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celiacsmom

Does Anyone Have Day Care Issues?

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I was on here a about 1½ mos ago when my son was dx w/Celiac. We immediately went gluten-free and he improved dramatically. Now he has been throwing up again and gets that pale, sickly look that most of you are probably very familiar with. Luckily he hasn't started losing weight again, but of course I have to figure out where he's getting exposed to gluten. The only two places he eats are at home and at day care. I have caught them slipping up a couple of times recently which concerns me that since he hasn't been throwing up at school (I've alerted them that its happening at home) they don't fully understand the necessity to be 100% gluten-free or as close as possible. I also should mention that he is EXTREMELY sensitive. His tTg was 208. The Dr at the Children's Hosp we went to had never seen one that high and she's been a Ped GI specialist for over 30 yrs. His pediatrician said he's never seen a tTg over 125. In fact last week his ped said that he would strongly suggest that I stay home with him until he is old enough to effectively communicate his needs and ask questions. Financially, we just can't do that, but if that's what it comes to we'll have to figure it out. I just can't seem to get it through the day care's heads how critical it is that he not be exposed to gluten, period - including in play dough, paints and other arts & craft supplies. They provide food so I also have to work with the cook as well as his teachers. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent day care facility & I am otherwise very happy with them. Have any of the other parents here had similar experiences? What did you do?

My other question is what would you do with regards to Easter dinner at a neighbor's house? They have asked me what he can have and I've given them lots of info, but I just don't know yet don't want them to be offended if I bring a dinner for him. Short of going over the menu and the specific ingredients in each and every product they plan to use, I will not be sure - not to mention the cross-contamination issue. Then I feel like I'm being such a pain in the you-know-what when I say I'll need to go over everything with them.

I know you will all give some great support and advice so I'm thanking you now!! :o)

Heidi

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I'd start supplying food to the daycare and have a seperate toaster, cutting board, that kinda stuff for him and can you buy your own art supplies so he doesn't use theirs if they arent' the right type. Also if they arent' going to work with you I'd be looking into a new daycare as this is his health. Same with the neighbors I'd call and just explain about cross contamination and such how sensitive he is and you feel better perparing his food. I haven' t had to deal with either of these so maybe some others who have will have some different ideas.

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Have any of the other parents here had similar experiences? What did you do?

YES we did, but your not gonna like my asnwer. Even AFTER supplying the care with gluten-free playdough, food, training, etc. So what did we do? We found a new day care (well in this case its pre-school, same basic deal though). Sorry, but if you cant get the daycase to work with you, you have to find a new one or stay home with him. The mental and phyiscal damage happening to him in that school right now can not be allowd to go on.

My other question is what would you do with regards to Easter dinner at a neighbor's house?

No matter where we go, we pack plenty of food. I have never hand anyone get upset over it though I have heard other ppl say thier "friends" have. I will withhold my comments about that kind of "freind". I never trust any food for my son that I have not personaly picked out, cooked and prepaired. Anytime I have swayed from that line HE ended up hurt. He is far more important to me then any friend. The only execption I make is that one of his teachers has Celiac her self and I am more trusting of her. :)

FYI: My son is 2 1/2 years old with Celiac AND Egg allergy. My wife has a deadly nut allergy, and I am Dairy intorlent and likly celiac too.

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What exactly are they in charge of food wise for your child at preschool? It should be pretty limited. My son did preschool. He's nearly 8 now. We never had a problem. I came down like a protective mama bear on his preschool. They had snacks every day, and I packed my son's food. They played with playdough, Home made version with flour, and he was instructed to wash his hands thoroughly. He ate at a table that had not been the "playdough" station earlier in the day. I also had the teachers and my son share with the class his Celiac status. The other kids were very cooperative, helpful and concerned that my son remain gluten free and would NEVER risk his getting contaminated. If a sub was in for the day, she would tell me that every child in the class had warned her not to poison Al. It was very sweet. The only thing they had my permission to feed my child was water. And I stressed that with some attitude, saying "you only have permission to give my child water. Nothing else. Not anything you would "believe" to be gluten free. Nothing. If that changes, I'll let you know." I made face time with the teachers in the morning and would ask if there was anything food wise they wanted to confirm with me. Sometimes it would be "apple day" and they'd ask if he could have an apple with the class. I'd say I'll bring him an apple. WHY? because someone always thinks of somthing cool to bring in on "apple day". Something like, dried apples, apple sauce, apple muffins, apple pancakes, apple pies.... and apples becomes apple anything. I told them I was making it simple for them.... They were to feed him nothing.

