In order to protect the children in our center and offer excellent childcare, we need to ensure that we have policies in place addressing health and safety standards. Please help us by cooperating with the following policies for dealing with sick children in a group care setting:
• Please call the center if a child is going to be absent due to illness.
• If he or she has been diagnosed with something that may be contagious, we especially need to know so other parents can be notified. Parents will be alerted if the children have been exposed to anything contagious. In some instances a fact sheet will be provided so parents can be prepared for what symptoms may appear, how it is treated, and what the incubation period is.
Once parents are notified that the child has become ill during the day, they will be expected to pick them up promptly. If parents cannot be reached or cannot leave work, we will need to notify the people designated to pick the child up in an emergency.
• Please keep in mind that, although a child’s symptoms may subside, they may still not feel well enough to return to group care. Children who cannot fully participate in center activities should not return to care.
Our exclusion from care is based on recommendations from the public health department and include, but are not limited to the following:
- Fever: Children should be kept home if they run a temperature of 100 degrees or more. They may return to care after being fever free without medication for fever reduction for at least 24 hours. Please do not medicate children to bring a fever down in order for them to attend. Children must be free of fever and other symptoms without medication for twenty-four (24) hours prior to return to school.
- Vomiting: A child who cannot hold stomach contents down, must be excluded from care until they have had normal meals and the vomiting has subsided for at least 24 hours.
- Diarrhea: This is defined as loose watery stools that cannot be contained. If a child has three stools in a period of 2 to 3 hours that cannot be contained in the diaper or clothing, parents will be notified. Numerous germs can be passed through feces and if it is uncontainable there is greater danger that it will spread, potentially infecting several children. The child may return to care once they have normal stools while eating regular meals.
- Nose & Eye discharge: Children who have thick, green, excessive discharge will need to be excluded from care until they have seen a doctor and it is under control.
- Conjunctivitis: Commonly known as pink eye, this is a condition that is very contagious. A child whose eyes are inflamed, red, itchy or draining with mucus needs to be removed from care. They may return once the child is on medication for 24 hours and there is no further drainage.
- Open blisters or sores: Any open place on a child’s skin that is bleeding or oozes bodily fluid can be hazardous. The child needs to be excluded until the skin is crusted over.
- Skin rashes: All skin rashes need to have a doctor’s note indicating the child is not contagious in order to return to care.
- Sore Throat: A child who has a sore throat especially if accompanied by fever or swollen glands should be kept at home.
- A child with strep throat must have had at least 24 hours of an antibiotic to return to the center.
- Respiratory Symptoms: This includes difficulty in breathing, or continuous coughing to the point that the child cannot rest comfortably. Administration will give parents a copy when they are called to pick up that child. If the child is sent home one day because symptoms appear that require exclusion from care ,they may not return the following day. Please understand we do not have adequate facilities and staff to meet the needs of both the ill child and the other children in the group. Therefore we have no choice but to exclude ill children from group care. This also serves to protect all the children and staff members in the center from contagious diseases. Your cooperation in this regard is highly appreciated.