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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

My child has started nursery and constantly poorly

(16 Posts)
mrsm22 Wed 23-Mar-16 21:32:28


I have always been a person who worries about germs and catching bugs and things but since my DS has started pre-school nursery only 8 weeks ago, he has been so poorly. I think out of the 8 weeks he has been well for two of them! My DS is four years old and will be starting school in September. I decided to let him try five mornings at the school where I am hoping he will be starting in Sept. My DS loves going and always really enjoys it and I know it's good for children socially and prepares them for proper school etc. The problem is that my DS is just picking up everything. He gets a cold and bad cough and temperature, it goes away and then a week later he has it again. I know I should probably have expected that he would pick some things up, but he was never poorly like this before staring nursery. One of my main concerns is my younger child as recently I kept my DS off nursery as he had like a flu virus and I got it too as well as my DH and my younger child ended up with a really bad case of tonsillitis and actually in hospital because his temperature got so high. When I rang in nursery to say that I thought DS had flu and that he wouldn't be going in that day, I was told that over half the nursery were off with flu. So obviously it all came from there. My younger child has been so poorly from what I think my older DS passed to him and it has worried me a lot. DS was at nursery two days this week but had to be off again today as he's not well again and bad coughs with a temperature seems to be going round nursery this time. Is it likely that the nursery gets (or should get cleaned) at the end of each day? It makes me wonder if it is getting cleaned and/or if some parents still send their children whether they are well or not. Because of what's recently happened to my younger child, I am considering pulling DS out of nursery and letting him just start school in Sept but I can't decide if this is the right thing to do or whether it will settle down (all the illness at nursery that is). Any advice really appreciated.

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 23-Mar-16 21:35:12

I think it's normal for them to catch everything going when they first start nursery, but it should settle down over time as they build up some immunity. If you take your ds out now then he'll probably catch everything when he starts school instead.

Noggie Wed 23-Mar-16 21:43:11

It's really hard when little ones seem to lurch from one illness to another but it's not avoidable. I agree with previous poster that if you take him out of nursery now he will just be ill when he starts school instead. My dd have loads of ear infections and horrible cold sore virus that spread into her mouth and down her throat several times - the gp reassured me that she would be the healthiest child once she started school - and so far - touch wood - that has been true. Your younger child will get the bugs over with earlier. BUT I totally understand how you feel - it is hard x

ThisIsNotARealAvo Wed 23-Mar-16 21:43:55

When I taught in the nursery of a large primary school, the children had runny noses pretty much all the time. They didn't usually seem ill though, they still had plenty of energy and were able to engage in all the activities inside and outside. Try not to worry, it is normal as they have not been around so many new children before. We rarely needed to send anyone home, and it was only if they vomited or had a temperature or bit someone.

TiggyD Wed 23-Mar-16 21:49:43

Staff new to nurseries are hardly there for a few weeks as well!

Children are really unhygienic, so having lots in a room together is asking for trouble. But on the plus side your DS's immune system will be really highly developed.

Things should get cleaned a lot, and they usually are. I think the main issue is inconsiderate parents who bring their children in ill. They are not that well thought of by staff.

annoyedofnorwich Wed 23-Mar-16 22:28:21

Do you use lots of cleaning products and avoid him playing in the mud at home (as you mentioned you're not keen on germs)? I've heard that isn't good for kids' immune systems. So maybe his immune system has had even more of a shock than it usually would with starting nursery, because it doesn't work well.

readyforno2 Wed 23-Mar-16 22:33:55

Of course the nursery will be cleaned each night!
Children catch things at nursery, especially when they are new to the setting. Unfortunately that is going to happen, they sneeze, cough etc.

I agree with tiggy, the biggest issue is parents bringing their children in when they are clearly not well. "Oh, it's just a wee cough"

It's actually worse for us as staff, 9 times out of 10 we have caught whatever from one of the little germ factories darlings yet we still don't get paid if off sick!

SometimesItRains Wed 23-Mar-16 22:36:56

Don't pull him out, his immune system has to be built up at some point - if it isn't now then it will be at school. ds1 was much the same, it felt like he was ill half the time when he first started nursery, but it settled down after about 6 months. Interestingly DS2 has had just one illness since he started preschool in September - I think his immune system was built up by all the illnesses DS1 brought home with him.

I know it is hard and I am with you on being a big worrier about the DSs picking up bugs (I have anxiety issues over that), but it is something they just have to go through and some children pick up more than others.

