Nerve wracking!

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 6:24am
momtomitchell's picture
Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

I just got a call from my daycare provider. My son is 2 and was just confirmed a PA. My daycare provider said he got a hold of a PB cracker and she was able to take it out of his mouth! I am so mad and scared as hell that this could happen! She wasn't supposed to let ANY PB in her house! So far so good, I told her to give him some Benedryl but to keep a close, really close eye on him. I am trying to find a letter to bring with me to give to other parents, I'm sure there has been one posted here before, I just can't find it, can someone help me??

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 7:36am
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

I'm so sorry this happened to you. Your daycare provider really dropped the ball. Do parents provide their own snacks for their children? If so, then your provider needs to check each and every snack that comes into her place (is it her home, or a commercial establishment?).
I think any letter to parents needs to come from your daycare provider, and I don't think it needs to be very elaborate. I would do a search in the Schools forum to see if anything comes up. But otherwise I would just put together a very simple letter explaining that a child in her daycare has a life threatening allergy to peanuts and therefore no peanuts or peanut products are allowed. And then she needs to enforce it.
I hope your son is OK.

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 7:51am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Hi mom2mitchell,
As Kim wrote, that is scary .. the daycare provider should have ensured that there were no peanut products in the vicinity of your child, as children at that young age will eat anything. Looks like you'll have to work with her to ensure the environment is safe. Hope your child is well now.

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 7:52am
momtomitchell's picture
Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

Thanks Kim,
Thankfully he has not had a reaction, however I'll copy what happened to me when I picked him up. This is a post from another board. I guess I got my first taste of PA IGNORANCE! Sorry its long :-)
This afternoon my daycare provider (Renee) called me to say that Mitchell got a hold of a peanut butter cracker!! They said that it was in the other room on the counter and Mitchell got a hold of it but they were able to get it out of his mouth. I told her to wash his hands, give him Benedryl and watch him closely for the next hour. I stayed calm and didn't get mad at her but I did ask her that I thought she wasn't allowed PB snacks in her house, she said she didn't realize it was PB!!
So I get there and ask what happened and she said along with her employee (Becky) that Mitchell was kept away from the cracker by a gate (okay so thats admitting they KNEW it was PB) and that he climbed it, reached up on the counter and grabbed the cracker. I asked her, I thought that parents knew not to bring in PB, and she said well this particular mother (and I have a funny feeling it was the mother that Mitchell bit last week) wanted her child to have PB, so it was not a completely different story. I said if she is allowing PB then I have to think about things and immediately she said that she will need a two week notice!! She was prepared and it was obvious. I explained that I wasn't mad that Mitchell climbed over the gate, it happens, but if there was to be PB in the house then I should have been notified. Becky then says (as Renee, the owner is walking away) "Susan, we need to tell you because another parent brings PB in the house?" I said yes we all agreed to it, then its dangerous and he could get hurt, then she says that it was probably time for me to go and I can sign THEIR 2 week notice. I then flipped off and told them it was a disability and to check out section 504 then maybe she'll answer to the state! I told her I wasn't signing anything and walked out.
I was so mad I couldn't talk, I was shaking! I didn't want to do that to Mitchell but if I stayed there it wasn't going to get any prettier! A severe PA is a disability but I didn't want to throw that out, I just wanted her to be aware that its REAL and I'm not exaggerating, I'm not ignorant and I'm not asking too much!
First thing tomorrow dh has to go there and get Mitchell's stuff including his epi pen! Gee, I wonder why he has that?? and the rest of his clothes and his pack and play. and if she thinks I'm giving her two weeks of dues she is absolutely barking up the wrong tree!
I am going to report her to her agency she is listed with tomorrow. I know they won't do anything but if she even gets one call I'll be happy.
I know it had been coming, it was obvious with the lack of apologies. I've been too much on top of her for her own good and she apparently isn't used to that. She isn't my friend, she works for me, and if she was my friend she certainly woudln't be my daycare provider for obvious reasons.
Last month she told me they tood Mitchell (her husband) on a ride on the back of a riding lawn mower in the tractor bed part. I asked her not to do it again very nicely and explained that we would never do that with ours. Then I had to talk to her last week and I guess it enough for her.
Now, poor Mitchell won't be seeing his friends, or Renee or Becky. I know he will ask for them and I feel terrible, but I didn't think he should be in that house for one more day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 8:29am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Wow, that really stinks. Its too bad it had to happen, but I think you are better off getting him out of there NOW! It sounds like an accident waiting to happen. If she is a licensed day care provider she has to meet up to certain standards. Im not sure a ride on a riding lawn mower is considered safe for a day care. I wouldn't pay her a penny. Even if she had kept him, would you really feel safe having him there?
I hope things work out for you and you can find someone better.

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 9:26am
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Mitchell will be better off not being there.
It sounds like they are doing things behind your back that could endanger your child and who wants there child being taken care of by people like that.
Scary, and I'm so glad your child is ok.
Good Luck in finding a safe day-care!

