HEALTH AND ILLNESS POLICY

updated:  8/6/2022

When children enter a school setting they have many new experiences. One of these experiences that often distresses parents is the increase in the number of colds and/or other common illnesses. The increase in the number of illnesses is due to the child being exposed to increased numbers of people. After the child has been in the group setting for a few months, he/she will develop a greater resistance to these types of infections.

 

Smarty Pants will perform an informal health check each day at arrival. If a child appears too ill to be cared for at the Preschool as judged by a staff member at the time of arrival or at any time during the day, the parent will be contacted to come pick up the child. Parents should have an alternate plan ready in case of illness. 

 

At the discretion of staff, a child will be refused entry or sent home when there are visible signs of illness (such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash or discolored mucus that accompanies other symptoms). Parents will be contacted and asked to pick up their child within an hour. Children sent home may not return until they have been free of illness for at least 24 hours. In serious cases, after attempting to reach the parents/guardians, the child will be taken to a local hospital for treatment and the child’s parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible. The Director may request written consent from a child’s doctor confirming the child is free from illness. Children too ill to play outdoors are too ill to come to the School. Smarty Pants  may alter these general policies for specific illnesses if they deem it appropriate. 

 

Children with symptoms of an infectious illness such as COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and gastrointestinal infections, should not attend school and should be tested for COVID-19 if appropriate. Children may be excluded for medical reasons related to communicable diseases . In general, children should be excluded when they are not able to fully participate with the program or when there is a risk or spread to other children that cannot be avoided with appropriate environmental or individual management. 

 

To provide parents with some guidelines as to when a child should not be in school, the following list has been prepared.

 

KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME IF HE/SHE HAS:

  • Fever (temperature of 101 degrees):  A fever has occurred within the last 24 hours.  Child can return when the fever is gone with no medication for at least 24 hours.

  • Impetigo: Child must stay home and can return after being on antibiotics for 24 hours. 

  • Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye: The child can return after being on eye ointment for 24 hours and all the discharge from the eye or eyes is cleared up.

  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea may result in stools that are not able to be contained by a diaper or be controlled/contained by usual toileting practices. A child with diarrhea should be excluded if:

    • It has occurred within the last 24 hours

    • Indicated by two loose stools in a day

    • Stool is not able to be contained in a diaper or in the toilet, or child is soiling undergarments

    • Diarrhea is accompanied by fever

    • Child shows evidence of dehydration (such as reduced urine or dry mouth)

    • Exclude until diarrhea has resolved and the child is diarrhea-free for at least 24 hours; or until cleared by a medical provider.

  • Vomiting:  Vomiting has occurred within the last 24 hours. Child will be excluded and is to remain home until all symptoms have subsided for at least 24 hours.

  • Strep Throat:  Child must stay home and be on antibiotics for 24 hours before returning.

  • Ear infection: Child may attend the center with these symptoms if a note from the pediatrician is provided.

  • Scarlet fever, hand, food and mouth: Child with these symptoms must stay home and can return with a note from the pediatrician stating that the child is not contagious.

  • Open Sores/Rash: A child with a rash that the parent cannot identify or has not been diagnosed by a physician must stay home. Children with bumps on the skin and/or open sores must stay home. The child may return with a note from the pediatrician stating that the child is not contagious and ALL lesions are healed.

  • Head lice:  Child must stay home and return when they are  lice and nit free.

  • New Medication:  If a doctor prescribes a new medication, the child should remain home until they have been on the medication for 24 hours.

 

Communicable Diseases

Please review the COMMUNICABLE DISEASES SUMMARY HERE .  The intent of this document is to provide general guidance about common communicable diseases. It is not intended for use as a diagnostic guide. Please consult a health care provider for any situations which require medical attention.

 

Parents will be notified of any exposure to communicable diseases. Information will include symptoms, incubation period, control methods, and when the child can return.

 

Immunizations

State law requires all children to have proof of immunizations on file. It must be signed and completed by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner. These immunizations must be up to date for the child's age. Make sure your child receives any immunizations needed at the time of his/her physical.

 

Public Health Emergency Closures 

While we certainly hope that it will not be the case, there may be instances when it will be necessary for Smarty Pants to close as the result of a public health emergency, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.  This may include, but will not necessarily be limited to, instances when we are required to close in compliance with a federal, state or local government order or when the School is required or advised to close to address a confirmed or suspected outbreak amongst staff or children.   Please be advised that, in the event that the School must close for any period of time due to a public health emergency, no refunds will be issued for those periods when the School is closed. 

 

Emergency Medical Care 

Work, home, and emergency phone numbers, as well as email addresses, must accompany all registration forms. Forms must also include the name of the child’s doctor, plus consent to act on behalf of parents. Parents also sign permission for the staff to act if neither parent nor child’s doctor can be reached at the time of an emergency. It is the parents’ responsibility to keep these emergency forms updated. In case of minor injury, first aid is administered by staff. In cases of more serious injuries, parents are notified immediately. Parents receive accident reports to sign as confirmation that they were made aware of injuries.

 

COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure 

Please review the latest (7/22/22) guidance from MSDE HERE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified the following as common symptoms of COVID-19:   

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell 

 

Families must promptly notify the School in the event that any member of a child’s household(s) 

(1) has tested positive for COVID-19, 

(2) is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or

(3) is known to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  

 

In such an event, under no circumstances should the child or any other member of the household enter Smarty Pantsl until the recommended period of self-isolation has been completed or it has been otherwise confirmed that no members of the household are infected with COVID-19. 

 

Smarty Pants will work directly with any affected or potentially affected families to provide direction and guidance as when the child may return.  Such requirements may change based on the most recent guidance from the CDC and other authorities.  

 

In addition, children may not attend if they or any member of the household are experiencing fever or symptoms of any contagious illness. Children may return when they (or the member of their household) are fever and symptom free for at least 24 hours (or whatever time period is required by the Health Department at that time).   

 

Mask Use

Wearing a well-fitting mask consistently and correctly reduces the risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC recommends universal indoor mask wearing only at the high COVID-19 Community Level.  CDC recommends that people wear the most protective mask they can that fits well and that they will wear consistently. Smarty Pants will stay informed on the  COVID-19 Community Levels, and keep you informed if Frederick County moves into the HIGH category.  If the Frederick County community level is High we will REQUIRE that masks be worn  indoors (except while eating).  Families may choose to mask at any time. 

 

Infection Control

Infection control measures: Includes the use of one or of combinations of the following practices. The level of use will always depend on the nature of the anticipated contact.  

  • Handwashing, the most important infection control method.  All staff and children will wash their hands with liquid soap and running water at the following times: before eating or handling food, after changing a diaper or toileting and after coming in contact with bodily fluids.

  • Staff members are required to use disposable gloves if handling bodily fluids.

  • Proper handling of soiled equipment and linen

  • Proper environmental cleaning

  • Isolation in a separate area for those who cannot maintain appropriate cleanliness or contain body fluids

  • All tables, chairs and changing surfaces will be disinfected regularly. The disinfectant will be a bleach solution and kept out of reach of the children. 

  • Used gloves will be thrown in a lined, covered container and all staff members will wash their hands with soap and water after handling bodily fluids or blood.

  • All dirty/soiled clothing will be placed in plastic bags and returned to the parent at the end of the day.

 

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