For parents of children with food allergies, do you find that the community your child is a part of - whether that be schools, kinders, daycare, other parents, family etc - is supportive of the fact that your child has an allergy, or are you constantly battling to keep food they are allergic to out of their way?
For parents of children who don't have allergies, are you supportive of the needs of these children, or do you find it annoying when you are asked, for example, to not bring any foods to daycare/school etc that contain common allergens? And if your child was having a birthday party and a child had been invited that had a severe allergy, such as to peanuts, would you go all out to make sure there were no foods containing peanuts at the party, or would you rather the child didn't come because you a) don't want the responsibility of making sure they don't eat anything they shouldn't; or b) don't want to have to avoid having food at the party that your own child enjoys?
I ask this because my MIL is treating my DS's allergy as if it is something we have made up to be difficult and I'm concerned other people may have a similar dismissive attitude.
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19-02-2012 06:18 #1
Allergies: Is the community supportive of children with food allergies?
Last edited by Witchypoo; 19-02-2012 at 06:33.
19-02-2012 06:46 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
My DS is allergic to egg, it's an ongoing battle he's only 15mths so only been to a few parties where it's an issue and I just had to watch him like a hawk- he doesn't goto child care however my church I goto are really good about it- it just takes months of drilling Into people - Don't Feed my child- hang in there it gets easier- have u just found out?
19-02-2012 07:01 #3
Everyone I know is great my family are amazing! The exception is my ILs.
They don't make out like its not real because DD was in hospital sick for ages BUT they "assume" everything doesn't have milk or eggs in it and F&$*^ing sick of it!! I wouldn't let DD stay alone with them even for 5 mins till she was over 2.
Now they don't ever dare give her anything unless I've okayed it BUT she still won't read a blooming label! And is constantly buying things with milk and eggs in them for DD. It drives me insane, it feels like she doesn't care!! All she has to do is READ THE LABLE!! Or she will be an idiot and give SD an ice cream infront of her!!!!
Okay I have to stop Becasue I'm getting really cranky lol.
19-02-2012 07:27 #4
Argh! I think I would pull my hair out if XMIL wasnt onside with DS' allergies. I think we are lucky in regards to family as they have all seen what DS goes through when exposed. And honestly its fair easier to handle to avoid the allergens then to deal with the aftermath of exposure.
Community wise we have lots of issues. Today's society while being more aware of allergies thanks to peanut awareness, still has a lot of people who just dont get it. You will become your child's number one advocate tbh. We have taught DS that he has to ask - "Does this contain wheat?", even then we have an issue in that Wheat is just his top priority allergen. In this way we are trying to make it so that others are aware and that he can one day help himself. A lot of our issues come from the fact that although not all severe DS has a multiple allergies.
Day Cares are not all created equal. DS was enrolled into a major centre in town - I made sure they were aware of the allergies and asked how they would handle them. My advise is to make sure you talk to the staff in your childs room, also in any rooms that might be a float in your childs care, talk to the cook and the centre management, and ask to see the allergy policy. Ask what will happen if they accidently expose your child. I say this because we had two exposures while in their care. The last one being significant. The feedback I got back was that DS didnt have a reaction after exposure so it was okay - not all people react to allergens with the typical rash/hives/or anaphalyxis, DS gets severe pain and constipation from one of his, so no half hour of watching him wouldnt show a typical reaction. (That said they missed the big welted rash on his face from their puppy show and tell ). So no not all centres will be helpful to you. Shop around.
DS was one of three other children that I have now heard they have done it to, talk to other allergy mums if you can and see if they have had any issues with your centre.
I am yet to talk to the school we are going to enrol DS into to see how they manage children with allergies, In a way we are looking forward to the no sharing lunchboxes challenge...
The local playcentre here is fantastic. They have a no nut policy, plus they cater for gluten free and dairy free. Our only issue is the hidden dangers - when we asked them about the oil they use to cook we were told "oh its canola" awesome... then in the same sentence, "yeah some sort of vegetable oil". Where they show doubt we dont eat. This particular centre is great though, they know they can not cater for all children with allergies, so as long as you dont bring in nut food (which we are allergic to anyway) we can bring our own food.
The same theory applies to restaurants, if they look hesitant we dont stay. We also generally call before hand and do a run down of what, if anything, he can have. Its not worth the risk.
When we go out we usually take a lunchbox of food he can have, we dont expect people to be able to cater for his needs. So this includes for parties and the like, while it would be nice to not worry, generally its much better to be over prepared in case he cant eat anything then have him feel completely left out. If there is going to be a cake, I will make a special cupcake just for him too. When we arrive to a party, we generally let the hostess know and do a run down of the food on the table. Generally DS is good and will ask before eating. Sometimes he doesnt and you have to watch him and other kids incase they decide to share.
People who know DS, know not to offer him food at all and will come and ask me if its safe. They are generally very supportive and have made themselves aware. And even this small step is huge for us in not having to worry about him quite so much.
He now wears an allergy band when out in public to try to make people aware. Even something as innocent as a lolly pop can contain his allergens.
In saying all this, remember we have multiple allergies, I can only imagine that having one at a time would possibly reduce the amount of issues that we have but cant honestly speak from experience. So perhaps not?!
