Day Care Nightmare...

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 5:47am
Kelly Morse's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

Today I went to volunteer at Spencer's new day care (which is not peanut free but has an on site nurse) to discuss with and educate them on all that is involved with this allergy. The morning went fine until we got to the interaction with the adopt a grandparent program. When we walked in the room Spencer headed straight for an elderly man who was eating cookies, I told the man that he could not have any because I had not checked the label. A few minutes later I started helping with an activity, I turned my back on Spencer for 2 minutes or less (with at least 15 other adults watching him). In that small amount of time Spencer ate the cookie. I demanded that someone find the bag immediately upon which I found out that there was both peanuts and soy in the cookie. I immediately gave Spencer 2tsp of benadryl and quickly dialed the ped's office while the staff got the Epi pen Jr. I ended up driving him to the ER myself (which I know was very dumb and will not do again). Other than that I did everything that I had practiced in my head and stayed calm (until much later).

I am so angry that despite the fact that I told this person that he could not give Spencer the cookie he did anyway! I am also very angry that the nurse on site was not in the least excited that he had eaten this cookie.

I have to say the worst though was at the hospital after Spencers reaction got better and he started to come around a nurse offered to give him a bite of her donut. Mind you this was in the same box as other ones that had nuts on them. Also, I am sure that eggs were in them which we had just explained to them was also an allergic problem. Spencers doctor actually ate one of the nutty donuts while were at the hospital. Granted he did not do it while treating us but he did it before he released us and therefore had to come back into the room again. There was no way I was going to let him near my son again.


It blows me away how in one breath they are telling us how serious this is and in another they are once again putting him in danger. At least the day care had an excuse (the teachers) because I was just in the process of training them on how to live with a peanut allergy.

I don't think I will ever feel safe again. I am scared to death to let him out of my sight.

Kelly
Terrified in Michigan

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 6:01am
DebO's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi Kelly
What a horrible experience. It is tough when we have no choice but to use daycare, but all we can do is our best to keep our children safe. I also use a daycare, and have spent a lot of time since my daughter was diagnosed in February to educate the staff and parents. Yesterday, when I went to pick up my daughter it was snack time and she was sitting by herself. I asked her why and she said she didn't want to sit with anybody eating peanut butter. I looked at the other table and one of the boys had a Kraft peanut butter and crackers package - even though peanut products are supposed to be banned. What was worse for me, though, was that the staff had not done anything about it and it was just because my daughter is aware of her allergy that she was kept safe! Thank God that I, at least, did not have to deal with a reaction.
You can be glad that Spencer is safe and that you were there to take charge and to notice that he had eaten the cookie right away. I suppose in the end this whole experience may serve a purpose - at least all of the staff now should be aware of the seriousness of Spencer's allergy and you can hope that they will be more careful as a result.
Take care of yourself and Spencer this evening, and we all cope and manage to go on.
By the way, I want to mention that my ped has told me that in her experience hospitals are often the worst places for exposure!!!
[This message has been edited by DebO (edited June 15, 1999).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 6:11am
Kelly Morse's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

DebO - I noticed in another thread that you had a letter that you sent to the parents. I think I may have gotten that from you before but could I get it again? The day care has agreed to send a letter to all of the parents letting them know the situation.
I am at a loss as to what to do from here. I feel very alone in this allergy thing (here in my area). It would be much easier if there were even one other child in the same situation (even though I would not wish that on anyone). I am finding it very hard to be a "trail-blazer."
Has your child had any reactions at day care? Spencer was very quiet after the swelling started. I was terrified but I stayed very calm (which is not like me). I found it very helpful that any free moment I do have I do a practice run in my head as to what to do (e.g were at the mall...do this, at McD's...do this). I don't harp on this but it was good that I had some practice if even only in my head.
Thanks for letting me vent!
Kelly

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 7:45am
Christine's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

Kelly,
I just read your post and wanted to cry. I know TOO WELL what you are going through. I wish that I could say that things will get better with time, but I have to say that they probably won't. I find that most providers (even the ones who do it at home) are just out of it. I think your child would have to just about die in front of their eyes for them to get excited. I have given my daycare center so much literature and so many talks and it does no good. He even had an accidental exposure last year when a sub came into the room right at the end of naptime and distributed peanut butter crackers to all the kids. My son ate two of them. At some point right after he ate them someone realized he shouldn't have had it. The two's teacher was the only one who freaked out, ran out of her two's room down to his classroom when she heard what happened and sprung into action. She gave him Benadryl and then they called me. I was very lucky that he had absolutely no reaction (amazing). But, she was the only one who cared. The director was also very shook up after this and went on about the peanut ban in his room, etc. Well, if you read the other thread "pity party" you will see that they have gotten over it. It is never ending. No one will ever get it. That is why I feel so hopeless. Sometimes I feel like I should have my head examined for even going to work. I think I should just stay home and go into major financial debt just so he will be safe because I cannot get any proper care for him. I wish the government would get involved in this so that these providers and schools feel more compelled to do what they are supposed to.
DebO--Again, I know how you are feeling. I know I was shocked when my husband said he was served Chex Mix while the other kids were eating peanut butter (I thought there was a ban). Why do these teachers get so lax?
Christine

