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Really scared about child care and sickness


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#1 Tarantara

Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:45 AM

I will preface this by saying that I have some anxiety issues for which I am seeking professional treatment.

In February I will be returning to work, and my son will need to go into child care. He will be 11 months old when he starts going, for 3 or 4 days per week.

So far, everyone I know whose children have gone into centres for daycare have experienced illness after illness. Gastro, colds, snot, sick children and parents in general.

I honestly can't imagine coping with the same situation, for several reasons.

First, it would be horrible to have to see my son less, and only see him sick when I do get to spend time with him. I don't want to make him sick! He has, up till now, only had one tiny cold. No gastro or cough or fever. I don't want him to suffer being crook all the time sad.gif

Second, neither my partner nor I cope well with inadequate sleep. Once I am contending with work as well, my ability to cope with reduced sleep will be compromised even further. I'm pretty sure a constantly sick boy will stop me from sleeping enough to remain mentally healthy.

Third, my work won't put up with me constantly taking time off for carers leave.

Aim wondering if family daycare is any better for avoiding this seemingly inevitable life of constant illness?

Is it inevitable that my son will be constantly sick in child care?

How do people cope with this?

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:53 AM

Some illness is inevitable, but it doesn't need to be ongoing. Expect a snotty nose all Winter, but that doesn't mean constant illness IYKWIM. I suggest you talk to your partner about sharing the days off when they come. Also, sleep deprivation is pretty much par for the course while parenting young children and working (ask me how I know) so you probably need to put in place strategies to manage this.

#3 caroldiem

Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:56 AM

Unfortunately OP it is inevitable and if you avoid childcare now then when he goes to school supposedly it will be even worse. Unfortunately they have to get sick to build their immunity.

I can understand why you feel the way you do, for personal reasons of my own I am also very paranoid about illness in childcare centres.

The thing i would like to stress is if your child is sick PLEASE keep them at home, sorry but i get really angry when parents put their work before their childs needs, if your child is running a fever or is lethargic they need to be home not sent to daycare so they can infect other kids who may have a pregnant MUM (like myself) who unfortunately had their unborn baby die because a parent at my daughters daycare decided to send her kid who was sick (parvo virus) to daycare my daughter caught it gave it to me and my baby died...............

#4 Missy Shelby

Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

TBH I think kids being sick is just a part of life.

Although my kids are not in childcare they still get sick, I think it is kids that make kids sick not child care itself.

I know some kids that go to child care and yes they seem to be sick all the time but then I see other kids that go to child care that are not sick as much.  I think it does depend on the individual child.

Good luck OP, wishing you a smooth and healthy transition in cc.

#5 katrina24

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:10 AM

Hi OP, I'm sorry you are feeling like this.  I thought I would quickly share my experiences of childcare with your.  My first DD did get a lot of ear infections in her first 18 months of childcare (she started just before 8 months) and we did have to miss work a lot. But, if she wasn't so prone to ear infections (anatomically) then she would have likely missed less childcare because the virus that often caused them would only cause mild cold symptoms in other kids I think.  DD1 is now 7 and in her 2 full years at school and 1 at preschool I think she has missed well under 5 days due to illness (I don't think she has missed school at all this year and maybe one day last year with an ear infection).  DD1 has had gastro once and it was very mild.

DD2 has been in childcare since 11 months.  She has never had gastro.  She has had a few of the regular early childhood viral infections but mostly these have been mild and not too much of an issue.  She is coming up to 5 and I can't remember the last time we had to miss a day of work due to her illness.

I remember feeling very stressed, emotional and anxious before my DD started CC but the reality was far less awful than the expectation.  I couldn't bear the thought of being away from her so much when she was just a tiny baby still (almost 8 months).  She went into care 3 days per week and it had no impact on our relationship at all.  We were and still are very close.  You will still be her mum regardless of whether she attends childcare.

With regards to your comment about family daycare it may be worth investigating this option.  Illness is only one factor to consider.  There are a lot of factors to consider e.g., age of kids in care, set up of home and yard, transport while in care, how meals work, what happens if the carer is sick etc.  The answer to these questions varies with different carers so it's important to find out.  It ends up being a personal preference in the end as to whether you choose a centre or family daycare.

Best of luck.

#6 Crap Napper

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:11 AM

I was the same as you OP, when I went back to work hen DS was 8 months old. Yes, he got every bug under the sun, and yes, DH and I copped many of them as well. It was awful! But, we survived, and by baby number 2 we coped a lot better. by baby number three, there is hardly a time when SOMEONE in the family isn't feeling something LOL. It really is just life, and you have no option but to let it happen sometimes. If illness doesn't strike in daycare, it will in kinder. If not in kinder, then in school. It is a necessary part of growing up, and the more you can roll with the punches the easier it will be on all of you.

