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HAK1031

Babysitting?

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Hey everyone,

I'm 16 and need money. However I don't have time to get a job until school gets out. My parents suggested babysitting, but I worry a lot about CC. The last time I babysat (for my own nephew, so they were aware of my celiac) I got really sick. He was eating a sandwich and putting his hands everywhere, and even though I washed my hands and didn't eat anything while I was there, I still got sick. I'm sure parents would want me to feed their kids gluteny foods and I'm afraid I would get sick. Is there any way to handle this?

Also, slightly off the celiac topic, but as parents, how do you find babysitters? Do you have babysitters that you hire on a consistent basis, or are you ok with limited availibility? (I'm stuck at my dad's every other weekend, so I'm afriad I would have a hard time building up a reliable clientele)

Thanks!


Gluten Free since 10/07

Mildly Lactose Intolerant, slight intestinal symptoms after eating milk products, but easily corrected with lactase enzyme

Endometriosis- DX'd 5/07

Gluten Antibodies- "negative"...don't know exact numbers, am highly suspicious...

DXed celiac 12-19-07 via genetics/elimination diet- DQ2 allele

Brother with Celiac, aspergers...his tests were all negative (he didn't have genetics done), including endoscopy, but he definitely is at the least gluten intolerant...highly suspect my mother has it as well- she has hyperthyroid, fibromyalgia, hemochromatosis, and now colon cancer, and she has been weak and exhausted and just generally sick. She's going to get tested.

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If you know the parents, it might be worth it to ask them about meal times before babysitting. My parents used to go to the theater once a month when I was a kid. They would always feed me before the sitter came over. If the kids are going to eat while you're there, could you talk to the parents about you making something gluten-free? Or you might even be able to have the kids over to your house instead.

I'm pretty sure my parents used sitters who were their friends' children. That way they knew the sitters a little already and always knew that if something went wrong the sitter would call their parents who were friends of the family.

Do you play any sports? Coaching little kids sports is often a well paying, fun job.


Gluten-Free since September 15, 2005.

Peanut-Free since July 2006.

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I think babysitting would be difficult unless it was for a child who doesn't eat gluten. If you can deal with the challenges of some special kids, you may want to check into some of your local autism/aspergers groups and look for kiddos who are Gluten-free Casein-free. I am sure it would be a relief to some of those parents just to not to have to answer the "what?! how do you live w/o dominos?" question.

Because of our multiple issues, we only pick babysitters we know. We usually go through the church.


Shellfish free since 1980

Milk free (all forms) since 1991

Feingold in 2003

First gluten-free round 2007

Now entering full time Gluten free, egg free, almond/peanut free

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If you live in an area that is big enough to have a local support group, you might "advertise" with them. I'm sure parents of Celiac kids would love to have a sitter that understands the diet.

Unfortunately, my husband and I don't go out too much, but when we do, we usually use someone in the neighborhood. We neighbors also share our lists of sitters because there is no guarantee that your first choice will be available.


Janet

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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Thanks, these are great ideas. Although we don't have a support group around here, I would bet that there is an autism support group. And my brother and cousin have asperger's, so I have experience in that regard. Plus I'm a lifeguard which parents like :)


Gluten Free since 10/07

Mildly Lactose Intolerant, slight intestinal symptoms after eating milk products, but easily corrected with lactase enzyme

Endometriosis- DX'd 5/07

Gluten Antibodies- "negative"...don't know exact numbers, am highly suspicious...

DXed celiac 12-19-07 via genetics/elimination diet- DQ2 allele

Brother with Celiac, aspergers...his tests were all negative (he didn't have genetics done), including endoscopy, but he definitely is at the least gluten intolerant...highly suspect my mother has it as well- she has hyperthyroid, fibromyalgia, hemochromatosis, and now colon cancer, and she has been weak and exhausted and just generally sick. She's going to get tested.

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Another option is to put up a sign at the local allergists office or talk to your Dr and Gastro to see if they can give your name out to parents. (Learn what questions to ask parents with food allergic kids, ask the allergist office if you can watch a video on TwinJect and Epi-pen or have one of them train you.) PM me if you want more info.

In my case, I have two kids with food allergies and one also has Celiacs. I would love a sitter that also had food allergies or Celiacs. Right now I only use teachers or friends that are adults. I don't use teens becasue I just don't know any. Most importantly for me is a responsible, trustworthy person, who will listen and understand the food issues that surround my kids. Personally, I have given my few sitters a choice of nights that they might be available so we could go out on a date night.

