babysitters

Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2003 - 6:31am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I just wanted to know how many of you get babysitters, other than family, and trust them to know what to do if your child has a reaction? My kids have never had a babysitter other than family and I am kind of hesitant to try a teenager. We do live right down the road from the hospital, but I don't know if I am comfortable with anyone else.

Jan

Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2003 - 6:46am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I actually have trusted some sitters more than some family memebers with dd and the allergy issue. I really do not have any family around to sit anyway. So, I use adult friends, some of whom I trust more than others, and we swap. Some I trust implicitly to do exactly as I say with food and even to know on their own what is basically okay. These are 2 playgroup moms who have known dd since before the allergies so have grown into it with us.
A friend or two of mine and dh have occasionally wathced dd in similar situations where we swap, and I have usually(if not always) fed dd and sent a safe snack and made it very clear that is all the food she gets. I put in in the light of us teaching our dd to bring her own snacks as opposed to lacking trust in their judgement.
I have found it far *easier* to leave her with the occasional paid teen sitter or a nanny borrowed from a neighbor. Since they are being paid to do it and not doing us a favor, they are less weird about taking very specific direction and really listen and care about the allergy. I find the other mom friends feel like they know how to care for children and even though they do what I ask, are a bit put off by the specific directions.
Just my experience. The last sitter I used(and will try to groom into a more lasting relationship) was only 14, but I spoke with her mom and she was very comfortable with me teaching the epipen. The dd was shy, but listened and definately did what I said with food. Was really nice and my 3yo dd liked ahving a young sitter. Though bedtime was another thing...LOL! Her mom is home when she sits(ther is a younger sibling at her home) and would assist in a crisis and we stick close by at present with a cell phone. Just nice to go out alone for abite. I also leave a highlighted list of my playgroup mom friends as a person to call if there is some quesion or emergency(of any kind). We all live in a close neighborhood, so it is great for that.
If I live in a remote setting, I would have a harder time with having sitters, especially younger ones. becca
[This message has been edited by becca (edited September 08, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2003 - 6:49am
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Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

I think that I would be leery of having a teenager babysit for my kids in any event, but because of DD's PA I would never have a teenager sit. No matter how mature, I just don't trust that they would have the presence of mind to know what to do in the event of an allergic emergency. We don't use sitters that often, but when we do we have adults. The ones we have used most recently, and whom I feel most comfortable with, are two teachers who taught my DD last year in pre-kindergarten, at a school that was peanut-free, BTW.

Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2003 - 7:50am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

I have had a early teenager (13) sit with my kids in my home. I feel just fine doing this because there in nothing in my home that ds cannot have and nothing to cause him to have a reaction.
Although we don't go out much without the kids, when we do, we feel incredibly comfortable with her. It also helps that she lives 3 doors down.
She's very responsible and great with all 3 of our boys.
Last time we used her she actually called us on our cell to tell us that all of the boys were fine and had a snack and drink before bed and were sleeping (at our request). She just wanted to let us know in case we were worrying!!! She's really great!!
She also babysits for her neighbors across the street on a regular basis. They have 4 daughters. Ages: 5 and 2 (they had triplet girls)
[This message has been edited by e-mom (edited September 08, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2003 - 11:05am
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i ditto what becca said. i rarely use babysitters (i'm so overcautious in so many ways) BUT if and when i do use one i prefer an enthusiastic, paid, unrelated teenager to a know-it-all, disbelieving, favor-doing relative. our relatives already believe they know better than i do about my own children. the few teens i have tried have been so willing to take direction and do things in whatever way i ask. besides all that, not one single relative of ours has ever offered to come to our home to watch our kids. they are more than happy to offer to watch them in their nut-filled homes with their uncovered inground swimming pools, etc.. (which i would never agree to).
teenagers, imo, especially if they are responsible and like children, are willing to do things on whatever terms you ask. and, like someone else said, my house is already peanut-free so the chance of something allergy-related happening is really unlikely as long as nothing else is brought in. i wish i could find the perfect teenager in my neighborhood to have over on a regular basis. the kids would have fun, i know my requests would be more likely to be honored and respected and i'd feel much better about being away from the house temporarily.
i think part of the reason i feel so strongly about teens vs. other babysitters is because i so thoroughly loved babysitting from the time i was 13 through college. (actually, i still occasionally babysit for brand new parens that need a night out...nothing like getting that new baby "fix" every now and then....). i was very responsible, came ready to give the kids a fun night and the parents a big night off. if there was time at the end of the evening - after baths were given and kids tucked into bed and read to - i would pick up the house and clean the kitchen and all the dishes. i loved impressing the families in my neighborhood that depended on me. they had sweet children too which is part of why i have always looked so forward to being a mom (which, by the way, has been much harder than the occasional babysitting job. haha).
i think God should send all of us the dream babysitter (teen or otherwise) since we've had to deal with all this food allergy stuff for so long. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] i'm sure we could all use the break and a little r & r.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 12:01am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Ah, the one thing lacking in any sitter I have had is the picking up!
Off the subject, sorry.
I also, as Joeybeth said, did tons of babysitting from the age of 10! I started as a mother's helper, and did it on my own as I got older. Took a babysitting course and learned first aid and choking procedures, etc... I was very responsible as well. I believe that those truly interrested in sitting are eager to please. I look for the teen who shows enthusiasm, rahter than the parents who promote the child. I want to be sure the person *wants* to babysit. I really think you can find good sitters. It is hard these days though with kids so busy with extracurricular stuff.
Another good point raised was the safe home thing. I always leave my dd's snack for the eve., and there is a box of tried and true safe snacks we point out, and we have a nut free home. Some unknown things(stuff dh and I eat and have not called on and some egg ingredients, though, so we only allow from "the box").
Honestly, the risks of injuries, general choking, other accidents are so much greater in our own homes than are the allergy risks. I just try to put it into that perspective. becca

