If any of you work with very young babies and are trying to navigate your way though the whole weaning process with parents and worried that the little one you look after potentially could have a food allergy/intolerance here are a few pointers.
A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to certain foods. The immune system then releases histamine reaction which creates symptoms of skin rashes, swelling, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Researchers believe that if there is a history of Eczema, hayfever or asthma in your family then your baby is more likely to suffer from an allergy.
According to current NHS advice you should begin introducing solids to your baby at about six months. As far as the allergenic foods you should always consult your GP or health visitor if you are worried however within the guidelines at the moment is that from six months allergenic foods should be introduced in very small quanitites and one by one.
- cows’ milk
- foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
- nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
- seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
- shellfish (don’t serve raw or lightly cooked)
Research suggests that introducing foods such as peanut and eggs beyond the six to twelve month period increases the risk of the child developing an allergy to these foods.
Many children outgrow their allergies to eggs and milk however it appears that if you have a peanut allergy this usually can stay with you.
How do you tell if the young baby you look after has an food allergy when perhaps the parents are unsure or haven’t tried these types of allergenic foods. If a baby is going to have an allergic reaction this is going to happen pretty much as soon as they have eaten that specific food
Signs to look out for are;
- diarrhoea or vomiting
- a cough
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- itchy throat and tongue
- itchy skin or rash
- swollen lips and throat
- runny or blocked nose
- sore, red and itchy eyes.
If your child shows one or more of these symptoms get medical advice.
According to statistics only a small proportion of children can have severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) If this is the case you should seek emergency medical advice.
So what’s the difference between an allergy and an intolerance? The two can easily be confused.
A food intolerance is more common than a food allergy. Symptoms are slower manifest but are longer lasting and tend to attack or irritate the digestive system including nausea, gas, cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhoea Other symptoms include joint pain, rashes, eczema and headaches.
A food allergy is less common and affects the body’s immune system which reacts by releasing chemicals in the body. The reaction can cause symptoms as previously explained above like coughing, diarrhoea, breathing problems, vomiting, abdominal pain, hives, swelling, a drop in blood pressure, blocked nose, itchy eyes. At it’s worst it can lead to Anaphylaxis.
One of the many worrying and challenging things about being a nanny is having to deal with one of your charges having allergies or food intolerances. Your always on what seems to be high alert!!. The thought something happening to one of your kids doesn’t bear thinking about.
There 14 major allergens that need to be declared by food law introduced in December 2014 which if you weren’t aware of are;
- cereals containing gluten (such as Barley and Oats)
- crustaceans (prawns, crabs and lobsters
- molluscs (such as mussels and oysters
- sulphur dioxide and sulphates
- tree nuts ( such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
However for one young girl this labelling and accuracy was not clear enough.
In a recent program https://www.channel4.com/programmes/food-unwrapped-investigates” Food unwrapped” it highlighted Natasha Ednan-Laperouse case, a 15 years old teenager who suffered a sesame seed allergic reaction on an aircraft after eating a pre-packaged Pret sandwich due to poor labelling. Nowhere on the packaging was it clear that sesame seeds were in the flour used to make the sandwich. Her tragic death has brought about a new legislation called “Natasha’s law” which will come into force by October 21 which stipulates that there must be transparency and complete labelling of all ingredients found in pre-packaged food made on site where it is to be sold. However, if your walking into a regular cafe or restaurant they wont be forced to declare the ingredient on their menu which seems ludicrous. I f i was looking after a little one with a food allergy I would certainly not be throwing caution to the wind and taking any risks and walking in and buying anything in a cafe /restaurant not being transparent enough.
I came away shocked, after having watched the program to find out that food allergies are on the rise in the UK with almost roughly 2 million of us having food allergies. The hospitalization of children due to allergic reactions to foods has gone up by 72% in just 5 years. What’s worse is that based on the journalist research in the program, where she rang round 153 pharmacies, she found that none of them had any in stock and that there is a major supply problem of Adrenalin Auto Injectors in the UK. Parents are struggling to order any in advance either online or in pharmacies. The program highlighted the case of one particular 8 year old boy with 28 allergies who had two out of date Adrenalin Auto Injectors (like most meds they are only in date for a year). Mum was desperately trying to access these everywhere but without luck! If Seems like the government aren’t taking this seriously enough, either that, or turning a blind eye! These are children’s lives we are talking about!!
