Baby sitters????

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 10:51am
chanda4's picture
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A few posts under Lara's Law made me wonder....
Do you hire baby sitters for your food allergic kids??? I ask because I never have, and I am sure I am not alone. I've wished I could find one, but really, who in the heck would I feel comfortable hiring?? They's have to be a registered nurse in my book, and KNOW food allergies inside and out. Neighbors often offer their own child's(teen, pre-teen) baby sitting abilities, but I could NEVER, NEVER just hire some 12 yr old down the steet, OMG!!!!!!
Now I have used my own mom on occassion, VERY occassion(like 1-2xs a year we get out)....but I don't even trust her to know what to do. I've recently asked my mom(grandma, and grandpa) and also my hubby to take a CRP/First aide course, I have to get licensed for daycare(7yrs ago) so I will AGAIN push the idea.
I've shown my mom(grandma) how to do the Epipen, but I now have one expired, so tomorrow she will get a crash course of shooting one into an orange! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 11:25am
Jen224's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2006 - 09:00

We interviewed several college student babysitters first, and then found one we trusted/liked/had a good resume--she's also CPR certified. Then, we gave her an Epi Pen Trainer and a Epi video. We also showed her the Epi Pen website which demonstrates the proper technique. She does not eat any PB before coming to our house or brings any outside food either. I told her to give me a list and I'll always buy something she likes for lunch/dinner. All the food in our house is safe, but I still lay out/list the ONLY things DS is allowed to eat while I'm away.
You need to get out of the house! You might start with getting a sitter for times when your kids are asleep or at non-eating times until you feel more comfortable. I wish you tons of luck finding one. I know it's hard enough leaving your kids just because they are your kids--let alone with MFA.

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 12:39pm
kelly01's picture
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Yes, we hire babysitters. My boys are not allowed to snack after dinner, so there is no eating after we leave (except for by the sitter if they want to munch on something after the kids go to bed.) I do show them how to use the Epi (but also remind them that as long as no one eats after we leave...there should be no problem), and remind them to call 911 for ANY emergency. My husband and I are usually out locally anway. Our longest lasting babysitter lived 3 doors away and her parents were usually home as well.
Kelly

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 2:34pm
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by chanda4:
[b]A few posts under Lara's Law made me wonder....
Do you hire baby sitters for your food allergic kids??? I ask because I never have, and I am sure I am not alone. I've wished I could find one, but really, who in the heck would I feel comfortable hiring?? They's have to be a registered nurse in my book, and KNOW food allergies inside and out. [/b]
The only people who watch our kids are their grandparents and my brother and SIL. Grandfather has been trained (by me) on Epi (I also had him use a real one on an orange, chandra! best training!), he used to be a fireman, and his wife is a kindergarten teacher - I do trust them to be able to use the Epi if needed. My SIL has an Epi herself for bee allergy, and gives herself daily shots, so I am confident they would use it correctly. I also will only have the kids babysat in our home, so at least I know there is (virtually) no chance of my son reacting to anything in his own home.

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 3:40pm
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krc
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Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

The ONLY person I trust to watch my child beside my DH and myself is MY parents. DD is 10 and that is the only sitter we have ever had.
They are epi trained, allergy aware and every bit as cautious as I am.
[This message has been edited by krc (edited January 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 12:28am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

The only people DD is ever left with (even in our home) besides us are my mom and my best friend, who has been epipen trained and comes over sometimes so that DH and I can go out for dinner. We feed the TWO OF THEM. Even then, they play board games and stuff but we aren't gone for more than a few hours.

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 1:49am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

I am comfortable leaving my kids with my mom and my sister. The only real babysitters we've hired are the girls who live across the street from us. Now one's in college and the other has just graduated, so I don't think we'll get to hire them anymore. But we started occasionally having them babysit before we were dealing with PA, and they continued after that. Not ever often, but for an occasional important outing for us. They are very responsible, smart people, and they felt up to the allergy issue. I've considered a young teenager that another mom recommended to me, but it just scares me too much to have a young girl I don't know personally take on the responsibility of keeping my PA DD safe.

