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unwell children


Buttercup
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Hi does anyone have a nice letter I can send to parents. I am fed up with children coming in with coughs and colds who are clearly unwell. They dont want to be sociable and share or join in with activities so causing many behaviour issues. Now 3 staff are ill but having carry on. Parents are giving calpol in morning then this is wearing off at lunch time.

 

one example parent rang to say kept off their child off, doctor given antibiotics prob be back tommorrow.

 

How do you deal with it.

 

buttercup

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Hi Buttercup,

 

Sympathies! It's actually very hard to do much unless they are very ill or infectious. What sort of setting are you? I have worked in a Pre-school and a Day Nursery - in the PS it was easier, because the relationships were different and a friendly word was often enough. The DN was very different, being profit-making we weren't allowed to suggest they kept children off for small things, despite the fact that as you observed, they were unhappy and fractious and made everyone else ill!

 

What you might do - a bit sneaky really I suppose - is ring from time to time, saying it's a courtesy call so they don't worry but make sure they are aware of how unhappy their child is.

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Thank you we are playgroup but offer sessions all day and some parents pay for extra hours. A couple of times did exactly what you suggested rang parents and sent children home because I thought they would not last afternoon. Reports from parents next day were they went home and were running around all afternoon. I suspect after a dose of calpol. Really difficult but I am fed up of being ill and not feeling 100 per cent.

 

buttercup

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Perhaps a tongue in cheek note saying that although we encourage the children to share, if their child has something that could be spread about, please keep them off, as if staff pick these things up, then you will have to close without warning, for an indeterminate amount of time!

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Wish I had the answer to this Buttercup.......sure we all do.......

 

Have a stinking cold - the sort that makes your face, teeth ache........trying hard not to feel sorry for myself :( struggling with that :ph34r:xD

 

Aww! Hope ur feeling better soon x

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Thanks for sharing this However I think I'd be inclined to have worded it a bit more strongly. Where you have asked for parents to think twice before bringing them in if they have had medication I would be inclined to say.

 

If you are having to give your child medication before bring them in to preschool, may we respectively suggest they do not attend. If a child requires medication to get through the morning then they really aren't well enough to be with us.

 

Or words to that effect- sorry not very well worded there. But you get my drift.

Edited by lynned55
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It's miserable being poorly and I really feel for you, and what I'm about to write doesn't really apply to Playgroup or nursery school as it's only a few hours, but where children are in full day care so that parents can work I have strong points of view. Parents have to work which is why we have their children. Invariably it's the mother who gets called, which gives working women a bad name. In the interest of supporting the sisterhood, I soldier on. Unless it's influenza, d's and v's, or something else the HPA say have to be excluded, there's much we can do.

 

Coughs and colds are part of being a kid. Even 'healthy' children are apt to catch eight to ten colds a year. It's part of building their immunity. I'm a childminder, and if children are a bit low, or have been dosed up in the morning, I ask for permission (and named medicine) to dose them in the afternoon. It may be appropriate for children to have a quiet day - a bit of sofa time, even using the buggy instead of walking. Keeping the doors open for the other children limits sharing nasties - they've probably been contagious for days before symptoms show anyway.

 

Asking parents to share honestly about their child's health gives us the opportunity to care appropriately for the child's needs and put bug blasters into action.

 

Hope you've got some good meds to get you through.

 

Honey

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If you are having to give your child medication before bring them in to preschool, may we respectively suggest they do not attend. If a child requires medication to get through the morning then they really aren't well enough to be with us.

 

Or words to that effect- sorry not very well worded there. But you get my drift.

 

We have said something along these lines, along with stating that if they have a temperature they should not be brought in ( because people do!!). We also say that for any D&V they must be off for 48 hours after the last time- they were bringing in children who had been sick the night before, or saying it was over eating to get round it! Our note finished wiht how much we looked forward to seeing them when they felt better!!

