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Checkup for childcare center's policies on ill children

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Children will soon be returning to childcare in this new year, and we are in the winter months when sick children are the norm. It's a great idea to review your center's policies for managing illnesses before you take your child into the center after the holidays.

Childcare centers have detailed information about their policies for handling ill children in their center's handbooks, but busy parents often do not take the time to read the handbook. Most policies are based on common sense, but there are some points to be considered that parents may not think about. One of the basic points to be considered are the issues of contagious diseases such as chicken pox, strep throat, staph infections, and the very common pink eye. If your child has one of these, centers will ask that you notify the center so that other parents may be notified. A fever of 100 is the common criteria for excluding a child from the center until the fever has been absent for one full day.

Some childcare centers have extra policies in place for administering medicines and caring for children who have allergies. The Church of the Palms Early Childhood Center in Sarasota is an excellent example of a childcare center that has detailed information about administering meds to children. One notable policy that the center has concerning medicines is that an ill child who has medicine will be excluded for one full day after the first dose has been given. Medicine that must be given after the child returns to the center will be administered only if the medicine is labeled with the child's name, doctor's authorization, and doctor's instructions for administering the medicine. All medicine will be kept in the office, and only office staff may administer the medicine. Permission slips must also be signed by parents. It is interesting to note that for many years, children could be given aspirin or a common over-the-counter medicine for a minor problem. This is definitely not the policy of centers now. The Church of the Palms Early Childhood Center is an example of a center that will not administer over-the-counter medicines. This policy is strictly adhered to by the center. The Church of the Palms Early Childhood Center is located at 3224 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota.

Give your center's policies on managing sick children a checkup for the new year, and make 2014 a healthier year for your child and their classmates in childcare.

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