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 9:37am
Kelly Morse's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

Christine - I am so sorry that you are going through this too. It just absolutely makes me crazy that this is so difficult to make people understand. I think I hit the "hopeless" point when the medical staff were eating the donuts without regard for their patients.
My husband and I keep going back to the fact that this was only Spencer's second day at day care. We cannot put his life at risk by leaving him in the care of people who don't have a clue. We are paying more for day care then our mortgage (and our mortgage is not small)and I guess I thought that would by me piece of mind. It is just putting us in the poor house!
I feel like I have been given this awesome responsibility of educating my small part of the world and I like most parents are having trouble keeping my head above water with career and parenting. When you add this too it life just seems like way to much.
Christine hang in there. We will just have to be each others e-mail buddies until things get a little better. [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Thanks! Kelly

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 10:38am
kellyh's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/27/1999 - 09:00

Hi Kelly, I hope Spencer is feeling better. I'm glad you happened to be there today. As for the medical staff not being concerned and eating donut, I have a good one for you. I took my daughter to the ped today for something minor and I mentioned her peanut allergy again because I am looking for other children for support.I am new to this small town and she is the only ped. She has not believed me about Olivia's allergy from day one. Mind you, she never asked for a ER record. Today, she saw my daughters Medic Alert bracelet and literally said it wasn't necessary and she is more concerned Olivia will hurt herself wearing it. She told me I am going "way overboard." Well, did that tick me off. She said that since my daughter only had full face swelling and hives with her first exposure,then its not a serious allergy. Hello?!? I know she is a good doctor and doctors can't know everything, but to put me down was too much. I then told her I was amazed that a doctor would disregard a diagnosis made by 2 ER doctors and my former ped. I swear I had to put my hands in my pocket because I wanted to hit her ( I never would, but you understand).I know everyone will write to me to get a new ped but she is it guys. Little does she know, that I have set up an appt w/ Dr Wood at John Hopkins in August. After a serious reply to her comments, she backed down and realizes I am not an idiot. I am going to have Olivia tested and this way I have proof(but I am doing this so I know where I stand with her allergy- not for this doctor) I believe she knows of this allergy, but feels I just don't present enough evidence, I guess, to prove it is a true allergy to peanuts. She started backing down when I started throwing medical terms and data at her. I see her point, but she should take it a hell of alot more seriously. I have thoroughly checked her out and she is good- When I made the appt with Dr Wood, the doctor I spoke to said it is very typical of peds to behave like this and they will write a letter making her understand. I hope it works. I didn't mean to be so long or get off the topic, I'm just feeling very alone in this town . If doctors don't get it, how can we expect others? I do think this doctor realizes I will not be pushed around and will only push back. KellyH

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 10:51am
dhumphries's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

I am so sorry that everyone is having to go through this. I think that one of the biggest misconceptions about this allergy is that when most people hear the word allergy, they associate it with the non-life threatening nasal allergies. When discussing it with everyone at my daycare I call it anyphylaxis and have given them the information on anyphylaxis. That way, the word association with the less severe type of allergies is not compounded. In addition, I have found your best friend to be the director AND the kitchen staff.
The head cook at our day care is so diligent about reading labels, as she has been educated by myself and the paramedic who gave CPR lessons there about the dangers associated with anyphylaxis. Speaking of paramedics, I find it was helpful to have them discuss anyphylaxis while the day care staff is receiving certification and recertifications. Many of these guys have seen the horror of an anyphylactic reaction first hand and can relate it to the day care staff. Maybe you could arrange for paramedics and/or your allergist to speak to the day care staff.
I feel fortunate to have found a good day care who decided to go peanut free, but find I have to stay diligent about what gets brought in on holidays. My day care sends out notes ahead of time reminding parents what are "safe" foods, but many decide to ignore the message.
Good luck and stay safe

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 9:46pm
Christine's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