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Since bird flu and what ever else there was! we have included in our policy 24 hours since having a high temperature as well as 48 since D & V. I remind parent / carers each half term in the news letter.

 

I thought we were not supposed to give calpol unless prescribed by a doctor?

 

As a childminder honeypancakes it maybe easier to look after an ill child but who covers for you when you are ill?

 

Shouldn't children be cared for at home when ill. Why should it always be Mum anyway??

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I am so glad this subject has been raised. Last week we had low numbers due to the very nasty cough and cold that is doing the rounds, but the majority of children who still attended everyday had continous running noses and terrible coughs. I will make a point of thanking those parents who kept their unwell children at home and am considering sending out the letter that Buttercup has kindly put on here. One of the Mums of a particularly unwell child even said when she picked her child up "I don't know how all you staff stay well" My reply was "no I don't either". I have to admit I was losing patience with some of the parents last week, we try so hard to work in partnership with them, I sometimes wish they would do so as well!!!

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Guest MaryEMac

on a similar line, I am looking for advice. We have closed our playgroup for a day (today) as 6 staff members,at least 3 children and the chair have gone down with winter vomiting disease. me included so all paperwork about what to do is at PG. We are wondering about closing for another day so that we can sanitise the place, but I'm not sure who to inform about the outbreak.(brain has gone to mush). Help...

 

Mary

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A couple of 'tongue in cheek' poems which may help to get the message across in a light hearted way.

 

Mary had a little lamb,

She also had the flu.

And when she left her playgroup,

The others had it too.

 

So anytime your child is sick,

Please keep them home with you.

Then the children in our playgroup

Will be happier and healthier too!

 

 

Revised Version:

 

Mary had a little cold,

But wouldn't stay at home,

And everywhere that Mary went

The cold was sure to roam.

 

It wandered into Molly's eyes

And filled them full of tears.

It jumped from there to Bobby's nose

And thence to Jimmy's ears.

 

It painted Annie's throat bright red

And swelled poor Johnny's head,

Dora had a fever

And a cough put Jack to bed.

 

 

The moral of this little tale,

Is very quickly said-

Mary could have saved a lot of pain

With just one day in bed!

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We used to have an oil burner going during cough and cold season.....placed high up on bookshelf on one room and on the windowsill that had a massive shelving unit in front of it in another room so they were completely out of reach of the children and burned eucalyptus and some other freaky herbal stuff and it really did help to eliminate some of the germs and as a staff we were more resistant than we might have been.

 

I know some of you will find the idea too risky H&S wise so are there plug in air fresheners type things that people could use.

 

We also used a lot of spray disinfectant during a time when we had multiple sneezers on the premises and lots of those disinfectant wipes for quick response to visible slime :ph34r:

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Guest MaryEMac

Love the poems, Beau. May print them if okay with you. We have been advised by our local hospital to deep clean with a bleach solution from floor to ceiling. That's what we are going to do tomorrow when we all feel slightly better. Although the smell of bleach makes me feel sick !! Not looking forward to cleaning all the toys and all the fabrics we have around. This is when I wish that playgroup had a washing machine. We do have a dishwasher tho so some things could be put in there. Apparently the playground at our local school was half empty this morning, seems to have hit our village with a vengence.Oh well at least it's not happening over Christmas (fingers crossed).

 

Mary

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Oh you poor things I hope you all feel better soon, will you all feel able to deep clean tomorrow, or do you not think you should give yourselves another day at home? and if you are shut for another couple of days any other children will not be able to return too quickly.

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Love the poems, Beau. May print them if okay with you. We have been advised by our local hospital to deep clean with a bleach solution from floor to ceiling. That's what we are going to do tomorrow when we all feel slightly better. Although the smell of bleach makes me feel sick !! Not looking forward to cleaning all the toys and all the fabrics we have around. This is when I wish that playgroup had a washing machine. We do have a dishwasher tho so some things could be put in there. Apparently the playground at our local school was half empty this morning, seems to have hit our village with a vengence.Oh well at least it's not happening over Christmas (fingers crossed).

