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When Is a Kid Too Sick for Daycare?

If your child has a cough or cold, do you send him or her to daycare? What about a bout of bad poops?

Now, for the first time, researchers from the University of Bristol have followed the decision-making process that parents go through when deciding if their child is too sick for daycare, according to Medical Press.

Published in the Journal of Public Health, the study found that parents viewed coughs and colds as less serious and not as contagious as illness symptoms like diarrhea. This resulted in many parents sending their kids to daycare when the little ones have a respiratory tract infection, which can easily spread to other children.

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"Parents are aware that sending their child to nursery when they are unwell is not always the ideal thing to do, but there are often other factors meaning it is not possible to keep their child at home," said the study's lead author, Dr. Fran Carroll.

These other factors include missing time from work, financial consequences, and the availability of alternative care.

"Our findings may not be news to many parents, but this is the first time their decision-making processes in these situations has been documented," Dr. Carroll said. "By having this work published in a peer-reviewed journal, it gives an academic, methodologically sound basis for future work and interventions to try and reduce the spread of illnesses in these settings."

Would you send your child to daycare with the sniffles?

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Image via Mark Bowden via Getty Images

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