All parents hate germs. They absolutely don’t want their little ones to get sick.
At the same time, many parents want their children to come to class, even when they are the ones carrying germs! How do you help keep your children (and grown ups) healthy and communicate to parents what the limitations are? A well-communicated well child policy is a great answer.
1. Determine what symptoms or illnesses you can not allow. Here is a sample from what we’ve done that is pieced together from many other churches’ policies:
- FEVER: Child should be fever free for 24 hours without medication.
- VOMITING/DIARRHEA: Child should be episode free for 24 hours.
- STREP THROAT: Child should have started antibiotics 24 hours before attending.
- NASAL DRAINAGE: Child should not attend until clear.
- SORE THROAT/COUGH: Child should not attend with a sore throat, croup or persistent coughing associated with respiratory infection
- PINK EYE: Attend only after 24 hours of antibiotics, no matting or drainage occurs, and the child is no long rubbing the eye.
- CHICKEN POX: Child may not attend until all spots are scabbed over and the child is no longer scratching or touching scabs.
- RASH: Children with an unexplained or contagious rash should not attend.
- LICE/OTHER INFESTATION: Children should not attend until after treatment, and all live lice and visible nits have been removed.
2. Communicate to parents. Make this info easily accessible. Have it posted outside your classrooms and consider having it on your website so that parents can look it up from home when they have a question.
3. Have a plan for when a sick child comes. Train volunteers how to politely turn children and parents away and have a back up plan for grumpy parents. Also, have a plan for contacting parents when symptoms are displayed after a child has been dropped off.