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Sending Sick Children To Pre-school


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To-day a child was brought in to-day looking obviously unwell. The person that brought him asked me to keep an eye on him because he had a temperature but had been given some calpol. The carer was astounded when I explained that it was unfair on the child and other children to have him attend.Her only comment was that he wanted to come. I shall have to display our infection control policy. I have noticed recently that children are attending even if they have been ill during the night. Am I being to cautious in expecting parents to give recently unwell children, 24 hours of normality before they return?

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Noooooo! Bubblejack you are not being too cautious at all, well not in my opinion anyway.

 

I have also noticed an increase in children coming to pre-school when they should really be at home - I have had quite a few arrive with an adult holding a bottle of calpol and asking me to give a dose during the morning. Sorry the answer is no! If the child is not well enough to attend for two and half hours without a dose of calpol then they are not well enough to come. (Sorry if that sounds like a generalisation!)

 

I recently sent a child home mid morning after he had an attack of diarrhoea and on collection Mum calmly told me he had been sick in the night !

 

Like a lot of issues I think it's a question of finding a balance, I think children can be non specifically 'under the weather' and still benefit from being at pre-school but the child's health has to be a top priority (and of course consideration for others in the setting)

 

 

Your comment about 'he wanted to come' also sounds familiar and there seems to be an awful lot of very young children who seem to rule the roost (well the ones I know anyway!!) and if they 'want' to come to pre-school then they are duly brought!

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Oh dear, this sounds very familiar and I think you were absolutely right! We make a point of telling parents that, with infections of any sort, the preschool could grind to a halt if we all catch it - and that very nearly happened once after an incident very similar to Geraldine's!

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I agree with all that has been said.

We find the main problem with bouts of diarrhoea, or sickness during the night, if the child appears active and well in the morning the parents cannot understand why they can't stay. Unfortunately viruses are invisible and so they don't realise they can still spread, and very rapidly. :o

 

They also expect that if the child is sent home ( rather than the parent deciding to keep them off) they should have reimbursement of fees or attend on another session for free. xD

 

Peggy

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Ever heard the one "I don't want my child to play outside/with the water because they have got a cold" My response "If they cannot take part in the whole curriculum then they should not be at school"

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Our policy has been 48 hours for the last 3 years. too many came back too early. also in our policy send them home if they arrive and we feel they are not well enough.

 

Never had the problem about asking for fees reimbursed or extra session to cove the lost one when we send them home. (perhaps we have been lucky)

 

We have had a lot of children recently who fall asleep during the session through just being too tired, we do expect it occasionally but it has become more frequent and mornings as well as afternoons.

 

(we have one child who falls asleep everytime we have music an any form she cannot stop herself and has been known to fall asleep standing!!! on asking mum she listens to music when in bed to go to sleep ...she is beginnig to stop now after 9 months, but we have had to be very aware in any session we use music of the affect it has.)

 

Inge

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I think maybe that an exclusion period of 48 hours would be more sensible for me to adopt. Peggy I sent a child home last week who was crying with stomach pain ony to be told that she had been ill in the night. Today she returned after a week but she kept having little crying outbursts and saying that she remembered feeling unwell during her last session. Classical conditioning I suppose but that is another good reason why they shouldn't come when ill. Thanks for your helpful replies and comments .At least now I have lots of answers to give parents when I inform them of a 48 hour exclusion period.

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I dont disagree with anything that has been said, but in many schools children are encouraged to attend regardless (stomach bugs being an exception) so your parents may actually be getting 2 quite different messages.

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We too use the 48 hour exclusion period. Parents are unhappy at having to pay the fees when their child is away. I have even heard parents say "...they obviously don't have enough staff today, so they are sending children home" xD

 

My deputy once commented that it was strange that most children appeared to become unwell around 11am, and i pointed out that was normally when the morning dose of Calpol has worn off :o

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I agree there is an increase. I have had 2 children today that came in ill. one the mother was on a course so she couldn't have the child and gave her to a friend to bring to pre-school. which of course meant that we couldn't contact mum or the friend as she was one of the emergency numbers that we had. The child Had a temperature and we had to strip her off for the morning. And the other came to school in pull ups which he is well past. when we asked dad he said that he'd ahd diarrhoea, all over the weekend and didn't want him to make a mess of his pants. I told the dad that I wanted at least 24 hours from the last time he was ill before he was allowed back. he just looked at me and went "oh why?" When I explainded that if his passed it on to all my staff we would have to shut for lack of staff so he would have to look after his son while we were closed. so I said it didn't help us to stay open if parents send in ill children. :( I could have screamed. its just so they don't have to look after a child when they are nearly better, or that it doesn't fit in with their plans for the day. I get really tough with them now I'll send them home even if its only been a half hour with us. Just long enough for mum to get the kettle on or just started round the shops :oxD:D:(

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I agree too with everything that has been said. However, my parents are really quite aware having been faced with arriving at playgroup and not being allowed in as it was blocked by the ambulance we had called. A child had had a febrile convulsion, had been unwell all morning, couldn't contact Mum/Dad, emergency numbers etc so went into full emergency mode as I did not want the responsibility. Ambulance crew were fabulous, arrived within 3 minutes. My parents have seen first hand what can happen and they are more than happy to take our advice - but no doubt this will wear off with time as those parents leave. However, it certainly won't with me - and I have no qualms about telling my parents that I do not want their child in. It was distressing for everyone, the child, the other children and the staff and the parents.