Oh and yes, parents will send their children in when ill (it is a sad fact that a lot of employers are far from understanding when children are ill and no alternative childcare is available), but also, a lot of illnesses can have an incubation period where the person is contagious but they haven't become ill as yet (typical one being chicken pox - by the time the spots come out the illness will likely have been spread around the children anyway).

It will get better, you just need to give it time.

Sweetpeasandcarrots Wed 23-Mar-16 22:41:41

My DD is also ill with something or other she has caught in nursery every week. Lots of the children still go in to nursery when they're ill. We try to keep DD off to recover but to be honest, she would never attend at all if we waited until she was completely well. She's missed 9 of the last 15 days with cold/cough/tummy bug, a particularly bad patch!

SmellySourdough Wed 23-Mar-16 22:47:10

unfortunately that sounds very normal for a child just started in a mass children setting.

the only thing you can do to help him strengthen his immune system is making sure his
- nutrition
- sleep
are good and hope by start of school he's been through most minor infections.

mrsm22 Thu 24-Mar-16 21:49:01

Thank you to everyone who has responded, it has helped me to read your opinions on this. I think I am particularly anxious about this topic because at the end of Feb DS caught a nasty flu type virus from nursery (over half the nursery were off) and my younger DS who is only 20 months old ended up very poorly and in hospital with acute tonsillitis as his temperature has become scarily high. It has frightened me.
I do let DS play in the mud, he loves to dig in the garden and I let him be a very normal little boy. I do keep my house clean but no more than anyone else and I'm not over-excessive with cleaning products or anything like that. It's purely just a fear of my DS catching anything really nasty because naturally I don't want him to be unwell and also I don't want things to pass to my younger child when he is so young so will find it harder to fight things. He was terribly poorly with tonsillitis, it was a real struggle getting antibiotics down him four times a day, often he would bring them back up. He wouldn't eat or drink and keeping him hydrated was hard. And I believe this came from my older DS bringing something back from nursery. It is a nursery in a large primary school.
I will keep DS going, he won't go back now until after Easter but I am going to worry about it as he's been to the doctors today as he's poorly again and as Sweetpeasandcarrots said, my DS is poorly so much that he's probably not 100% better when I send him to nursery as everything he's getting takes so long to go. I guess it is just part and parcel of nursery and hopefully my DS will settle down (immune system wise).

HBSBeeches Mon 28-Mar-16 14:01:08

Feel for you. I had a similar attitude and for my year of maternity my DD was super healthy but I kept her away from anything that might cause illness.

I wanted to work full time so I got a place in a nursery at 12 months and she went for 3 full days a week - still does until September when I step it up to 5 as she'll be 2. On settling she came home with a terrible virus that lasted weeks - went to the ears and they still haven't fully recovered.

It is horrible but I wanted to get this out of the way prior to her going to school as it would have just started then. I didn't want her to miss school. That's why I didn't choose a childminder or nanny.

I just keep the calpol, neurone, piriton standing by!

Good luck!

mrsm22 Wed 30-Mar-16 19:37:54

HBSBeeches - I just wanted to thank you for your response and advice. I'm sorry about your DD and her ears, ears can be so painful too! I actually took my DS to the doctors this morning as he's struggled to hear over Easter weekend, but it turns out he has a build up of wax in both ears so we have been given ear drops. It does seem to be one thing after another when they start nursery. Fingers crossed it will settle down.

MrsOs Thu 31-Mar-16 03:29:03

We had this and after a few months it will settle down believe me. My ds was 1 when he went full time and for the first few months he and I were poorly ALOT. Every time I rocked up at gp complaining about it I was told its normal as they build up immunity. Let it happen now rather than at school. It's normal and will get easier I promise. X

Eminybob Thu 31-Mar-16 03:45:43

Yeah my DS has been going to nursery for 6 months now and seems to have a constant cold. He had croup and then chicken pox within a couple of months of starting. He does seem to have avoided the worst of the D&V bugs though.
It's just par for the course I think. It gets it all out if the way and then it'll settle down (hopefully!)

susiebennett Mon 04-Apr-16 10:57:01

I am so happy to read this! I'm not alone!!! :-)

my son started nursery five weeks ago and i have never seen so much bogey!!

how sick is too sick to take to nursery? i don't want to be a parent who takes in the sick kid!! i thought my ds was better today as all rash had gone, temperature has been ok from yesterday morning, two good nights sleep... a call at 9.30 saying he has a rash! argh! i thought we were starting with a healthy week!!!

I'm trying to start a job and it is so much tougher to manage ds being ill as I try and do other things that I'm being paid to make happen - as opposed to doing the housework which can be left til tomorrow/next week and is only me and my oh that are impacted. Another level of guilt that there is something else i feel i should be doing!!

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