If any of you who work with families who have found it difficult sourcing out Adrenalin Auto Injectors it would be interesting to hear your stories!
So with Halloween just around the corner and with the new Tier 2 restrictions here in London Trick or Treating is just let’s say going to be a non starter this year! I mean without Trick or Treating which let’s face it for most families is the pinnacle of the whole Halloween experience. well it is for me! (i’m a big kid at heart like that!!) but anyway lets make the best of it!!
Here are some ideas for the Halloween season which may hopefully be of some inspiration to you!
- This excellent idea was launched on “This Morning by Holly Willoughby, Tuesday 27th October 2020. So clearly am not going to take credit for it but thought this was a great idea to share with you all! The premis of this is that your kids can still get out and about with all the Halloween garb on and still following COVID safe rules. Every time your little ones spot a pumpkin painting, drawing or poster in your neighbour’s window, mum/nanny/caregiver can reward that child with a treat from their own bucket.. Hey Presto! Its as easy as PUMPKIN pie!!
If your struggling being creative you can download the “Pumpkin Trail” template from the “This morning” website Click Here to Get The This Morning Pumpkin Trail
2. Why not have a zoom themed Halloween party – face paint on! Dress up in your favourite Halloween outfit, incorporate games and songs ( I know I know it isn’t quite the same as a full blown Halloween party but give it a go. We have to think outside of the normal parameters now. you might enjoy it! (Elizabeth Lusty – runs online choirs for kids and will be running a Spooktacular Zoom Halloween sing a long on Saturday 31st, with fancy dress and bangers like “Monster Mash and Timewarp”.
3. Halloween Themed Bone Hunt – in your back garden. For the bones, you can do your own bone cut-out or if your short of time here is a printable for you Click here. You can buy some luminous glow in the dark paper , if you can’t find any, you can buy some on Click here . Glow in the dark acrylic paint is also useful to have for all your Halloween craft activities Click here
Once you’ve made your bones scatter these outside in the back garden and place your sweets/treats near or on top of said bones. As the afternoons are drawing in a lot earlier you can get the kids to use torches to find them which makes it a bit more exciting. If the weather is dreadful (this is Blighty after all, then you can do this activity indoors and maybe dim the lights and again use your torches to give it a more spooky edge!
4. If you really can’t be bothered with any of the above then perhaps just watch your favourite Halloween movie with a bowl of popcorn. No one is judging you! ;)) (Honest!!)
Looking for some Halloween Outfit inspiration (ALL UNDER £15). These are just some suggestions which i thought were fun and a bit different!
- Glowing Skeleton – Click here for more info
- Marvel (Groot Guardians of the Galaxy) – click here for more info
- Halloween Floral Skeleton Fancy Dress – Click here for more info
- Disney Cruella Red Dress and Wig – Click here for more info
- Ghostbuster Halloween Fancy Dress Costume – click here for more info
HAPPY HALLOWEEN ONE AND ALL!
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Welcome to Nanny Chit Chat!
This is my first ever post – Scary but exciting 🙂
I have worked in the Childcare sector for the last 20 years and over the years have always found support from nannies at the local playgroups, softplays, playdates etc ,however, when Covid reared its ugly head and the with the reality of Lockdown that all changed. Now being a nanny as all of you well know can be a lonely place in the sense that adult banter that people take for granted “in the office” you would normally have is non-existent! Now, ofcourse, there are your nanny whatsapp chat groups but after trawling through the internet to find a nanny orientated website that would reach a wider audience than just your immediate circle of nannies and somewhere where wider group discussions could be had, the exchange of info and ideas, but found nothing! so I decided what the hell, bite the bullet and start one myself.
This is my attempt at creating a community for us, where our voices can be heard, let’s make it fun, informative, interesting a place to share invaluable information. It’ll only be what we make it – So please join in, comment, chat, share and most importantly laugh and have fun with it!
I look forward to meeting you all – even if its virtually to start with, but I hope Nanny’s can use this site to start arranging meet up and hang outs.
Thank you for joining!