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Any CM's fed up of being ill?!

(23 Posts)
Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 07:56:02

This last week my whole family has been ill again. Dh took a week off work as he couldn't get time off at Xmas.
On Monday one of my little ones arrived chock full of the cold and coughing spluttering. He really should have been at home and was miserable all day, hot and needed calpol and bed. I couldn't get hold of his mum as she was away with work so I just cuddled him and mopped up snot all day!

First my two dc start with the cold/cough - dd hasn't slept all week due to coughing so we are already exhausted from that. Then dh and I start with cold/aches/pains and due to not having slept we both look like zombies. I must have used two boxes of tissues in two days I can't stop sneezing!
To add to this ds starts being sick on Thursday and high temp, misses two days of school and a much looked forward to birthday party. Then of course dd gets the high temp.
I mention this to a mum who's little girl I look after mon-wed and she says oh yes my dd was very sick on Tueaday night. The day before I had her!!

I'm just so fed up. Dh's week off has been spoiled, I feel like absolute crap and I am so tired I can barely function, my kids are ill and miserable.

I am just so cross that both sets of parents sent their kids to me when they were/had been ill and my own family has suffered again.

Obviously you expect bugs and you can protect them from coughs and colds but I think this week has really made me think that I have had enough.

Does anyone else feel like this or am I just being a cantankerous old thing because I am feeling so rotten?!

littlesupersparks Sat 10-Jan-15 08:01:08

I think you need to send out a reminder to parents of your sickness policy and the 48 hour rule. I never ever send my kids ill enough to need calpol!!! I have sent them with the usual colds/coughs but only at a level that they are 'under the weather' rather than ill. It's also essential for parents to be contactable to collect children at any time. If husband is working away I am close. Even if we were both away one of us would head back ASAP.

littlesupersparks Sat 10-Jan-15 08:01:53

I assume you also had to close whilst you/your kids were ill too so you lost out on cash there :-(

insancerre Sat 10-Jan-15 08:09:49

It is awful when your job makes you poorly.
Some things to consider
I manage a nursery and we have the following policies
We don't give calpol. If a child arrives poorly I don't let them in
If a child had a temp they go home. If I can't get hold of mum then I ring all the contact numbers until someone comes to collect
If a chid is sent home with a temp they are excluded for 24 hours
If a child is on antibiotics they are excluded for the first 48 hours
If a parent tells me a child has been sick I don't let them in
All the parents are aware that we exclude for 48 hours for sickness
When each child arrives I ask the parent how they are and if they mention they are poorly I ask if they have had calpol and I ask if they have a temp and if I judge that they are too poorly to come in then I send them home
I have to be this proactive to ensure the health and wellbeing of the children and my staff
So bottom line, we don't accept poorly children and more importantly, the parents are all aware of this.
Op, have you got any similar polices?

Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 08:19:01

I do have a sickness policy and yes that's a good idea to send out a reminder of it. Thank you.

The mum who dropped off the little boy was in a rush so she didn't even come in just popped him in the door and said sorry he is a bit snotty and ran.
I wouldn't normally bother about a cold but this was another level!

I too would never send my child to childcare if they were ill. Especially if they had been sick. And I thought that my parents would respect that too but obviously a reminder needs to go out.

Thankfully I don't work Thursday and Friday so I didn't have to turn anyone away.

I have always thought that cm was good for my family, dd(2) loves the company and we have become good friends with all the parents. I love children and so being around them all day is fab. But I think this week (after all the illness last year) has been the final straw.
It has actually made me question if I want to keep working like this which is really sad.

Dd will have a super immune system I guess! She doesn't go to nursery yet but has already had a million colds, hand foot and mouth, chicken pox, three hundred viral infections....the list goes on.

I suppose that would have happened if I had worked and sent her to nursery anyway.

Sorry for the rant. I needed to get that out!

insancerre Sat 10-Jan-15 08:29:05

Rant away!
We all need to sometimes smile
I hate those dump and run drop-offs.
Thankfully, they don't happen that often.
Our parents have to sign their children in and out so they need to come in.

Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 08:40:12

Thank you! I think part of the problem is that I have become such good friends with them all.
I only look after three children and have had them all for ages so they are part of our family really.
Hence I feel bad saying no I can't take them and I think the parents have got to thinking I won't mind.
Not sure how I get back to being more business like now...

