It can be stressful to send a child to daycare who you know has a severe food allergy. You may feel concerned that caregivers will unknowingly give your child snacks or meals that provoke an allergic reaction.
However, you can safely send your child to daycare despite a food allergy if you first take some slight precautions. The following are five daycare tips to keep in mind if your child has food allergies.
Bring the food allergy issue up when you're first selecting a daycare facility
A serious food allergy is an important health issue to keep in mind and to use to inform decisions you make. You should factor a daycare facility's response to a food allergy concern into the decision of which daycare facility you send your child to.
This means that you should bring the food allergy issue up when you're researching different daycare facilities and exploring them. Discuss the food allergy with caregivers and ask them what they typically do to address this issue with other children in their care.
Always be available for communication
Caregivers at your child's daycare facility might have questions that come up regarding your child's food allergy as time goes on. This makes it important for you to be available to answer any questions that come up.
Keep a communication channel open so that caregivers get important information about your child's health concern quickly.
Familiarize yourself with what typical meals consist of at the facility
Being familiar with food service standards at your child's daycare facility can help you to anticipate any issues that are likely to come up.
Ask caregivers what is commonly served and request a menu that details meal plans into the near future if possible. This way you can expressly mention any meals or snacks that are going to be problematic.
Consider arranging to store a stash of acceptable snacks at the facility
It might come up that a snack item or reward is offered that all the other children at the facility can have that your child can't. In this case, it comes in handy to have a stash of candies or other acceptable snack types that your child can enjoy when food is given out to the others that your child is allergic to.
Discuss the possibility of keeping some spare candy or snacks at the facility so that your child doesn't feel left out due to his or her food allergy.
Inform your child as much as possible
While you and caregivers at the facility of course need to be watching out for your child's health, it's still a good idea to inform your child as much as possible about their food allergy. This way, they may be able to provide some basic information about what they can and can't eat in your absence.
To learn more, talk to daycare services in your area.