Here’s some relief for working parents, from the same paper that vilified us last week. Today USA today has a quick quiz to help parents and teachers figure out when a sick child needs to be sent home from daycare, based on guidelines from Pediatrics.
The answers are not what you think. And if your kids childcare is anything like the majority of centers and home daycares, you’ve been called to pick up a sick kid who could really have stayed put at school.
Vomit? Diarrhea? Fever? Keep ’em, says the American Academy of Pediatricians. Basically, doctors think kids should only be sent home if they present a clear contagion risk to others or are so unhappy they can’t participate in the group activities.
For example, a happy toddler with a fever can stay through the afternoon, but one with runny poop leaking out of her diapers should be sent home.
Childcare providers commonly send kids home for mild illnesses like pink-eye, stomach viruses and common colds. By the time these kids show symptoms, they’ve already had days to contaminate their playmates, so sending them home at the first sign of a runny nose costs parents money, disrupts schedules and doesn’t really do the kids any good.
I’ve personally been called to pick a child up from day care because of a diaper rash. I’ve also been on the other side as a teacher, sending kids home for mild issues like conjunctivitus or low fevers, because the state’s health rules about when to send a child home are pretty strict.
What do you think? Should childcare providers be more lenient about letting sick kids stay, or do even mild illnesses warrant a sick day?
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