 

Mary

 

Personally I think all staff should have 48hours before returning to do the cleaning.......... :( :(

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Personally I think all staff should have 48hours before returning to do the cleaning.......... :( :(

 

You're right! From personal experience I'm quite sure you won't feel up to cleaning and you could actually re-infect each other. The NHS site says If you have norovirus, avoid direct contact with other people, and preparing food for others, until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have gone. You may still be contagious, even though you no longer have sickness or diarrhoea."

 

Hope you all feel better soon.

 

Nona

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It is difficult isn't it, trying to draw the line between 'normal' snuffles, coughs/colds and what is obviously the onset of a bad bug. We have been having this discussion at work the last few days. rather I have had one staff member in particular moaning (again) about snotty noses, children coughing and sneezing over her and making her ill all the time!! While I tend to agree with some of it- some of our children shouldn't have been sent in and I have snet some home again- quite frankly she is driving me nuts and I'm just about ready snap. Today was the last straw and tomorrow we will be having words about what I saw today. I walked in the room and she was sitting in a chair on the same level as a child that was talking to her. Which was fine except she had her head turned away from the child with her arm up in between their faces. I didn't know what was going on so said 'what's the matter' she laughed and said 'oh i want to get over this bug first before I catch another one' It doesn't sound much but it really isn't the way I expect experienced staff to behave and I now feel Yes, it is annoying when children have been dosed up and come in obviously sick and then pass it on to us BUT I do feel that wiping snotty noses, being coughed & sneezed over and teaching them how not to is as much part of EY's as is changing nappies and showing them how to wash their hands properly. Or am I wrong? Yes, there is a difference between being really sick a normal cold esp at this age a cough and runny nose can go on for months. So, even if what I saw was a joke- I didn't find it funny, neither did 2 other staff who witnessed it, and I think we are going to have a little chat about maybe being in the wrong job if you feel that strongly about it. She's always ill and always worse than anyone else and she always, always blames it on a child.

 

Honey, whilst I agree with some of what you say- as OP stated-as a childminder it is probably much easier to care for a sick child- especially if you only have 3/4 children.

We have nowhere to lay children down comfortably and/or peacefully away from others if they wanted. I also think we have a duty of care to the other 20 odd others- it's nothing to do with soldiering on and not disturbing working parents. It's more keeping parents informed of what is happening to their child and putting the responsibility for this onto the parent. I dont see why it always has to be the mother that is called- that is up to the parents to decide between themselves and if they do decide it's the mother than that is up to them. I would always ask working parents who to contact first.

 

Ooh I am so sorry, didn't realise I had gone on so much!!

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Perhaps also this is a good time to educate parents and children (and some staff members ;) ) on the importance of good hand hygiene. Although you do pick up colds through droplets that are sneezed into the air the vast majority are passed on through things we touch. Wash your hands regularly, make sure you stick to a good cleaning schedule for the resources in your setting (and remember that door handles are a major source of cross contamination!) and remind people that they should avoid touching their noses, eyes and mouths as much as possible.

 

You are also more likely to catch a cold if you are run down - so again stress the importance of a healthy life style. Plenty of sleep, a good balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and daily exercise! :1b

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I'm home at the moment as I had to come home from my setting due to a sudden bout of sickness. The school who ground we are in sent a text home to all parents requesting that they keep children off for at least 48 hours following last bout of sickness or upset tummy. My three have so far not got it but it has took hold of me and I feel really bad. We had children in setting last week with really bad coughs and runny noses. I started with a really bad cold on friday and felt rubbish all weekend but went into work yesterday due to being the Manager and as I thought it was just a cold and I planned to volunteer for outside duty I thought I would be fine which I was until lunchtime. I won't be rushing back to work and my staff are just going to have to cope without me as I don't want to infect anyone and I will be using the 48hr rule when I stop having to rush to toilet.

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