Health and Safety
When a child becomes ill while in our care, but does not require immediate medical attention, we must determine whether or not exclusion from group care is required. (By exclusion, we mean that you must come and get your child from the center.) We base our decisions on the policies outlined in two publications by the American Academy of Pediatrics: Caring for Our Children and Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools. There are 3 things to consider in determining if a child needs to be excluded from care:
- Illness prevents the child from participating in the normal activities of his/her classroom routine
- Illness requires a level of care that is greater than we can provide without compromising the health and safety of the other children
- Illness poses a risk of spread of disease to others
If any of these criteria are met, the child will be excluded, regardless of the type of illness. You will be called, and asked to pick your child up from our care within one hour.
Along with the above three points, temporary exclusion (removal) from child care is recommended when the child has any of the following conditions:
- Appears to be severely ill
- Has a fever of 100 degrees or higher taken axillary (armpit) and behavior changes or other signs and symptoms (sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea). An unexplained temperature above 100 degrees axillary in a child younger than 4 months should be medically evaluated. Note: an infant younger than 2 months with a fever should get medical attention within an hour.
- Diarrhea – defined by more watery stools, decreased form of stool that is not associated with changes of diet, and increased frequency of passing stool that is not contained by the child’s ability to use the toilet – until the diarrhea resolves.
- Blood in the stools not explained by dietary change, medication, or hard stools
- Vomiting more than 2 times in the previous 24 hours, unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by a non-communicable condition, and the child is not in danger of dehydration
- Abdominal pain that continues for more than 2 hours or intermittent pain associated with fever or other signs and symptoms
- Mouth sores with drooling
- Cough that is severe, rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, cyanosis (blue color of skin and mucous membranes)
- Rash with fever or behavioral changes
- Pink or red conjunctiva with white or yellow eye mucus drainage (signs of a bacterial infection), often with matted eyelids after sleep and eye pain, or redness of the eyelids or skin around the eye, until treatment has been started
- Tuberculosis, until the child’s physician or local health department states child is on appropriate treatment and can return
- Impetigo, until 24 hours after treatment has been started
- Strep throat, or other streptococcal infection, until 24 hours after treatment has been started
- Head lice or nits
- Chicken pox, until all lesions have dried or crusted (usually in about 6 days)
- Pertussis, until 5 days of appropriate antibiotic treatment
- Mumps, until 9 days after onset of parotid gland swelling
- Measles, until 4 days after onset of rash
- Hepatitis A virus, as directed by the local health department and pediatrician
- Any child determined by the local health department to be contributing to the transmission of illness during an outbreak
If it is determined that a child does need to be excluded from group care, the procedures are as follows:
- Care for the child will be provided in a place where the child can be comfortable and feel safe, away from the other children
- Family will be called to pick up the child as soon as possible, but within one hour
- Family is asked to relay the advice/diagnosis of the health professional, if a medical visit is deemed necessary
- Contact the local health department if there is a question of a reportable communicable disease
- Sanitize toys and other items the child may have put in his/her mouth
- Document actions in the child’s file with date, time, symptoms, and actions taken and by whom, sign and date document
Medication Administration Policy
The administration of medicines at Advantage Early Learning Center shall be limited to:
- Prescribed medications ordered by a health care provider for a specific child, with written permission of the parent or legal guardian
- Nonprescription (over-the-counter or OTC) medications recommended by a health care provider for a specific child and a specific condition, with written permission of the parent or legal guardian
For prescription medications, the parent or legal guardian will provide the medication in the original, child-resistant container that is labeled by a pharmacist with the child’s name, the name and strength of the medication; the date the prescription was filled; the name of the health care provider who wrote the prescription; the medication’s expiration date; and administration, storage, and disposal instructions.
For OTC medications, the parent or legal guardian will provide the medication in the original, child-resistant container. The medication will be in a Ziploc baggie labeled with the child’s first and last names. There will be specific, legible instructions on the container for administration, dosage and age/weight requirements, and storage of the medicine. We will also need the name and contact number of the health care professional who recommended the medication for the child. WE CANNOT GIVE MEDICATION TO A CHILD IF THE LABEL INDICATES THE CHILD’S AGE OR WEIGHT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR THAT MEDICATION. If the label indicates your child’s age or weight requires that a medical professional must be contacted, then we need the following: Your child’s medical provider can write a standing order for an OTC medication that defines exactly the amount, reason, and when the medication should be used. This standing order should also include an end date, or a date when it should be reevaluated. We cannot accept parents’ directions or reasons, if they are in conflict with the instructions on the medication.
The parent or legal guardian will sign our medication form, providing specific instructions for the dose, time, and method to be used, and duration of administration will be provided in writing, either by a signed note or prescription label. We cannot give medication longer than the prescription label states. For OTC medicines, we will only give while symptoms persist, will not give over the stated amount of daily doses unless directed in writing by the child’s medical provider, and the smallest effective dose will be administered.. For either type of medication, we must also know the reason it is being given to the child. Please note: we cannot give medication on an “as needed” basis.
A physician may state that a certain medication may be given for a recurring problem, emergency situation, or chronic condition. This could include an allergic reaction requiring an Epipen, asthma intervention, or other such conditions. In these cases, we would need a note from a physician including the child’s name, the name and dose of the medication, how often it may be given, conditions for its use, and any precautions to follow.
Severe Weather Closure/Emergency Evacuation Policy
In the event of severe weather or snow, management may decide not to open the center before normal opening time. If that happens, we will notify families through our facebook page. You DO NOT need to have a facebook page to view our status changes, but if you “like” us on facebook any status changes will be sent to you directly. We will also update our voicemail and attempt to keep it as current as possible.
If public schools are closed, it is possible that we will delay opening until travel is safe, or remain closed entirely. Please check our facebook page or call the center to listen to our updated voicemail before attempting to travel and drop off at Advantage Early Learning Center.
If management decides to close during normal operating hours we will notify families by telephone, email, or our facebook page. If we are unable to reach parent(s), we will call emergency contacts. If weather prevents parent or other authorized person from picking up child, staff members will continue to care for child until parent or other authorized person can safely travel to the center to pick up child. If severe weather requires children and staff to remain at the center over night, staff members will care for children until departure is deemed safe. We will maintain a 3 day emergency supply of food and other essential items for children, infants, and staff members.
If there is ever a need to evacuate the center, we will attempt to use the same methods to contact you and provide you with any other information.