I know you’re all groaning and wondering what texting has to do with food allergies. Bear with me.
The key to avoiding exposure accidents while you’re away is to make yourself available to questions from your caregiver. I would bet we all provide our mobile and emergency numbers to babysitters as we head out of the house. But in our experience, the younger generation (oh, how old do I feel even writing that?!) is not as comfortable on the phone as we are. Especially when they think they are disturbing you.
Our babysitters are in their late teens and twenties — and, they all text. Teens and 20-somethings are, in many cases, more comfortable with texting, instant messaging and emailing than using their cellphone for actual calls. We actually book most of our babysitting jobs through text as I’ve found babysitters respond most readily to that method of communication. And, as soon as our sitters knew we were willing to text, they starting pumping us with questions about how to handle our son’s many food allergies while we were out.
“Is OJ ok?”
“There are cookies on the counter in tupperware: safe for your son? Can I have one, too? :)”
“He wants ice cream. Thought he was allergic to dairy. Does he mean actual ice cream or sorbet?”
Because texting is a more passive way to communicate, I think sitters don’t feel as if they are interrupting our plans. Plus, even if we’re at a movie or in a business meeting, we can quietly give an answer and avoid all kinds of problems. By acknowledging it would be fine to text you while you’re out, you’ll be available to clarify any misunderstanding about your child’s allergy and avoid any possible missteps in handling.