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  1. #1
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    Caring for a risky child

    HI...just wanted to pick everyone's brains on something and see what others would do in this situation.

    Last month I started a 12 month old girl into care. The parents live 2 doors down. I usually never do care for neighbours or friends and broke the rule because the parents were pleading and stroking my ego so much that I agreed. lol I woo easily.

    We met up formally a few months ago to go over some things in preparation for mom returning to work. They said DCG is easy going, perfectly healthy.

    Then just before she started care in January - the parents told me that she had a seizure at the beginning of December because her fever had spiked during a cold and that the doctors assured them that this type of seizure was not uncommon. It was nothing to worry about they assured me.

    So DCG started care and was transitioning just like normal. Nothing smooth but nothing unexpected either.

    Then two weeks ago she got a cold....probably from all the new germs she was exposed to from the other kids. The parents called me Monday morning and told me that she had to go to the local hospital because she seized again during the weekend. She had to spend 2 days in hospital and apparently it was really serious where she was turning blue and could not get oxygen during her seizure.

    The seizure happened during her nap....it was just lucky that the mom went in to check on daycare girl or else she could have even passed away from lack of oxygen.

    So the girl is now expected to come back to daycare in a few days and I am starting to panic.

    What if she returns and has a seizure during nap at daycare and something happens? I am often busy during nap, filling out reports, prepping afternoon snack, relaxing or doing laundry etc. What i it happened here and I don't notice? I have a video monitor I can use for her but I might not see every single minute.

    And I have 4 other kids in care alongside her every day. I am getting nervous how to watch this girl with an eagle eye for fevers/seizures when they could literally be life or death and I have other kids to worry about.

    I am starting to panic and wonder if I should find a way to tell this family that I feel the responsibility is just too much. When I think of the liability and possible outcomes and when they tell me how close she recently came to actually being near death from lack of oxygen I panic.

    Am I over-thinking? I feel awful to ever tell them I don't feel I can provide the care that their little one needs but I also feel scared to continue on. I am torn. On one hand I am responsible for keeping all the little kiddos alive and well and keep an eye on them every day so it is no different but on the other hand I feel it is different because now there is a pattern/previous history established.

    What would you do??? Recommendations??

  2. #2
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    I would not be able to promise the parents the proper supervision to make sure the child does not seizure during her sleep. When the children are napping, I have a baby monitor on, but if a child seizures and stops breathing, I would imagine there might not be any noise to alert me. I use the children's nap time to have my lunch, clean up their lunch etc., and I would not promise to be in the same room as the napping children for the entire naptime. If I were a parent and this happened to my child, I would not be comfortable leaving my child with anyone until the seizures had been brought under control with medication.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by treeholm View Post
    I would not be able to promise the parents the proper supervision to make sure the child does not seizure during her sleep. When the children are napping, I have a baby monitor on, but if a child seizures and stops breathing, I would imagine there might not be any noise to alert me. I use the children's nap time to have my lunch, clean up their lunch etc., and I would not promise to be in the same room as the napping children for the entire naptime. If I were a parent and this happened to my child, I would not be comfortable leaving my child with anyone until the seizures had been brought under control with medication.
    It sounds like these seizures come when DCG gets a fever. It is not like epilepsy or other seizures that you can medicate. They said to just give Tylenol or Advil at the irst sign of fever but that is not a guarantee that there won't be a seizure. The mom said that I should call 911 at the first sign of seizure but I am just getting scared to be responsible for this risky child when there are other children that require my attention and I can't always have my eyes on this child every second.

    I.e What if I am toilet training one of my toddlers where I can sometimes be in the washroom with a little one off and on for 10 minutes at a time

    I am thinking whether to bring it up to the parents and ask whether they might feel more comfortable having someone come to their home 1 on 1. It would be more expensive for them but I would imagine that it would be the safest thing to have someone watch this child 1 on 1.

    She is still going through teething and even then she will get a fever, colds, etc. Every fever is dangerous for seizure risk.

    And the hospital said this is likely to last until she is 5 or 6 and then she would outgrow it.

  4. #4
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    Do you have a digital thermometer? I would either invest in one or ask the Mom to buy one. Then I would make a daily check list for doing regular temperature checks on the child. I'm not talking about like every 1/2 hour but more like before nap and after nap as that's when illness usually shows the most. Once you get used to the child better and know there different moods, to spot when they seem off.

    Get the Mom to sign off on you being able to administer Advil/ Tylenol (in my opinion Advil is the quickest in bringing down fever) at the 1st sign of temperature elevation.

    Talk to the parents about your comfort level.

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  6. #5
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    This is really scary! Are you absoluely sure about the diagnosis for the seizures? Can you get a doctor's letter to protect yourself?

    This situation would make me incredibly uncomfortable and it would depend on my trust level with the family. Can they be at your house within a few minutes if you have an emergency with the child? Do you think they are telling you the truth?