Nikki

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I dont disagree with anything that has been said, but in many schools children are encouraged to attend regardless (stomach bugs being an exception) so your parents may actually be getting 2 quite different messages.

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I know its devil and the deep blue sea sometimes. In my school they grumble when they come in sick but are on their case if they have lots of absences. Sometimes they can't win. I personally don't agree with children being in unwell. I think most times when a child is sent in obviously unwell its because it doesn't fit in with the parents plans.

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Yes thats another story isn't it debbington. I seem to be for ever moaning lately but I do have some parents of funded children that don't send their children to many of the sessions at all. When I enquire as to why they were absent they give many excuses mostly the child isn't even ill .Excuses range from child/ parent wanted a lie in, child didn't feel like coming, dog was ill, Most of my parents are brilliant but unfortunately some don't have the commitment to bring their child. Out of 55 sessions last term I had 4 children that attended from 5- 9 throughout. It's very hard to take sessions away but I have to sort it out before head count brfore head count day.

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i know your situation steph, we too have parents that dont see why the child cannot attend. then the classic phrase comes out

"well they wanted to come"

im sure thats because they know they will be cared for by us and not carted round the shops in the cold or stuck in front of the tv

 

we also have problems with emergency contact numbers, we have never had a major inident, but it could always happen. i think i may have to remind parents that the numbers they give us, including theirs, must be available for contact when the child is at the group.

 

most of my parents are ok, but its the same ones i moan about on other posts who really bug me. the kind who hate to be called in if their child becomes ill, because they are busy that day to take them home. not showing any concern for the child's wellbeing!!

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It's frustrating, but it's true. It's always the same parents that moan about having to collect their sick child. Had one parent who ran out of the front door, calling behind her that her child had been sick during the night! :o

 

You do get really good, considerate parents though, and so the whole thing does balance out a bit! I had one parent who when she arrived, her child was sick all over the front door step :( He'd been fine up till then. We got the child infront of the toilet - Which he then missed! :( The parent was very apologetic and offered to clear the whole lot up! We gave her a bucket, her child and told her go home, but thank you for the offer. She then phoned later appologise again, check we'd been ok and tell us child had been completly fine since!

 

Just lucky for us he waited till our doorstep! xD:(

 

Thought i'd remind you parents aren't all from the deep deep depths!

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we had one this morning sick all over snack table, phoned nan to collect child and when nan gort to us and siad oh dear child turned to her and said 'well i was sick this morning before nursery wasnt i?' a bright red nan left with child hastily!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o

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It seems the same everywhere. Half the time parents have too many commitments and their children are an after thought.

I have constant problems with emergency numbers. Every 3mnths I send out forms to parents to put emergency contact details on.

I had an incident where a child was very sick and diahorrea within 20 mins of arriving, tried both parents mobiles, one off, one disconnected, home phone was answering machine. The numbers of contacts in case unable to get hold of parents were nan and a friend. Nan lived 40 miles away and doesn't drive!!!! and the friend said she and the mum don't talk anymore, so take her off the contact list.

We tried all morning with a very upset, ill child, couldn't get hold of anyone. By end of session, mum turned up with loads of bags of shopping, apologised but had forgotton to turn on phone, dad had a new phone week before, friend was a B****h and she put nan down because she was her mum. I explained that emergency contacts bwere called emergency contacts for a reason. Sent her and son on way home with bowl and explained that he could come back 24hrs after last sick or diahorrea. Next morning she bought him in again. Sent them home, explained again. He ended up being admitted to hospital with gastric flu. Luckily we were all ok and child made a full recovery but mum and dad went down with it. Dad had 3 weeks off work.

 

Net x

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hi all,

 

just to let you know, my early years advisor was in today, mentioned about sick children and she told me that we need to ammend our policy to state that from now on, any child with gastric illness, must not attend until

 

72 hours after

 

:oxD:(

 

 

that will be fun explaining that one to parents

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We have always told parents 48 hours before they are supposed to return to Pre-school.

Some times half way through the morning a child will tell us that they were 'sick all over the floor last night' Parents don't tell us this because they don't want to have to keep their child at home for 48 hours.

Of course, there are always the sensible ones who keep them at home until they are completely better - but not many of them!

 

Sue J

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We usually say 48 hours free of sickness.

 

 

Last week (1st week back to school after Xmas break) we had a small child brought in by his childminder she was concerned he wasnt well but had been reasured by parents he was OK for school. We grew more concerned during the day and finally managed to contact his grandfather who informed us that the child had been in hospital with a spot on his lung! and was taking 3 lots of medication!! xD:o:(

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  • 3 weeks later...

in regards to the 72 hours my EYAT mentioned, from what i gather its part of the latest health & safety legislation and is for all children under the age of 5. schools therefore can be 24 or 48 hours.

 

will check where it came from for definate.

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My Early years advisor is supposed to be visiting me this week. I will ask her.

My only worries that if the isolation period is extended to 72 hours more parents will just send unwell children in without mentioning anything at all.

The child I refused entry to when I started this post has still not returned. He has been so ill.

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In our county, we've had a higher level of cases of flu and gastro enteritis ( not necessarily at the same time for any one child :o ), and many schools and nursery's are struggling because staff are also affected.

 

We received ( and so did every school- so I hear) a letter from our local Environmental Health service, stating that exclusion should be 48 hrs ( 2 days) from end of illness symptoms ( not 2 days off from start of illness).

 

So in effect it could take a child 72+ hours to be fully recovered.

 

Peggy

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