Common Illnesses in Child Care Settings

Children in day care are more prone to ear infections. If your child shows symptoms such as ear pulling, fussiness, or fever, contact her doctor.

Conjunctivitis, otherwise known as pinkeye, is an infection of the lining of the eye, and it spreads among young children easily because they are often touching each other and sharing toys. Again, call your child's doctor if she develops eye redness or discharge.

Rash-producing illnesses, usually caused by viruses such as chicken pox, spread easily in a child-care setting. Because increasing numbers of children now receive the vaccination for chicken pox, this disease is becoming less of a concern for children in child care and for their parents. But if your child has not been immunized and develops chicken pox, expect to keep your child home from day care for about 10 days, until the blisters are scabbed over.

For more information on these and other common infections encountered by children in child care such as head lice, pinworms, scabies, and ringworm, see Chapter 30, "Childhood Infections."

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