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Allergy Nightmare


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I am glad that today is friday and I have 2 whole days to calm down until I next see the following parent.

Parent provided a cake for son's birthday party, son has allergy to egg (epi pen) and the cake contained egg, sadly the child's key worker agreed to mums request that we scrape some icing off and give this to the son with some squirty cream.

I refused to do this as we have signed written instructions from parent that says high risk allergy to egg, scraping the icing off which has been touching the cake made with egg would result in cross contamination.

Mum turned up after we had 'done' the cake (she was half an hour late) and she went mad because we gave her son what he always gets a parties when there is cake he can't have (he was quite happy)

SO she shouted at me and said she had spoken to three people about it and I asked if she had given written permission for him to have the egg and she wavered a bit and said she had spoken to three people about it and said what she wanted to happen.

I said she could give him the cake now that she was here and take responsibility for it but I could only follow the written instruction that she had given us for her child. (for the obvious reason that, had we given him it and he had reacted we didnt have a leg to stand on). Mum thinks it is ridiculous. I walked away at that point and then a lovely staff member said she would stay and be there for the last child (to support staff).

I know the parent wont make a formal complaint as she was in my office on monday due to an 'incident' that had happened the previous week when I was on holiday but again wont make a formal complaint, I have spent most of the week trying to sort out the (non event) incident to placate this parent and now this. TO say I am frustrated is putting it mildly.

 

Would any of you given him the icing from the cake?

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Isn't there a chance that the icing contained some form of egg anyway - even if it was 'dried egg'..isn't often used to keep the icing soft??

 

I'd have done the same as you.......... unless as you say parent was there to take responsiblity.

 

xxx

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What parent would bake a cake to celebrate their son's birthday knowing the child can't have any????? Crazy!!!

I would have done exactly the same as you . It carried too much of a risk.

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I 100% agree in not giving him the icing xD

 

The alternative is too horrific to think about:

give him the icing and he has a reaction - where would that have left you??? Mum would certainly have had something to shout about then!!

 

 

Verbal instruction (in my view) from the parent to keyworker was insufficient on this occasion - dated, written permission I think was necessary :o

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I have been in the same position as you...well with a child with a life threatening egg allergy. No way would I have let this happen, the same as you....I remember it being so stressful whilst the child was with us but we learnt so much - we had an egg-free nursery for some time and put in place policies and procedures whilst the child was with us, it was very demanding, we all had training in administering the epi-pen and hand washing procedures for all children and adults before entry to the setting. It was a severe allergy and the child had previously been hospitalised several times because of little slip-ups, you have to protect yourself as well as the child - it doesn't bear thinking what could happen if we are not cautious as practitioners. :o

 

 

I agree Geraldine, everything has to be in writing, you can't afford to be casual

Edited by Guest
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Thank for your reassuarnce, i wont drink my wine so quickly now when the otherhalf arrives back with it!

 

It is good to know that I did the right thing, thanks for your support

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It is good to know that I did the right thing, thanks for your support

Not only did you do the right thing (I'd like to think I was so clear thinking in a similar situation) but I think the way you handled the parent was admirable!

 

You deserve that wine - enjoy!

 

Maz

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I'm not sure I would have even accepted written permission from the parent, if I was astute enough at the time (credit to you here for being so) to recognise the risk of 'contaminated' icing. I would argue this point with the parent that the childs welfare is paramount and given even the slightest risk of allergic reaction, I would consider the childs rights over the parents permission. I'm not sure I'd even allow the food to be given, knowing the risk, on my premises, even with the parent being present.

 

It's a bit like a parent giving you permission to smack their child, you wouldn't would you.

 

So maybe a slight adjustment to your policy stating "The staff will not allow any foods that pose a risk of procuring an allergic reaction to be consumed on the premises, at any time" :o

 

Peggy

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You absolutely did the right thing!There's no way I'd have given this without written permission, maybe it's something you need to publicise to all parents - that if they want to change something on their registration form, it must be done IN WRITING! even if it's just a note, dated and signed attached to the main form - even for changes for who will collect their child

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So maybe a slight adjustment to your policy stating "The staff will not allow any foods that pose a risk of procuring an allergic reaction to be consumed on the premises, at any time" :o

Would we be able to offer anything then Peggy? xD

 

We have a couple of children with food allergies/dietary requirements and if a parent brought in a cake for a child to eat we would check the ingredients with the parent of these children to make sure it would be ok. However most parents bring in sweeties for their child's birthday and the children don't get these until home time when the parents take responsibility for giving it to their children!

 

Maz

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I know nurseries who wont accept anything on the premisis that hasnt been made by their cook or delivered by the thier catering company so dont feel you should have done differently to what you did.

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I'm not sure I would have even accepted written permission from the parent, if I was astute enough at the time (credit to you here for being so) to recognise the risk of 'contaminated' icing. I would argue this point with the parent that the childs welfare is paramount and given even the slightest risk of allergic reaction, I would consider the childs rights over the parents permission. I'm not sure I'd even allow the food to be given, knowing the risk, on my premises, even with the parent being present.

 

It's a bit like a parent giving you permission to smack their child, you wouldn't would you.

 

So maybe a slight adjustment to your policy stating "The staff will not allow any foods that pose a risk of procuring an allergic reaction to be consumed on the premises, at any time" :o

 

Peggy

I can see exactly where you are coming from Peggy :( We adapted our policy on 'cake bringing' and so far it seems to have addressed any allergy risks without removing the children's enjoyment of birthday cake.

Children may bring a cake into the setting but all parents know it will not be eaten! The cake is put on the 'birthday table' and the child (wearing the birthday hat of course!!) is 'helped' to cut the cake after we have sung Happy Birthday. THe children understand the cake is 'special' and is taken home and eaten when mummy/daddy say it is OK. The cake is individually wrapped in paper serviettes and handed out at home time.

