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Should I quit my job to stay home with my PA son

Hi, my 18 month old son just had a severe allergic reaction. At the babysitters he was given a peanut butter sandwich and he'd never had PB before. I was called to come get him from work as he had some hives. 20 min later I arrived and he was wheezing and covered in hives and trying to fall asleep. I rushed him to emergency room, and they gave him an EpiPen, prednisone and a proton pump inhibitor for inflammation. I have been with this daycare lady for 8 years with my other 2 boys. She promises she'll no longer serve peanut butter on the days he's there but her home is not peanut free. I have been packing all his lunches for the last 2 weeks since the allergic reaction but I sit at work all day worried he will touch something in her home with PB on it and put his fingers in mouth. Should I be this worried? I am thinking of quitting my job to be home with him as peanut free daycare basically costs what I make in a day (I have 3 kids at the babysitters in the summer). Did any of you ever leave work to stay home with your PA child or change daycares? This lady is a family friend and I don't want to hurt her but I am fearful he will get into something at her house since it is not peanut free.

By jiffycansuckit on Sun, 08-18-13, 18:03

To address your question, "Should I be worried?" My answer is yes. At 18 months old, your child is still picking up everything off the floor and putting it into his mouth. You said her home is not peanut-free. Simply not serving peanut butter on the days he's there isn't going to keep him safe. Because of cross-contamination and trace amounts, so many foods you wouldn't think of are unsafe. Is she going to research this allergy to the fullest extent like you will? No. Can you successfully function at work each day hoping she did a good job wiping down her entire house and cleaning every crumb off the floor the night before? Will she even think of that?

He's too young right now to teach him how to cope with his allergy. At this young age, you have to be uber-careful. When he's old enough to speak and old enough to tell others alllllllll of the foods he can't have, then he will be "safer" at her house. Personally, I feel that a child with a severe peanut allergy should not be in a home, daycare or otherwise, that is not peanut-free.

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By mom1995 on Mon, 08-19-13, 06:39

"a child with a severe peanut allergy should not be in a home, daycare or otherwise, that is not peanut-free." Really so what planet would you have them sent to? This world is not peanut free. Based on you input then you must have quit teaching to stay at home with your child? A peanut allergy is not a prison sentence.

By informedmomma on Mon, 08-19-13, 16:41

I thought this forum was for information and support? We all parent our peanut allergic kids differently. How about we try to be respectful of the way others deal with their kid's allergies?

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By jiffycansuckit on Mon, 08-19-13, 10:59

Yes, that is my opinion. An 18 month-old child should not live in a home or attend a daycare in a home that is not peanut-free.

I was blessed to have my mother start caring for my son in my home when I pulled him from the "peanut-free" daycare he was attending at 14 months old.

You're very angry, mom1995.

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By Mrsdocrse on Sun, 08-18-13, 17:01

Here are my thoughts. My son had his first reaction at home with me. He was bout 18 months I guess. I gave him a taste of my english muffin with PB. At the time I was working and he stayed with my god mother during the day with other children and she also did not have a peanut free home. I was worried. But she did not let others eat PB when he was there. She made all the kids wash hands after they ate. ( which they should be doing anyway). We never had a problem. It is scary when they are little. I used to send food with him. It was just easier. He stayed with her until he was old enough for preschool. He then went to a peanut free school.... He still goes to my god mothers on school vacation weeks and sleeps over sometimes ( he is 12 now) and we have never had a reaction at her house. ( he did BTW have a reaction at a peanut free school! ) That isn't always the answer. Unfortunately we don't live in a peanut free world. Honestly if I had it to do over again I would still send him to my god mothers but I wouldn't be so worried about getting him to a peanut free school but rather getting in the habit of managing himself. My son has had only one anaphylactic reaction, and a lot of small mild ones where he came into contact but didn't ingest. You can manage it and keep him safe. In the beginning it feels like your life will never be normal... But it will.... You can travel and go out to eat just like other people. I didn't have a choice to stay home.... It wasn't an option for me. If I could have stayed home I would have.. but not because of the allergy.... good luck

