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  1. #1

    Do you allow sick children to attend?

    Hello,
    It's winter time and we all know, illnesses go around. At what point do you tell your (client) parents that their child should stay at home? I have an after-school child in my daycare and this is the second time in 40 days she has made everyone (including my kids and me) sick in the facility. My whole family was fighting a what seemed-to-be a very long cold at Christmas-time. Now the child has a bad cough again, and is not in a happy mood, otherwise no other symptoms. And my child started coughing today. My policy states that a child can't attend when contagious (a runny nose is generally ok- this child doesn't have a runny nose), but really, how is someone to predict that? Or do you tell the parents the child cannot attend pretty much every month for about a week in winter? Because they pretty much get a cold at school every month.
    I am in BC if that makes a difference.

    Help please.
    Thank you so much

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    Check your province for any public health guidelines for child care environments. We have them and they are generally adopted by most day homes as their policy.

    Essentially vomiting, diarrhea, temperature are all symptoms of "potential illness" which *could be* contagious. These require a min of 24 hours exclusion. That 24 hours has to be med free and without a repeat instance of the symptom. So the clock begins when the last instance of vomiting, diarrhea happens or when the temperature finally breaks or when the meds given have worn off and the symptoms don't reoccur. Unexplained rashes require a doctor's visit and then the exclusion is based on the diagnosis. No child who has a temp may attend even if parents are convinced it's due to teething. No child who has vomited may attend even if parents are convinced it's something they ate, over excitment, over indulgence at family event.

    It's all based on symptoms unless they have been to a medical professional and got a firm diagnosis of it being something different.

    We are allowed to accept children with a cold but if they get that snotty smell, that's a sign of infection as is the yellow mucus. Children with these symptoms will be turned away at the door. Children who are dosed and dropped to hide their symptoms will have their care terminated because it's a manipulative action that exposed the rest of the group to illness.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I should add that the flip side is that you have to do all you can to minimize the spread of potential illnesses. This requires:
    1. Daily disinfection of toys - vinegar and green cleaners have zero sanitizing benefits. They clean but they do not sanitize. To effectively sanitize the surface has to be in contact with disinfectant or a bleach solution for more than 2 mins. A quick wipe over is not sufficient to kill germs. Read the labels and it will tell you how long the surface has to be in contact with the solution to be effective.

    2. Cribs and cots should have bedding that is laundered on a regular basis and that is exclusively used by a designated child. Permitting children to nap in a crib/cot that has contained another child is an easy way for illness to spread as many children drool in their sleep. Keep each child in their designated crib/cot and change bedding frequently.

    3. When wiping hands and faces, each child needs their own disposable cloth or face cloth. Do not use a Kleenex on more than one child.

    4. When diapering you must wash your hands before and after each child is changed. The changing area also must be wiped down between children. Use gloves when changing a soiled child. Fresh pair of gloves each child.

    5. All hard surfaces (kitchen, bathroom, toilet flush handle, light switches) must be sanitized daily.

    If you aren't doing your bit to maintain a healthy environment then you are going to be hard pushed to expect client's to do their part when their children are ill - especially if it happens frequently.

  4. #4
    Thank you for the response. I agree, I do not allow children to attend who have had fever, an unexplained rash, or vomited in the past 24 hours.
    What I am talking/asking about here is probably a very-long cold (that lasted over 2 weeks in December and is now back again) with a bad cough. Would you turn this school- aged child away? Or just allow the child to attend and make everyone sick (because that's pretty much inevitable- air-borne illnesses, particles)?
    Not to mention the other 2 wee ones that I have in my daycare that mouth everything.

    I clean and sanitize toys, wipe down all surfaces with Lysol disinfecting wipes, each
    child has his/her own bed sheets etc. Am I doing something wrong? I vacuum and clean floors every day.

    TIA

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    I think if it's just a cold with no other symptoms, you can't exclude them. It just goes with the country we live in and colder winters.

    Check the back of the Lysol wipes package to see how long it product has to be in contract with the surface to be effective. I don't use the wipes simply because I find it less expensive to have a sink/bucket of hot water and disinfectant for wiping hard surface and I submerge toys in the solution and let them air dry. Sounds like you are doing what you should, I'd just check the product information about use.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    I think it is unreasonable to turn a child away for a cold.

    You would need to have that VERY clearly written in your contract and agreed upon before turning them away.

    It sucks to be constantly exposed to illnesses but it does come with the job. We do our best to prevent spread and we exclude for the big contageons (as you have noted) but colds are a normal part of childhood in group care/school etc.

    I would suggest doing everything you can to boost ypur and your families immune system to help you fight off the colds. Paying attention to sleep, diet, lots of water intake etc. Every bit helps.

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