How to tell caregivers about the dangers of feeding my baby the wrong thing?

Emily - posted on 02/03/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am a stay at home mom and so I rarely have to leave my kids with someone other than myself or family member but know that I will need to face the obstacles of educating anyone that watches my son. He was just diagnosed in June of 2008 and while our church has been great and they completely got rid of all cheerios and only serve rice chex to the toddlers or 'Perky O's (a gluten free cereal similar to cheerois) I know that is not realistic for all situations. I put our son in childcare one day at my husband's workplace and the people that work there are all our friends and know our situation but he was still somehow fed cheerios while I was in a meeting for just a couple of hours. Since celiac kids don't have immediate reactions that need medical attention -like say an epipen- people don't seem to see the importance of being careful. (Although the next couple of days my son came down with a cold and all he wanted to do was sleep) And, part of what added to the confusion was that a friend of ours that was watching him saw that he had been eating pretzels and so thought the cheerios were ok. He didn't realize that I had packed special Gluten free pretzels just for our son. How do you convey in a nice way how important it is to only give them what you bring and how far do you go with the contamination issue in that kind of setting?

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Ronda - posted on 04/29/2009

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As far as reactions....they gave her something one day and I made them deal with her crying the next 3 days at school. They would call complaining that she was inconsolable and I told them that's what happens when she gets....that they gave her so they would have to deal with it. They never made the mistake again.

Ronda - posted on 04/29/2009

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When my daughter started preschool, I asked for the menu and made sure they knew that I would provide alternatives to those foods she couldn't have. She was one of the few that had a lunch box (other lunch boxes began popping up once people realized that this school knew how to treat allergies) and she soon learned to ask if the things on her plate where from her lunch box. People who were new would just let her pick from her box at snack and lunch times. I always put a note about what she could have that was on their menu. The school was glad that my lunches and snacks were close comparisons to the other students even tho I knew mine were made healthier. They only asked that I stay peanut free as well, which wasn't as hard as coming up with similar menu items.

Sheena - posted on 02/21/2009

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In short, The sooner the Better. We have a 4 year old daughter with Celiac and we had a sit down meeting with both daycare and school (She's in 1/2 day EC) weeks before she even started attending. We provided some of the gluten free crackers, pretzels, cookies etc, but then gave a list of "safe" alternatives too. They supply like the fruit snacks, fruit cups, applesauce etc. They have been great working with us and always ask about the special birthday treats before offering her one. I usually send a special cookie or cupcake from home. However, when she is at a different daycare when we work out (for an hour or so a couple times a week) there is always different staff working and then I provide 3 different baggied snacks for her to pick from and notify whoever is on staff each time that she can only have those things.  Good luck!

Jenica - posted on 02/10/2009

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Whenever we leave our kids in childcare (usually at church) or a school, I make a gluten free snack container for that facility. I label the container with his name and gluten free all over, I even put my cell phone number on it incase they run out and have questions. I fill the container with different snacks, baggied pretzels, chips, nuts, dried fuit, fruit snacks and so on, so that at snack time his has options. For school his container has sweet treats, so he has something for b-day celebrations (he doesn't mind having something different, so I haven't stressed about making sure he has a cupcake). At church it is noted on the sign in sheet, and everyone knows they must be careful, wipe down tables, wash hands before serving him and not offering anything I have not approved. We did have one or two glutenings in the earlier years when he was to small to speak up, but he now knows to say he can't have something (he's almost 7), so it is getting a lot easier.



Something I have not had to do, but have heard of before is making sticky labels that say, "Please do not feed me Gluten, please check everything before giving it to me, and wash your hands, thank you:"  Hope this helps

Nancy - posted on 02/03/2009

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Hi Emily,



  I know what you mean.  Sometimes the person will be real concerned and accomodating.  Then they ask about my dd's reaction and after I tell them, they seem not to take it as serious.  It's frustrating.  Sometimes I'm tempted to lie, but that would not be teaching the general public.  I do usually exaggerate her symptoms : ) I find it such a relief when we go someplace where the "caretakers" are aware and really good about it.  Maybe you could keep on hand some Celiac info to give to people that may be taking care of your son.

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