Can you prevent your child from becoming sick at a day care center?

The short answer is no. Exposure to other sick children will increase the likelihood that your child may “catch” the same illness, particularly with the common cold. The primary rule is to keep your own children at home if they are sick. However, you can do the following:

1. Teach your child to wash his or her hands before eating, after using the toilet, after playing outside, after getting home from school/childcare, and before playing with younger siblings. Infection is spread the most by children putting dirty toys and hands in their mouths, so check your day care’s hygiene cleaning practices.
2. Have your child examined by a physician before enrollment in a day care center or school. During the examination, the physician will:

· review with you any allergies your child may have. This will assist in determining if the diet offered at the day care center may be harmful to your child.
· help adjust medications required for any chronic illness your child might have such as asthma
· identify health issues that might require special attention at daycare
3. Alert the day care center manager when your child is ill, and include the nature of the illness.

Day care has become a necessity for millions of families. Monitoring the health of your own child is essential to preventing unnecessary sickness. If a serious illness occurs, do not hesitate to have your child examined by a physician.

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