We currently have one child with mild allergic reactions and for that child the 'contents' section of the cake box is cut out and stuck on the wrapped cake. This has been in force for a few months and so far so good no problems or moans from parents or children.

 

I am not quite so sure about child's rights over written parental permission xD With smacking I think the answer would simply be 'no corporal punishment' is permitted under any circumstances and I would refuse to accept such permission and refer to the relevant quote from EYFS/our policies etc. I guess it's down to individual situations and balancing risks etc etc!!

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Absolutely agree with you Maz, I told Mum that she coudl give him the cake now that she had arrived. Although verbally checking the ingrediants with her, had we fed him the cak and he had reacted we had no proof that she had 'cleared' the cake when we have highly visable notices about these allergies displayed and a written procedure about his allergies from her, whihc does not state that he can have food that has traces of egg or has been in contact with egg. I am seriously beginning to think Munchausen by proxy syndrome

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What a terrible situation to be put in. Why on earth would a parent make a cake for their child that they have an allergy to?!?!

Just to echo what evryone is saying though you handled it admirably, and these thing are sent to ensure that we check our policies and procedures cover every eventuality and keep children safe. well done :o

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As Mum to a daughter with allergies I can't understand where the mother is coming from :o

 

Is he only allergic to egg and egg products when it suits her?

 

The advice we've always followed, from the Immunologist, is "if in doubt, give nowt" (strange wording as she's Greek! but it gets the message across)

 

In her opinion a "taste" is every bit as "poisonous" to that childs system as eating the whole thing!

 

She should be grateful you and your staff are so vigilant.

 

Nona

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our policy is if a parnet wants a child to have a birthday cake then it has to be brought in in the originl packaging, if its not then we can't give it. We have started encouraging parents to buy their child's birthday cake from us and our lovely cook makes them. This way we can control what goes in it (although parents can choose vanilla/chocolate, jam/buttercream filling etc, iced/not iced).

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Wow - only just caught up with this one :o

 

My son has an egg allergy .... and an allergy is an allergy - there is no way you could take that risk!

 

I used to make an egg-free cake for my son to have (pre-school requested I provide something he could eat)

I also had to sign a form stating that he was only to eat what was provided by me.

 

I cannot believe she put you in such a position - well done for doing the right thing!

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hi glad you acted on what you thougth was best ,sure everyone would agree ur concern was for the child. In our setting we had A child who had serious allergy to dairy products which was life threating , the 2 years he was with us we did not ever have any dairy products in our setting ,it was to much of risk. Yes at times it was hard but at the end day that childs life was more important than taking a risk .His mother was great when it was party time she would make the food for it , other parents did not mind AND always suppiled what that chiLD could eat by asking his mother if it was safe .

Edited by bubblybee3107
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We had a potentially nasty situation on Friday when a child mistakenly picked up another child's milk and took a mouthful before we noticed. It shouldn't have happened but it did and I had to ring mum straight away and explain what had happened and to ask for advice. Fortunately this is a very understanding mum but I hate to think what might have happened - either if the child had taken more than a mouthful or if the parent had complained. :o

 

I have written the incident up, got the parent to sign to confirm that we discussed what had happened. Now I'll be reviewing our policy and looking at how we can prevent this happening again. This was a minor occurrence in the grand scheme of things, but it shows how easy it is to get caught on the back foot.

 

Which makes me even fuller of admiration for you Wendles for the way you handled the situation! You showed your willingness to safeguard the children in your care even in the face of a parent who for one reason or another was putting pressure on you to abandon your own policy and her previous instructions.

 

It may be that her child has an intolerance and not an allergy - but clearly she needs to review the information she has provided you so that you can continue to keep him safe.

 

What's going to happen now, Wendles?

 

Maz

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parents can be strange with food intolerance issues. We had child who had an extremely restricted diet including no dairy foods. Imagine our faces when they came in on a monday talking about HOW MUCH HE ENJOYED HIS PIZZA AT PIZZA HUT!

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we often found similar.. rather a food intolerance or sometimes even a dislike classed as an allergy.. so we added a line onto our forms to ask if an allergy what form does it take and how would we recognise symptoms so we can act promptly... found this helped...

 

If an allergy we definitely did not give any food to the child we felt may cause problems....but if a cake or something did as others had said and sent it home with the ingredients list for parents to decide.

 

Inge

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Well, we had our meeting today and I did not get an apology, not even close. We discussed the childs development first and then got onto the issue of his health. I had a copy of the allergies and procedure to follow if the child is EXPOSED to any of the named foods, this for me was proof that I was right. Mum said again that the cake or even a fruit salad that had had banana removed from it would be ok, but I just showed her the document from the DOCTOR at the hospital where his allergies were identified and it states exposure is enough. However mum did feed the cake to him after I had gone and then they went home. I think she gave him a tiny bit but, as she says, he wont eat something he is allergic to because his lips start to blister!! SO she gave him a little bit?"?!?!?!?!?!?

When I tried to state that I would follow the current instructions until given anymore from the hospital, Mum then reminded me that she had already told me that he went for an allergy test on the 26th of January and she hoped that would show he was no longer allergic. We have not had the results yet! She would not admit that I had done the right thing, but I did not back down and stated again that we would not give any of the foods or any products that had traces of either. She than went on to say that she would write some more new notes for his asthma, roughly the 10th set of notes in 1 year at our setting.

Having read all the new bits on the thread I think I am going to go with the parents buying a cake from us and no bought cakes will be allowed from now on. The next drama is just around the corner and it will always be that way.

Thank you for all your kind words, this site is certainly value for money!!

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