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By mom1995 on Sun, 08-18-13, 16:56

I can more then understand the protect and defend response. You have had many great oppinions presented. I will add mine to the list as food for thought for you.
My daughter is about to be 18 and she is in the relm of the worse possible reaction for even second hand contact. My husband and I both believe that sheltering her would not teach her how to live in the world. She attended a preschool and has attended public schools, yes there have been times that someone did not do the right thing but since middle school she has had both the confidence and knowledge on how and what to do to be safe. She has had to educate adults along the way. She is a very impowered young lady with a greater understanding of how human nature is not always as kind as one would expect. She also made the choice to go to law school and become a Civil Rights lawyer to represent kids like her. So she is the example of how letting her experince the world has helped her take charge of her allergy and not let it rule her life. Don't get me wrong she had her doubts and just befoer middle school she was affraid and wanted to be home schooled. That was tough to help her understand that she could not let her allergy rule her life. She made it and even thanked us after the year. Which is hard to come by at that age. Good luck in what ever path you choose and know you can always change paths at any time.

By Smmerriam on Sun, 08-18-13, 16:15

I was in the same situation almost 2 years ago. We couldn't afford it either but we saw no other choice. I stay home and I'm planning to home school as well. It's just not worth it to me to put a teacher in charge of keeping my son alive on top of everything else they have to do.

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By JoelJacobson on Fri, 08-16-13, 05:30

Our severly peanut-allergic son is always with either my wife or me. When I am at work he is with my wife, and when she works on the weekend he is with me. We should do this at least until he is old enough to take care of himself.

What is more important, your son or your freinds feelings? Does she know how to inject epinephrine? Does she even have one with her?

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By PeanutAllergy.com on Wed, 08-14-13, 17:08

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com will be answering one of the questions posted on our community page!
Our response:

Finding out that your child has a food allergy can be extremely overwhelming. Before making a decision about how to proceed, it is important that you weigh all of your options carefully.

Consider your financial situation. If staying home is simply not an option, do not stress. There are several solutions to the problem. Your child cannot always be in your care; eventually your son will make his way to school, where he will be under the supervision of several people. Thus, it is essential that you be an advocate for your child. Research about food allergies and educate both him and his caretakers to ease your concerns and make sure he is well protected.

Talk to your friend and voice your concerns. When it comes to food allergies, education is essential and it may be the case that she simply does not understand the danger and severity of food allergies. Have a conversation with her, express your fears and anxieties, and make sure she is trained in how to properly administer an Epi-pen and Benadryl, how to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction, how to properly read labels and about cross contamination.

After speaking with your friend, if you still do not feel comfortable leaving your child in her care, then it might be in your best interest to find a peanut-free daycare center or another babysitter who will promise either to keep peanuts out of the home or take the steps necessary to properly manage your child's allergies.

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By Sherrylk on Tue, 08-13-13, 16:47

I know exactly what you are going through. My PA son had is first reaction at 8 months when he unintentionally got ahold of his older brothers peanut butter crackers. Whether to stay home with you son or not is a tough decision and many have given some valueable advise to consider. Whatever your decision I encourage you to teach your son how to live in a 'nutty world' and not be afraid of it. One thing my husband and I chose to do was make sure our son was educated on how to always ask if foods were safe, know which foods he should never eat (absolutley no bakery products, for example). If in doubt chicken out is our moto.

My son is now getting ready to enter 1st grade, and yes I am nervous. What parents isn't when a child has a severe medical condition? While keeping peanuts away from our son is our #1 priority and close #2 is making sure everyone who takes care of him (day care, school, relatives,ec.) knows what to do when an exposure does occur. And I have come to accept that it will occur. That actually helps keep me a little calmer when he is away from me. I know the people taking care of him won't panic, have been well trained on how to administer his EpiPen and get him to the ER. Education is the key to making your life less stressful. Educate yourself, educate your son (even at his young age) and educate those who may take care of him.

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