Dear well meaning mum…

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Hello playgroup Mum, thank you for looking after my little ones’ needs while I was looking after the baby. I count myself so lucky to know I have people who will look out for him.

I know he said he was hungry and I’m sure the cake looked so tasty. But well meaning mum, he’s only three. While he knows some food gives him a tummy ache he can’t explain that clearly to other people. Your kind gesture meant hours of unexplained cramping, aching, retching, vomiting and drowsiness followed by a night of nausea and diarrhea. It took me such a long time to work out what was wrong, and he was so upset.

Hello daycare mum, I don’t really know you. We chat and pass in the lift and our kids have fun playing together. We don’t know each other very well but it’s always nice to see you.

Today our kids celebrated your daughters birthday- I can’t believe they’re growing up so fast! I’m so impressed you found time in your non-stop busy life to make her special birthday cake! I’m sure she loved celebrating with her friends today.

But I had to take a call, in the middle of my working day. I had to step away from the elderly, fragile, sick people who so need my help to take a call. One that I dread, seeing “DAYCARE” flashing up on my screen. In the excitement of your little ones birthday, it seems you overlooked something, which may seem trivial and small to you but could potentially mean life or death for me.

In the cake you so lovingly made, you cracked an egg. Maybe it was two, or three of four, I don’t know. But ONE is enough. Our centre is nut free, everybody knows about nut allergies. But it is also egg free, and has been for two years. What harm is a teeny little egg baked into a cake going to do?

Let me tell you. While your child and all their friends ran and played, mine spent hours vomiting and heaving over a toilet bowl. He was drowsy, and nauseous and miserable. He vomited into my lunch bag the whole way home. He has had diarrhea and laid listlessly on the sofa all evening.

Beautiful mums, I know you had the best of intentions but please, please, PLEASE just take a moment to think. Allergies are so very common now, 5% of children have an allergy with eggs, nuts and milk being the most common. We are also so much more aware as a society than we have been in the past, there’s no harm in asking before giving, making sure it’s safe.

I don’t know what happens when my boy gets raw or concentrated egg products, I haven’t been game to test. But if a small amount baked in makes him this sick, I can’t bear imagining what a meringue or quiche might do.

I’m sure when it doesn’t affect your child it seems an inconvenience and can easily slip your mind, but what if one day the allergen exposure for a child is fatal? I’m not trying to scare you, just asking you to consider your actions from another perspective

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