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How Do I Keep My Child Healthy At Daycare?

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    Children will inevitably put their unclean hands and toys in their mouths, and this occurs even in the most hygienic childcare centres. As a consequence of this, they end up rubbing their eyes or otherwise acquiring a wide variety of "daycare diseases," including the following:

    • Illnesses of the upper respiratory tract, such as colds and the flu.
    • Pink eye.
    • The stomach flu, often known as gastroenteritis, can be caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria.
    • The most common victims of hand, foot, and mouth illness are youngsters younger than five years old. Some of the symptoms are a rash, fever, and mouth ulcers.

    Children who attend daycare frequently experience upper respiratory tract infections, such as colds and secondary ear infections. This is especially common among younger children. According to the consensus of medical professionals, a typical youngster would experience between six and eight upper respiratory tract infections caused by viruses each year. And because that is only an average, some children are receiving a higher amount, while others are receiving a lower amount. Because children who attend daycare are typically exposed to a greater number of people, it is plausible that they are suffering from an increased number of infections. They also have a one in two chance per year of contracting gastroenteritis, which includes episodes of both vomiting and diarrhoea.

    The good news is that the longer children spend at daycare, the less likely they are to become ill with infections. And by the time they enter kindergarten, it appears that children who attended childcare had a considerably lower incidence of illness compared to children who had not attended daycare. In other words, there is a good chance that your child will get sick a lot at some point throughout their early life. If it doesn't happen during the years that they spend in daycare, then it is likely to happen during the years that they spend in kindergarten and first grade. Come see the learning, and feel the love, inside our Early Learning communities.Check us out!

    When to Keep Your Child Home from Child Care

    As a result of the prevalence of two-income families and single parents in today's society, many young children spend a significant portion of their time in childcare settings. A significant number of youngsters of school age participate in child care programmes both before and after school.

    Common Illnesses in Child Care:

    The viruses that cause the common cold and influenza are the ones that cause the majority of the diseases that occur in child care centres. Even if your child has been immunised, there is still a possibility that they could contract viruses that cause illnesses such as colds, sore throats, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

    In the first year that they spend in group child care, children of any age will be exposed to a significant number of infectious diseases. However, if a child's first year of life is spent in child care, it is possible for that youngster to experience anywhere from eight to twelve more colds than they would if they were cared for at home, away from the company of other children and their siblings. The rapid growth of a child's immune system, which is caused by prolonged contact to a large number of germs, begins to take effect during the second year of a child's attendance at a day care centre. This results in a decreased incidence of respiratory infections. In an average year, a youngster will get diarrhoea somewhere between once and twice.

    AAP Child Care Recommendations for Exclusion:

    The following conditions are the most common causes for a kid to be denied access to child care or school:

    • It makes it impossible for the child to take part in activities in a comfortable manner.
    • Because of this, the amount of care required is larger than what the staff members are able to provide without putting the health and safety of the other children at risk.
    • Puts people at danger of contracting a sickness that is damaging to them (see list of these conditions below)

    It is recommended that any kid who has respiratory symptoms (such as a cough, runny nose, or sore throat) in addition to a fever not participate in the child care programme. However, you are welcome to bring the child back once the fever that has been connected with these symptoms has subsided (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).

    It is imperative that child care workers and the children in their charge obtain all of the recommended vaccines, including the flu shot, in order to lessen the likelihood of contracting the influenza virus and falling ill. Getting vaccinated against the flu every year is the single most effective approach to protect yourself from getting the flu. This strategy, which is very important, prioritises the health and safety of each individual working in the child care setting. The vaccination against influenza is advised for everyone aged 6 months and older, including those working in child care.

    Do You Keep Siblings Home When Another Is Sick?

    When someone in your home shows the initial symptoms of a severe cold or stomach bug, it might give the impression that a time bomb is about to go off. Your entire home could become infected with the illness in a relatively short amount of time. When a parent or sibling is battling an illness, it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep and can result in missed days at work and school. If you can't afford to buy hazmat suits for everyone in your family, you may find yourself wondering if it is safe to send your children to school during this time. If they are healthy, do you send them to school or do you keep them at home? When is it okay to bring your child who has been sick back to school?

    Is it Safe to Send My Healthy Kids to School When Another Is Sick?

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    If you have more than one child in your family and if one of them becomes ill, you should probably presume that the entire household is infected. That is not the case the vast majority of the time. As long as they do not exhibit any symptoms and practise proper hand hygiene, it should not be a problem for siblings to attend school.

    On the other hand, it's possible that daycare centres are an exception to this rule.

    Be sure to examine the policies of the daycare you are considering using because some of them demand even healthy siblings to stay home. It is sometimes suggested that siblings of a child who is sick with gastrointestinal problems, such as uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, should not attend daycare with that child.

    When Is It Safe to Send My Sick Child Back to School?

    Even if your child only has mild symptoms like a cold or pink eye, you should keep them away from other people and keep them isolated at home if they have a temperature of 101 degrees or higher, a severe cough, vomiting, or diarrhoea, or if they appear to be fairly ill. However, after 24 hours of having neither a fever nor any other symptoms, it is okay for them to go back to school. It is okay to send children back to school once they have resumed their baseline behaviours, such as eating, drinking, and playing. Looking for an early learning centre in Sydney ? Then Little Angels early learning centre  is what you’re looking for. 

    ​Conditions that require exclusion include:

    • When the child appears to be severely ill, is not responsive, irritable, persistently crying, having difficulty breathing, or having a quickly spreading rash.
    • Fever (temperature above 101°F [38.3°C] by any method) and behaviour change or other signs and symptoms (e.g., sore throat, rash, vomiting, or diarrhea). For infants less than 2 months of age, a health professional should evaluate an unexplained fever. For these infants younger than 2 months, get urgent medical advice for temperature above 100.4°F [38.0°C], whether or not other symptoms are present.
    • Diarrhea—Exclusion is required for all diapered children whose stool is not contained in the diaper and toilet-trained children if the diarrhea is causing "accidents," and for children whose stool frequency exceeds 2 stools above normal per 24-hours for that child while the child is in the program or whose stool contains more than a drop of blood or mucus. Diarrhea is defined by stool occurring more frequently and is less formed in consistency than usual in the child and not associated with diet changes.
    • Vomiting 2 or more times in the previous 24 hours, unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by a non-communicable/non infectious condition and the child is not in danger of dehydration.
    • Abdominal pain that continues for more than 2 hours or intermittent abdominal pain associated with fever or other signs or symptoms.
    • Mouth sores with drooling that the child cannot control unless the child's primary health care provider or local health department authority states that the child is noninfectious.
    • Rash with fever or behavioural changes until a primary care provider has determined that the Illness is not an infectious disease.
    • Skin sores are weeping fluid and are on an exposed body surface that cannot be covered with a waterproof dressing.

    Other conditions with specific diagnoses are as follows:

    • Streptococcal pharyngitis (i.e., strep throat or other streptococcal infection) until the child has had two doses of a course of an appropriate antibiotic 12 hours apart.
    • Head lice, scabies, ringworm until after the first treatment (Exclusion is not necessary before the end of the program day.) Treatment may occur between the end of the program day and the beginning of the next day—not requiring any exclusion.
    • Chickenpox (varicella) until all lesions have dried or crusted (usually 6 days after onset of rash) and no new lesions have shown for at least 24 hours.
    • Rubella, until 7 days after the rash appears
    • Pertussis, until 5 days of appropriate antibiotic treatment (21 days if untreated)
    • Mumps, until 5 days after onset of parotid gland swelling
    • Measles, until 4 days after onset of rash
    • Hepatitis A virus infection, until 1 week after onset of Illness or jaundice or as directed by the health department ​​

    Distinguishing Daycare Syndrome From an Immune System Problem

    If a child goes to daycare, is otherwise growing and developing normally, and hasn't had any serious infections (such as pneumonia or other illnesses that required hospitalisation), then it isn't very likely that they have any kind of problem with their immune system, despite the fact that both parents and paediatricians get frustrated when a child gets sick repeatedly.

    Warning signs of a primary immunodeficiency can include:

    • 8 or more new ear infections in one year
    • 2 or more serious sinus infections in one year
    • 2 or more months on antibiotics with little effect
    • 2 or more cases of pneumonia within one year
    • Failure of an infant to gain weight or grow normally
    • Recurrent, deep skin or organ abscesses
    • Recurrent thrush in the mouth or elsewhere on the skin after age one
    • Need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infections
    • 2 or more deep-seated infections
    • A family history of primary immunodeficiency

    In the event that you are of the opinion that your child does suffer from a primary immunodeficiency, discuss with your child's paediatrician the possibility of doing tests to look for issues with the immune system.

    Tips for Avoiding Infections

    Keeping a child home from daycare isn't a realistic choice for many parents, but there are other steps you can take to ensure that your child maintains the highest possible level of health. These steps are as follows:

    • Getting your kid a yearly flu vaccination and making sure that your child's other vaccinations are up to date
    • Making sure your child is getting the nutrition they need to help their immune system function normally. This means ensuring that they get enough protein, fibre, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and minimizing sugar and processed foods.
    • Avoiding other day care-type situations, such as a gym daycare or church daycare, so that your child isn't exposed to a lot of different groups of kids who might be sick
    • Discouraging thumb sucking or using a pacifier as your infant gets older, as a contaminated finger, thumb, or pacifier can be a good route for germs
    • Teaching your child to wash their hands as they get older frequently

    Make Sure You Are Reachable at All Times:

    When a child is exhibiting any signs of illness, no matter how slight, such as a cold, the parent is immediately notified, and in many cases, this occurs in child care facilities as well as public and private schools. In some settings, children are permitted to continue participating in the regular programme so long as they are able to take part in the majority of activities and do not have a condition that necessitates their exclusion from the programme. Make sure that the school or the person caring for your child always has a method to get in touch with you. This means that you should provide the school or the person caring for your child with your mobile phone number, as well as your home and work phone numbers.

