What Are Your Daycare Health Concerns?

by Kathy Sykes on April 10, 2010 · 0 comments


When researching daycare facilities, many parents look for centers that provide a structured academic curriculum, cleanliness and safety, and reasonable costs.

But parents should be sure to make sure to ask specific questions, as it relates to health concerns, when researching a day care too. We all know that when we introduce our children to an environment with other children, the risk of common childhood illnesses increase.

But there are specific steps that the daycare facility and parents can do to help reduce these risks. Every daycare should have policies for addressing sick children and also a prevention plan. The most common childhood illnesses that present themselves in the daycare setting are:

1. Fever– If a child has a fever of any kind, the daycare facility should notify the parents so that the child may be picked up and started on medication per their personal physician. Most daycare facilities will not administer over-the-counter medications to children, so it is important to begin treatment immediately.

2. Cough and Discolored Nasal discharge-Any colored nasal discharge (yellow, greenish, thick white) can be the sign of a potential infection. It is important to seek medical attention and start antibiotics as soon as possible.

3. Diarrhea-This symptom is of concern because your child is losing electrolytes and energy whenever they experience diarrhea. It is important to rehydrate and try to stop the diarrhea as soon as possible. Diarrhea can also be a sign of a potential virus.

4. Pink Eye– Is very contagious and requires that the child be picked up immediately from school to prevent spread to the other children. You should seek medical attention so that antibiotics for the eye can be started. The daycare should wipe down all mats, toys, and equipment that the infected child has been in contact with inorder to prevent the spread to other children.

5. Rash– All rashes should be checked out by a physician. Some skin rashes can be due to bacterial infections that can spread to other children. Ringworm is a common skin condition where a child should be removed from a daycare setting until they begin to heal.

6. Lice- Head and body lice is extremely contagious. Children should never be sent to daycare if there is any sign of lice. There are over-the-counter medications, as well as, prescription medications that can easily treat this condition. Children should not be sent back to school until there is no visual sign of lice and should continue to be checked for up to 2-3 weeks after treatment.

7. On-site Injuries –All daycares should have policies in place to handle on site injuries to children. Please be aware of when your daycare should treat a scrape or cut, and when they should call you about a fall or bump on the head. Delay in assessing these types of injuries can potentially lead to more serious conditions later.

This is not an all-inclusive list of the potential daycare health concerns, but just a few to get you started. Other topics that you may want to discuss are:

1. Storage and Administration of baby formula

2. Infant sleep policy (as it relates to SIDS)

3. Diaper Rash

4. Colic

5. Basic Nutrition (What are they feeding your children)

***Disclaimer…..The information given here is not to replace the medical advice of your personal physician or other healthcare professionals. Our advice is to be used as supplemental information to be reviewed and discussed with your physician or other appropriate healthcare professionals.

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