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Hi

 

Wondered if you could give me your views in a situation we have found ourselves in at the moment in our setting.

Chickenpox has been doing the rounds the past few weeks and on Monday we had a parent bring her little boy to nursery saying he had chickenpox and the spots had appeared on Saturday (less than 2 days ago) but she was adamant that her child was well enough for nursery and he didn’t have any spots visible eg on face and hands. She promptly left leaving her child in the care of ourselves knowing full well he is still infectious. After a little while he was looking a pale and under the weather. As I feel we have a duty of care to the other children and staff in the nursery as well as this particular child, myself as a supervisor and co-supervisor wanted to see at what stage the chickenpox spots were i.e. fresh/red or scabbed-over/healing. So, we didn’t make a big deal out of it and just looked at his back lifting his jumper slightly. Our manager proceeded to call his mum and asked her to pick him up which she didn’t do until the end of the day and was then outraged that we had looked at his back and said we should have had her permission. We are upset by the way she reacted and believe we didn’t do anything wrong. I feel we had the right to check what state his spots were in for the protection of ourselves and the other children. Surely there is no rule against this? We thought we handled the situation the best way we could but mum was NOT happy. All staff have had child protection training and CRB checked. But I don’t believe this is a child protection issue, it’s just a mother over reacting. But how would you have dealt with this situation, is it right to check a child?

 

Thank you for your advice.

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Oh, it's a ticklish one, isn't it!

 

We've had rampant chickenpox these last few weks and yes, there are those that send children in 'poxy'. They maybe don't understand the ramifications for the very youngest children, or pregnant mums, but we need to make folk aware that it is an infectious disease, not just a 'nuisance' that might interfere with plans!!

 

And, if your child was looking and feeling unwell, also in the interests of other children, casual obs can help inform. You don't necesarily need to shift items of clothing (however minimally) if you accompany children to the toilet - no 'invasion' then!

 

At the end of the day, you are right that you owe a duty to other parents and children!

 

Sue

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Easy for me to say sitting here typing away on my computor but I would have asked to see the spots on childs arrival and refused admittance referring to my illness exclusion policy.

 

Investigation by looking at a childs back is wholly acceptable. Think of vigilance in the instance of meningitis, such investigation can save lives.

 

In your scenario I would remind parent of our complaints policy and insist she puts her complaint in writing, which in black and white would show clearly the 'responsibilities' of all concerned including her, compared to rhetoric verbal complaint.

 

Hope you can sort the issue out without to much backlash.

 

Make a note of all actions and conversations in case of comeback and here's wishing the child a speady recovery.

 

Finally I would just like to welcome you to the forum and for your sake hope that future posts are of a more positive nature for you. :D

 

Peggy

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as the guidelines state that children should not attend until after at least a 5 day exclusion period really the child should not have arrived at your setting it is the danger that the child poses to others around him it would be impossible for your staff to have not seen these spots on the childs back it doesnt mean you have invaded his privacy in any way have you given the parent any information about chicken pox the guidelines we were given from the IDU state how dangerous it can be for pregnant women

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same here if it was a member of staff they would have called me over to speak to the mother and we would have looked at the spots together and probably sent the child home. on the NHS website they tell you the exclusion time and explain the spot should be scabbed over. maybe print it off. Sounds like a mother that had other things to do and when you rang you put her on a guilt trip, because she new her child shouldn't have been left.

As long as the child was not made to feel embarrassed infront of the other children and 2 staff were present I shouldn't think she has much to moan about. you were safe guarding the other children.

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Oh you poor thing. Puts my petty squabbles with committee into perspective! I totally empathise with you - I was accused of not acting appropriately once and know how you feel. You have acted wholly appropriately. As Peggy says, it's easy to say now, but I wouldn't have let the child in until 5 days after and for the mum to openly admit it was only 5 days...! Do you have policies in place regarding exclusion whilst ill or more importantly intimate care?

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We don't accept them back for at least 5 days. We don't accept them back if they are covered in scabs either. I know they aren't infections when they have scabbed but I just don't think its very hygenic. Yes I do think the parent is over reacting. As you did it sensitively I don't you did wrong when you had to take into consideration all the other children.Poor child, chicken pox seems to lower childrens immune systems and they catch something else.

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Hi and welcome to the forum

 

Best line of defence is attack - and that seems to be what this parent has done. Obviously she shouldn't have left the child. Not easy to deal with of course, I have taken on board what others have said about refusing entry.

 

The fact that you happened to notice the spots whilst helping the child to toilet shows how caring you are - as Peggy said - could have been meningitus.

 

Might be as well to put a note out reminding parents of exclusion period irrespective of whether 'the child wants to come to pre-school'.

 

Well done, sure it will blow over!

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Can't really add to what others have already said. - we don't allow children to attend until their spots have crusted over. At school we ask the child's permission if we want to look at their back or tummy for reasons such as yours and always ensure there are two staff present.

I'm sure this is just a storm in a teacup.

Keep your chin up :D

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As Deb said I think that this parent has gone on the offensive because she may feel guilty deep down. The child should not have been in the setting until 5 days after the last spot appears. Chicken pox is very infectious, dangerous to expectant mothers and very very dangerous to people undergoing treatment for cancer, which is why they should be kept at home, you never know who children may come into contact with. You were well within your rights to act for the health and safety of others, as well as in the interests of the child. I would have politely explained the rules on the child's arrival, drawn the parent's attention to any written policy/documentation and sent the child home. Poor little boy!

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Yes, we've often checked for spots and other things! It's been ringworm at our nursery recently and we've often had a closer look at a child that has one visible patch, to se if there are any more! :o You did the right thing! :)

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Well, as a childminder I would give the parent a copy of my policy which states we have a duty of care to the other children, asn remind her that she should not have brought the child in the first place. I had a similar situation with a parent before Christmas who's child had conjunctivitis and I sent her home again, and the parents were furious, but I stuck to my guns.

 

You are not the ones in the wrong, the parent was.

Edited by Guest
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