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 10-Jan-15 09:25:03

It's a new year so start again and send out policies reminding of sickness

Thought all parents needed to have a back up pick up person if parents not

Mum shouldn't have brought very snotty child and other mum with sick child I would Prob give a warning. Surely anyone knows if sick 48hrs exclusion.

It's good to be friendly etc with clients but not if they take the piss

Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 09:31:21

Yes will send out illness policy again. And frame it as new year, time to review and sign policies. Good idea thanks.

The mum had gone to another city for a meeting and dads not around anymore. Auntie is emergency contact but phone was switched off. Not much I could do. He had already sneezed as spluttered over dd ten mins in and so by the time she got back it wouldn't have made much difference I suppose.

When she collected him I said he had been miserable and probably needed a day at home and she said oh dear. I should have said I wasn't prepared to look after him again if he was that poorly. But I am a pushover so I didn't hmm

Am in bed surrounded by tissues and feeling rubbish. Still we might get snow tomorrow so looking forward to that, kids desperate to go sledging.

iamEarthymama Sat 10-Jan-15 10:03:52

It's really hard when you are caring for children from a small number of families in your home and you are the only 'worker' to maintain the 'distance' that Insancerre talks about.

I too have a signing in policy and if parents get lax about it I talk of the dreaded inspection! ��

I am lucky with the families I care for, they respect me and do not send really poorly children. They have been known to ring and ask my advice, I usually say that they know their child best and their instincts are prolly telling them the right thing. I am really strict about sickness etc as they are really incapacitating; I can work with a cold but not if I am running to the loo. They come to collect if the child needs to be nursed constantly, though I am happy to give Calpol as I feel it allows children to go about their day. (I take paracetamol for a headache but I am fine to work)

I do feel for parents and carers though as one poor baby has had every virus going since big sibling started school and little one came to childcare
These parents are really worried about any more illnesses with regard to their entitlement to leave etc.

Sadly I have a rubbish immune system and am constantly on the verge of catching something. I ingest every supplement going and I am vigilant about washing hands and hand gel. I have a Dettol Spray that I am very tempted to cover myself with, a la perfume!

PurpleHonesty the New Year is a great time for a news letter with some reminders of policies, maybe any changes you want to make, especially that someone MUST be contactable at all times and an emphasis on the fact that if YOU are really ill no-one will be able to work.

I hope you all feel better now, can I recommend local honey, ginger and turmeric as a tea? It really helped me before Christmas when I don't know how I carried on.

I don't know if it's true, but I feel we need a couple of weeks of cold, crisp, frosty days to 'kill all the germs'!

HSMMaCM Sat 10-Jan-15 12:13:25

I have a flu jab every winter and regularly remind parents about the 48 hour sickness policy. I insist on 3 contacts for each child. Usually mum, dad and one other. DD has been ill over Christmas after playing with snotty children.

Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 13:02:58

I have been really lucky in that I don't usually get ill. But my poor children are bearing the brunt of it instead.

I am thinking now that as the children leave, (one in April due to her mum going off on mat leave and one in September to nursery) that I might just not replace them and wind it down.)

I have another part time business so I might concentrate on that instead.

LingDiLong Sat 10-Jan-15 21:59:42

It's been a bad winter for colds for me too OP. I'm usually very lucky and get through winter with just the odd snuffle but this year I've had 3 very heavy colds which have completely floored me. Luckily my kids seem to have escaped them - or at least just had very mild versions. I can't say it's the fault of any of the kids/families though; they've all turned up with colds at one time or another but nothing so bad that I thought they should be at home.

I agree that if you're going to continue then you should re-issue your sickness policy and re-iterate to parents that it could end up meaning MORE time off work for them not less if they send their kids in when they're ill and your whole family catches it.

Lucylouby Sat 10-Jan-15 22:22:21

I feel the same purple. One of my mindees was poorly in December, a cold, which turned into a virus, was mid afternoon when I phoned to say he needed collecting, was normal picking up time when parent turned up to find very poorly child, with temp not responding to calpol. I hope the mother did feel guilty tbh. She lied to me saying she would be straight there, then stayed at work until normal finishing time. Next day, parent on annual leave for Christmas shopping, child sent back to me. I accepted him as parent said child was better had no calpol etc. (which I found hard to believe, but if that's what I'm being told, I have to accept it). by afternoon (when medicine had worn off) child temp was up again and had to be collected. Other parent picked up and said they had dosed him up before sending him in that morning. I don't believe a lot of what is told to me by this parent now.
I think putting a clause in my sickness policy about if a child is sent home with temp, they are excluded for 24 hours is a good idea, I will consider putting that in my own policy.

Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 22:31:02

Yes the 24hr exclusion for temperatures is a good one for the policy.

What do you all say about colds and coughs? Ok unless accompanied by temp? If child has had to be given calpol they aren't accepted?

Purplehonesty Sat 10-Jan-15 22:32:05

Lucy that's awful. Imagine knowing your child was ill and not bothering to collect them!

Lucylouby Sat 10-Jan-15 23:03:13

The eyfs says settings (from memory) must not normally administer medicine unless prescribed to the child by a doctor/nurse etc. so I don't give it, unless the child comes down with a temp as on the day above, when I phone parent, get them to text permission and ask them to collect straight away.
I know a few families who think because a child isn't showing symptoms of illness (because medicine is suppressing them) they are better. They can not see why the child is still contagious if they don't have a temperature any more. But in 4-6 hours after drop off you can guarantee the temp will be right back as the medicine will have finished working.
It is so difficult to say about coughs and colds. If I said a child couldn't come in with a cold, some of them would barely be in all winter. And some coughs can last for weeks. I think it depends on how the child is and you need to hope you have honest parents who will make a fair decision about whether their child should be in childcare that day or if they are too poorly to be sent.
I also find the most recent illness exclusion list I had made it harder to exclude children. The exclusion times listed were the minimums and so parents think the condition of their child doesn't matter because the list says the child can go back to school/child care. I wonder if I live in a particularly bad area for this or if it's a nationwide thing. I find it hard to be strict about illness first thing in the morning. If a parent is saying their child is well and I'm looking at them thinking there is no way you are better, especially if they were ill yesterday, what do I say if the parent is adamant the child is fine. They think I'm just angling for a paid day off, which isn't true. It is really hard.
I'm wondering if I can employ insancerre to come and deal with dropping off for me. She seems to have it sorted!

HSMMaCM Sat 10-Jan-15 23:37:41

I have in my policies that if the child is not well enough to take part in our normal day to day activities (toddlers, park, etc), then they cannot come. I had a child not collected for 3 hours last month when I phoned a parent for immediate collection. They know I never phone normally.

Purplehonesty Sun 11-Jan-15 10:07:28

Thanks everyone. Definitely food for thought. I'm still floored today as is Dh - just have no energy from so many sleepless nights and I look like Rudolph!

I am actually dreading working tomorrow and running around after three very active toddlers. You can imagine what the parents would think if I said I couldn't work because I am still poorly after last week!

My very good friend took the dc yesterday afternoon so we could have a bit of a rest so that was lovely. Didn't move from the sofa!

Will get those policies drawn up tonight and hand them out.

lostscot Sun 11-Jan-15 21:03:55

I think the problem is some parents just need/want to get to work so will ignore the 48hr rule and sickness policy. I used to childmind and now work in a school, we went back to school tues by tues afternoon we had a child projectile vomiting across the classroom. Mum was too busy to collect so let the poor unsuspecting childminder pick up as usual!!! My daughter was upset because girl next to her was telling her she had been sick in night but as dad was busy she had to come to school. Guess whose daughter came down with sick bug 24 hrs later? Of course and now I've had two days of work too to make sure my dd doesn't go back early and spread it.

HSMMaCM Sun 11-Jan-15 21:12:28

I regularly stress to my parents that if they don't tell me they have medicated their chikd at breakfast, then they run the risk of an overdose if I have to rush their child to hospital.

Purplehonesty Tue 13-Jan-15 14:37:55

That's exactly it. They want/need to go to work and so we have to deal with the fall out.
Snotty child arrived here on Monday with antibiotics for a chest infection. I told mum we had all been ill all week and she said oh yes so many winter bugs around....grr

mrsnewfie Thu 15-Jan-15 22:00:57

Oh yes! This infuriates me too!

Kids come with bug after bug and we all get them. Even more annoying that I'm asthmatic and the cold inevitably hits my chest and I end up on steroids, etc!

I had one set of parents who refused to collect their child with a 40 degree temp. They were both having a day off and their poorly child would have spoilt their day off! The next day they brought the child back, saying she was better and I, like a mug agreed to take her. She screamed all morning and again, they were reluctant to collect. We fell out over that and she eventually went to a nursery. Ha! They wouldn't have taken the crap I put up with so I felt a bit smug!!

Sorry! Rant over!

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