Germ Illustration

Steps to Identifying Illness

Adhering to daily routine practices to prevent the spread of germs is a cornerstone of health in child care. The next best way to manage infection is to be alert for telltale signs of illness. Watch for anything different about each child each day. If you observe just one sign or symptom, it may mean you have a sick child on your hands. It should prompt early and effective steps to manage the infection.

No matter how careful you are, there will be some infectious illnesses in child care centres. The following steps will help you identify illness:

  1. Observe each child daily before they interact with others in the centre.
  2. Assess each child for the following symptoms of illness:
  • Fever >38℃ (100℉), flushing, pallor, listlessness
  • New nasal discharge or coughing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Red eyes or ears or discharge
  • Yellowish skin or eyes
  • Unusual spots or rashes
  • Unusual behaviour (irritability, fussiness, restlessness)
  1. If the above symptoms appear, be prepared to:
  • Isolate the ill child from other children until medical assessment can be arranged.
  • Notify parents promptly and request that they take the ill child home.
  • Ask the parents to keep the child at home until s/he is able to participate in usual activities and/or the child is no longer infectious.
  • Be aware of any children in the child care centre with cancer, including leukemia or other immune deficiency illnesses as these children may need special attention due to increased risk of illness.
  • Make notation of illness or injury in the child’s file and in the daily journal.

Last modified: February 19, 2020