he's 9) has never had to use an Epipen even though we have one on-hand. I am the only one in the house who eats PB though. None of my kids are interested in trying it & I care for aother child who has a peanut allergy although I have never said I am a "peanut-free" home. You do have to be careful but possibly what you could do is let the parents know (if you accept the child) that THEY are responsible for providing the snacks for their child that way you will not be responsible for seeking out peanut-free products.
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SunflowerMama 06:47 AM 12-13-2010
Originally Posted by janarae:
Do you know the circumstances surrounding her old school? Is she a school-ager or are they saying "school" in reference to daycare? That does sound tricky. I guess we are lucky in that my son (he's 9) has never had to use an Epipen even though we have one on-hand. I am the only one in the house who eats PB though. None of my kids are interested in trying it & I care for aother child who has a peanut allergy although I have never said I am a "peanut-free" home. You do have to be careful but possibly what you could do is let the parents know (if you accept the child) that THEY are responsible for providing the snacks for their child that way you will not be responsible for seeking out peanut-free products.
She's 4. It was a preschool that she's been with since infancy. The preschool is Peanut-Free. They are just looking to move her b/c dad got a new job and the preschool is now way out of the way. I like the idea of having them provide the snacks.
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Luna 06:58 AM 12-13-2010
I have a dcb with a severe peanut and tree nut allergy. He has an epipen and benedryl that I must have with me at all times. His family says they have never had to use it.

I have peanut butter in my house, but it only comes out when there are no kids here...we just don't have it when any of them are around. His younger sister has never been exposed because the parents were told there's a good chance she would be allergic as well. It's easiest just to avoid it all together except when there are no kids here.

The epipen expires after one year and must be replaced, I have an allergy notice on my fridge, I have a procedure posted on my bulletin board for what to do if he has an allergic reaction, along with all of the necessary phone numbers, and I hand out notices to all of the other parents notifying them that there is a child with a life-threatening allergy in my house.

I have to check all packaging every time (some products will suddenly have peanuts or peanut oil when they never had before) so it's much easier to avoid processed and packaged food...not a bad idea anyway!

He and his sister were my first dck's and I've had them for about a year and a half, so we're pretty used to the whole thing. We've never had a scare. The biggest issue I've had is forgetting to put the epipen back in the bag when he goes home, and I've had to call the parents to come back & get it.

Off topic, this guy is not only allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, but he is also the fussiest eater ever. No vegetables whatsoever...if he sees anything green or orange or red in there he's not eating it. Few fruits. And no red sauce. Or white sauce. Basically he wants his food sweet and deep fried. Pretty slim pickings at my house!
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DanceMom 07:11 AM 12-13-2010
I have a girl with a Peanut Allergy - I was nervous at first because I am not a peanut free home - my daughter lives off of peanut butter..but it is actually WAY easier than I thought...Nothing I really ever serve anyways has peanuts in it and if it does I give her something else.

Not a big deal at all - I have had this girl with me for almost 2 yrs and not accidents yet !
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MyAngels 07:36 AM 12-13-2010
I had a little boy once with a peanut allergy. It wasn't too difficult to deal with, but his mother was super paranoid about it. We never had an incident, but it was a relief when they moved and I didn't have to worry about it any more. I'm not sure if I'd do it again.
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tenderhearts 08:14 AM 12-13-2010
I have never had any child in my 12 years of doing childcare be allergic to any foods, thank goodness. My 10 mo old dcb I have right now they said they will be waiting a little longer to try peanut butter because apparently the grandmother is allergic to all nuts and one of his aunts is allergic to peanut butter. So hopefully he wont have any allergy to it.
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Childminder 08:50 AM 12-13-2010
I have a pb allergy boy here and the pb is only served when he's not here. He has other allergies also including tree nuts and soybeans. I have not rid my home of the other items either and will not use a EPI pen unless the parents send me to be trained in the use. We were told that the repercussions of using it incorrectly are as harmful as not using it. For liability sakes we are to call 911 and they are close enough to respond in time (in my area). My granddaughter has a classmate that has to sit in a different room for lunch even though the school is p-nut free. Just the chance of someone with p-nuts in a food is a risk.
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momofsix 10:46 AM 12-13-2010
Originally Posted by Childminder:
I have a pb allergy boy here and the pb is only served when he's not here. He has other allergies also including tree nuts and soybeans. I have not rid my home of the other items either and will not use a EPI pen unless the parents send me to be trained in the use. We were told that the repercussions of using it incorrectly are as harmful as not using it. For liability sakes we are to call 911 and they are close enough to respond in time (in my area). My granddaughter has a classmate that has to sit in a different room for lunch even though the school is p-nut free. Just the chance of someone with p-nuts in a food is a risk.
Aren't you taught how to use the epi-pen in your cpr/first aid class? I was!
I have a 2 with peanut/tree nut allergies here. Not hard at all. I do have to read lables, but we just don't do store bought cookiesever, no pbj...there are plenty of foods w/out nuts. Neither of my kids are so serious that it can't be in the house/room with them.
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ninosqueridos 11:47 AM 12-13-2010
As a parent to a child with multiple food allergies, it is a policy of mine that parents do not pack ANY peanut or tree nut products for their child. My dcps have no problem packing other things for their kids. And I control snacks, so no problem there. The dcks just eat their peanut stuff at home.

I would not be leaving my child in a daycare that has any peanut products served. Just knowing my child could die if an accidental ingestion were to happen...no thank you. Good luck!
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