I ran across this story in an anomymous blog, so I don't know if it is true or not, but it sounds like it. It's unbelievable.
Kudos to Gymboree. And the aunt in this story should be arrested.
[I've edited it to take out names and unrelated material]
"[K]'s mother had given her son and another toddler named E some peanut M&M's. This in and of itself would not have been a problem (aside from the potential for a sugar-induced mania) if K's mother had bothered to ask E's aunt (his guardian at the time) if it was okay. This she failed to do. And, as fate would have it, E has a peanut allergy. Oh yes.
So shortly after our arrival, E started to cough. And gag. And generally seem to be feeling not so hot. When the information that her nephew with the peanut allergy has eaten peanuts comes to light, E's aunt is...strangely unconcerned. She seems more put out with E for having the allergy than with K's mother for giving him the peanuts. She allows E to continue playing. (!)
Suddenly, a cry of dismay goes up from the other side of the room - E Of The Peanut Allergy has vomited. All over one of the slides. Yuck. Of course, all the toddlers have to check it out, and E's aunt comes running over and proceeds to scold the kid for vomiting on the slide. Nice.
The Gymboree supervisor, an RN, comes over with the industrial size package of Clorox Wipes to clean up the mess. She hears that E Of The Peanut Allergy has ingested peanuts and becomes alarmed. She asks the aunt if she has an Epi-Pen. Sure, says the aunt. It's at home. Great. The RN insists that E's aunt take him to the doctor right away. The aunt says she will call the pediatrician as soon as they get home. The RN looks at her like, 'Are you friggin' nuts, lady?' but very politely says, "I am going to call an ambulance. I suggest you wait in the lobby with E until they get here." And she walks out. I cheer her in my head.
Poor E tries to get up and continue playing, and his aunt actually YELLS AT HIM for wanting to play! She grabs his arm, shakes him, and says, "You cannot play! You're sick!" and hustles him out to the lobby.
Another mom in the room and I make eye contact above our toddlers' heads with that little widening of the eyes that means, "What the ****?"
The ambulance comes. Six, count them, six strapping EMTs (all hubba hubba men) come in to check E out. He's breathing okay and seems pretty calm, but his face is bright red and he's coughing a lot. They take him into the ambulance with the aunt, whose main concern seems to be what a crimp this is putting in her day.
I later learn from a mom-friend who works at Gymboree that E was given an Epi-pen during the ride to the hospital and another one upon arrival, and that he's doing fine now. The aunt has been schooled in the necessity of always carrying an Epi-Pen with her while looking after E, although she seems to believe that it means she can allow E to eat peanuts if he wants to as long as she has the Epi-Pen.
[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited January 30, 2007).]
On Jan 30, 2007
Wow, How scary for that little boy. Does she realize what she is teaching him about the seriousness of his allergy? Kids need to know how serious peanut allergies are, not to see an adult brush them off. I am glad this is not my child. I would not feel comfortable leaving my kids in her care.
On Jan 30, 2007
this is sad. i'm so glad someone was there who cared about the child's situation. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
On Jan 30, 2007
I hope E's parents find another caregiver ASAP. The aunt obviously doesn't really want the job...
On Feb 1, 2007
It's horrible. What's wrong with people? They need to find someone else to take care of this boy.
On Feb 12, 2007
Sounds like the Mom needs her head examined for letting this aunt care for her child!