Babysitting Swap

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We have good friends whose daughter is about a month older than ours. DD and I have routinely gone over to their home for playdates and I have always felt very comfortable there. Her daughter does eat PB, but never when we are there or even in the morning if we are coming over. The girls play in a rec room in the basement and the family does not eat down there.

The other mother approached me with the idea of doing a babysitting swap a couple of times a month. One day her daughter will come here for a couple of hours in the morning, another day I would drop my daughter at her house. As a stay at home mom, this is a very appealing idea to me. Just one morning a month when I could have a cup of coffee, read a book, run a few errands, whatever, on my own. I have decided I feel comfortable with the situation. I will bring a safe snack for my daughter each time she goes to our friend's house. I will have enough so both girls may eat it, although I don't mind if the other child eats something else as long as it does not have peanuts in the ingredients.

I trust the other mother a lot. She is hypervigilant and takes the PA of my daughter very seriously. I will also carry my cell phone and never be more than ten minutes from their house. This seems like a good way to work out some of the issues we'll eventually have with babysitters, etc. The girls' playdate will be over before lunch time.

Next week she is coming over one evening to learn how to administer the epi pen. I find it highly unlikely that she'll ever need to use it, but I obviously need her to know. I'm trying to put a somewhat concise set of information together for her, enough that she should be able to recognize a possible reaction and know what to do. I have the list from FAAN of ways a child might describe a reaction. I would like to know what other information you feel she should have. I want to inform her, help keep my child safe of course, but not overwhelm her either. Aside from emergency numbers, what do you consider essential information?

------------------ Mom to Harper 11/17/04 PA

[This message has been edited by kelseyjane (edited February 20, 2007).]

On Feb 20, 2007

I'm so glad you've found a babysitting swap that you're comfortable with - it sounds like a sanity-saver to me.

I think the most important thing to convey is that when in doubt, use the epipen. It seems like most fatalities happen when the epipen is used too late. If it's not a reaction, it won't hurt to use it.

If you get a chance, FAAN's video "It only takes one bite" is a good overview of dealing with allergies.

On Feb 21, 2007

I give a copy of our Food Allergy Action Plan to everyone who cares for our dd. Most of her friends have one hanging on their fridge! It's nice because it lists all possible symptoms and what protocol to use along w/ all the emergency numbers. You can dowload the form off of the FAAN website, if you don't already have one.

I also love the Epipen trainers. They are very helpful when teaching others how to use.

------------------ 10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic 5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts 3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

On Feb 21, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by krc: [b]I give a copy of our Food Allergy Action Plan to everyone who cares for our dd. Most of her friends have one hanging on their fridge! It's nice because it lists all possible symptoms and what protocol to use along w/ all the emergency numbers. You can dowload the form off of the FAAN website, if you don't already have one.

I also love the Epipen trainers. They are very helpful when teaching others how to use.

[/b]

I have the same, hanging on my cabinet by the phone(and one in our epi-pack) so I would also provide one for your friend. It has everything from phone numbers to pictures to Epipen instuctions(in case you freak during and emergency) on the 2nd page. Also the trainer is a good idea, or the next time one expires, let her practice, to get a feel for it. I just did that with my mom, she is the only one that ever watches my kids, and that's very rare(maybe 3x's a year).

This sounds like a great set up, hope it goes smoothly. Providing the snack will be important, I would also bring a few boxes of safe treats incase they want something else, you don't want the mom hesitating and deciding one of her snacks will be okay. I have plastic baskets in my pantry that are full of safe snacks for the nut-free kids and the milk-free kids....maybe she'd let you keep a small stash of stuff too.

But good luck, it does sound nice to have a couple hours...I only do it if hubby is home...because I don't have any body else. Enjoy!!

------------------ 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)

On Feb 21, 2007

This sounds like a great arrangement! I'm so glad for you that you're going to be able to do this.

In addition to how your DD might describe a reaction, I would give extremely detailed written instructions on how to act: what to do if you see hives, what to do if she somehow got something to eat that has peanuts, what to do if she's itchy, etc. For obvious anaphylaxis, the course is clear. For lesser symptoms, I would spell out how the adult should respond. Every person's allergy plan is different, and you should ask your allergist any questions. Let me add that, when I was creating my child's allergy plan, a cousin pointed out to me that I should explicitly instruct the person 1. Give Epi pen 2. Give Benadryl (if that's what your allergist wants) 3. Call 911 4. ONLY THEN call parent. I can see how a well-meaning adult would want to clue in a parent as soon as possible what's going on, but realistically, there's nothing we can do if we aren't there, and they need to give that epi pen and call 911 first.

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