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Childcare for Your Child with Food Allergies

Leaving your child in the care of others can cause anxiety in any parent. When your child has life-threatening food allergies, leaving your child in the care of others can make your anxiety max out...believe me, I have been there. The trick to calming your anxiety is education and communication. Spending time educating caregivers and communicating frequently is the best way to calm your anxiety and keep your child safe. Here are the basic steps I follow:

  1. Create written instructions

  2. Ask the caregiver to read the instructions

  3. Review the instructions with the caregiver

Try to have this conversation without too many distractions. If the babysitter is coming to your house, try to occupy your kids for a few minutes so you can have a conversation without distractions. When the babysitter comes to my house, the kids are excited and jumping all around, so I ask them to do something for the babysitter (like color or draw her a picture, get out a game to play, or really, whatever works for 5 minutes). It's important to discuss safe meals for when you are away, medications and location, emergency contact information, and your emergency care plan. Encourage the caregiver to ask questions. Show him/her the location of medications and safe foods. I've created the Complete Babysitter Guide as a downloadable template you can use to create a binder of essential information. The more you communicate, the more you learn to build trust. When it comes to your child with food allergies, trust is everything. -Meghan

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