You did your research carefully and picked a clean and sanitary childcare center. Then why is your child still getting sick all the time? Here are some reasons children in high quality programs occasionally become ill:
• Children who enter group care, pill whether as infants, pill kindergartners, look or somewhere in between, will be exposed to a new and relatively concentrated set of germs. For the first year or so that they are in care, they will be building up their immunity.
• Children who have busy schedules can come to miss crucial rest, which can compromise immunity.
• Children who return to care before they are fully recovered from an illness are less able to fight off the next batch of germs.
It may help to remember that there are steps you can take to reduce your child’s exposure to illness and boost their immunity. Your best defense is a good offense. Make stringent handwashing the norm in your household and insist that visitors do the same. Wash your hands before you handle your child, their diapers, or their food. Serve a balanced diet and make sure that your child gets the nutrients he or she needs to stay strong. When your child is stressed, reduce their exposure to others or “germ-filled” environments (i.e., those with many different people or infrequent cleaning like stores and parks).
Consult with your physician as to whether flu shots are a good idea for anyone in your family. When your child becomes ill, make sure that they are feeling 100% before you expose them to the outside world again. Educate yourself about common illnesses. Make sure that you have the support you need: if absence from work is an issue, prepare a back-up childcare plan before your child becomes sick.
FKS Germ Busters
Our teachers are trained to prevent the spread of Blood-Borne Pathogens. They also have First Aid and CPR certification. • We use separate sinks for diapering and food prep. • We use a licensing-mandated bleach solution to disinfect food preparation areas, diapering and toileting surfaces, play surfaces, and to clean up spills and accidents. • We disinfect mouthed toys daily and bin toys nightly. • We wash our own and children’s hands (even babies’) after diapering/toileting; before and after meals, and after any contact with bodily fluids. • We use paper towels to dry hands and tabletops. • We have hand sanitizers available for those occasional times when teachers can’t immediately wash their hands.
FAQ about illness
My child is fine to come back to the center, but I don’t want him to go outside today.Outdoor time is an integral part of our curriculum. We can’t isolate a child from particular activities for many practical reasons. Children need to be able to participate in all facets of our program to attend.
I gave my child acetaminophen/ibuprofen and now the fever is gone. Why can’t she come to the center?
High fever (100.5°F or more) is an indicator your child is fighting an infection. Reducing the fever may make your child more comfortable, but it may mask other important symptoms and won’t eliminate contagiousness.
My child is teething, not sick.
Regardless of fever, if your child is extremely irritable, we cannot provide quality care for her or the other children. Although doctors disagree about fever associated with teething, most agree that it should only cause a slightly elevated temperature, not more than 1-2 degrees above normal.
If my child isn’t contagious, why can’t she return to care?
Coming to the center is like coming to a party – children whose symptoms may seem manageable at home can easily be overwhelmed in a group. We have to meet the needs of all the children in the program.
Why do I have to wait 24 hours after my child starts an antibiotic before he can return to the center?
It takes about 24 hours for an antibiotic to take affect. Also, any allergic reaction is most likely to appear during this window.
My doctor says my child can return to care. Why isn’t her assurance sufficient?
Our policies were developed based on experts in the medical and early childhood fields. Doctors are not always familiar with our constraints, and may vary widely in their advice. This is why we have developed a comprehensive list of our own parameters. Check with a staff member for specifics on the illness in question.