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 3:21am
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Other than the grandmas? Just a retired nurse and nanny who watched ds#2 a few times before we knew he was allergic as well. We specified food he was allowed and left epi's. Then she started having health problems and we were left on our own again.
Then last year we moved 300 miles to be close to grandma because we need the help..how else can I attend all school parties and field trips with 3 kids? Never mind wanting to volunteer, meetings with administration and dr's for other medical reasons, and every dr's appt, of which we have a TON.
I don't even think we realized how much of a necessity the move was until it happened and ds#1 entered kindergarten. I am certain I would have been forced into homeschooling or making frightening concessions to his safety had we not moved.
luvmyboys

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 3:33am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

luvmyboys...you are lucky to have grandma so close and trusted. I have to do all school funtions and doc appt's with kids in tow! When we eat lunch with Jake on Monday's, we all eat lunch with Jake on Monday's! For now, it's fine though, I don't mind, my kids are with *me* so I know they are safe. Eventually, I think I will look into a sitter more, but not right now. HUGS [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 3:43am
lj's picture
lj
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Joined: 01/26/2006 - 09:00

I know I am in the minority but we use sitters almost on a weekly basis. I always can have my parents or sister to watch the kids. But, we do have several teens located in the houses next door and across the street who we use frequently. This is our deal. We only go out from 6-9 pm. We feed the kids before we leave and make sure the sitters have eaten before they arrive. They are all aware of the peanut allergy we are dealing with and how to handle the emergency. All snacks are provided by us and are "safe". The parents of the sitters are always home. We have 2 doctors that live next door to us, one across the street and the father of the sitter we use most often is an EMT and town fireman. Also, we never stray too far. My husband and I strongly believe that we need a life away from the kids in order for us to maintain a healthy relationship. One meal alone every one or two weeks seems to work for us. I don't have to jump up every second, pour milk, wipe up spills, push in chairs, ... you know the drill. If you find someone you trust, go for it. You owe it to yourselves.
LJ

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 4:03am
kelly01's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

LJ-
I don't think you are in the minority, just in the minority of those who post regularly on this board.
I often feel the same way (in the minority). I find that how we handle ds' PA is quite different from many that post. However, of the folks I know with PA in my personal life, many of them handle things the same as I do.
It is always good to see all perspectives.
Take care,
Kelly

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 5:07am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We try to go out weekly and use sitters. We feed the kids, have safe snacks, and epi-pen train the sitter. we have no unsafe food in the house, so it really isn't a big deal. If we leave ds at someone else's house, we provide food and his epi-pen/med kit. I know the parents whoses houses he goes to, and they take his allergies seriously. Also my son knows he cannot eat anything that we haven't approved of, so I am really lucky.
As my son has gotten older and wants to go to friends houses I have had to learn to loosen his leash so to speak, and make sure the people he will be with take his allergies seriously. It's not easy, my stomach is often in knots, but it is part of both his and my training in growing up with food allergies.
------------------
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 5:26am
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This is a continuation of my post on the thread Lara`s Law which turned into a discussion on babysitters. To those who haven`t read it, dd is anaphylactic to milk, so we did not keep it in the house. A babysitter snuck milk in, knowing it could kill dd, gave it to dd, and then threw the leftover milk in the trash outside. When I got home from work, dd would be wheezing. I worked Mondays and Thursdays only. Dd wheezed Mondays and Thursdays only, and only after I got home from work, never before work. This happened four times before I found out about it. This was in addition to the babysitter who snuck dd out on dates with a man I knew nothing about and with no car seat at age 18 months, the babysitter who left dd alone in the bathtub at age 2, the babysitter who left dd home alone at age 3 for an hour and a half every day. So just because you only have safe food in your house, you really cannot assume that your child will be safe. There is always the chance that the babysitter will sneak it in.
Onedayatatime, to answer your question in the other thread, I did look at some home day cares after all those experiences with babysitters. I made a point of showing up half and hour early for my visit and I did not like what I saw. This was true of all of them. I ended up putting dd in preschool at age 3. That was the best solution. Parents were coming and going all the time, and the school was accountable. Since I am a single mom, I had to have child care in order to work. Otherwise, I would have just stayed home with her. Despite her being allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts at the time, she was actually safer in a preschool than at home with a babysitter due to all the things that the babysitters did that they were not supposed to do.
For those who did not read the other thread, I posted that 90% of people who get those cameras in their home to check on the babysitters end up firing their babysitters. That says it all. It is amazing how well they lie, too. For example the one who took dd out on dates with a man I found out about from a neighbor. When I asked the babysitter, she looked me straight in the eye and said it did not happen. The one who left dd alone in the bathtub also looked me straight in the eye and said it did not happen. The babysitters are very very good at lying.
Here is another story about why I won`t use the teenage kid down the street to babysit. When I was 16 my parents went out of town for a week to take my sister up to college. I did not need a babysitter during the day, but they did not want me home alone for a week at age 16, so they hired a neighborhood teenage to come stay with me at night. The neighborhood teenager had her boyfriend over and they were making out heavily on the couch. I pretty much had to stay in my bedroom. I told my parents but once it happened, it could not be undone. Having been the babysittee, I can say it was not fun. You really do not know what is happening when you are not there.