As for your concerns about watching those gluteny eating little kids :P I would probably recommend avoiding the very young (like under 1 or 2 yrs old) they are usually a mess and always covered in some form of gluten. But older 2 yr olds should be fine. Discuss your allergy with the parents and explain that if they don't have any objections, you'll just feed the kids gluten-free foods that are mainstream like hot dogs and hamburgers, nachos, ice cream, jello, pudding, etc. Bring some gloves with you to handle their gluten breads. My house is mixed and we have gluten around. I don't get sick from it, so it can be done. I've watched friends kids who have no food issues and they usually understand that I can't touch or eat certain foods and my kids can't eat or touch certain foods too. It works out.

As for staying at your Dad's, just do the same thing in his area. Put up signs, talk to local mom's groups and Dr's offices, and you will start getting a following. Sometimes parents have an event on a specific date so that might be a problem, but most times they just want to go out once in a while and will happily follow your schedule!

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Thanks, these are great ideas. Although we don't have a support group around here, I would bet that there is an autism support group. And my brother and cousin have asperger's, so I have experience in that regard. Plus I'm a lifeguard which parents like :)

Hitting a niche market like that might be a bigger draw than you'd think! (That's a guess on my part, but it's worth a shot.) I'd think you'd need to get to know the parents and child first, but a support group leader might be worth a call to find out if parents could use your services as a sitter given that you have experience with the issue(s).


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I second the idea that you can creat your own market. Someone around there needs a gluten free babysitter. Do up a spreadsheet of questions that you would want to ask a parent about foods etc & add that to the standard babysitting list. Get ready, be prepared & KNOW that you will succeed. Hard work always pays off.

print up some business cards & get a roll of magnets from Michaels or another craft store & cut the magnets to your card size, adhere to your card & pass out a few at the doctors office. You might have to go by more than once - get to know the nurses... also post a few at the library, a lot of moms that might need a good sitter, home school & use the public library. Ask the librarian...

No matter the business it pays to specialize!!!

I would skip the babysitting jobs for the gluten kids... just not worth it to get sick.

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I used to babysit a lot but now not so much. One summer I sat for triplets the whole summer. I washed my hands a lot and they did their. They also were not allowed to play with Play-Doh while I was there. I had no problems and kept things clean clean clean. If you are not comfortable with that then do what others are saying by helping gluten-free kids. That same summer I almost sat for a gluten and casein-free child but it fell through. Good luck!

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Thanks, these are awesome ideas!! I never thought of cornering these "niche markets" but I can only imagine the nightmare that parents of kids with allergies must go through to find sitters. I am epi-pen trained as well (I carry one for a sqaush allergy...I know, who's allergic to squash? lol and latex) so the allergist is a great idea. THANK YOU!! This is seeming much more managable now.


Gluten Free since 10/07

Mildly Lactose Intolerant, slight intestinal symptoms after eating milk products, but easily corrected with lactase enzyme

Endometriosis- DX'd 5/07

Gluten Antibodies- "negative"...don't know exact numbers, am highly suspicious...

DXed celiac 12-19-07 via genetics/elimination diet- DQ2 allele

Brother with Celiac, aspergers...his tests were all negative (he didn't have genetics done), including endoscopy, but he definitely is at the least gluten intolerant...highly suspect my mother has it as well- she has hyperthyroid, fibromyalgia, hemochromatosis, and now colon cancer, and she has been weak and exhausted and just generally sick. She's going to get tested.

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Thanks, these are awesome ideas!! I never thought of cornering these "niche markets" but I can only imagine the nightmare that parents of kids with allergies must go through to find sitters. I am epi-pen trained as well (I carry one for a sqaush allergy...I know, who's allergic to squash? lol and latex) so the allergist is a great idea. THANK YOU!! This is seeming much more managable now.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! You know, you're right, who is allergic to squash? Well, you! I honestly think niche market babysitting could carry you right through high school and into college if necessary, if you don't at that point need an official job for health insurance. Babysitting can be very good money, especially if you have a well-to-do client that hires you for trips and things, and I guarantee you'll get loyal clients in this market. You sound like a remarkably intelligent and responsible 16yr old, good on you!


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

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