Can’t I Just Take my Kids to Daycare Sick?
When your child is sick, you still have responsibilities, and you need to be at work. As a provider, I have seen all types of parents. Those who kept their kids home with the sniffles, those who brought their kids when they could barely breathe, and everything in between. Why is it not a good idea to bring your kids to daycare sick? Why can’t the provider just give little Johnny some extra lovins?
When kids get sick, why can’t you just send them to daycare? You need to be consistent at your job. It’s hard to call in sick at work every time your kids aren’t feeling well, but there are several reasons you should keep your child home when he or she is really sick.
I’m not talking about keeping your kids out of childcare when they have the sniffles or a little tummy ache. You can’t keep them home for everything. Cold and flu season is upon us, so first of all, let’s define WHEN a child is sick.
What is too sick for daycare?
Diarrhea or vomiting
Fever: 100 degrees or greater
Unknown rash, bumps, or sores
Mucus or pink color in the eye
Green mucus from the ears, nose, or throat
Persistent, deep sounding cough
Parasites, such as lice in the hair or scabies on the skin
You can also check out this list just to be sure, click here.
Sick kids want mom and dad.
One reason is children need their parents when they are sick. No one can cuddle like mom and dad. Kids need extra love and attention when they are feeling under the weather. I am 45 years old and I still want my mom when I am sick. Your children are a gift to YOU! They need you.
Another reason children shouldn’t be at daycare when they are sick is because the childcare provider can’t give the kids as much extra attention as they need when they are sick. You might have one or two kids at home and when one is sick you can be there for them. A provider has maybe 6 other kids. They still have to take care of those 6. When kids are sick they want to be loved on and your provider wants to do that, but there is only so much they can do with a house full of children.
When kids have been having diarrhea or vomiting, why can’t they go to daycare when they no longer show signs? Kids should be kept home for 24 hours AFTER signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or fever are gone. Many things that cause these symptoms are contagious. You don’t want your child to spread those illnesses to the other children in care.
You may think, oh, it’s just a childhood illness, it’s part of being a kid, but how would you feel if someone sent their kid to daycare with your child, that child vomited at daycare, and then your child became ill and vomited all over your house? Sometimes it’s hard to think about it. Cleaning up vomit and diarrhea is not fun for anyone.
If you see a rash or bumps on your child, and you don’t know what it is, get it checked by a doctor. Many things are super contagious and hard to get rid of such as impetigo, ring worm, scabies, staph and so many other things. Again, sending your child with an unknown condition can put many children at risk.
Some kids are at higher risk of getting seriously ill than yours.
So what’s the big deal if the other kids get sick? My child is sick. Some conditions are very dangerous for very young children. Your provider may care for children who are very young. Take RSV for instance. It’s going around all over my town right now. Some of my children have had it. I have had a young child in the past get RSV, and they spent two weeks in the hospital very very dangerously ill! Not every child has the immunity your child has. Not every child is old enough to cough up mucus. Not every child is strong. You never know what could harm someone else.
Does your provider keep very young infants? Are any of your provider’s daycare moms pregnant? Is there an elderly person in the home, or a special needs child, or a child with a compromised immune system? Your provider is considering all of these things when she decides who is too sick to stay.
Providing childcare when you’re sick stinks!
Here’s something else you may not have thought of. If you expose your PROVIDER to an illness and they become ill, they either have to work sick or close and you can’t go to work anyway. Not only can you not go to work, but 6 other families cannot either. Working with a house full of kids when you are sick is MISERABLE! I do everything I can to work for my families. I know they need a reliable provider and I don’t want to let them down. If at all possible I don’t close for illness. There are a few exceptions of course, but I do what I can.
It’s so frustrating when a parent tries to bring a child who is ill. Providers don’t want to upset their parents and they don’t tell them they can’t stay to make their lives miserable. They have to consider ALL the kids and families in their care, not just yours. It’s your provider’s job to keep everyone’s best interest at heart. She loves your kids and she loves your family.
Think about everyone when you are deciding if your kids should go to daycare or if they really need to stay home. Please don’t just give them Tylenol and drop them off. We know you want to be a reliable employee, but your family comes first.
When in doubt, keep your kids home from school or childcare.
If you’re in doubt of whether you should take your child to daycare, or if they are too sick, either give your provider a call and ask what she thinks or keep them home to be safe. I hope your kids stay well.
If you’re a provider, and you feel uneasy about a parent bringing a child because they may get the other kids sick, try to do what you would want as another parent in your childcare. You aren’t going to build a successful daycare business by letting sick kids come and get the other kids sick. It’s super hard to tell parents no, but sometimes it’s best for everyone else. Think about that too.
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