19-02-2012 07:52 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
I struggled with the childcare centre DS went to when he was around 12 months old, they seriously just had no idea. He had a dairy intollerence and I would walk in and find him eating a arrowroot biscuit despite me providing snacks that he could have that were dairy free, the deal breaker for me was the day they served him pasta with grated cheese, because apparantley (according to the director) I told the cook he could now eat dairy food . I removed him from the centre immediatley point blank refused to pay the fees for the day and for the 2 week period I was required to give notice that he would not be attending anymore and strangley enough they did not dispute it
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19-02-2012 08:11 #6
My kids don't have allergies but 3 kids in mothers group do, all different. Ones is intolerant of wheat and allergic to dairy, one is allergic to egg and the other is intolerant to dairy and allergic to wheat.
We all try not to bring anything to playgroup that includes these items and when we do we make our kids eat separately to the others, so some kids may be inside and some eating outside.
I really do try to be supportive as possible but must admit it can be kind of daunting.
We also have a rule in this house of no peanut butter the night before or morning of DC as there are 2kids at my girls centre with nut anaphylaxis. But I do know some mums aren't as supportive my g/f has a mum at her school that sends her kids with peanut butter sandwiches all the time!
I am going to be inviting them to DD1s birthday party this year and want to make a cake that they can eat but am not sure if that's even possible! How does a cake work without flour or egg or dairy??
Last edited by mummabec; 19-02-2012 at 08:13.
19-02-2012 08:32 #7
I don't have a child with allergies.
However being a preschool teachers I've worked with many children who have intolerances to severe allergies.
My current work place has long been a nut free centre for many years. This means we have to display signs about and send notes home reminding families and being really vigilant about children who may come in with peanut butter or nuttella on their morning toast. And nuttella can look like Vegemite.
We are also egg free meaning no eggs on site. No egg cartons used in craft.
We have all attending an anplaxisis in services and have been trained to administer epi pens.
We have a child who has anplaxisis to eggs, berries, bananas and tree nuts so she provides her own food and sits separate to the kids during meal times. Those food don't come into our room on her days. There is a sign with her picture on it of her action plan for all staff. No staff member eats eggs or nuts for lunch or breakfast. The children in my room all know and understand about the allergies too.
I don't think the wider community is very understanding, knowledgeable or supportive for children with allergies.
19-02-2012 08:34 #8
19-02-2012 08:46 #9
Multiple allergies would be so hard.
When DD2 was younger it was hard. Especially birthday parties. Because DD2's allergy isn't considered a "normal" allergy they just assumed I was being mean. She is allergic to an unknown colour/preservative or something that is found in lollies. At last reaction just 1 jelly baby resulted in 20+ hives and throat swelling.
Now that she is older it is easier. But she does get stubborn at times. Especially when the kids at school have to bring in lolly bags for their birthdays. I just wish they would say please don't bring lolly bags. Just what they need anyway after school, a bag full of lollies. They have already had 1 lolly bag so far this year but at least her teacher was aware and showed it to me that morning and she was told to bring it straight to me that afternoon and I took out what she couldn't have.
It was years ago but DD2 is CMPI and when they were going to a daycare years ago they just didn't get it. She kept getting sick after going there and I found out that they were giving her arrowroot biscuits with margarine. After that I thought I got through to them about the fact that she could have no dairy at all and they seemed to get it finally. Only about a week later we arrived a bit earlier as DD1 had something at school that day and one of the carers asked DD2 & DD3 if they were hungry and wanted some breakfast. Apparently DD2 was hungry even though she had just eaten but she sat her down and was serving her some weet-bix with milk!! I lost it then and pulled them both out.
DD2 is able to have small amounts of cooked milk in cakes or biscuits now but it took a few years until she could. It's not hard to check with the teacher at school about allergies but really it would be nice if they actually sent a note home saying x amount of children have allergies in your childs class consisting of x, y & z. When DD2 was in year 1 I found out at the end of the year when it was going to be her birthday that there was a child in their class with a gluten allergy that had missed out on every birthday cake/lolly etc all year. So, sad and it's not that hard to do something that everyone can have and I did of course. And if someone can't bake or doesn't have the time then some fruit kebabs or fruit platter is easy and usually goes down well.
Actually, I wonder how that goes with the school for DD2.... They have been given an allergy action plan from our Dr which is mean't to be everywhere but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure it was last year but I haven't seen it in the new classroom now that I think about it. It has her photo and says she has a lolly allergy and "no lollies". So, shouldn't the teachers not be giving her the lolly bags if they actually have an Action Plan saying no lollies?
19-02-2012 08:50 #10
DD is allergic to uncooked tomatoes, but they aren't hidden in foods, they are very obvious.
However she has an auto-immune disease and can't have anything with gluten (the protein found in barley, oats, wheat and rye) and can't have caseine either.
The only thing she can have at the playcentre is softdrink or juice. Nothing else.
At her school, if parents make cakes for birthdays, they have to be cupcakes, they have to also be nut free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free. So they mostly have the packet ones, there is one brand that has all those things and they make a chocolate mix and a vanilla mix.
The school is a complete peanut free zone. Hazelnuts are ok so dd has a hazelnut milk drink each day at school.
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