Health & Safety

Concern about children’s health and safety during the growing childhood years is shared by parents and child care providers. Making sure your child has all the required immunizations is a good start to a healthy lifestyle. Staying current on information that can help provide education and healthy choices for children about food, nutrition, exercise, and safety while reducing risks and catching early warning signs is also a shared task for parents and child care providers. Periodically review the information below and establish a regular rapport with your child care provider about your child’s growth and health needs. 

Illness Policies – When Should I Keep My Child Home from Child Care? 

Each child care facility should have an  established policy  for restricting children with illnesses from attending child care. Many times, these policies are governed by laws which regulate health and safety, such as the Center for Disease Control or the Illinois Department of Public Health’s General Procedures for the Control of Communicable Diseases (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690). 

If the child care facility your child attends is licensed, the Illinois Department of Children and Families has licensing standards that restrict admitting children upon arrival who show obvious signs of illness such as: 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever of 101 degrees orally 
  • Vomiting 2 or more times in previous 24 hoursunless vomiting is determined to be due to a noncommunicable condition and the child is not in danger of dehydration. 
  • Chicken Pox –until 6 days after treatment onset of rash with no new eruptions. 
  • Conjunctivitis –until 24 hours after treatment has been started. 
  • Head Lice –until 24 hours after the first treatment. 
  • Measles –until 4 days after disappearance of rash. 
  • Mumps –until 9 days after onset of parotid gland swelling. 
  • Whooping cough –until 5 days of antibiotic treatment have been completed. 

Talk with your child care provider about their health policies and ask to see the complete list of illness exclusions in writing. 

Putting the Child’s Best Interest First 

Parents must carefully consider many things regarding their decisions to make sure their children are safe and cared for properly when they are ill. 

Children with a minor illness which prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities should remain home. 

An illness which calls for greater care than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children would also be best cared for at home. 

Everyone can benefit when decisions are made to put the  child’s best interest first. 

Poison Center Phone Number 

Illinois Poison Center phone number : 1-800-222-1222 

The Illinois Poison Center serves all of Illinois 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staffed by nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other poison specialists, the IPC offers FREE, confidential poison prevention advice and treatment recommendations via a toll-free hot line. Visit their website for free information. 

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