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 6:52am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My 9 year old tells me everything, so I have a built in camera, I guess! So far we have had wonderful teen girls whom I usually pick up, so if they are sneaking in food I would see it.
They also bring activities for the kids, coloring and games -- they are girl scouts and take sitting very seriously! They all have had the Red Cross babysitting training course given by our local community center. One of the sitters is my niece, a really responsible kid/young woman.
I really feel comfortable with these girls and I think I have a really good idea of what goes on. I also call once during the evening to "check in" and talk with my daughter.
------------------
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 9:38am
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Joined: 06/29/2005 - 09:00

We have used babysitters frequently. Usually 4 days/week for about 5 hours at a time. For us it is a much safer option than daycare centers. I like the one-on one attention and the safety of my own home, plus I do very complete training on epi-pen, emergency procedures, safe food lists etc. I babysat from age 11-22 and I know I was trustworthy, safe and reliable. That said, I only have used college students or older. It works best for us.

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 11:51am
lj's picture
lj
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Joined: 01/26/2006 - 09:00

Unfortunately, in this day and age, I think many people who have a camera on them at "work" would be fired...if not for surfing on the web then for talking too much on the phone, doing personal business, etc. Now, I am not saying that I support any bad behavior on the babysitter's part, but I believe that you do have to put some faith in others at some point in order to have somewhat of a personal life along with your spouse or partner.
We have been fortunate enough to know all of the parents of the babysitter's quite well. The parents either stop by or call frequently during the 3 hours we go out. These parents always stay home while we are out, not because they have to but because they want to for their own kids sake.
My parents used babysitters growing up. I don't ever remember a babysitter bringing anyone over or even talking on the phone. I was a babysitter and I wouldn't have dreamed of doing that. I hope I'm raising my kids well enough so that if they ever babysit they know better to not do that.
Kelly01, thanks for your support. Sometimes I really do feel in the minority here. Glad to see there is someone else who thinks like me!
LJ

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 2:03pm
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Joined: 05/24/2006 - 09:00

My daughter is babysat by my sister in law, my parents, my brother and my best friend's mom (who also babysat me). Once my nephew is a little bit older I will be comfortable with him babysitting. My daughter also goes to a babysitter's when I am at work.

