Survey: Daycare operators more likely to send sick kids homeA majority of daycare directors surveyed in Milwaukee are more inclined than doctors to send mildly ill kids home, which can pose problems for working parents.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
MILWAUKEE – A majority of daycare directors surveyed in Milwaukee are more inclined than doctors to send mildly ill kids home, which can pose problems for working parents.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines to help determine if a sick child needs to be kept from others. Daycare knowledge and adherence to these recommendations is spotty, according to a study done by Andrew Hashikawa, a doctor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Hashikawa asked about 300 Milwaukee daycare directors what they’d do if a child had pink eye, a cold or scalp infection. 57-percent of daycare directors indicated that they would send the child home. National pediatric guidelines say none of these conditions warrants exclusion, partly because most children have already spread the illness by the time symptoms appear.
Of course, Hashikawa says, there are exceptions. But he says sending kids home needlessly can jeopardize a parent’s job if they can’t get time off, especially in Wisconsin, one of the first states to adopt welfare reform. He adds state training programs for daycares could prevent sick kids being sent home when they don’t need to be.