Leaving PA Child with a Babysitter

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 7:09am
ceross's picture
Joined: 01/27/2004 - 09:00

I've never left my child (even before dx with PA) with a babysitter. I'm considering doing it: Her dad and I have not had a dinner just to ourselves in 3 years. Both sets of grandparents live too far away to babysit. Has anyone left their child with a teenager? Any tips? If you did, did you meet the babysitter's parents and did you train the babysitter in the use of the Epipen. Thanks.

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 7:59am
julieneaman's picture
Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00

I know how you feel. It is so hard leaving our little guy with a sitter, but we have done it. Our pa guy is 23mos. and we have a 5 and almost 7 yr old. Until this month we didn't leave him until he was in bed for the night - not a big problem b/c he goes to bed at 7:30. I've left him twice so far while awake. Once, I arranged a trade with my neighbor. I watched her kids at her house one night, then she watched my kids at my house another night. Worked out perfectly and I felt much better having a grown-up staying. The other time I got a referral from a friend who runs a church youth group. She gave me the name of a 21 yr old college student.
Definitely leave the epi and instructions on how to use it. I also had articles and a couple of sections of the Parent's Guide to Food Allergies book to the sitter before the big night so she came into it a little prepared.
Go and have fun! I have to say though, that if I didn't have an allergen-free home, I wouldn't do it.

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 8:58am
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

I have to be honest, I would be reluctant to leave our PA daughter with a teenager, but I would also probably be reluctant even if she weren't PA. If your child is in preschool, look into the possibility of having one of the teachers there babysit for you. This is what we ended up doing and it has worked out great for us. You can also contact a nearby college and see if you can post a babysitting job for students there. In general, I feel much more comfortable with an adult watching my kids, although if you knew of a really responsible teenager, it would probably be fine.

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 10:19am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

This is a tough one. It is more comforting to have an adult, but we have left our ds with a teenager. She is a friends daughter and pretty responsible. What we did is show her the epi, explain the whole allergy thing to her, and then asked her "Are you comfortable with this and would you feel able to handle it? If not that is fine, we can find someone else."
Then we left her the action plan, instructions, meds, etc. and made sure there was nothing in the house that could cause a reaction.
My biggest worry is that teenagers wont usually call you with a concern because they dont want to bother you or look incompetent, so I always stress that if there are [b]any[/b] questions to please call.
Good luck! Too bad we dont all live close enough to sit for each other.

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 11:14am
attlun's picture
Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

Right now, we don't leave our kids with anyone but family. My parents, inlaws, and aunt and uncle live right by us, though, so we have many to choose from [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]. Of course if we didn't have any family we would have to use other people. We wouldn't leave them with someone we didn't know very well personally, and only if they came to our allergy-free home. Hope you and your dh have a great time out alone together!
Trevor age 2 -PA
Harmony age 1 -KNA
It's a BOY!!! due June 24, 2004

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 1:33pm
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Honestly, I have trusted teens more than family and a few close friends. I am paying them, they know to do exactly as I say, and I have known their parents well, who live very close in an emergency. I had a friend give dd Honey Nut Cheerios once and shrug it off with a chuckle and an oops. Dd was fine, but I had povided a cooler of food, then said she could have plain Cheerios too(it was a household with 3 kids and she said they had Cheerios). I learned a lesson that day!
So, I have found that teens can be very reliable and respectful and responsible sitters. I have only used them a few times as my favorite went off to college(she was an older teen). The last was okay for allergies, but my dd walked all over her at bedtime, LOL.
I try to remember all the more dangerous things that are more likely to happen in my own home(fall on stairs, etc...), since it is safe for dd's allergies, or many safeguards are in place. We also feed her before we go out and leave a very specific snack, and orders to give nothing else.
It is nice to go out even once or twice a year for dinner alone, even if it is close to home. We also do have 2 families where I do trust swapping sitting favors. That works out a few times a year too. Good luck. becca
[This message has been edited by becca (edited March 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 10:22pm
mattchrismom's picture
Joined: 02/12/2003 - 09:00

I have never left my children with a babysitter only because we have so much family and close friends around us that we trust. We have left them with my teenage niece and she was great, she is responsible, has 3 young brothers ages 5-9 and has had friends and boyfriends with severe pa. also we provide lots of safe snacks for her and the kids and my boys had a great time.

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 11:44pm
robinlp's picture
Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

In all honesty I feel better leaving my child w/ an older teenager than w/ my family. Just based on the issues we have had in the past. I have a babysitter who is 20 and in college. She is wonderful and absolutely gets PA, much more so than any of my family members. Plus she is working for me and follows directions much better than my family members who seem to think they can make decisions for my child. I think there are many responsible older teens that can do a great job and keep our kids safe. However, I only feel comfortable having them sit in my home knowing that their isn't any dangerous food around anyway.

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 11:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Just a thought I'd like to share.
Where I live people who work for Parks and Recreation have First Aid/CPR training. All the kids I know who work as life guards, swim instructors, teaching any courses, have this training and it includes epi-pen training.
If you have your child involved in swimming or anything, maybe you could talk to their instructor to see if anyone is interested in babysitting.

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 12:57am
BigDaddy's picture
Joined: 03/20/2003 - 09:00

Both of our children are in daycare and all of the teachers there have been trained by us to be careful of peanuts and to use the epi-pen. It only seemed logical to ask one of the teachers to baby sit for us and she was more than willing. She will baby sit this Friday so we will have to see how things go.

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 1:12am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

We rarely left our kids with sitters and I would not recommend that!
You are just going for dinner, she will be sitting in your home which is presumably safe peanut wise.
Get the sitter in there a few days before, interview her and give her the short important details about PA. You will be doing us all a service if you educate one more person.
Leave only food out your child can eat. Take a cel phone with you and have fun.
How long can a dinner take? Try it once, get to trust a sitter and you'll be fine.
Ask her to not eat any peanuts the day she sits for you. Don't make her wash her hands before she touches your child, let her have fun, let your child get used to someone besides you caring for her all the time.
Eat nearby and call just once. The try it again each time staying out a bit longer and a bit farther away. You'll be fine.
If you have peanut products in your home this might be the time to get rid of them.


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