Babysitting Kids with Allergies
By Editor, March 26, 2012
More and more kids are being diagnosed with some kind of allergy. It could be from a simple itch to a life threatening peanut allergy. As a parent, I try to educate myself on the different symptoms and kind of allergy. More mothers are trying to take on a different role in society. They are now part of an ever growing work force. As much as they would like to stay home with their child or children they are now faced with the decision of leaving their allergy stricken kids in the hands of someone.
Babysitters are now more trained in handling kids with allergy. Ten years ago you hardly would hear the parents say that their child has any form of allergy. But now, even schools and daycares have made their establishment’s peanut free.
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Trying to babysit a child with allergy or any kind of health issue is never an easy job but once you know how to spot for signs and symptoms it would be just like second nature. Having more than one child who has some kind of allergy you get to learn to be very careful. You have to make sure that when you feed a child with any kind of food allergy that there would be no cross contamination. That means that if one child is allergic to eggs that his or her food must not touch any egg product. One thing that you have to be very careful is with a child that has peanut allergy. This is the one that can be very tricky and life threatening.
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As a babysitter it is your responsibility to know all the symptoms and medications that the child is taking. Make sure that you talk to the parents and ask questions regarding their child’s allergy. It is a good idea to take down notes and have some sort of chart for the child. Having a chart for that child is always a good idea. Talking about medications, be sure that if a child has any food allergy that he or she carries an Epi-pen with him or her at all times. If you are babysitting make sure you are trained to administer an Epi-pen when needed and to call 911 after.
Children with asthma on the other hand are more prone to coughing and shortness of breath. You have to be aware of your surroundings because some children are allergic to pollen, dander, mold, and grass. This allergen could trigger an asthma attack. If you would babysit a child with asthma and you have any of this allergen around make sure that you limit their playtime outside and have the child wash their hands the minute they are done playing outside. Make sure you ask parents what type of treatment needs to be administered if their child gets an asthma attack.
It is always helpful to learn more about allergies and for babysitters to just be aware of the background and treatments. It is never a crime to ask a medical professional or even to discuss the allergy to the parent.
It is never an easy task babysitting a child with allergy. Presence of mind and understanding is the key to having a safe and happy environment. Remember, ignorance is not an excuse.