Tuesday, May 06, 2008

too sick

One of the biggest reoccurring issues we deal with at work is sick children who should have never been left at kinder that day. A LOT of parents tend to give their kid some panadol when they say they feel unwell in the morning and send them off to kinder (not mentioning anything to the staff) expecting they'll be fine. panadol is NOT A CURE. it just brings any fever down and temorarily takes away any aches or pains the child was feeling. it only lasts 4 hours (and we will not administer it at kinder-- if the child needs it they shouldn't be there). every time a parent does this we figure it out by lunch time when the child looks horrible, complains that they feel bad, has a fever, doesn't want to eat and usually end up curled up in a ball on a rest mat or in the book area. its about that time that we ask them if they felt unwell at all before kinder, they say yes. we ask if they had any medicine and they say yes. then we call the parents and tell them they need to come and get their sick child (and more often than it should happen parents give some reason that they can't come right away like another child sleeping at home that they don't want to wake, can't get out of work....... we're now stuck with a sick child--- that the parents KNEW was sick). this child has now been at kinder for a few hours (and my be there for another hour or more when all they want to do is cuddle up at home) spreading their germs to all their friends (and then onto friends families) and the teachers/staff (panadol doesn't make their illness less contagious). i found a good article about how sick is too sick and it had 3 great questions that parents should ask themselves before sending a child off to kinder (or child care or school) when the child says they aren't feeling well:

  1. Will my child be well enough to comfortably and happily participate in the activities of the day?
  2. Will my child's care provider be able to care for my child without it affecting their ability to look after the other children?
  3. Will my child pass the illness on to their playmates if I send them in today?
yes it's probably hard for parents to take time off work to stay home with a sick child but sending them into kinder drugged up on panadol isn't helping anyone (especially the child) and it can make for a very hard day for the child's carers as well as putting everyone else at risk for getting the child's illness (including pregnant mothers/staff) and the child will most likely not be cared for in the way they should be (we can't just sit and cuddle one child and its horrible to see an unwell child curled up on a chair just wanting to go to bed).

if your child needs to be given any medication for cold/flu symptoms they aren't going to be well enough to attend kinder and will be much better off staying at home to rest and recover.


Annie said...

I AGREE! Too many parents send sick children who belong at home in bed to activities.
The more active the child is the sicker they get.
It's almost like a form of neglect.

shawna said...

it is a bit like neglect. especially when a parent refuses to pick up a child right when they receive a call saying their child is sick (and its horrible the amount of times that happens-- and the main excuse isn't "i can't get out of work for a while" but it's "their younger sibling is sleeping and i don't want to wake them". i think another child being sick and needing to be home is a good enough reason to have a grumpy baby/toddler).