The Israeli Pediatric Association has issued new guidelines about sending kids to school or daycare when they are sick. We all know there are some parents who let their sick kids infect everyone else. There are also gananot (kindergarten teachers) who send children home over minor issues. With their report, the pediatricians hope to make “seder” (order).
Here are the new recommendations.
Send children to school with:
- A runny nose, a sore throat, cough, ear infection or rash—but no fever.
- Minor, painless eye infection.
- Lice or scabies.
- A single episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
- Hepatitis B or C, CMV, and HIV.
Keep children home with:
- Two or more episodes of vomiting or diarrhea within 24 hours.
- Salmonella or e-coli infection—until a clean culture is obtained.
- Hepatitis A sores, for a week after the outbreak or until all children and staff have been vaccinated. Impetigo.
- Tonsillitis or ear infection caused by Streptococcus A, for 24 hours after the start of antibiotics, or if there is no fever for 24 hours.
- Mouth sores accompanied by drooling.
- Eye infection with pus.
- Rash accompanied by fever.
- Chickenpox—until all the sores are dry.
- Pertussis, rubella, mumps, measles, flu—until 24 hours after symptoms subside.
- Other fevers—until symptoms subside.
The pediatricians considered the level of contagiousness, seriousness, and how much attention the staff would need to give to the sick child at the expense of the others.
Guidelines for daycare workers include washing hands with soap after using the bathroom, diapering, and before and after handling food. Food needs to be separate from the bathroom area, and diaper-changing surfaces should be wiped with alcohol solution between changes. Along with the vaccinations routinely given by Tipat Chalav, pediatricians recommended vaccinating infants against rotavirus, annual flu shots, and swine flu vaccine according to the health ministry’s current guidelines.
Personally, I have an additional guideline–how my child feels. If children are acting abnormal—no appetite, apathetic or cranky, I will keep them home if at all possible. It’s no fun to be at school when you feel lousy, even if you don’t have a fever. I also wait at least half a day to make sure the fever is truly gone. Fever at night automatically gets my kids out of school the next day because fever often returns in the afternoon. So I think the fever recommendation is too lax.
So what do you think of the guidelines? Will they make parents’ lives easier, or harder?
You may also enjoy: