Can I Have Some Advice?

Updated on July 12, 2010
C.J. asks from New Cumberland, PA
12 answers

I currently care for a soon to be 3 year old girl with Downs. It is getting to be that time of year for colds to arrise. When downs children get sick, they get it so much harder than the rest of us. I also care for other children, and my rule is, is I will only care for mild cold like symptoms. I was told by the mother of the DS child that if I could not take her daughter throughout this difficult cold season, that she would have to find someone else. How is this fair to my other moms who know that I will not care for children who are heavly congested, and misriable? I do not mind the runny noses, and coughs, but when we get the colored runny noses, and the respiratory issues, I see a problem. I am a mother of an almost 5 year old, and care for other children, and how can I address this?

****Added**** I have cared for this precious girl since Feb.
She is here 55 hours a week, and that being said, we have 11 therapy’s a month. I really care for this little girl or else I would of never taken her into my home. As far as the poster who said, "maybe I just do not think I can handle it". I can, but should not have too. For the past 5 years, I have cared for children out of my home, and have never been asked to care for a child who has more than just a mild cold. When any child is clearly sick, I do not feel right to isolate them from the other children. It is not fair to treat her any different than my other children. I understand that she has a disability, and that she susceptible to getting sick more so than the other children. I understand that some disabled children take every little cold virus hard. The mother told me in the beginning that if a child was sick, I am to call her so you can determine if her daughter can come. I have to do the same for my other parents. I will not jeopardize the health of any child for another. I will protect each child’s health as I would protect my own child’s health. All of the children including this little girl are going to be attending Pre K in the fall. They are all going to be subjected to plenty of germs/viruses/bacteria are going to passed around.
Another added thing::::::
No, the mother does not work! She is looking for a job, and attends school from 5-10 or something like that in the evening. She will graduate in the fall, and hopefully will then have a full time job. I do not have a seperate room to isolate the children, and I do not have anyone working for me to care for sick children.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Then let her find someone else; or perhaps she should hire a one-on-one nanny for her child. Sick rules are in place to protect healthy children from coming down with illnesses, too. I'd be finding someone else to watch my child if that rule were relaxed for one particular child.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

You stick to your rules. If she were in a day care those are the rules. If the other children you care for have to follow the rules so does she. Does she have allergies that make it worse? Let the mom go you have to keep your environment safe for everyone that means if a kid has a fever then they go home just like in school a runny nose, a small cough treated with over the counter meds are different ballgame. I too take care of kids in home and rule is a fever over 100 and vomit children need their own parents everything else is ok in my book.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If the child needs to be in care for 55 hr's a week, then the child's parent(s) are more then likely working. And lets face it, in today's economy, probably needs to work. The mother has every right to find someone who will care for her child, even when sick. I would tell her you will care for her child until she finds someone, and you enjoy her child and will be sad to see her go. You stated your policies, adhere to them. I understand you care for this little girl, but why are you so upset over this? No, it is not fair to take a sick child and risk the others getting sick. It is also not fair to the parent, who probably needs to work to support her child and needs someone to watch her when sick. I worked in a daycare facility and we accepted sick children (I should add this was in a seperate room). There were parents who depended heavily on us while their child was sick, they had to work to support their child(ren), and of course if the illness was to extereme we would send them home. I am totally not trying to be mean or rude, I just think that her finding an alternate provider would be fair to everyone. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My preschool (as in the one I sent my son to) has an "absolutely NO sick children" policy, as do several others in our area. At the first sign of symptoms a child is sent home, and children with allergies are required to have notes sent in that confirms sniffles are allergy related.

Because of this, there was a little boy with brain cancer who was able to attend the program (undergoing chemo makes a person even more susceptible to illness than AIDs does), as well as a little girl who had a heart transplant (transplant patients have to take immunosuppressing drugs their whole life). The little boy (my son's best fried) eventually died when he was 4... but he was such a wonderful part of our and so many others' lives. The little girl is now in the 3rd grade, but because of the PS school systems sick policies (only 9 days absence allowed per year, so even children with high fevers are found in class) is struggling with illness so much her parents are about to yank her and homeschool her.

My suggestion is this: Let the family go elsewhere and advertise a "no contagious child" policy at your local hospital.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Hi C.,

I have a child with autism who also takes every little cold virus hard. The reason that these things hold on for her is that she gets secondary infections that are very dangerous for her, but not contagious for the other people that are around her. A virus lives for several days and runs it's course, and secondary bactieral infections are usually not a threat to others.

Just my two cents, but we have a good relationship with our school nurse, and when my daughter sounds horrible, but is otherwise well enough to attend school, they let it go. If she is too sick to be at school, that is difffent, and we keep her home. We consut with our doctor about what is contagious and what is not, and if you had this kind of relationship with the Mom of the Downs child, could you stand to be around a child with a lingering illness that is not a danger to anyone else? I would make sure that you are not cutting her off for the wrong reason. It is quiet possilbe that the child is not a threat to others, but is only a burden on you to care for with snot and coughing, and to be fair to the Mom and child with Downs, I would find out if she really poses the threat to others that you seem to see here.

Certainly, kids who are contagious should not be with other kids, but once you know the facts, beyond that, what can you tolerate? I know that my child may get a simple cold and then cough for three weeks. She has few social skills, so it sounds horrible when she coughs and she does not try to sheild you from that and she is sure not bothered by her own snot being there for everyone to see. A child with Downs is going to be the same way. Are you sure that this is just not a euphamistic way to say that you can't handle the task? I know it is gross, but that is how it is with kids who have developmental issues, and it takes a special person to deal with it. Just saying, you should call it what it is, there is nothing wrong with you if you don't want to deal with that. You get a choice (some of us don't) but you do. Are you up to it? If not, just say so.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think you would be doing a dis-service to the other clients if you allow sick kids, by exposing them to germs.
It might be uncomfortable for you, but I think you'll have to remind your mom of the policy about sick kids for your care.
That way the ball is in her court. She can stay with you but find alternative sick care or move her altogether--it will be up to her.
Take Care!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

I babysit in my home with my own children present. Normally, my girls do not get sick, except when exposed to the other children and then it runs wild through the entire household. Just to protect everyone involved, I had switch over to a 'no sick children' policy. If my children happen to be sick when a 'workday' is here, I will refuse others into my home for that time. It shouldn't be an issue that needs much's common sense for everyone's health :)



answers from New York on

The mom should know that no other day care will take care of a sick child, they will ask her to keep the child at home as to not infect the other kids. She either needs to get a babysitter/nanny or she has to abide by the rules and keep her kid home when sick. Let her leave, this is just symptomatic of things to come with this mom.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, C.:
Was she sick like that last year?
Do you want to care for this Down's Child?
Just want to know. D.



answers from Seattle on

I would fire her and find some one more reasonable.


answers from Phoenix on

If the mom already told you she could find someone else, then I would just let her. It's not fair to have sick kids all the time because of one. You should be able to find a replacement pretty easy. Good luck!



answers from Albany on

You can't. All you can do is tell her this is the daycare policy and it is what is standard in any daycare. If she can find someone else who will make an exception, let her. I know it would bite to lose the income but I have friends who had daycares and you are right in that you would be opening a HUGE can of worms with the other parents both in them getting angry you have such a sick child there and in them wanting you to make the same concessions for them. Stick to your rules for your own sanity.

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