Another playgroup peril: musical instruments

I’ve written previously about the dangers lurking at mums and tots groups for food allergic children. From the snacks served, to impromptu parties and surprise birthday cakes, the seemingly harmless staple of the toddler social scene can be a fraught experience for the food allergy mum.

This morning, I discovered another playgroup peril. The mouth-blown musical instrument.

We were finishing “tidy up time”, when the box of musical instruments came out. Set in the middle of the floor, twenty toddlers dive in, in a frantic bid to be the one who has the cymbals. Normally, there is no consoling D if he doesn’t have the cymbals. I may as well give up there and then and head home.

Today was different. Today, a selection of new instruments had been added to the box. Today, D emerged from the scrum blowing into a plastic yellow recorder.

After a split second thinking “what an irritating noise”, it dawned on me that sharing recorders really wasn’t the best plan for a child with a severe nut allergy. I grabbed it off him and wiped it, even though had there been any peanut butter traces from the last child musician on the mouthpiece, that really would have been too late.

Just another thing to be aware of, although I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this one. Buy my own pair of cymbals for D’s exclusive use? Leave before the singalong? Join in the toddler scrum to make sure he doesn’t grab the recorders?

For more information on unexpected hazards at playgroups and school, see the Kids With Food Allergies website, which has an excellent table detailing Potential Food Allergens in Preschool and School Activities and Crafts.

What unexpected food allergy hazards have you encountered at playgroup and school? I would love to hear from you!

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