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 4:09pm
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

We have babysitters as well...hopefully good ones! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] My inlaws, and others that we hire. My inlaws are the only ones who feed my kids (with a written menu which is reviewed beforehand) since ds is milk, egg, and nut allergic.
For other babysitters, they are trained on the epipen, they review our background/emergency action plan, and I answer their questions.
My kids are also 4, so we feed them, put them to bed at 7:30, and then go out. What babysitter would want to wake kids up for ANY reason?! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Luckily, my kids don't get out of bed looking for snacks or anything like that...and babysitters have strict orders not to give them any food. And, we stay local.
We use an agency where all applicants are pre-screened (FWIW). It's worked out fine this way...a little nerves on my part, but fine.
We used to have a babysitter that was with us since the kids were born until age 3. She already loved the kids and knew us as a family quite well before the diagnosis. I trusted her to feed the kids as well.
Now, my own parents on the other hand, I don't let babysit. They're almost 80, have a slew of health problems, and just can't remember what they need to to keep ds safe. While they're interested, they ask the same questions about him over and over. So, they're out, and it's painful for them, and me, when they offer and I have to turn them down again and again. But I do. Meg

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 10:17pm
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Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

i have a very hard time leaving my children with a sitter. so when we do go out its usually after they are in bed so the sitter only has to sit on the couch and watch tv. its a litte inconvent but it makes me feel safer that way. we also stress no out side food.
even thoe my children are asleep there is no food alowed in this house that we havent purchaced our selves. i dont bend at all on this rule.
erin

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 1:34pm
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<><><><><.,.
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 10:24pm
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Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

We don't go out often but have definitely left the kids with sitters. Our home is completely peanut free so there's nothing to worry about here! The sitters we've hired all know about the girls and their allergies. They don't eat peanuts or nuts if they are sitting for us and they aren't allowed to bring their own food into the house!
For years, our sitter was a college student who lives across the street who was a nursing student. Could it get much better? Now we've used a teen who is a friend of our family and she's wonderful.

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 2:48am
turtle's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2004 - 09:00

My son is in a peanut free daycare and his babysitter actually works there, as well as going to nursing school at night. We feel entirely confident with her and go out one night a month. She tells me that she even double checks our food packages out of habit! She is great.

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 4:56am
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I was reading some of Carefulmom's posts in Lara's Law thread and didn't want to hijak the thread so I had a question (non FA related). But I'm considering going back to work full time. One reason I stayed home and quit my job was because I was terrified of who was really watching my baby - now I've got two of them and am nervous about it. My SIL will most likely be moving so she won't be able to watch them for long. Daycare is such a HUGE investment and even then, there are no promises. Anyone have any suggestions on best ways to interview or find out if someone is trust worthy or whatnot?

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 5:50am
Carefulmom's picture
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All the ones I posted about in the Lara`s Law thread had excellent references. They had all been obtained through an agency which does a very thorough background check, etc. I think that in order to fail a background check they have to be convicted of a crime. Even the one who intentionally gave dd milk would pass a background check.
By the way, someone posted in this thread they were sure their babysitter was not sneaking in food, because they pick up their babysitter. In our case, the babysitter was not bringing in the food when she arrived in the morning. She was actually taking dd to the grocery store to purchase the milk. Dd even showed me where in the grocery store the milk was purchased. Oh, and one more thing, the babysitter who left dd home alone for an hour an a half every day at age 3 was sneaking in her nephew!! She left her nephew age 1 1/2 alone in the car in front of my house for about half an hour every day while I got ready for work. Because it is hard to get ready when you have a small child, I had the babysitter come half an hour before I had to leave for work. That way, babysitter could watch dd while I got ready. So every day the babysitter would leave her nephew alone in her car during this half hour. Then I would leave and babysitter would sneak in the nephew. Then in the early afternoon, the babysitter would leave dd home alone and drive the nephew home. Based on where the nephew lived is how I figured out it was an hour an a half every day. I found all this out from dd who was 3 years old at the time. Also, with that babysitter dd was always getting sick and I could not figure out why. Dd was never around other kids. Turned out it was because the nephew was always sick and dd was catching illnesses from him. It took a month for dd to tell me she was being left home alone. The babysitter convinced dd not to tell me. Finally dd was so scared at being home alone that she told me. Babysitters are great at threatening to harm the parents when they don`t want the child to tell the parent something.

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