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Help with child being sick!


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Need some advice from you wise people as I am at a loss. We have a child who has started with us this term, He comes one morning a week and is dropped by Granny/Grandad as parents are working. on his first morning Mum left and the child was upset and could not be comforted or distracted. He was sick once and then would not be tempted into the playroom. I phoned home and asked for someone to come and help settle him. Grandad arrived and the child was then happily distracted and did manage to join in with a large group story at the end of the morning. Mum did then think to tell us that he does make himself sick when he wants too!! His second session he seemed to settle quickly but then at 10:30 had a bump when he fell from a ride on toy. This obviously upset him again and he could not be comforted and my staff called Grandad who arrived to take him home. (I was away on this day) His third session he was happy for 45 minutes and then suddely for no reason became upset and was sick twice. After this there was no distracting him and he fell asleep on the door mat. We tried moving him to the cosy corner but he woke up and freaked out again. Last week the same thing happened, he was happy and settled and after 45 minutes was sick again and then took himself to the door mat, would not be comforted or distracted and would not let us move him.( have to say we are all very reluctant to push it too much as there is only so much sick that you can deal with in one morning) He then went to sleep until home time. My play leader has had a conversation with Granny who just laughs and says his Dad was just like it right through to comprehensive school.

My first thought is that just because Dad was like it the family should not just accept this as normal behaviour and should talk to a doctor or health visitor. Secondly I am unsure what to do next to help this little chap as he is currently getting nothing out of the morning. Do I ask for someone to stay with him? Do I suggest that he waits until September when we have the space for him to come for three mornings a week? Do we just continue as we are and hope that he comes around with time?

I have never come across this before, usually any children who are setteling in can be distracted and comforted and we have always prided ourselves on how well children settle with us.

Any advice would be most welcome. :huh:

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I assume he is a private fee paying child,but we have suggested in the past that the children who are difficult to settle come in at the end of the session and work backwards- so they start off by coming in with 20 minutes before all the children go home, so they get to see that all parents/carers come at the same time to pick up the children. The next session they come in 25-30 minutes before the end and so on until they are tolerating the whole session, it worked for twin boys particularly year before last who were both being sick and winding each other up to be sick!! They were full time within 2 weeks, however, they were coming 3 mornings per week. We don't take children for less than 2 session - no exceptions.

Edited by Panders
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I know I have mentioned this before, so do forgive me for repeating it! I had a child who could make herself sick at will............if she was upset etc, she would hurl. First time, I assumed sahe was poorly and phoned mum to come and get her. Mum mentioned that the child did this when upset, annoyed etc............so, to cut a long story short, we dealt with it a couple of times, without calling mum. Then......next time the child started 'heaving' I casually told her to hang on while I got the cleaning things, because SHE would have to help clear it up. Which I stuck to. Next time she started, I asked her to go and get the cleaning things herself ready to clean it up. Once she realised I meant it.....it stopped. I was always calm about it, never cross, I took an 'oh dear, feeling sick, let's go and get the cleaning things so you can help to clean it up' approach.

As to your child, you could try having a photo, or a small album of photos of his family left in his drawer, OR something I am trying with a new one whose mum is actually the nervous one(!), a talking tin, that mum can leave a short message on, soif the child has a wobble, she can listen to mum saying she will be back to collect her very soon.

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have to say ive done something similar to Narnia too....the if your sick you're tidying it up line! had a little boy who could chuck at will (often all over the dining room table at home when he didn't want to eat what he was given).

One session is a bit tricky isn't it...a bit too long between sessions maybe? A bit like panders our minimum is now 3.

What does he like? I would do as Panders suggests )clever doing it at the end of the session) ensuring that his favourite things are there to play with,

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Yes, we have done the 'you'll clean it up youself' thing, but the child was a bit older. I suppose if they are old enough to be able to make themself sick, then they are old enough to understand what they are doing, and therefore stop doing it. In this instance anyway. I had a child who would vomit if another child picked their nose, and that was slightly harder to deal with - very tempting to say to the nose picker 'don't do that or you can clean up what Suzie is going to do!'

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Am I the only person thinking........poor little love :(

 

I really like Pander's suggestion - why not give that a try - if it doesn't work then perhaps go for the 'someone will have to stay with him' until he is properly 'settled' - oh and I totally agree attendance for just one day is not the best of options - I have one little boy attending for just the one day (if you add in his time off sick) we hardly ever see him - he does remarkably well really.......but it's not something I would 'entertain' again unless there were exceptional circumstances....

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I'm with you Sunnyday! While I think the 'clean it up yourself' thing sounds great for some children, if this child is genuinely unsettled and distressed I'm not sure if would work - you can only try.

I think Panders idea of coming in at the end of the session and working backwards is genius. Why have I never thought of that in all these years! (Although it might not work for us now as we are daycare so our sessions never end!! :D) It sounds like it might be a good plan for this little one though. I guess what you're trying to achieve is him having a positive experience and something happy to remember...which may not be cleaning up his own sick.

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Absolutely, just one session a week is no good for anybody. If they miss one then it can seem like weeks before you see them, and nobody can build up a relationship in those circumstances.

Have you done a home visit? It sounds as I you need some relationship building time, so have you any more sessions available where the child could just come for song time, or outdoor time or whatever?

 

Edit to say, I mean as additional time

Edited by Cait
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We had a little one who really struggled to settle - not sick though thank goodness, though we've had one of those too! We were busy at the time ad couldn't offer more sessions but I arranged for an adult to stay with her for her usual session, gradually withdrawing to do jobs for us, and after a couple of successes with that I asked the parent if they could stay on another day too so effectively the child wasn't in ratios. This helped her settle more and it was only for a few weeks until we could offer the place for more sessions. As it happened the parent continued helping for a few weeks (and she was a help, paint pots, snack, pencil sharpening, etc!) until one day her daughter asked when she was planning to go home cos all the other mummies had left!

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Guest ShelleyT

I teach Reception, so it's not exactly the same, but I had a little boy a few years ago that made himself sick when he was anxious or just when he didn't want to do something. It happened for most of the year, getting less frequent as the terms went on and he never did it in Year 1 or Year 2. We had to deal with a lot of sick, often numerous times a day, but we got there in the end! I would simply suggest carrying on with what you are doing. I'm sure things will improve with time. I know it's not exactly a good situation but all children are different!

 

Shelley x

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Sorry, yes that did sound a bit unsympathetic, but the child in question was a bit 'Elizabeth Bott' (Just William books) and would say that she was going to scream until she was sick if she couldn't have her way. So it was tiresome for everyone eventually and I'm afraid we didn't feel particularly sympathetic. The other children also needed to know that they didn't have to give her everything they were playing with, eating, using, etc. Mum and Dad just used to give in rather than deal with the mess, and couldn't see that they were perpetuating it.

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I have had experience of this.I have a fool proof way of dealing with this.Before the child came in we lined a bucket with plastic bag, hid it but had it to hand. When child started to reach.We were totally unperturbed about by it. The child saw that all others were playing while they had to sit holding a bucket if they started to reach, cough etc.An adult was sitting nearby them but not giving them too much attention because they were chatting to other children.If they were sick an adult would ask them if they had finished.We then removed bag and gave them tissues to wipe their mouth. We quickly disposed of contents but relined it in case but it was not necessary. that session We asked the child to go and get themselves a drink. I have found that a child that does this often has quite severe separation anxiety problems in the first place and does need extra attention through out the session but not when they are being sick.I would ask mum to let them bring something in from home to show everyone, when they have finished being sick.

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