    I definitely don't think you are over-thinking. This is pretty scary!
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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  8. #6
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    I have a 3year old in my care who had seizures at the age of one due to fevers...she hasn't had any in over a year. She wasn't in my care at the time when she was having seizures. Even now I check her temperature daily with the forehead swipe thermometer I have and she naps right at the bottom of the stairs where I can here her best. That said, if I were in your shoes and the child was actively having the seizures, well, I don't think I would be comfortable caring for that child. The risk is just too high. My situation is different in that she hasn't had one for a long time and she is older so more able to tell me if she is feeling off...and the times she has had a fever recently, there were no seizures. These things make me incredibly nervous. The thought of child dying at naptime while in my care, no matter if it is my fault or not, it would destroy me on every level. I would not be able to provide daycare anymore even if I found parents who wanted to put their kids with me...I would be a nervous wreck. The sadness and guilt would eat me alive. So....me personally, I would probably tell them parents that I could not continue to care for this child at this time and suggest a nanny. Good luck!

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  10. #7
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    Unhappy

    My daughter who is three has them. She started at 13 months old. Its so hard to see a child seize. I couldnt imagine leaving her in daycare. I was suppose to go back to work and put her in daycare but i thought what if the daycare staff or provider hasnt seen this before and would panic what if they turn for one sec and she would have one. My choice was to stay home and do daycare at home. Luckly i my daughter hasnt had a really bad one with the daycare around. Ive always notice the signs before she would have one. Attached to my leg, warm but not burning, not eating and the big one if she seems like shes staring off in space. I give her advil if any one of those signs. You do get a "gut feeling" when she is about to.

    As for the daycare i am very strict to ALL my parents about my sickness in my care. They can not come into my care if they are sick and just a low grade fever they are to be sent home. Same with my daughter if she is not feeling well i tell the parent i cant take them. Just incase i have to go to the hospital. The hospital will tell you if she has one for more then three mins to call 911 or if you see her blue and gasping for air. Its not a pleasent! And very scary!if she was someone elses kids i wouldnt feel comfortable!

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  12. #8
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    I have to weigh in on this post. IMO I'm in a unique position to comment since I have epilepsy (diagnosed at about the same age as your dcg) and I am a caregiver. My best advice to you, and to this child's parent's, would be that until the seizures are completely under control (seizure free for 6 months) the child should not be in a daycare environment. Once the parents and doctors have identified what triggers this child's seizures, and established an effective drug therapy program, you could then assess whether the risk of caring for this child is too high for you to take on. My personal thoughts/take on the situation go something like this: if anything was to happen to their child while she was in my care, I would be terrified that the parents would go after me legally. I'd worry that my daycare could be shut down, I could lose my livelihood....all that kind of stuff. Another concern that I haven't seen commented upon here, would be how are the parents of the other children in your care going to feel about their young children possibly witnessing a seizure/paramedics arriving. Children are very tolerant, and they can be taught to understand almost anything. However....I would understand if parents felt that this might be too upsetting for their child and they chose to place their child with another caregiver. (heaven help you if you happen to have parents who are not well informed about seizures and have antiquated, ignorant or hurtful opinions about epilepsy/seizures )I would also want to talk with the parents about what would happen if their daughter had a seizue while she was in your care - specifically, the fact that she will be transported to the hospital via ambulance on her own since you will have to remain with your other daycare children. They may not have thought about this. I fully appreciate the monkey wrench that this development has thrown into their back to work plans. However, the reality is, that their "plan" has changed radically and they should seriously consider taking the next few months to get a better understanding of their daughter's condidtion and how to effectively manage it before they plan on leaving her in someone else's care.

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  14. #9
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    I'd be too nervous. To get out of it politely, I'd be perfectly honest and say that yiu can't guarantee adequate supervision for a special case like this. It sucks for everyone involved, but I wouldn't be comfortable.

    How would mom have lived with herself if something had of happened during naps....how are you supposed to?=

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momof4 View Post
    This is really scary! Are you absoluely sure about the diagnosis for the seizures? Can you get a doctor's letter to protect yourself?

    This situation would make me incredibly uncomfortable and it would depend on my trust level with the family. Can they be at your house within a few minutes if you have an emergency with the child? Do you think they are telling you the truth?

    I definitely don't think you are over-thinking. This is pretty scary!
    Yes I am sure they are telling me the truth. They wrote the dates of when the irst seizure happened in their registration package and then I talked to them about it and they had so much emotion in their story that I could see they were just being genuine and this whole thing came out of left field and took them by surprise.

    Also with the recent episode and hospitalization - they seem so terrified when they tell me what happened that I know they are telling the truth.

    They talk in words like DCG is returning this week or in a few days and that they trust me but I am just freaking out myself. It is a big responsibility and I bounce between telling myself I can monitor her and just be extra cautious to outright panic where I feel like walking down to their front door and telling them I can't do it because I am too scared. I am not sure what to do.

    Ahhhh!!! Thanks or all the feedback and viewpoints - it helps

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