As for adults being offended if you pack and bring your child's food to easter... please. Tell the adults to get over it. I NEVER expect or want a friend to prepare a meal for my celiac. That would end friendships in a hurry~! They just don't get it. Accept the invitatations as they come and bring along a tupperware of Tinkyada pastas and sauce with some chebe bread sticks for dipping. Bring a baggie of fruit or cookies for dessert and worry no more. You're right to be concerned that this is all too much for a neighbor to take in when inviting your family to dinner. It is too much.

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Oh I should mention we are evn stricter then Jnkmnky we pack his drinks and food for him, and everyone at the new places knows that unless it came form his bag, he is not allowd to have it. NO EXPECTIONS. (well execpt the one teacher that has celiac disease and actully is on the local advocay group for celiac disease but thats a very specail / rare case she is!!!)

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I know if you're a working mom, you're already exhausted, even without having to deal with celiac issues! So I apologize that my suggestion is going to mean even more time on your part. can you ask teh school if you can supply all the play dough and finger paint? Maybe thaey can give you something toward the cost of it. Then you can make everybody's paint and playdough gluten-free, and that's one issue solved.

Our daycare and even our public school do not allow peanuts in the classrooms because so many kids have severe nut/legume allergies these days. The cafeterias have peanut-free tables to sit at. My 4-year-old is allowed to bring a peanut-butter sandwich to school, but has asked me not to make them so that she can sit at the same table with her peanut-allergic friend.

The daycare staff may be trying very hard, but all it takes is one kid to drop a cracker or even a crumb, and one second for your child to see it, swipe it off the floor and stick it in his mouth, all without the teachers having seen a thing.

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Oh I should mention we are evn stricter then Jnkmnky we pack his drinks and food for him, and everyone at the new places knows that unless it came form his bag, he is not allowd to have it. NO EXPECTIONS. (well execpt the one teacher that has celiac disease and actully is on the local advocay group for celiac disease but thats a very specail / rare case she is!!!)

Hey! You're not stricter than me!! :angry::lol: lol

I packed his drinks, too.... :huh:

And you might as well *all parents* get used to doing this too. It goes on in every grade. Kindergarten, 1st grade, and so on. Class parties, Friday "treat days", birthdays, ... My son always has a stocked lunch box in his classrooms every year with treats, puddings for parties, and small toys just incase he choses not to eat some sugary crap.

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Hey! You're not sticteter than me!! :angry::lol: lol

I packed his drinks, too.... :huh:

And you might as well *all parents* get used to doing this too. It goes on in every grade. Kindergarten, 1st grade, and so on. Class parties, Friday "treat days", birthdays, ... My son always has a stocked lunch box in his classrooms every year with treats, puddings for parties, and small toys just incase he choses not to eat some sugary crap.

Yes we are!! :P We do not let them give him water. I do not trust thier cups! :P

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Ok... you're just nuts! :lol:

:lol: :lol: :D :D :lol: (that enough smilies to get the point across that I know your joking around and I am smiling not upset? if not.. pretend there are more. Repeat until satisfied :lol:)

Prehaps... but holding a a less then 1 year old screaming and writhing in pain in your arms at 1am with no possible treatment or prevent known will have a lasting impact on you , even more so when that child is your only son! :o I rather be nuts then go back to those dark days....

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I was working part time before my daughter was born and my son attended a home day care. My daughter was born with a heart defect, so I am staying home now. I loved his caregiver, but I cannot imagine her being able to keep his food safe with th eother kids in the house not being gluten-free. I'm not saying you should stay home, but it is actually working for us. Losing my income was a big hit since I was making a fair salary, but I find that we eat out less (mostly becuase of celiac and my sick daughter), we don't have day care bills, and I have time to do a lot of things that I had to hire done before. We still are able to put about the same amount we put towards savings before towards medical bills (daughter) and savings now. Being a professional, I wrestled with the decision every day about what I should do, but I'm amazed at how well being home has worked. Just wanted to let you know that it can be done IF you want to try it. I don't know your situation, but your boss might even let you work from home some if you ask. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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:lol: :lol: :D :D :lol: (that enough smilies to get the point across that I know your joking around and I am smiling not upset? if not.. pretend there are more. Repeat until satisfied :lol:)

Prehaps... but holding a a less then 1 year old screaming and writhing in pain in your arms at 1am with no possible treatment or prevent known will have a lasting impact on you , even more so when that child is your only son! :o I rather be nuts then go back to those dark days....

