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Member Of Staff With Severe Nut Allergy


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Hey everybody,


I would just like to put the feelers out there to all you experts for your thoughts and feelings on this subject...


My setting has a member of staff who has a severe reaction to nuts.


Parents have been alerted to this, and we have asked them to work with us in ensuring that any risk to our member of staff is minimised. Recently a particular child has attended a session, with peanut butter on his face and hands. This resulted in our staff member reacting with hives requiring medication. In very severe reactions, the staff member may suffer anaphylaxic shock requiring epi-pen and emergency treatment. The parent of the child was reminded of our situation with the member of staff, and we asked if the child could perhaps avoid peanut butter on days when he attends a session immediately after lunch?


The parent explained that the child will only eat peanut butter in a sandwich and is refusing to work with us in this situation. Surely the child does not have a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast lunch and tea!!


Clearly we can not exclude the child for these reasons, but at the same time, have a duty of care to our member of staff to keep her safe.


Anybody been under similar circumstances? I would be very interested to hear yours views and how you have handled similar situations?




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I sympathise with you here. I have an allergy to kiwi fruit and contact with the skin or being close to them can set off an asthma attack. We have asked parents to avoid putting them in lunch boxes and explained why - I even named myself cos I don't really mind who knows! But the odd one comes in every now and then. Fortunately a colleague has always spotted it and double wrapped it and put it away quickly. Our parents have been very good and apologised for forgetting. I think one way of making progress here might be to ask the parent what they would want to happen if the roles were reversed or their child was affected by the actions of another child.

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I recall a thread about this very thing not too long ago but blowed if I can find it. The staff member had to have some off sick because of her reaction. The parent was horrified as he had been when it was first pointed out to him, so a bit different there.

You do have a duty to your staff though, over and above a parent who doesnt give a jot about other people.

If the staff member was taken ill and had to have time off work she could even claim under H&S law, it probably goes against your risk assessment too.

I suppose you could be on hand at the start of the session to wash the childs hands and face, but it could be on his clothes, would that cause a reaction?

I think you have to be very firm with the parent, its not right that your staff can be put at risk.

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we have a total nut allergy and a child with severe allergey to raw potatoe, kiwi, nuts, seeds, banana, not forgeting dairy!!!


so......... as he is so severe we have banned all of this as it gives his parent peace of mind, we do have to police lunch boxes a bit


all parents are aware


it is a bit different though coming in with it, more of a cleaning issue! mayeb for a while check all children as someing in and hand out wipes for dirty faces? really hard if they are non coperative.if i get one like that i ask if i should call them at th same time as the ambulance so theycan see the reaction! had one constantly eating a banana on coming in and said they had to finish it and have a wash in the car due to majour health risk, soon stoppped them



dont feel i have been very helpful, sorry.

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Hi As Rea so rightly remembers there was a thread not so long ago; It was about a member of my staff who has a very severe nut allergy. Despite us having notices up (more than1) a child came in eating a peanut butter sandwich, when we told dad he couldn't do that and reminded him why he was horrified that he'd done it, for some reason he hadn't put peanut butter sandwich in the same category as peanut butter (goodness only knows why)! Staff member received a huge bouquet of flowers when she was next it; I say when she was next in as she suffered anyphalactic shock, had to administer her epi-pen and we took her to hospital.


You are right we do have a duty of care to our staff; maybe, as someone suggested, yu ask mum how she would feel if the situation was reversed and you allowed children into the setting who had been eating peanut butter; or perhaps suggest that if your colleague was so inclined that if she suffered a shock then she may want to sue the parent for bringing the allergic food/smell whatever into the setting despite there being warning notices around (maybe a bit of a long shot but if all else fails!)


Good luck and I hope your colleague remains well!

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Hi Melanie.

It is a tricky one!

We have several children with severe nut allergies in our setting so ask that parents ensure no nuts come into the setting.

On the odd occasion something has appeared in a childs lunch box( we do a visual check whilst helping children unpack their lunch!)when we have reminded the parent concerned they have co operated with us!

If it was a child how would you deal with the situation?I think your staff member is entitled to have his/her safety considered in the same way!I think it would be worth reminding the parent how careful you would be if their child was allergic !


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