It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and cold, and for many parents, their kids are getting sick… again.
If your child is attending daycare, chances are they will get sick at some point. It’s just a fact of life. And while it’s normal for kids to get sick, it can be tough for parents to deal with.
If your child is getting sick more often than usual, there could be a few different reasons:
- Maybe they’re not washing their hands often enough.
- Maybe they’re not feeling well, to begin with, and they’re just getting sicker at daycare.
- Maybe there’s something going around, and everyone is getting sick.
- Also, the daycare center may not be practicing good hygiene, or there may be another child who is frequently getting sick and spreading the illness to others.
Once you’ve talked to the staff and figured out what’s going on, you can take some steps to prevent your child from getting sick:
- If you think your child is getting sick because they’re not washing their hands often enough, talk to them about the importance of hand washing. Show them how to wash their hands properly and make sure they’re doing it often.
- If you think your child is getting sick because they’re not feeling well, to begin with, talk to their doctor. They may need to take some steps to boost their immunity, such as getting more rest, eating healthy foods, or taking vitamins.
- If you think there’s something going around and everyone is getting sick, there’s not much you can do other than try to keep your child as healthy as possible. Make sure they’re washing their hands often, getting enough rest, and eating healthy foods.
- If your kid got a fever or is feeling body pain, maybe the best action is to take a few days of rest at home and to give him Children’s Tylenol and/or Children’s Advil or Children’s Motrin.
Although there is a shortage of those medicines in Calgary (and in many areas in Canada as well due to the strong flu, cold, COVID-19, and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) wave we have), Chaparral Pharmacy – Remedy’sRx can compound Children’s Tylenol / Advil / Motrin for your child, based on your need with no need for a prescription for the compound!
So, what can you do regarding the home or daycare itself if your child keeps getting sick at that daycare or home care?
Of course, there are a lot of different types of daycares. Some are small, home-based daycares with only a few kids. In those types of daycares, it is easy to find the reasons for what causes your child’s sickness since it might be obvious which kids are consistently sick or are easily transmitting their sickness to others or what certain behaviour within the home-based daycares (or home cares) that is causing repetitive infections for your kid.
Here are some tips to help prevent your child from getting sick in those small daycares:
- Make sure the daycare provider follows good hygiene practices, such as washing their hands frequently and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly.
- Encourage your child to wash their hands often, especially before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and after playing outside.
- Keep your child up to date on their vaccines, as this can help protect them from getting sick from preventable diseases.
- Avoid sending your child to daycare if they are sick, and consider keeping them home for at least 24 hours after their symptoms have resolved.
- Talk to the other parents at the daycare, try to have a good relationship with them, and make sure they are also following these guidelines to help prevent the spread of illness.
- Consider asking the daycare provider if they have a plan in place for dealing with illness, such as separating sick children from healthy ones and regularly cleaning and disinfecting toys and surfaces.
Others are large, commercial daycares with tens or hundreds of kids. Those few (a bit similar to the previous tips) steps can help prevent your child from getting sick in a large daycare center:
- Ask the daycare staff about their policies for hygiene and illness prevention. Make sure they have procedures in place for cleaning and disinfecting toys, surfaces, and other areas of the daycare and that they have policies for dealing with sick children.
- Encourage your child to wash their hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. You can also pack hand sanitizer for your child to use when hand washing is not possible.
- Teach your child to avoid kissing and hugging and encourage them to maintain physical distance as much as possible.
- Keep your child up to date on their vaccinations. This can help protect them against common illnesses that are spread in daycare settings.
- If your child shows signs of being sick, keep them at home until they are feeling better. This will help prevent them from spreading their illness to other children at the daycare.
- Consider finding a smaller, less crowded daycare center. This may reduce the risk of your child getting sick from being around so many other children.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that kids will get sick, even if they’re at daycare. But, by talking to the staff and taking some preventative steps, you can help reduce the number of times your child gets sick. If you cannot resolve or find the root cause of the sickness problem, it may be a good idea to consider finding a different daycare center for your child.