Saturday, August 7, 2010

Food Allergies and Day Care? Help!

Looks like my work situation is changing, so that means so is my child care situation. I want to start off by saying I have nothing against Day Care. Every family has different needs. In fact I've been looking for two 1/2 day programs for Cormac. He needs more stimulation and educational interaction. However, I've been unsuccessful since he misses the age cut off by 5 days! It's very frustrating.

A few months ago (pre peanut/tree nut allergy), I had done some Day Care scouting as I needed to increase my work hours. I did find one that I liked, but it wouldn't work financially. Day Care in the NY Metro Area is pricey. I was able to find a friend that offered to watch him for the increased hours. I LOVE her and she's great with him. She has a little girl Cormac's age. They are like 2 peas in a pod! When he was diagnosed with his peanut and tree nut allergy she was amazing, and still is. So obviously my problem is not with her. The other days I work, he with with his dad or grandma. Again not a problem.

So what is the problem? Well work has requested that I return full time. That mean 2.5 more days of child care that I need to find. I have to admit I am freaking out! I know emotionally he will be fine and probably love it. I don't trust many people with him now that he has allergies, and I don't want to give up my time with him. I have to say I've been very lucky thus far balancing family and work. I also understand where my company is coming from. They have been very generous and understanding with me. I really did have the best of both words.

Here lies the big problem: Will he be safe at a Day Care? I know food allergies are more prevalent these days. Day Cares must have experience with this, but I 'm terrified to let a group of people take care of him. What it there is a substitute who isn't aware of his allergies? What if the teacher forgets? What about accidental cross contamination? I work somewhat far from home, what if I can't get there in time? It's hard enough for us to make sure he's safe, and we are his parents. Cormac is our world, and our lives have changed accordingly. But can a Day Care really keep him safe?

I know I have more research an interviewing to do. I would love to know how other parents of food allergic kids handle this situation. If you have and suggestions or advise please let me know! I really need some guidance here.



  1. Is there any way your friend would be willing to watch him since she already has him part time?

    Other then that, I would just make sure you interview daycares well. Maybe even look into a home daycare, since they have less kids in their care.

  2. We are getting ready to start my dd in day care this week. She was just diagnosed with peanut, egg, and milk allergies. She also has an epi for the peanut one. Right now I'm sending all her food and will make sure that they have the meds to give if there is a problem. The school takes their pictures and posts them on the fridge in the classroom with a label about what their allergies are. If it gets to be too hard I will ask if they could make her room peanut free. I think that if you look around you might be able to find a place that already has these precautions in place. Most places are willing to work with you to make sure he is safe.

  3. our daycare is a peanut free zone. I think a lot are now because this allergy is more prevalent these days. I can not imagine your worry though. good luck!

  4. I just wanted to thank you all for your support! It really means so much!

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