Sickness Can Be Stressful
As a busy parent, when your child becomes sick your stress level increases. Not only are you concerned about the welfare of your ill child, you also are concerned about the time you may have to miss from work. While Koala-T-Kare is compassionate about the stress parents face when they need to find alternative care for a sick child, our sick child policies are in place for the safety and protection of all the children in our center.
In the event that a communicable disease has been diagnosed for any child or staff member, it will be immediately posted using an “Exposure Notice.” The name of the person who is sick will be kept confidential. In the event that a communicable disease has been diagnosed, the classroom, including toys, furniture and other equipment of the child, will be cleaned and sanitized with a department-approved disinfectant to prevent the further spread of disease.
When Should Children Stay Home?
None of us want our children to come into a center where there are other sick children. The immune systems of babies and young children are still developing, so this makes them especially prone to getting sick after being exposed to viruses and bacteria.
Of course there is no way to eradicate sickness from a childcare center because many times children are most contagious before the symptoms of illness begin. However, having a very consistent policy for removing children once symptoms begin is the best plan for keeping everyone in the center as healthy as possible. While these policies may inconvenience you, please keep in mind they are for the best health of your child.
In accordance with state licensing regulations, any child, while in attendance, that shows signs or symptoms of an illness or communicable disease shall be quarantined (within sight and sound of a director or non-teaching staff member) until such time that a parent can be contacted and remove the child from the center. We are not licensed to care for mildly ill children with symptoms.
Here are some of the primary reasons children should be excluded from child care and for how long:
- Unexplained rash (exceptions: eczema, rashes caused by allergies including diaper rash) – child may return after 24 hours with a doctor’s note saying child is not contagious and may return to childcare.
- Fever in excess of 101 degrees – child must be fever free without medicine for 24 hours. Please note that “fever free” means the child has not been given an over-the-counter pain medication for alleviating symptoms in the last 24 hours. (exception: fever is determined to be from teething)
- Diarrhea (watery with greater occurrence than usual) – child may return when symptoms are gone or if it is contained by diaper.
- Vomiting – child may return when free of vomiting for 24 hours.
- Strep Throat – child may return 24 hours after first dose of antibiotic with a doctor’s note saying child is not contagious and may return to childcare.
- Pink Eye – child may return 24 hours after beginning treatment with a doctor’s note saying child is not contagious and may return to childcare.
- Chicken Pox or Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease – child may return once all pox have scabbed over and are not oozing liquid with a doctor’s note saying child is not contagious and may return to childcare.
- Respiratory illness (includes Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Viral Croup) – child must be fever free without medicine for 24 hours.
- Child is irritable, continuously crying or requires significantly more attention than can be provided without compromising the health and safety of other children in our care.
It is imperative that parents come to pick up children as soon as possible after notification of an illness, so we can reduce the risk of spreading germs throughout the center and decrease the time of isolation for the child.
Of course, illnesses also require medications, so please note that it is our policy to administer prescription medications only at noon each day. We do not administer over-the-counter drugs such as fever-reducing medications. Please discuss any prescription medications with your child's teacher.
A child who has head lice must be NIT-FREE before returning to school. Upon returning to school, the child must be thoroughly checked for any remaining nits or lice by a director or staff member trained in recognition of lice before the child may return to his or her classroom. The classroom of the child concerned will be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed immediately and all non-washable items will be bagged and sealed for a period of no less than three weeks.