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Daycare Help

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Hi Everyone!

Last month we found out that our 3.5 year old daughter had Celiac Disease. Things have been a whirlwind but we feel like we're slowly getting a handle on things at home.

I have one question for those of you with children in daycare centers. How did you educate the daycare center about the disease and the cross-contamination issues? We have provided the daycare center with printed information regarding Celiac Disease but I don't feel that cross-contamination was addressed properly in the information we gave the center.

If any of you have documents or websites that could assist with educating the daycare center, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your help!

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I took the literature in with me and not only gave them the info, but I walked thru it all with them. The preschool has a no nut policy at the school and I told them that it was as serious as a nut allergy. Even though there isn't an external reaction that they can see, there is a large and dangerous internal reaction and over time, this constant cc will eventually kill them. We went thru all the stations in the classroom. We went thru the supply book that they order from and I showed them what was OK and what had gluten. I told them that if they were going to allow playdough in the classroom, they would have to do it on days that he wasn't there. If they decided to make playdough, cupcakes, etc in the classroom and it wasn't gluten-free, they would have to remove him from the room and he wasn't allowed back into the room until every surface in the room was sanitized because it was no longer a safe environment for him. I talked to them about having one of the teachers standing at the sink after every meal and snack time to make sure every child scrubbed their hands so that crumbs wouldn't get taken back out on all the toys. Ultimately, they decided to make the classroom gluten-free (except food). All of the school supplies and activities were gluten-free products and a teacher stayed at the sink during meal times to wash hands. That alone knocked the cc episodes down to a minimum.

He's in kindergarten now, there's no issues anymore. Plus it was a private preschool and me threatening to withdraw his tuition was enough to make them step it up ;)

Rachelle 20dance.gif

Daughter diagnosed 1/06 bloodwork and biopsy
-gluten-free since 1/06

Son tested negative-bloodwork (8/07), intestinal issues prompted biospy (3/08), results negative, but very positive dietary response, Dr. diagnosed Celiac disease (3/8)

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We just went through this at the end of August with my 3yo. I haven't gotten overworried yet about cross-contamination, so have not stepped up the game like the previous poster. But they have looked into soap ingredients, pulled playdoh from her group and supplied gluten-free pasta & clay as alternatives so that her group can still participate in activities. Our teacher took the extra step to talk to me about lunches when they have pasta since the 3yo's apparently have a habit of playing with it and it can be thrown. I told her that so long as she's at the end of the table and someone is close by, watching her so she doesn't eat it, she should be fine; but she's also VERY cognisent of knowing that glueten hurts her tummy. My daughter is their first (and so far only) gluten-free child in their school.

When we went gluten free at the school, this is the email I sent; after having a very brief discussion of what was to come. We got the +bw, then waited for the biopsy before asking the school to go through all the extra steps. I wanted them to take me seriously and didn't want to waste their time in case it wasn't celiac disease. They treat her celiac disease just like they treat nut allergies in the school...........very seriously. They had a lot of questions at first on a handful of products, but we've been learning together :-). And I keep applesauce, pretzels and popscicles at school for her (pops for bday party treats).

Good luck and I hope this helps!

As I think you may be expecting, I am now ready to start down the path of eliminating all gluten from X's daily life. She will be a gluten-free kid :-) This includes foods as well as products that touch her skin and products that can be significantly airborne (think flour). She had her endoscopy today and the GI doctor has confirmed celiac disease (aka gluten allergy); we'll have the official biopsy results later next week. Below are my thoughts on how to start, where we go with this to make her life easier. But I will need a lot of help from you all to ensure we're getting X healed and keeping her from further allergic damage.


  • I will have to begin providing ALL food for her, with the exception of water and milk (we are adding back in dairy to her diet). Do I need to provide the ice packs, etc. to keep things cold in a lunchbox or can you store things in a refrigerator?

  • Can I bring in larger sizes of her snacks - i.e. a bag of gluten-free pretzels or do I need to pack individually for every day?

  • If there are any upcoming birthday celebrations, could you please let me know so that I can bring her in her own cupcake or other treat. Can I bring in a few items to keep on hand in the school freezer in case there is something last minute?

  • She can not eat or touch any of the snacks in the lobby, but we should be able to control that :-)

  • Probably any other procedures you all have in place with the children with nut allergies should apply to X, though thankfully her allergy is not immediately life threatening. Her allergy damages the lining of her intestines causing stomach pain, loose bowels and most importantly the inability to absorb nutrients to help her grow and stay healthy.

  • Tables where she eats need to be well-cleaned to eliminate cross-contamination from gluten foods, though I'm sure this is no different from nut allergies.


  • I will have to bring in a list to look at the ingredients in the sunscreen, hand soap and any other products that can touch her skin. Once we go through everything, if you all swap out a product with a new type or a new manufacturer, I'll need to know so that we can check the new ingredients.

  • If necessary, I'll have to supply whatever it is as a replacement to what you have on hand.

ART SUPPLIES (this will probably be the most difficult)

  • She can not use, or be at, a table with playdoh :-(. This is going to be the absolute hardest part of this for her since she LOVES her playdoh. I understand that there is gluten-free play dough out there, Discount School Supply was mentioned, if it's necessary for you all to provide play doh in the art room while she's there. The table used with playdoh before her class should be cleaned well.

  • There are a handful of art supplies that have gluten, so I will have to work with you to go through the most used art supplies and also research a master list of the "bad" supplies

  • She can not make any macaroni or pasta projects and should not be at a table with them "just in case", unless you can provide gluten-free pasta for that project

  • She can not make any cereal projects and should not be at a table with them "just in case", unless you can provide gluten-free cereal for that project

  • She can not be in the room where flour is being used

  • She can not do paper mache or be in the room where the product for paper mache is.

  • Fingerpaint typically contains gluten.

  • Elmers & Crayola are very good about labeling their products as "wheat-free" and all but the playdoh should be gluten-free

  • If you need me to, I can do some research and provide some cereal, pasta, playdoh, etc. that is gluten-free and can be used in her classes


I am still learning about all of this so apologize that a lot of this information may be disorganized and/or you may have a lot of questions. We will learn it together :-). And as I come across more, or updated, information that I think will be important in the school setting, I will let you know. I'm sorry for overwhelming you with so much.

Do you want to set up a time to sit down and go through things next week? Is that easiest or do you want to go through my questions and the school first and then meet?


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We provide my child's preschool with homemade playdough now. We also are willing to substitute as much as possible for any pasta and cereal they use in art projects. We made up a sheet for all the teachers similar to the above list to let them know what is expected like washing everyone's hands after meals, not sharing food, no playdough, etc. I think it was helpful for them to have a list to go through.


Mommy to Steven, age 4 - diagnosed with Celiac July 2009 at age 3 via TTG IGA and endoscope/biopsy. He's grown several inches since going gluten-free!

And to Paige, age 6 - No celiac disease, just a picky eater

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