Taking Acid Reflux to Preschool
As most of you know from my previous blogs my youngest daughter Ella is still dealing with reflux. Ella just turned four which means... drum roll please... preschool! As you can imagine it is both exciting and a bit nerve wracking to put two kids into preschool at once. Add to it that Ella has both asthma and reflux and it's a recipe to incite even the most calm parent's active imagination.
Considering my trepidation in sending Ella to preschool it took me quite some time to decide where I wanted her and her twin sister to attend. That time frame put me behind in getting all of the paperwork signed and turned in to the school. As part of the paperwork the preschool gave me a menu and asked if the girls had any food allergies. How do you answer that? Ella is not actually allergic to anything but there are plenty of things she can't eat...
As I started to explain acid reflux and what foods are acidic or acid reflux triggers to the teachers I am pretty sure their eyes started to glaze over. It surprises me how many people really have no clue what a child with acid reflux can and can not eat. In fact, I was equally surprised at my inability to explain this "diet" to the preschool teachers. I mean considering what I do for a living it should be fairly easy right?
Wrong. The problem is that I HAVE been dealing with this for all of Ella's life and the first part of Melina's life. That is seven years of dealing with acid reflux. The truth is that there are foods that we don't even purchase and have not purchased for quite some time. It's hard to remember to tell someone everything your child can't eat when the list is long and you haven't even consumed those foods in seven years.
The explanation was unneeded and they simply stated that they needed a signed note from Ella's doctor for any food that she would be unable to eat. ANY food! Oh and if the food didn't get on the initial list then I would need to go back to the doctor and get another note for any additional foods. Humn... This could be interesting. It seems like we constantly find new things that bother her. She's only four and I am pretty sure she hasn't tried every food yet.
Thankfully Ella's doctor was really nice about it and wrote a note on his fancy letterhead and faxed it to the preschool. I am not even sure what he wrote but I had provided him with a list of the things she couldn't have. According to Ella there were several things they didn't let her have on her tray at lunch but she didn't seem bothered by it.
It always seems so simple to tell people to provide their daycare, baby sitter or preschool with a list of trigger foods. It just didn't work out to be quite as simple as I thought it would be. In hindsight I should have been way more prepared and gotten it taken care of ahead of time. Live and learn.
I would love to hear any of your experiences or tips in dealing with school age children with acid reflux. Please post them as comments to this blog and perhaps your tips will be listed in a future blog!