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Just A Little Vent


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#1 barefut

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 06:31 AM

I am a childcare provider and I have a preschool out of my home. I have been very specific in my preschool handbook about NOT bringing children to school sick.

I will tolerate a runny nose as long as its running clear - no green mucuos- because some kids have allergies and have a constant sniffle but I've had parents bring their kids here with a nasty loose cough.

I am fanatical about hand washing here and I disinfect all surfaces and door knobs before and after kids are here. I teach kids to cough into their elbow rather than their hands and I have them wash their hands after they blow their noses. I even spray disinfectant into the air after sick kids leave here.

BUT my kids and I have STILL gotten sick. Here I sit with a sore throat and a stuffy head. It makes me so mad not only because I'm on immunosuppressant medication, but because when I'm sick I lose income. ARG! :angry: Just as I don't want sick kids here, I can't have kids come here when I'm sick, even if I feel up to teaching. That would be hypocritical and wrong.

I realize that anyone can catch a germ from anywhere and that my kids can catch stuff from other kids at their schools but it just makes me mad when I do all I CAN do to keep us healthy and then it's all for naught.

Can anyone help me compose a friendly reminder to parents to keep their kids home when they are sick?

Should I or should I not mention my compromised immune system? If I do mention it, how do I do that without having to go into great detail? I'm afraid any mention of my health issues will alarm parents if they don't have all the details.

Even if they do have all the details, they may not understand. I'm afraid some parents may not want to bring their children here and I live in a small gossipy town so it could ruin my business.....help?!

Maybe I ought to just give it up and sell stuff online????? :unsure:

Thanks,
Barefut

#2 fragiledancer2

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 07:03 AM

Hi Barefut- I am a psychotherapist and see a few young children in my practice, and have the same issue. I tell parents that I appreciate their commitment to helping their child get better(for you- educate, socialize), but that it's best from them not to bring them when sick. When I keep it simple, non-emotional and matter of fact it works best.

#3 fragiledancer2

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 07:06 AM

Hi again! I forgot to add that when I initially talk to the parents about how the therapy works, and discuss other details like cancellations and payment- (I do so orally or written,) I mention the whole sick business as well.

#4 Sweet

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:07 AM

Hey Barefut!

One thing that may help you to keep from getting colds etc, is saline rinses up your nose. I know that doesn't sound like fun, but it works! You can get little tubes of saline at the drug store.

Hope this helps.

Love Pam

Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 janey

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:21 AM

Barefut,
I can certainly understand your frustration. I just don't get it. I use to work at a children's museum and it seemed like some parents purposely used the museum to dump off sick kids. I carried a little bottle of germ free soapless stuff in my pocket and used it constantly. Since yours is a private business, I would hope you would have more control. It sounds like you have already put it in writing. I would NOT mention your compromised immune system or anything about your illness. Since you aren't contagious and it does not keep you from doing your job, then it's no one's business.

Would it be possible for you to add a statement in your manual that says that you have the right to refuse childcare if YOU have determined that a child is sick and that YOU will ensure the wellness of the child prior to being released into your care? I know you won't catch them all, but maybe you might catch a few.

Another suggestion might be to put out a little flyer about the fact that it is the cold and flu season and since both of these conditions are easily passed among children, it is imperative that parents not bring their kids to preschool if the kids are sick. This rule is not only to maintain the wellness of all the children, but of the families as well. Please respect others and the wellbeing of your child during this cold and flu season and keep you sick child at home.

Good luck to you Darling! - Hang in there.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#6 Heidi

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 01:12 PM

Hi,

When my grandkids were in preschool just a few years ago, about this time of the year we always got a reminder flyer home. It was a lot like Janey described....basically said with the onset of the cold and flu season the staff wanted to remind all parents and caregivers of the policy regarding sick children. It then said that if a child had a runny nose that was not clear, had a loose cough, had a fever, etc. they would not be accepted to class that day.

I agree with Janey that I would not mention your disease but make it about your need to protect the other children in your care and their children and family by not allowing sick children to attend.

Also, I have been using a saline spray in my nostrils every night before I go to bed for maybe 9 months....and I have not gotten a cold or the flu since. Not sure if it is just coincidence...but I had heard something on TV about it and started trying it...

Warm wishes,
Heidi

#7 barefut

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for the replies girls.

I am going to try the saline for sure.

I love my preschool and the kids so I was only kidding about giving it up.

I will work on that reminder for parents using the sound advice you gave me.

I do have a clause in my handbook that says if a child gets sick at school I will call parents to come get him or her and I had to do that earlier in the year.

I just hope my kids' parents will be understanding.

Thanks Again,
Barefut

#8 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 03:26 PM

Hi Barefut,

As I understand it, the average child gets 6 to 10 colds per year and the average adult gets 4 colds per year. You could probably add a few colds onto that number if you are on immunosuppressants. If you find that you are getting more than 6 to 8 colds per year, then you may want to reconsider your career choice -- although it is possible to pick up germs anywhere, of course.

Keep up your vigilance and stand your ground with parents who try to drop off their children when sick. As soon as you do realize a child is sick, call the parents and pleasantly but firmly ask them to take their child home until they are fully recovered.

I agree not to ever mention anything about having a suppressed immune system. Hardly anyone will know what scleroderma is, and people will likely assume it is something contagious, like AIDS. It's normal to take disease precautions, and activity that you enjoy is probably beneficial for your immune system.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.