Been there. And you know something, I think you're lucky to have that day care person with celiac disease... None of my son's teachers have even heard of celiac disease until he came along. AND the fact that he wouldn't drop dead right in front of them like the peanut allergic kids kind of makes them question how truely terrible celiac disease actually is... :o So, I know that need to be 100% in control of the gluten while the child is at school. And I have lots of teachers who will attest to the fact that they think I'm paranoid! :lol: We're in a small club as parents of Celiac toddlers, that's for sure. And if supplying drinking cups or denying them the right to give your son water made you feel you were protecting him... That's totally understandable in my opinion because like you said "I rather be nuts then go back to those dark days...." Big amen to that!

BTW, my son never had that kind of screaming pain. He was more in the doped, peptide category. Which is the main culprit of his cognitive delays. The whole peptide thing never seems to rise out of the murky voo-doo medicine fantasy by the looks on the teacher's faces. They're always looking at me like bread can't possibly do all that to a child! :ph34r:

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Back to the ogrinal question, if you can not get the day care to take care of your child safely, then they are NOT a good daycare reguardless of anything else. Thier primary function is the childs SAFTY while your at work. If the child is getting gluten NON STOP then that is not an acceptable level of safty. Accidents happen, but not every singel time. Evey singel time is careless providors, or worse.

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We chose a daycare where all the kids bring their own lunch and they have a policy of no food sharing. We have never had a problem. They do provide morning and afternoon snacks for the kids, but I provide my child's own snack. Having a different snack has not been an issue. I allow my child to have juice at snack time. My advice is to find another daycare. Good ones do exist, though you may have to pay a little more. Going to a daycare where lunch is not provided by the school has worked very well for us. I would be frank with your school that if they cannot do a better job in protecting your child from gluten exposure, you will take your business elsewhere. Frankly, they may not care, because it will be less of a headache for them not to have to provide a special diet for your child. A daycare where food is not provided will probably mean much less worry for you and much less time spent dealing with the cook at the daycare.

Good Luck!

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HI, my son goes to pre school as well. They provide snack only as it is a part time program. Before school started in September mailed in a copy of all the do's and don'ts of Celiac Disease and the serious consequences to the Celiac if contaminated. I also asked to speak directly to his teacher before school started. We had a lengthy conversation about all the risks and the seriousness of it. I found out that her daughter has a best friend who is also a Celiac so she was already familiar with all of the concerns. I provide snack for my son. I stock the school with a variety of gluten-free cookies, crackers, and cereals to be given to him at snack time. I also keep frozen cupcakes, brownies, etc. in the freezer in case of a surprise birthday celebration. All the parents are aware that there is a child with a special "foods" need in class and give advance notice when they plan to celebrate just in case the school runs out of his treats. It has worked out so far. They do not give him any food that has not come from me or that I haven't examined the ingredients (my sister also cares for him while I am at work and she is the back up ingredients examiner in case I am not available :P ).

Most holidays or parties we attend I will supply his food. I do have a couple of family members (mother, aunt, and sister) who have a firm understanding of his illness and the risks of cross contamination. I do allow those few people to cook for him. But I would not allow anyone outside of our family to cook because even with the best intentions, someone might make a mistake if they are not used to thinking gluten-free all the time.

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You know, it's not an easy thing for a child to switch day care providers--it's very traumatic, almost like switching mommies (and if they're taking care of your child for 40 hours a week, that IS like being mommy #2. I don't think you should switch to another one until you know FOR DARN sure taht the gluten situation WILL be better, and even more importantly, that the care is up to your standards.

I looked at over a dozen different day cares--and there was only ONE that met my standards for caregiving --the rest didn't come close--crying babies were not comforted, there was no outside play area, some would only feed babies formula, etc)

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