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 9:38am
momtomitchell's picture
Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

You guys are right, I knew the writing was on the wall but I just couldn't see it. He is much better off. My husband will be stopping by in morning and will say things alot calmer than I ever could. I just can't believe people can be so heartless and stupid!
I think I'm going to like this board [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 12:16pm
PeteFerraro's picture
Joined: 07/10/2001 - 09:00

Hi, I'm the darling dad to a 4 year old PA son who is in daycare. We also have an 8 year old daughter who is not peanut allergic. My wife and I have been daycare customers for over 8 years. Even though I am just a dad, I am still very involved in our daycare arrangements. I drop the kids off every morning and spend a few minutes chatting so that I know what's up. I have also served on the board of directors for a local medium sized day care center.
Daycare arrangements are private. I doubt that you will get a lot of sympathy from the State. "Home" daycare settings are even less stringent than at "commercial" daycare settings. Which type of setting is best could be the subject of a very long ugly thread. I don't want to go there.
I do want to point out that all daycare businesses are not required to take in all children. The day care business is a very tough business to be in. You maintain a very thin profit margin. As a day care operator you may not want to impose a peanut free setting? Why? It could hurt profits. You could run the risk of angering non peanut allergic child parents. They would leave and all you would have is a peanut allergic child that if your insurance company found out could raise your insurance rates. Would you want to insure a day care business that has peanut allergic children?
Finding good quality day care is tough.
Pete Ferraro

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 12:41pm
DebO's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi and welcome!
Both my children were in daycare as infants until they reached school age. This means they were both in the same daycare when my daughter had her first peanut reaction at age 4, and my son his first egg reaction at age 2.
My daycare was a large, "commercial" multicultural daycare. When I found out about the allergy, I provided the director with documentation including "Peanut Allergy What you Need to Know" from the Calgary Allergy website, I then met with all the staff to answer any questions and demo with my brand-spanking new epipen trainer. My daycare was willing to become peanut free and my daughter did not have any reactions there (besides one that was before we know about PA and didn't recognize at the time).
It was more challenging with egg allergy. Initially they wanted to only avoid egg for my son, but he reacted when he had a cheese sandwich while the other kids ate egg (he is extremely allergic - both contact and ingestion) so they then only used eggs in a limited number of baked goods while I provided alternatives for my son.
I did prepare a letter that went home, but unfortunately that was a couple of computers ago and I don't have a copy. I may have posted it here - I will check.
I am now using smaller, private, dayhome type providers for before and after school care, which sounds more similar to your situation, perhaps? Anyway, my current provider was found through an agency and being peanut free is a perfectly normal thing to request around here, just like non smoking or no pets. I had four providers to choose from after contacting only one agency. My current provider is very cautious, and I have had no problems there.
So it IS possible to find safe daycare - (at least in my area)
good luck and take care

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 1:04pm
DebO's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Well, I just realized I never posted my letter before but found a copy so decided to add it here. I decided to write a personal note from me, on colourful paper with my daughter's picture in the corner. Our daycare was very much a community and I felt comfortable with this approach.
Dear Parents:
Hello. My name is XXX, and this is my daughter, YYY. YYY goes to daycare with your child.
I recently found out that YYY has an allergy to peanuts which can cause anaphylaxis. This means that if YYY eats a peanut, peanut butter, or any food with peanuts or peanut products in it she will have a very serious allergic reaction and may die.
The best way to keep YYY safe is to try not to have foods with peanuts at the daycare since it is very hard to stop young children from sharing their food with their friends. The ZZZZ Children's Centre does not use any peanut products in the food they give the children for snacks or lunch, so the biggest danger for YYY is the afternoon snack that is sent from home each day.
Though it sounds simple to avoid peanuts by not sending peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter cookies for snacks, it also means you need to read the labels on other foods like muffins, granola bars and cookies before you put them in your child's snack. Many foods that you do not expect to have peanuts in them do actually list that the product "may contain peanuts" since they are made in plants with the same equipment that makes peanut containing products.
I know it is difficult to read the labels on foods, but I would like to ask you to keep YYY's allergy in mind when you send your snack from home. Please feel free to talk to me if you have any questions about YYY's allergy or the safety of your snack foods.
I would like to thank you for reading this letter and for your help in keeping my daughter safe.
I wrote this 5 years ago, and have moved away from my original daycare since then. I did have some parents approach me to ask me to explain about PA, how serious it really was, how did I know she was PA, etc. I didn't get any negative flack over it, and I did not observe anything risky coming in to the daycare. Mind you, most of the families were recent immigrants and few of them had peanut butter as a staple in their diet anyway!
Jsu thought I would throw it out there since you asked for help with this sort of thing.
good luck and take care
[This message has been edited by DebO (edited April 27, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 1:16pm
momtomitchell's picture
Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

Thank you all for your input. Thank you for the letter, I am definately going to copy it. I think it is nice but straight to the point.
Thank you Pete for the daycare advice. I know they are probably not required to take in my son, however in the beginning BEFORE his allergy was confirmed she was the one that offered a peanut free environment, thats why this whole thing shocks me. I think I may have a backup with a peanut free center. I thought I would enjoy using a home daycare, but seeing everything in a different light leaves a bad taste in my mouth, kwim?
Thank you all!


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