    ​When It's OK to Stay in Child Care: 

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    Children do not need to be excluded as long as the first two conditions are followed, and the only exception to this is when there is an outbreak of influenza.

    • Common colds
    • Runny noses (regardless of colour or consistency of nasal discharge)
    • Coughs
    • Yellow, green, white, or watery eye discharge without fever, even if the whites of the eyes are red (pinkeye)
    • Eye pain or eyelid redness
    • Fever in children older than 4 months above 101ºF (38.3ºC) from any site-(axillary, oral or rectal) without any signs or symptoms of illness
    • Rash without fever and behavioral changes
    • Thrush
    • Fifth disease
    • All staphylococcal infections, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriers or children with the colonization of MRSA but without an illness that would otherwise require exclusion
    • Molluscum contagiosum
    • Cytomegalovirus infection
    • Hepatitis B virus infection
    • HIV infection
    • Children who have no symptoms but are known to have a germ in their stools that cause disease—except when they have an infection with a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Shigella, or Salmonella serotype Typhi. In these types of bowel infections, follow health department guidelines for return to care.

    Some tips to Prevent Illness:

    • Stay on Your Feet and Don't Give Up!

    It is important to remember that the greatest way to prevent illness in your family is to have a solid defence, so try not to feel disheartened. The following are some suggestions that can be used to help prevent the spread of an illness. See our list of available early learning programs Sydney to help you make an informed decision for your child. 

    • Rinse Your Hands

    It is essential to wash one's hands. Touching someone else is responsible for the transmission of almost all infectious diseases. From eye rubbing to nose picking, youngsters can be walking infections. Make sure that your children scrub their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap for at least twenty seconds, which is the amount of time it takes to sing the alphabet song. Instruct them to focus on cleaning both the tops of their hands and the spaces between their fingers.

    • Disinfect

    Keep your youngster confined to one section of the house so that you may reduce the amount of things you need to monitor while disinfecting the rest of the house. Two times a day, disinfect anything that they have touched (including iPads and the toilet, for example). If your child is of an appropriate age, they can also assist in the disinfecting process.

    • Don't Be So Sharing

    Do not share anything, including food, glasses, utensils, or even toothpaste with other people. Put the stuff belonging to the sick child in a separate location so there is no confusion. You might want to suggest to the healthy ones that they use the other restroom if they use the same one as the others.

    Understand that numerous infections are fairly normal in the first year or two of daycare and that they are typically not a cause for concern. This is the most important thing to keep in mind. If and when your child becomes ill, you should contact your paediatrician to discuss the most effective treatment options with them. Because of the likelihood that your child will miss a significant amount of childcare due to illness, you should make every effort to keep your work schedule as adaptable as possible and stockpile as many sick days as you possibly can.

    However, it is inevitable that children will become ill at some point. It is important for parents to realise that they cannot shield their children from every illness, regardless of whether or not the children attend daycare. Take whatever precautions you can and try to prepare yourself for the possibility of missing work or school. Every parent is aware that accidents are almost certain to take place. Make an appointment with your child's paediatrician at Banner Health as soon as you notice any symptoms of illness so that you can get them back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

    FAQs About Daycare

    How to Keep Your Child From Getting Sick at Daycare
    1. Vaccinate. 
    2. Eat Healthy. 
    3. Keep Shared Toys Clean. 
    4. Enforce Regular Hand-Washing. 
    5. Choose Facilities with Compassionate and Careful Sick Policies.

    Often, a child is not allowed to return to the centre until they've been fever-free (or diarrhea-free) for 24 hours. That means if a daycare worker notices your child is running a temperature at 3 p.m., they won't be allowed to attend care the next day, even if the fever has vanished by morning.

    Young children who are in daycare very often get frequent upper respiratory tract infections, including colds and secondary ear infections. In fact, experts estimate that the average child gets six to eight viral upper respiratory tract infections each year.

    Immunity boosters for kids in care

    • Ensure your child eats a variety of healthy foods. 
    • Ensure your child gets adequate, quality sleep. 
    • Ensure your child gets enough exercise. 
    • Ensure your child is up to date with their immunisations. 
    • Encourage good health and hygiene practices.

    This is because daycares are “the perfect environment for the transmission of viruses,” he says. Many of the typical illnesses found in daycare settings, including the common cold, stomach bugs, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and hand, foot and mouth disease, are caused by viruses.

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