Food Allergies and Day Care

When you send your baby to day care, there are a hundred things you have to make sure the day care teachers do for your child.  From meals to naps to medicine, you wonder how they manage to juggle all of the information for all of the different babies they care for every day.

Then some of us add food allergies into the mix, and it’s terrifying.

E’s day care provides two snacks a day starting when the babies turn a year old.  I will never partake in this perk, though.  I’m the annoying woman who stands in the grocery aisle for five minutes reading the label on a box of crackers ten times before feeling comfortable enough to put it in the cart.  I’m the woman who, no matter how much I trust you, will always worry you didn’t catch that “casein” was on the label or “ghee” or “koumiss.”  Despite the fact that day care offers free snacks for my daughter, I will always be providing her snacks.

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E getting acquainted with her tester Epi-Pen.

Having said that, I am overwhelmingly impressed with E’s day care and grateful for the measures they take to protect her.  When the scratch test indicated she had dairy, egg, and peanut allergies, they made a poster and placed it on the wall so it’s in view as soon as you walk in the room.  It’s titled “ALLERGIES” and it lists E’s allergies in big, impossible-to-miss print, along with a note to all teachers to please wash their hands after handling anything containing peanuts.  In case anyone misses the poster, there are post-it notes on the walls and the fridge:  “Emily is allergic to peanuts!”  Once the blood tests confirmed E’s allergies and their severity, day care rearranged the infant room so that the high chairs are surrounded by baby gates.  Now if any of the other babies is eating eggs or PB&J or cheese, E can’t swoop in and pick up anything they might drop on the floor.

It’s incredibly comforting to me that E’s food allergies are taken seriously by the people who look after her day to day.  I know day cares see this kind of thing every day and they have to be prepared–but we also live in a world where things get overlooked and people get lazy, and it’s a hard thing to be a mama of a baby who could accidentally find some peanut butter on the floor and that such a small thing can be deadly.  So I’m terribly grateful E’s day care has taken the measures they have for my baby.

Do you have a child with allergies who’s in day care?  Do you feel comfortable with the day care’s policies and precautions for kids with allergies?

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