#7 jobo77

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:12 AM

Maybe we have just been lucky but we haven't had the constant illnesses that everyone says daycare brings. My kids only go 2 days a week though so not sure if that makes a difference.
Winter is pretty much what seems like a constant runny nose but they have never had gastro or anything serious. Honestly some of my friends kids that dont go to childcare get sicker more often than mine so I think some of it has to do with immunity and how the child copes with being sick. Some kids can still be totally fine, running around with gastro and temps and others will be flattened by just a runny nose (sounds like the men I know!).
I think all you can do is take it as it comes and try and have some plans in place for if the worst happens and your DS gets sick.
All the best  original.gif

#8 CourtesanNewton

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:24 AM

TBH OP you're probably going to have a shocking run of illness at some point whether your LO goes to daycare or not. If you see other people in your day to day life it's inevitable, whether it happens at one year old, or three years as happened to us this year....DS basically had a bug of some description every second week for 4 months, and gave them all to DH and I. One or two of the bugs were from daycare, but the rest were from family, friends or just everyday life.
All that being said, family daycare probably would have less illness floating around.

#9 jennywin

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:30 AM

I dont believe that you have to be sick to build immunity. To be immune from a particular bug, yes you have to have been exposed to it, but you can also have a good immune system and not catch everything. However the child care environment, closed, lots of touching, kids getting dropped off when sick, will tend to be more condusive to spreading bugs.

Having said that my kids have not attended child care, but after the age of 18 months on average get one gastro bug and 3 mild colds per year. At kindergarten it hasnt really increased. They get it from somewhere or other shops/pools/friends if you get out of the closed home environment. You can stall it a for a while, but its inevitable. Although the amount of bugs will increase with childcare because of the environment I think.

#10 casime

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:31 AM

My DS started in July at aged six months.  He's had a runny nose for most of the first few months, but not enough to have actually ever missed a day of daycare.  I've coped it worse, and seem to have had cold after cold all winter.   I think it's one of those things you just have to deal with.  You're going to have to deal with it now, or deal with it later when he starts school.  You can't shield them from it forever.

#11 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:34 AM

Carol so sorry for your loss.  

OP yes they do get a lot of illness.   But you will get that anywhere they play with each other and use the same toys whether that is daycare or playgroup or Gymbaroo.

Certainly all the other toddlers in my MG (who do a lot of activities like gymbaroo and rhyme time but not daycare) have had the same amount of illness if not more.  

I imagine family daycare would be the same, but it is a few less kids to contact.  

My son has had a lot of ear infections, but as PP said he was prone to them and this has been fixed with grommets.  Since then he has had a few sniffles.  He hasn't had gastro, although there were some cases at his centre.  

It is a battle to manage time off work, but at the end of the day the employer has to cope - its the law.  I make sure I do some work from home and take calls when I need a day off and that I really put in when I am there.  

I do really miss him.  I actually find that good for our relationship, as on my home days I am excited to be doing things with him and really value the time instead of feeling burdened.   I like to have 3 days a week of being clean and enjoying grown up activities as well.  

But do you really have to go back to work?   Sounds like you aren't ready at all.   Even an extra 3 months might make you feel more comfortable.

Edited by meggs1, 29 November 2012 - 07:35 AM.


#12 niggles

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

My daughter attended for 3 years and didn't get any more sickness than the average kid. The way you've written it, it sounds like you're talking it up in your head to be much bigger than you need to. It's completely within a normal range for a toddler to get 4 colds a year (according to our GP). I don't think mine even got that many. My 11 month old started recently and got his first cold a week later but it really wasn't a big deal. I suspect he got it not from daycare but from his older sister.

I've never experienced the constant colds and illnesses and runny noses people associate with daycare. You might not either. You need to work so you'll manage it. Get your partner on board too. I work part time and often have lots of people waiting for me so my DH has often been the one to stay home when our DD is sick.

#13 Tarantara

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:59 AM

Thanks for the replies. It helps to hear some stories that are not all bad. I suppose nobody talks about 'oh, my kids are so healthy this week', so I don't really hear stuff in my day to day life that are reassuring.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of choice about returning to work  sad.gif

I keep telling myself that I will still be with him for almost half the week, and it could be a lot worse.

#14 adl

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

My DS is in family care,  has been since 11 months so about 16mths all up,   ... he goes 4 days..

He hasnt had a great deal of illness?  One tummy bug that he didnt get there but gave to his carer - ( sharing boy) a couple of colds ,  one bout bad in winter with 4 days being home with me unwell as temp....and that gave him an ear infection... and a mystery fever for 3 days no other symptons ... really nothing and sleep wise a couple of disturbed nights ... nothing panadol / nurofen didnt fix..

I have been recommended and I do  give him Inner Health plus for Kids to help his immune system after being sick or the few times he has had antibiotics....  I must say he loves vegies and eats them before anything else

However my GFs DS same age is constantly sick and he doesnt go to any type of care at all as she is a SAHM at the moment!  So go figure!  With a new baby he doesnt go to many playgrounds etc so I think some are just abit more suspectible to bugs than others....

So really I dont think it is purely a day care thing?  

I wish you well with your anxiety treatment, and hope this helps you as it really isnt a given that your child will be constantly sick....



