It's a big enough responsibility when you are looking after someone else's children, but the guilt that you feel when you do something bad to them makes you feel terrible!
Within a week, 2 such incidents occurred. One was ME doing it to someone else's child and the other was someone doing it to MY child.
I went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show on the weekend, and every year I take my kids and last year I took my nephew. He really enjoyed it so I thought it would be nice to take him again this year. It was going to be fun, we would go on rides, go see the animals, look at the stalls and arts and crafts, eat crappy food, all that stuff you love to do at the Easter Show.
My nephew, O, has multiple allergies, some of which are severe. I am usually very careful what I give him. I know he is allergic to wheat/gluten, chicken, cow's milk, eggs, nuts, but I didn't know/forgot that he was allergic to fish. He has an epipen (injectable adrenaline) and has been to hospital with severe facial swelling after exposure to his allergens.
My first stop at the Easter show is usually the Woolworths Pavilion. I love looking at the food there and buying our snacks for the day. We bought honeyed macadamias and I told my kids E and J not to give any to O. He had all his own food packed in his bag including apples, sushi rice with pork, fruit sticks, special biscuits and water. I fed him some of his own food. Then we bought donuts, and when E offered some to O, I told her no, he can't eat that. Then we had some beef bulgogi, yoghurt... all these things O can't eat. I walked past a sushi stall and bought some salmon nigiri sushi for the kids. Hubby said to me I could share that with O.
I went to offer it to O and he told me he can't eat fish. I didn't know he was allergic to it. I took the fish off and gave him the rice. He took 2 bites. Then within a minute, he complained he was itchy, and was scratching his mouth. I didn't realise he was allergic to fish, so I checked him, wondering if he had gotten contaminated with nuts that I had eaten. No airway swelling but his lip was starting to swell. I rang O's mum and she told me he had SEVERE fish allergy. I was horrified. She told me she had forgotten to pack his antihistamines and I should give some to him and if he didn't get better within 30 minutes he should go home. I told hubby and HK to watch the kids while I ran to get antihistamines from the chemist just around the corner at the Easter Show. O took his medicine and we all sat eating our lunch whilst I watched him His lip was now very swollen on the left side and he had itchy lumps/hives forming around his mouth. His left eye was getting swollen and also had small allergic lumps. He was still itchy but no tongue swelling. I told him he should walk only with me because I had to watch him (and I was paranoid he'd have a swollen airway and the only person who could look after him then would be me) but within half an hour the hives had gone and the swelling remained but the eye swelling went down. The itchiness subsided as well. I felt SO bad. I am usually so careful with him! I apologised profusely to his parents at the end of the day (we were out at the show for about 7 hours) and they reassured me everything was ok. But I still felt bad!
Then yesterday, my sister R and her husband S were looking after the kids after school and one of S's fave games with my son J is to drop him on the couch. They love that game. So they were playing that and Uncle S was a little to far to the right and brought him crashing down onto the arm of the chair, knocking J's head with a resounding thump that was frightening. Instantly J was crying and an egg sized lump was on the back of his head. J was crying most of the evening in pain and would cry any time anyone tried to touch it. S felt so terrible, and so did my sister, they nearly cried. I quickly checked J, he hadn't lost consciousness when hit in the head and his gait was still steady and his pupils were equal and reactive, so I wasn't too worried about him. A cracked skull would probably be the worst thing and that would be treated conservatively anyway. J had difficulty sleeping because he couldn't lie down on that part of his head, but once he got comfortable on his side, he slept soundly all night. I slept with him to make sure he didn't have some kind of head injury and die in his sleep but he was bright and chirpy this morning as if nothing had happened. My sister and brother in law had a bad night worrying about J so they didn't sleep well.
I think it's important to be up front and honest if you do something to someone else's child. Hiding or not mentioning it is like lying, and if you lose trust in the people who are caring for your child or they lose trust in you, then it's never going to be good. Fortunately both times nothing truly horrible happened so it was ok. But.. it can happen to anyone!