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When is my toddler too sick to go to daycare?

Healthcare   |   Age: 1 year 8 months



When is my toddler too sick for daycare?

What was that sound? Was it a cough? A sneeze? A sniffle? Does her forehead feel a little warm? There are some illnesses that are clear-cut - your baby needs to stay at home, in her own bed, and under your watchful eye. Others, though, are harder to pin down - is your baby sick, or just a little under the weather? This can be especially hard for parents whose work situations aren’t ideal for calling out to take care of a sick child, and who don’t have family or backup childcare in the area.

One factor that makes this harder is that even more universal guidelines, like the ones laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics, can conflict with the individual standards set out by different childcare facilities. These more general guidelines are fairly commonly referred to by childcare centers across the country, but it’s always a good idea to check them against the standards of your child’s daycare center to make sure you’re on the same page.

Illnesses for your baby to power through

First symptoms that don’t mean a child needs to stay home from daycare. The common cold is an illness that hits almost every child many, many different times.

Other conditions a toddler may have and still attend daycare include rash without fever, ringworm, scabies, and thrush. While seeing your toddler suffer through any of these illnesses is no fun, toddlers dealing with them are still considered healthy and non-contagious enough to leave home and spend a few hours with their peers. It may still be helpful to check in with both her pediatrician and the staff at the center before dropping her off, but it’s generally not a problem.

Illnesses your baby needs to recover from at home

So when do you call it and make other arrangements for your baby to stay home and not attend daycare? There are three standard measurements that can help you make this choice. First, if she has a fever that is over 101 degrees. This fact alone is enough for most centers to ask you to please keep her home. Second, if her condition is too distracting and will hinder her participation is most activities. Will she be miserable all day trying to keep up with the other kids, play and learn? Keep her home or somewhere else that’s comfortable. Lastly, diarrhea is grounds for keeping your toddler home from daycare as well. This is especially true for toddlers in diapers as this can be very hard for staff to attend to and is often a sign of the body in distress.

Again, if you’re not sure which kind of situation your baby is in, it’s always helpful to check in with her doctor and teachers. The open line of communication will ensure you make the right call for everyone involved.


Sources

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