#15 adl

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:05 AM

Just wanted to add..... try and look at your pick up and drop off times... we go early so finish earlier and have more time in the afternoon / night before bed time.  Kids get up pretty early so he is basically dropped off before 7.30 and DH is home with him by 4.30,  I am home at 5...loads of time to play,  have dinner, bath and bedtime stories and cuddles....

consider requesting flexible start / finish times at work or share the drop / pick with your partner?

#16 bjk76

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:21 AM

DS (20mo) doesn't go to daycare, but when he was around 12mo he got sick a lot because the babies in our mothers' group had started going to daycare part time. We also go to Kindergym and he would seem to pick up things from there as well. He's only had colds, nothing else, though, but that could be just luck. Now his immune system is stronger and he hasn't been sick in a long time - months.

In relation to carer's leave, your husband should be entitled to it as well, so don't think that you should always be the one to take time off work when your son is sick.

Good luck!

#17 Velvetta

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

Apparently the more bugs they pick up early, the healthier they are later, but it is a nuisance too and really no treatments work, all those gunky syrups and so on. As a PP said, probiotics - just sprinkle the powder in their food, it's tasteless, vit C (via foo preferably) and lots of exercise and sunshine are all great preventatives.

My DH and I alternate sick child collection. I recommend co sleeping too for that extra time together.

#18 whatnamenow

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:33 AM

In a year as a family daycare educator with 4 fulltime kids in care i have had 1 child go home once with gastro.  I also had one day where a child would ordinarily have to stay home with flu but mum had to go into work for an hour.  As at that time i didnt have any other kids in care to pass it on too i was able to agree with this with the mum.  I am very biased but love family daycare.

#19 Blossom73

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:40 AM

My son started LDC at 11 months old 3 days a week. In the 11 months he has attended, he has had 3 days off for sickness (gastro), and I've picked him up early twice. He has had a few colds as well, but unless he is really unhappy, or has a fever we are not required by our center to keep him home.

TBH, I think some sickness is inevitable with toddlers, unless they are in a bubble. Share the days off with your partner and my hope is that your work will be understanding. Good luck!



#20 zingy

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

I kept my twins at home till they were 3, almost 4 cause I absolutely dreaded them getting sick.

They started preschool at the beginning of this year and I'm sorry to say that it's been a year of vomiting, hand foot and mouth, snot, sore throats, temps, coughs etc etc.

My eldest went to daycare from when he was 2 and it was the same with him. I did have to take quite a few days off work or ask my Mum to help out during the first 12 months.

In my experience no matter when they start, it's a year of sickness and then after that you're OK and it only happens occasionally.

Probably not what you wanted to hear!

#21 stressnless9

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

i do notice a huge difference from my boy and my sisters 2 boys who are in daycare 3 days a week, they are constantly sick. Mine has had the odd cold here and there. Also my step DS goes to daycare a few times a week and was constantly sick too.

Its bound to happen, one way or another daycare or when they start school. i just prefer sick school age children than my 8 month old that would be constantly crying & whingy! especially when hes already teething!!! not  a good mix!

Im not against daycare either! I just dont need it so i dont use it! I work at a daycare and its amazing the amount of children that turn up quite clearly sick.....

#22 qak

Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

Illness is pretty inevitable with kids.  It's not something you can really worry about - DS has repeated bouts of ear infections during winter, gets the irritated annoying coughs, and seems to pick up vomit bugs easily, while DD has had hardly any sick days.

Share the carer leave with your partner so it is not always you.

#23 laridae

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:00 AM

QUOTE (caroldiem @ 29/11/2012, 07:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
because a parent at my daughters daycare decided to send her kid who was sick (parvo virus) to daycare my daughter caught it gave it to me and my baby died...............


As sad as that is - they are contagious before the symptoms appear, not so much after, so the kid probably wasn't 'sick' at the time.
One of those freak occurrences that you can't really prevent unfortunately.

OP, my DD has been going to daycare since 5 months old.  She's now 24 months old.  In that time, shes had conjunctivitis 3 or 4 times, numerous colds, and a permanent snotty nose over winter, but not gastro or anything worse. All in all, if you are going to get some of the 'childhood diseases' (that aren't vaccinated against), its probably better to get them while young and the consequences for some of them can be a lot worse as an adult (case in point - parvo.  %50 of the adult population has already had it so are now immune).

#24 caroldiem

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:07 AM

very true laridae original.gif

#25 Bluenomi

Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:04 AM

Kids are going to get sick once you have more than 2 or 3 of them around from different places. Family daycare, childcare centres, school, play grounds, etc, they can get a bug from anywhere.

I found DD didn't get sick until her first winter in care. The previous 6 months she got nothing but that first winter she got all sorts of thing. But she didn't get as sick as some kids (I thank the fact she was still breast feeding, I swear it helped) and this year she barely had any sick days. You just need to ride out that first winter.

Be warned though, we had a few times where DD was fine but passed something onto DH and I so we were sick and she wasn't. That was far worse to deal with!




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