Home Health From Runny Noses to Recess: Understanding Daycare Colds and Kids Health

From Runny Noses to Recess: Understanding Daycare Colds and Kids Health

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Kids Health

A big concern many parents have with sending their children off to daycare is the risk of them getting sick with anything from the common cold to hand, foot, and mouth disease. Whether it’s a choice or a necessity (or both) to send kids to daycare, the center, parents, and children must work together as much as possible to create a healthy environment. 

One of the best ways parents can help is by understanding more about daycare colds and how to prevent them.

Talk to the Staff

The staff can be your best source of information when it comes to learning what colds, diseases, and infections are happening at the daycare. Although your schedule is likely jam-packed, spend a few minutes conversing with the teachers at drop-off and/or pick-up. They may use that time to let you know about any health concerns or you can ask them directly. 

Depending on the health issue one or more children are experiencing, the center may be required to inform parents. However, many situations might not require parent notification. When your child starts at the daycare, ask the staff in what instances you might be notified of a health concern. Ask periodically, especially during cold and flu season, if any illnesses are going around so you can take extra precautions if necessary.

Stay Informed Through Daycare Communication Channels

Technology plays a big part nowadays in communication between the daycare and the parents. For instance, LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool has its own mobile app, so Chicago parents are always aware of what their child is up to throughout the day. 

Read every piece of communication you receive from the daycare and stay informed via any apps so you can be instantly aware if any health issue arises. If you are signed up for emails, check your settings so the daycare’s messages won’t end up in the spam folder. 

Pay Attention to Local Health News 

Whether you watch the local news or read it, it can tell you a lot about what’s happening with daycare illnesses and disease outbreaks in your area. You might choose to sign up for local breaking news and health updates that get delivered to your email and phone. 

Check In On Local Social Media Groups

Social media groups specific to that daycare, school system, and/or town can be excellent sources of information for learning what illnesses are going around. For example, there may not yet be a chickenpox outbreak at one particular daycare, but there might be one making its way through a sports program multiple daycare children participate in. Learning this information could put you on an even higher alert for keeping an eye out for potential symptoms. 

Get To Know Other Daycare Parents 

Speaking with other daycare parents can be a great way to learn what illnesses are going around, what to look out for, and what to do if you notice symptoms. It’s also an excellent way to expand your support system

Keep Your Child’s Scheduled Doctor Appointments 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s ideal for a child to get a physical examination at certain age markers. It may be tempting to reschedule or put off making these appointments if your child seems healthy. Along with the overall importance of annual physicals, these appointments are an excellent opportunity to learn more about daycare illnesses from a medical professional. 

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions, such as if there has been a local increase in any particular illnesses and how to best keep your child healthy while at daycare. Your questions and the corresponding answers may help you be more aware of any abnormal symptoms your child might have between scheduled physical examinations. 

Research Daycare Illnesses 

Researching daycare illnesses is one of the most important ways to be proactive about your child’s health. This can provide a wealth of knowledge, including what steps you and your child can take to contribute to a healthier daycare environment. For example, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital recommends parents keep children home and inform the daycare if their little one has any contagious disease, such as whooping cough, conjunctivitis, or strep throat. 

It can be scary to read about common daycare illnesses but keep in mind that a reputable childcare center will likely do everything possible to help create a healthy environment for the kids, staff, and parents. This can include encouraging children to take toys out of their mouths, helping with hand washing, and following proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Keeping parents informed is also vital.

When choosing a daycare for your child, learn what communication options are available, how they handle a health outbreak, and what their cleaning procedures are. These three factors can play a huge role in your child’s health. Additionally, determine if the center is licensed and accredited with great teachers who have met or exceeded the DCFS requirements.

Summary: Caring for Daycare Colds and Kids’ Health

Children unfortunately get sick at some point, but obtaining knowledge, keeping the lines of communication open, and being proactive can make a world of difference. Everyone working together to create healthy, safe spaces for kids helps better protect every person involved in the child and parent’s life, from elderly relatives to the parent’s coworkers. 
Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.

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