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Is Your Child Too Sick for Child Care Programs?

sick child care programs

For parents of children at daycare or preschool age, this period of the winter each year can be trying due to the frequency of colds, flu and other illnesses that tend to spread among children. If this is one of the first times this has happened since your child has begun attending child care programs, you may be wondering whether they’re so sick that you should be keeping them home and preventing the risk of spreading illness to other kids.

At Smart Kids Development Center, we’re happy to make recommendations and refer parents to our sick child policies anytime your child is under the weather and you’re considering holding them home from our child care programs. Let’s go over some general guidelines to keep in mind here, from recognizing symptoms to making an informed decision on whether your child should stay home.

Symptoms and Conditions

For starters, whether you’ve diagnosed the specific condition they relate to or not, there are several symptoms your child may be exhibiting that should automatically cause you to keep them at home sick. Such symptoms include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea more than once within the last 24 hours, unless it has been confidently determined this was due to a one-time, non-spreadable issue like food poisoning that has passed.
  • Fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100.4 degrees for infants.
  • Severe coughing, wheezing or other behaviors that could spread mucus.
  • Major fatigue not connected to lack of sleep.
  • Abdominal pain for over two hours along with other symptoms.
  • Mouth sores with uncontrollable drooling.
  • Major rash unassociated with some other kind of separate, non-communicable skin condition.

In addition, more obvious conditions like head lice, chickenpox, mumps or measles necessitate children be kept home for multiple days while receiving proper medical attention.

On the flip side, minor or mild symptoms like a runny nose or a light cough are not always signs that a child must be kept home. As long as they don’t come with any of these other symptoms, they’re usually okay.

General Caution

While many symptoms or conditions described enough will be simple enough to make a determination on for your child, other situations might not be so cut-and-dried. Maybe your child is past the worst of a given cold or flu, but you’re unsure if they are quite well enough to return to preschool or daycare just yet.

In these cases, we generally recommend caution. Not only could there still be a risk of spreading illness, your day could be ruined as a parent if your child worsens and you have to go pick them up unplanned.

Facility Policy

Finally, make yourself familiar with our general policies on sick kids, which we’re happy to detail for you. These will outline certain situations where it’s safe or unsafe to bring your child to our facility, and we expect these guidelines to be followed by all parents and children.

For more on when to keep your child home sick from daycare or other child care programs, or to learn about any of our child care services, speak to the staff at Smart Kids Development Center today.