Our Policies

UNWELL CHILDREN POLICY

(Refer also to "Staying Healthy in Child Care" – preventing infectious diseases in child care.

AIM

To ensure that an ailing child is noticed and cared for swiftly, and that appropriate action is taken to prevent the spread of infection.

Pre-School is not the best place for a child who is unwell, as staff are unable to give them the one to one attention (nurturing) that they need. Also the close contact with the other children and staff in the Centre increases the risk of cross-infection.

PREVENTION

Staff will be aware of the symptoms of illness throughout the course of the day. The following symptoms could identify a child who is not well and who may need to see a doctor:

  • be fretful and listless
  • cry readily but not be comforted easily
  • lose interest in playing
  • Unusually quiet or irritable
  • not want to eat
  • be irritable when disturbed
  • feel to hot or looks flushed
  • needs 1:1 attention
  • feel cold or looks pale
  • does not seem "right"
  • fever – a temperature taken by thermometer under the arm over 38C. especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, stiff neck, rash or convulsion.
  • Respiratory symptoms – difficult or rapid breathing, severe coughing, high pitched croup or whooping sound, inability to lie comfortably due to continuous coughing or wheezing.
  • Diarrhoea – an increased number of abnormally loose or watery stools.
  • Vomiting – an incident of vomiting with no obvious cause, abdominal pain.
  • Ear/nose infection – thick mucus draining from the nose, or ear, earache.
  • Eye infection – red, swollen, watery or discharging eyes, itchy eyes.
  • Throat infection – red, sore throat, swollen glands in neck, fever, difficulty swallowing.
  • Skin problem – undiagnosed rash or spots, discharging or weeping sores that cannot be covered, persistent itching of body or head, lice or nits present in the hair.
  • Unusual colour/appearance/behaviour -
    Eyes or skin – yellow (jaundice)
    Stools - grey or white, loose or watery
    Urine - dark, tea-coloured, strong odour.
  • The child looks pale, tired, confuses or lacks appetite, irritable or difficult to waken.

Fit/convulsion/reaction to medication/severe allergic reaction - seek medical advice immediately.

The service retains the right to exclude any child who is regarded by the Authorised Supervisor to be a health risk to other children, or any child who the Authorised Supervisor or senior staff believe is unwell. The reason being

  • The family doctor can often be placed under pressure to comply with the needs of parents/carers to have a child in care so that the parent/carer may return to work;
  • Without knowledge of what illnesses are prevalent in the service at the time, diagnosis can sometimes differ;
  • This ensures standardised procedure, fair and equal treatment and more effective implementation of the health policy.

Notices will be posted of any infectious diseases in the service. Families are to notify the service within 24 hours, if their child has been exposed to, or is diagnosed with, any communicable disease or infectious illness.

Ill children will not be readmitted to the service until fully recovered or no longer infectious as determined by the Authorised Supervisor.

Children who have had a fever over 38C, vomiting or diarrhoea in the previous 24 hours are not permitted to attend the centre, children who have been sent home with any of these symptoms cannot attend the following day. Fever, vomiting or diarrhoea can often be symptoms of an infection or other contagious illness. It is necessary to exclude the child for 24 hours to ensure they have fully recovered thus reducing the likelihood of other children becoming infected.

If a child has been prescribed a course of antibiotics or anti-fungal medication, they will not be permitted to re enter the service for at least 24 hours after commencing treatment so that the medication has time to take effect and to monitor for any adverse reactions.

It is at the Authorised Supervisor or senior qualified staff member's discretion, as to when a child should be sent home from the Centre due to illness. If a child exhibits signs or symptoms of illness, staff will:

  • Inform the Authorised Supervisor
  • If a child displays two symptoms of illness or their temperature is over 38C with another symptom or the Authorised Supervisor considers the child to be too sick to remain at the Centre the parent/ emergency contact will be called to arrange for the child to be collected from the Centre urgently. If it is necessary for the child to be given Panadol /Paracetamol, the "Administering Panadol / Paracetamol Policy Procedures" are to be carried out. Paracetamol will ONLY be given to a child over six months of age with a temperature above 38C and in discomfort, in the dose specified on the bottle in accordance with the child's weight/age.
    ASPRIN must never to given to a child with a fever.
  • If a child only has one symptom of illness they will be monitored for 30 minutes and then re-assessed at that time. Parents/guardians will be called if the child's condition is not improving or the Authorised Supervisor's discretion.
  • Comfort the ill child. Restrict the ill child from mixing with other children if possible until the child is collected.
  • The person collecting the child will be informed of any current illness in the service and the conditions of re-entry to the service

NOTE: The Authorised Supervisor is responsible for the well being of all the children in the Centre. In the cases of sickness the Authorised Supervisor has the final decision in relation to the well being of children and staff. Ailing children must be taken home in keeping with the decision of the Authorised Supervisor.

REMEMBER staff at the Centre are not doctors and do not make diagnoses but they do know the children. They are concerned about the well being of the individual child as well as the spread of infections to other children in the Centre.

02 9679 9091
02 9679 9081