Allergic reactions that occur under the care of a daycare provider can have serious, or even fatal consequences for a child. Daycare providers in Nevada have a duty to closely monitor children in their care. They are responsible for ensuring that children do not consume foods they are allergic to, knowing the signs of a severe reaction, and responding to exposures accordingly.
Fatal Allergic Reactions
Consuming peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, milk, or other substances can send a child into anaphylactic shock. When this occurs, immediate action is necessary. Otherwise permanent brain damage or death can occur. Daycare providers must have the ability to recognize the difference between mild reactions and severe reactions. Mild allergic reactions can include diarrhea, stomach pains, sneezing/congestion, and redness around the eyes.
More severe reactions include difficulty swallowing, loss of consciousness, weak pulse, swelling, difficulty breathing, and chest pains. These reactions do not always occur immediately and in some cases may not appear until 4 hours after contact. This is why daycare providers must maintain vigil over the children in their care at all times.
Preparing and Responding to Allergies as Allergy Rates Rise
The number of severe childhood allergies is rising and many parents test their children for known allergens and convey this information on to daycare providers. When daycare providers are aware of a known allergy, they are responsible for ensuring children do not come into contact with that allergen. They should also work closely with parents to determine plans for protecting the child from contact and addressing an emergency.
Daycare providers must also plan for the possibility that a child may accidentally come into contact with an allergen such as another child sharing food. This means having Benadryl, Epinephrine, and other First Aid materials on hand. When contact occurs, daycare providers must also make immediate contact with an emergency care center.
Bees and pet dander are common non-food causes of allergic reactions. Others include wasps, ants, horses, and rodents. While daycare providers can’t prevent all exposures, they have a duty of care to shield children as much as possible from potential contact. This means preventing children from petting passing dogs, keeping them indoors when bees are present, and removing wasp nests and rodent infestations quickly and effectively.