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:58am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thank you for all of your feedback. I know what you mean about relatives thinking they know more about your kids than you do. I swear they think that pa is some kind of joke or that I am looking for my son to get some attention. What a laugh, if they only knew how much time I spend researching this topic and protecting him from it.
Anyway, I will consider a teenager as a babysitter. What safer place can there get than in his own home if he only eats the same foods he always eats. I, too, used to babysit all the time in my teenage years. Thanks.
Jan

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 5:08am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

becca:
yeah..the picking up would be a great perk to having a good babysitter but i think you and i and everyone else here would probably just settle on a really messy house when we got home as long as the kids were safe and sound and everyone had a good time. sometimes you just have to settle for a messy house. as pa parents (and parents in general) the condition of the house is usually the last concern. [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
also...like someone else mentioned....i have also discovered that the babysitters i've used who were primarily promoted by their mother (and didn't take the initiative themselves) have been the worst. finding a teen who genuinely seems to connect to children and is truly responsible would be the way to go. if they aren't nearly as great as momma described (examples: they stay on the phone the whole time, have on their coat and are waiting by the door when you get home, or the kids report they watched tv and ignored them the whole time) the it probably wasn't their idea to babysit in the first place.
joey

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 5:52am
CorinneM1's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

Well, I have a teenager, but she is my neice. She knows about Aidan's allergy, and we only keep PNfree items in the house. Here is what we do before we go out for the night. We prepare a meal for our son and/or leave her money and a number to order a pizza from a place that we know is safe for him. Most of the time we do the meal thing.
All snacks that he can have for the night are laid out as options on the countertop. She does not bring any of her own food in the house, and we have not had a problem.

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 3:32am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

NO. Our daughter HAS anaphylaxed in our "safe" home. Her history has been one of astonishingly rapid progression to grade 4 symptoms.
So, no. I wouldn't trust a teenager (no matter how responsible-- I [i]was[/i] one of those teenagers...) with keeping a level enough head if the unthinkable were to happen. The difference, perhaps, is that we [i]know[/i]-- I mean really [i]know[/i]-- that it can happen. Even in our house.

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 3:38am
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

We have 3 babysitters. They are all wonderful teens. I do show them how to use the epi pen and how to respond to hives or any symptoms. We usually do not venture too far from home and always have our cell phones.
I also remind them that they are not allowed to bring any food with them. I ask them what they would like to have around to snack on and provide it. I also ask them to wash their hands before coming and to avoid eating any nuts/peanuts that day.
One of the girl's mom is a nurse and she helps me remind her daughter about this and the other two are sisters and we're friends with their parents. They have handled everything wonderfully.
Corvalis Mom, how did your daughter have a reaction at your house? I always feel like DS is really safe here, that's kind of creepy. Can you tell us what happened?

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