KellyM--I know what you mean about paying alot for daycare and thinking that would help. I have run the gamut of centers and first gravitated towards the ones that were higher priced (thinking that they paid their employees better wages leading to better care). Well, the higher paid were some of the worst!! The place I am at now is the lowest charging center in my area--mostly because it is privately owned and not a chain. They also happen to have the lowest turnover rate around. My son's teacher has been there approximately 18 years and many of the other teachers have been there 13-15 years. Even the younger teachers have been there about 5-6 years. In daycare, that is quite amazing. I had my daughter in one of the expensive daycare places last year and, I swear, everytime I walked in there, there was a new person. They went through 3 directors in about 9 months. Very unsettling. I knew my son could NEVER go there (and this is the only center that provides Before and After care to our elementary school). As bad as my daycare situation can be at times, I do believe that having the same providers there all of time has probably resulted in less accidents (we have had one accidental ingestion in 4 years). Have you checked out ALL the centers or home providers in your area? By the way, you never really described the type of reaction Spencer had to the cookie. How severe was it?
KellyH-I'm not going to tell you to get a new ped!!! I do understand how you feel though. We have about 8 doctors in our ped practice and most of them have openly admitted to me that they know nothing about peanut allergy. In fact, I talked at great length with one of them and he was very impressed with my knowledge. The only praise I have for them is that they are not so pompous about it. They have admitted their shortcomings. When my son first had a reaction, I called in to the office and got the "advice nurse." She said that it was no big deal and that he would outgrow it. So, I had enough sense to avoid the peanuts and when I went in a few months later for a checkup, I told the pediatrician. He said "I think you should see an allergist." I tried to press him for more details. He told me he wasn't real familiar with it but I should have it checked out. So I guess I can't get too upset with them, but they should be more educated. If your ped is going to be "combative" would you feel comfortable just sending your child to a family practitioner? I have often thought about doing that with my own children. They are now beyond the infant/toddler stage and probably no longer require a pediatrician. I actually think a family practice doctor might be more aware of the seriousness of food allergies.
dhumpries--My son's daycare director experiences anaphalaxis with bee stings. She knows all about it but still doesn't really take is seriously. She chides her own self for not keeping an epinephrine kit for herself like she should. She doesn't even take it too seriously for herself. She is a very nice person but very laid back and not a "worrier." I think daycare center directors should be certified worriers before they can run a center. But maybe that is not good. My son's first home daycare situation was with a friend of mine who had quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom. She was well aware of Evan's allergies. Well, she was so worried about it all, she did a great job of taking care of him. She used to stress so much over it I felt bad and tried to get her to relax a bit but she couldn't. One day her 12-year old son fed Evan a honey-nut Cheerio which was on my no-no list because it had almonds in it. She freaked out. I told her not to get upset, that the Cheerios were probably fine, and that I just avoid them in general. It took her weeks to get over it. Eventually she quit doing the daycare because I think the stress of it was too much for her. She never said that, but I think that is exactly what it was.
Christine

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 10:04pm
Kelly Morse's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

Christine - Within 2 minutes Spencers face had swollen significantly, hives started on his chest and he was digging at his head and crying. He also went through short periods that he would stop moving altogether and then he would try and move like he was trying to make it go away. I would have never recognized the grabbing the head symptom if "Shan" hadn't put in her post. Ours was just like she described her childs.
Within five minutes of him eating the cookie we were fully medicated and on the way to the hospital. The staff there were great about getting us right in. We walked past a whole room of people waiting. The doctor said that I had done almost everything they would have done for him except starting the steriods. They also consider giving him an IV with benadryl but he was doing so well they decided the oral dose every 6 hours was fine.
The staff warned us several times not to expect the Epi meds to work as well next time and to call the EMT's. He said we were very lucky.
Thanks! Kelly

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/1999 - 1:06am
Dawn's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

What did the staff mean when they said not to expect the Epi's to work as well next time? That's scary!!

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/1999 - 1:06am
Dawn's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

What did the staff mean when they said not to expect the Epi's to work as well next time? That's scary!!

Pages

Forum

Click on one of the categories below to see all forum topics.

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

It Is Easy To Buy Peanut Free Chocolate Online

Ask any parent of a child with a potentially life-...

Seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower, make great peanut or tree nut substitutes in recipes, and roasted soy or garbanzo beans are tasty snacks and...

So many wonderful recipes call for peanut butter. These recipes can still be enjoyed by experimenting with peanut butter replacements.

...

Peanuts and peanut oil are cheap and easy additives to food and other commercial goods. It is surprising (and alarming if you have a...

Those with severe peanut allergies soon learn to look for the 'peanut-free sign' on any packaged food purchase. This is a notation found on a wide...