Sickness- WWYD
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  1. #1
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    A sickness one and what would you do?
    Parent dropped child off this morning saying that had been sick past few days and had diarrhoea! I was a bit stunned as obviously my sickness policy is not to have them after 48 hours following sickness and diarrhoea but had the whole thing of hating telling them as they are clearly off to work.
    Just what do you do in this situation, i want to be accommodating as i can but if i get sick i cant work and then i dont get paid i just feel so awful telling a parent their child cant come, it always feels like im avoiding having them even if my reasons are valid!

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    It's a really tricky one to handle.

    The correct answer would be to turn them away on the doorstep and enforce the 48 hour rule, but that's a lot easier said than done, especially if the child seems OK.

    What I've done in the past is text parents at work and say that as they are aware, I have a 48 hour exclusion period after sickness or diarrhoea and can they let me know when the child was last sick/had diarrhoea. I say that if the child shows any sign of being unwell during the day parents will have to collect them immediately so please have arrangements in place in case that happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    A sickness one and what would you do?
    Parent dropped child off this morning saying that had been sick past few days and had diarrhoea! I was a bit stunned as obviously my sickness policy is not to have them after 48 hours following sickness and diarrhoea but had the whole thing of hating telling them as they are clearly off to work.
    Just what do you do in this situation, i want to be accommodating as i can but if i get sick i cant work and then i dont get paid i just feel so awful telling a parent their child cant come, it always feels like im avoiding having them even if my reasons are valid!
    Can I just check, because I'm not sure whether you're saying the child had diarrhoea, or the parent had diarrhoea (and therefore there is reason to believe the child may become poorly whilst at your premises?)

    If the parent was ill, then it's probably not reasonable to exclude a fit child because of the possibly they may become ill, unless your policy and contracts make specific provision for doing so.

    If the child was ill, then you absolutely must turn them away at the door, and refuse to have them until 48 hours after the last bout of diarrhoea/vomiting. I would also send a written reminder of your sickness policy and require a written statement from the parent that they've been clear for 48 hours: you need to cover yourself every time when faced with a parent who is trying to circumvent your infection control procedures.

    In the latter case, if you have taken the child in and they are with you at the moment, you need to call the parent and get rid double-quick now.

    The worst case is not that you might get sick and lose a few days' work. The worst case is that someone complains because you have broken your own sickness policy and breached standard infection control procedures. This could involve Ofsted or possibly being shut down by Environmental Health. If you have to close for any reason in such circumstances, you would be obliged to refund any family who needs your service, and could be liable to compensate them for their lost earnings or their emergency childcare costs.

    It probably won't come to that, but knowing how serious it could be tends to make it that much easier to tell the parent that your sickness policy really does mean what it says. I know it's difficult, but too many parents will try it on because they think a CM's sickness policy is only there to protect their Little Buttercup and nobody else. The tough parts of this job are the ones that matter most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Can I just check, because I'm not sure whether you're saying the child had diarrhoea, or the parent had diarrhoea (and therefore there is reason to believe the child may become poorly whilst at your premises?)

    If the parent was ill, then it's probably not reasonable to exclude a fit child because of the possibly they may become ill, unless your policy and contracts make specific provision for doing so.

    If the child was ill, then you absolutely must turn them away at the door, and refuse to have them until 48 hours after the last bout of diarrhoea/vomiting. I would also send a written reminder of your sickness policy and require a written statement from the parent that they've been clear for 48 hours: you need to cover yourself every time when faced with a parent who is trying to circumvent your infection control procedures.

    In the latter case, if you have taken the child in and they are with you at the moment, you need to call the parent and get rid double-quick now.

    The worst case is not that you might get sick and lose a few days' work. The worst case is that someone complains because you have broken your own sickness policy and breached standard infection control procedures. This could involve Ofsted or possibly being shut down by Environmental Health. If you have to close for any reason in such circumstances, you would be obliged to refund any family who needs your service, and could be liable to compensate them for their lost earnings or their emergency childcare costs.

    It probably won't come to that, but knowing how serious it could be tends to make it that much easier to tell the parent that your sickness policy really does mean what it says. I know it's difficult, but too many parents will try it on because they think a CM's sickness policy is only there to protect their Little Buttercup and nobody else. The tough parts of this job are the ones that matter most.
    sorry, yep its the child who has had diarrhoea not the parent...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    sorry, yep its the child who has had diarrhoea not the parent...
    Oh dear, I rather hoped that was not the case. Strictly speaking, you ought to call the parent and get them collected now if they're still within the 48 hour period. Could you perhaps tell them you'd misunderstood, but the child doesn't appear well?

    The problem is, having taken them in, you're now in a potential Catch-22 type situation.

    If you now apply your proper procedure( i.e. call the parent to collect, refuse to have them tomorrow, etc.) they'll be P-ed off and could raise a complaint.

    But if you don't then you risk the infection spreading to yourself, your family and other mindees: with all the possible consequences described in my earlier post.

    That's why it is so much easier in the long run to refuse them at the door.

    My thoughts are with you and my fingers crossed: hope it works out ok.

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    Thanks both. I sent mum a text to say that if child shows any signs of illness i will have to send them home per my sickness policy but that currently they seem ok. I asked when their last sickness/diarrhoea was.
    Mums just responded saying if they seem unwell they will collect but no acknowledgement or apology or anything or confirmation when child was last sick.
    GRRR! This is one of the worst parts of our job, i always find it so awkward.

 

 

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