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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 lexeast on Mon, 08-12-13, 18:32

I second the comment to take a moment to really breathe :o)

Discovering your child has a life-threatening allergy is very difficult to wrap your mind around, because it changes how you think and feel about everything you once thought was fairly stable.

My second child had an severe response which found me rushing to the ER when she was just over 1 year old. She had unintentional contact with a PBJ while at my mother's home. My mother handled everything well, but I still felt very uncertain in the days/weeks to follow--even when my daughter was with me or my husband. At the time my childcare consisted of time with my mother and a MDO program that was already peanut-free.

I have worked and I have taken time off, so I don't want to push either side of that debate. What I can tell you is that yes, you are reasonable in feeling the need to reassess your childcare options. Your child has new needs and restrictions now, so you may have to make new choices. Or you may be able to reconcile your concerns with honest discussions with those around you. Maybe your friend would change her stance if she fully understood all your concerns. Unfortunately no one is going to strive for perfection in this area quite like a parent.

After my daughter's allergy diagnosis, both our and my parents' homes immediately became 100% peanut and tree-nut free or as best as we could manage as we continued to learn more and more about foods and proper cleaning techniques to sanitize everything. Unloading our household of everything that had nuts in it or processed near it was daunting and took half a day of label reading. Grocery shopping was a nightmare for months, because of all we didn't know and how long it took to read every label in the store. At the time, I had to go to three different stores just to find all the items I needed that were safe. We even joined a church that was peanut-free. I did everything I could to eradicate nuts in our lives, and yet I constantly felt overwhelmed with all the choices and changes these stupid little nuts had wreaked in one fell swoop.

My daughter is now in third grade and I still worry. I still have meetings with her school(which is NOT nut-free). Her first day of kindergarten I sat in the school all day for fear of leaving the premises, even though the school had done everything in their power to help me plan for her first day. I still fret and go on every field trip (because healthy moms take a bag of almonds on field trips). I bake every cupcake she eats and provide safe snacks "just in case". I'm the go-to person the church calls with food allergy questions.

You will always be your child's greatest protector, but you are not an island. You, too, need help and support. And unfortunately keeping my daughter at home forever wouldn't protect her from the times I have messed up. So I suggest you ask your doctor for some names of parents who you could contact for helpful tips in your area. (My pediatrician gave me a list.) You are not alone. There is no perfect way to be an allergy mom (or dad). We all take it one day at a time.

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By jap on Mon, 08-12-13, 01:26

this all depends on how much you like your job and financial situation.
One does not always realize the cost of working, extra vehicles, day care , taxis, eating out, quality of life, stress on marriage. I would say stay home even if your child did not have a peanut allergy !!!!!!!
Many summer programs are not safe as has been shown with the sad case this summer with the 13 year old at camp.
I have stayed home for years my daughter had her one and only peanut exposure at age 1, she is now 15 and never had another one.
My son is doing his second degree at college.I cook all the meals do all the housework , banking , yard work , doctors and school appointments.
Don't worry it is the best investment you will make. Oh did i mention that i am a Guy

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By Saralinda on Mon, 08-12-13, 00:16

I know it is scary. First of all, breathe. You will be able to find an affordable peanut free day care. I bet you might even find that another mom who has a kid with allergies who could watch them in her home. There are solutions.

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By informedmomma on Sun, 08-11-13, 19:03

It sounds like he had a pretty serious reaction. :( I already stay home with my boys, so I didn't need to make that decision. We are also homeschooling our boys, and were thinking about it before we found out about the peanut allergy, but that definitely sealed the deal. I'm not very trusting of others because, unless they have been there and it's their child or close loved one, they just don't get it. What scares me, is that the scary stories you hear usually happen at camp or school, in other words, when the parents aren't around. It does help that you have known this lady for a long time, and I don't think a special "peanut free" daycare will necessarily be better than a caring person to take care of him. But I do think it would be necessary to not have peanuts out at all when he's there, and the place would need to be cleaned properly before he's there again if peanut products are out. But then again, there's always a chance that a peanut could be on the floor, and at his age, he could pick it up and eat it. Being an allergy mom just sucks. Staying home with your kids is a great thing, allergy or not, and if you can make it work, I say go for it. You can always try something else if it doesn't work out.

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By AD75 on Sun, 08-11-13, 02:39

I'm in the same situation as you, one of my 18 month old twins just had a severe reaction to peanuts for the first time, blood test showed class 4 allergy to peanuts. Babysitter does not have a peanut free home but said she will try to clean behind others when they eat peanut products. We decided we just can't trust that he will be safe, especially at such a young age, so I'm moving to part time at the end of the month (fortunately can do so with my job) and grandma's will be my boys. Tough decision and financially difficult, but safety is most important to us, especially at this young age. Good luck with your decision.

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By julieanna on Mon, 08-19-13, 02:22

It was worth it to be Mom first and teach my daughter to be responsible, grow and mature. Fortunately when she started kindergarten it was Peanut Free (never a 100% guarentee- because some households may send some to school by mistake). If a child can't articulate then when they are having trouble who is going to notice first? Who is teaching them for their future management and awareness? Who does your child matter to most? Our girl is going off to college now and has other medical stuff that became came up in her life. She is responsible and is her best advocate and I think it is because of us being proactive, thinking, being prepared & NEVER winging it!

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