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More stress--allergies

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2006: More stress--allergies
By Cat on Sunday, October 1, 2006 - 09:51 pm:

I have an almost 6mo I watch and for the past month or so he's been having a terrible time with itching and rashes. His doc thought it was eczema but it wasn't getting any better. His mom was beginning to think he was allergic to milk and almost switched him to soy, but decided to take him to an allergist first. Good thing she did because it turned out he's allergic to soy! He's also allergic to dogs, cats, peanuts, almonds and a couple other things. He's NOT allergic to milk, rice or wheat. Well, they have two dogs and we have two dogs AND two cats. I also serve peanut butter or things with peanut butter in them (crackers, nuts products). The doc put him on Zyrtec and some cream and mom's hoping that will do the trick. He hasn't been here since starting the meds (they've been out of town). He'll be here tomorrow. I've cleaned as best I can (with two cats that shed like crazy and one that likes to sleep in the play pen when the baby's not here!). I've got to say though, I'm stressing about this. I have a couple of parents that are allergic to cats and if they're in my house for more than about 10 minutes they start feeling it. I'm not so concerned about the food allergies yet, but when he starts to eat real food it will be a problem. That and I'll stress any time we have nuts products out (we do peanut butter crackers and/or apples with peanut butter at least once or twice a week). We don't know the extent of his allergies yet. I did tell the mom when she told me we'll see how he does with the new meds and cleaning his play/sleep area really well and if he's still having problems we'll deal with it then. She doesn't want to pull him out of my care (he's been here three months) and I don't really want to see him go, but is it really fair to him? He's already a challenging child (hopefully treating the allergies will help!) and he was only supposed to be part time (gone by 1pm every day) but mom was asked to go back to work full time (she's a teacher) so he's here until about 4:20pm. AND I pick him up after dropping off the kindy kid at school because they only have one car (dad drives a government car and civilians aren't allowed in it)--if for some reason I don't drop off the kindy kid she drops him off at 7am. This kid's just been a lot more than I barganed for. He's a great kid, really! I just really didn't want to take on infants to begin with. I guess I just should have said no at the beginning. Ugh. I guess we'll see how he does this week. It's only a four day week because I'm taking Friday off for conferences and I'm taking all of next week off (kid's fall break--they get two weeks and I'm taking the first week off for just me and my boys!). I hope his meds work well. :( Thanx for listening to my vent and any suggestions are welcome!

By Dawnk777 on Sunday, October 1, 2006 - 11:33 pm:

Wow. He sure does sound challenging! Poor kid. I hope the meds work well for him.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, October 2, 2006 - 07:05 am:

He is indeed challenging. Do you need that challenge, Cat? Especially factoring in the health risks for the child? I now you don't want to let this little guy go, and his mom doesn't want to change him, but cat allergies, piled on top of the food allergy risks, sounds like more of a risk than I'd like to take.

When you add in all the hours (and extra hours and services) you are providing, and that you really didn't want an infant in the first place, my advice is to tell the mom she has to find another daycare program, and give her two weeks, or a month maximum, with no extensions.

I can understand why she doesn't want to change - you are not only providing child care, you are providing chauffeur services. If I read your post correctly, you have this little guy from 7:00 a.m. until 4:20 p.m. - almost 9-1/2 hours - plus you pick him up most mornings.

You sound conflicted on this - you really like the child and you don't want to disappoint the mom, but on the other hand it is a lot of work and a lot of things to worry about (like when he gets a bit older and another child inadvertently gives him a taste of peanut butter). My advice - very firm advice - is to tell the mom she has to find other daycare. I just think you don't need this on top of everything else.

By Trina~moderator on Monday, October 2, 2006 - 08:30 am:

Ditto Ginny. You have to decide what's best for YOU. Do you really want to accept this challenge with all the risks?

That said, I have personal experience dealing with food and pet allergies. Both kids have asthma and are severely allergic to nuts. DS is allergic to cats and DD is allergic to dogs. If you decide to keep this child in your care you will need the mother to provide you with an Epi-pen and Benadryl to keep on hand at all times. Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) are life threatening. For this reason, you will need to banish peanut butter and all nuts from your house. This involves reading all food labels. Peanuts and tree nuts are in a lot of processed foods. Things you would never suspect! Many things have been processed on the same lines as peanuts and tree nuts, and depending on the severity of the allergy, could cause a reaction. We also avoid anything that contains "natural flavors" unless those natural flavors are identified. We use sunflower seed butter as a peanut butter substitute. It's the closest thing to peanut butter I've been able to find.

Cat allergies - DS does OK with our current cats, but I think that's because we've had them since before he was born. When we introduced 2 new kittens into the house he had a severe asthma attack that resulted in a 3 day hospital stay. No more new kitties for us. :( He takes Claritin daily and our cats are not allowed in his room. He also has a HEPA air cleaner in his room, which is a big help.

Banning certain foods from your house will be challenging, but do-able. However, *I* would not be willing to give up beloved family pets for a daycare child. Taking precautions *might* help, but that depends on how severe the child's allergies are. Where does he take naps at your house? Would it be possible to ban cats from that room? Could you put a HEPA air cleaner in there? Argh, I'm frustrated for you, Cat!

By Tripletmom on Monday, October 2, 2006 - 08:54 am:

Ditto Ginny-It does sound like alot.It would be best for everyone in the long run.((HUGS))

By Trina~moderator on Monday, October 2, 2006 - 08:59 am:

Forgot to mention... Check your state laws regarding Epi-pens in schools and daycares. Some states, including mine, do not allow teachers or daycare staff to administer Epi-pens unless they are Epi-pen certified.

By Cat on Monday, October 2, 2006 - 11:12 am:

The cats stay. They're Robin's cats and well, you can imagine the fallout if I get rid of his cats because of another child. Not pretty. I don't want to get rid of them anyway. As for ridding the house of nuts or nut products, that's not going to happen either. Dh loves his peanut butter and nuts are a common snack among my family. I have to wonder how seriously this family is taking these allergies. Mom's still nursing and she hasn't stopped eating nuts herself! Dad told me this morning that baby really cleared up over the weekend (and he did look a lot better--the rash was almost gone). I asked, "Was he around cats and dogs this weekend?" They were out of town for a wedding and just got home late last night and haven't even picked up their dogs from the kennel. He says, "Well, my mom came and brought her big dog, but he was outside a lot." *sigh* Zyrtec isn't going to be a magic cure! We'll just have to see how well it does work and how bad the allergies really are. One eye is already getting red (lid and surrounding area--not the eye itself). We'll see how he is at 4:30 today.

Trina, I don't think we have to be Epi-pen certified. We are required to have a medication admin class every year and I had mine about 4 months ago. I don't even know if they've gotten an Epi-pen yet.

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