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measles at nursery

66 replies

innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:22

I'm not sure if I'm being overcautious and justifiably cross or not, so hoping you can set me straight.
My 4 year old attends nursery, and I also have a 3 month old. I have just found out that two children in the nursery have measles. The nursery have not informed parents, i was told by another mother. When i asked the nursery staff, they fobbed me off, being vague and not confirming anything, then said the nursery manager would call me. When she called, she said there was only one case, and the child had not been at nursery while contagious.
This is not the full story, i have now spoken to two mums who both have children with measles, both of whom have informed the nursery. AIBU to be furious that nursery are being so vague & not fully informing parent?
Both children with measles were in a different age range and room to my 4 year old. Am i being overcatious in keeping her away from the nursery? My worry is more about exposing my 3 month old to measles, my 4 year old has been immunised.

OP posts:

MandragoraWurzelstock · 11/04/2013 10:25

keep her away


MandragoraWurzelstock · 11/04/2013 10:26

It's highly contagious - also I'd have serious misgivings about the way they handled the situation regarding telling you the truth

I would keep her away till further notice.
Sorry for posting briefly, before, was holding baby!


innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:26

Thank you! I wasn't sure if that was reasonable.

OP posts:

innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:28

I'm not sure what to do about the way they have handled this. It really dents my trust in them.

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MandragoraWurzelstock · 11/04/2013 10:29

They're clearly more worried about having an empty nursery than about informing parents, it's a notifiable illness, shocking that they are trying it seems to cover it up.

They should have insurance cover for instances when they might have to close/have fewer children in, it's not your problem.

I'm not sure what the rules are regarding their informing parents, someone here will know.


innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:35

I'm waiting for another call from them now. The manager said she was waiting for advice from the health authority on how to handle this. I'm shocked they don't have procedures in place for this.
I'm also doubting they have not been given advice, the first baby was ill over Easter!
I feel furious & really want to complain to someone!

OP posts:

TigerSwallowtail · 11/04/2013 10:35

Yanbu, they should have informed you all. When my son was at nursery there was a suspected measles case and the nursery had a nurse from the health centre personally contact each parent in the nursery class to inform them, give them advice and to check vaccines were up to date.


Bunbaker · 11/04/2013 10:40

Measles is a notifiable disease and I think it is extremely irresponsible of the nursery not to tell parents.

Some facts here about measles


zipzap · 11/04/2013 10:41

i would be furious with nursery for lying about something like this.

the dc's nursery used to stick a note on the nursery door if anyone had anything like that - first one would probably say 'a case' but if there were more cases reported to them they would the change it to 'a number of cases' just so they didn't have to keep changing the note which seemed reasonable.

it would also have useful info like signs to look out for, incubation time, exclusion time from nursery, whether or not you needed to go to the doctor's for medicine etc etc.

And when you spoke to the nursery staff they would always fill you in truthfully - they might not go into the details of who exactly it was that had come down with something, especially if it was in a different room and you didn't know them, but would certainly say 'there were 3 cases in the baby room, one of them has a sister in the toddler room who hasn't had it yet but nobody in the pre-school room has come down with it yet'.

And for some things it's important to know - if you were pregnant and chicken pox is going around for example. It's nice to have the info on the door of the nursery so that you can make the decision about whether or not to go in if it does affect you.

I can see that the nursery might think they need to keep medical details private - and can see that especially in a big nursery they wouldn't want to name names as such (dc were at a small friendly nursery so not so much of an issue) but to actively lie to you about the numbers of children ill - why would they do that? it's not like they are admitting that 4 children have had the same 'unforeseeable' accident and therefore they are liable for the last 3 of them. It's a nursery - childhood illnesses do sweep around them, and it's the way that it is managed that help to show the true nature of the nursery and its relationship with parents.

Do you have any other concerns about the nursery? To me this would be a red flag and I'd be wondering about what else they had been 'deliberately vague' about...


glossyflower · 11/04/2013 10:43

Does your 3 month old attend nursery too? If your 4 year old is immunised and your 3 month old doesnt attend then the risk is low isn't it?


zipzap · 11/04/2013 10:47

Complain to OFSTED and the local health authority about how they have handled this - they need to step up and become a whole load more professional.

You would have thought that they should have a ready made document for each main disease so that if somebody rings up to say they have measles or whatever, they can whizz to their illness directory, scan down, print off a copy of 'Measles Poster' to stick on the door and then xx copies of 'Measles letter' for every child to take home with them that evening.

One thing if a child comes down with something very strange or unheard of - but even then you'd have thought that they would have at least got a generic letter to say that there was a case of 'oopsywoopsyspottyitis' in nursery, that they were letting you know and were in contact with the health authority waiting for advice which would be following on asap.


neriberi · 11/04/2013 10:50

Measles is a horrendous condition, my Dad had it as a child and is profoundly deaf in both ears as a result.

The nursery are irresponsible for not informing anyone about the situation.

If my DS wasn't up to date with his vaccinations I wouldn't want him anywhere near nursery if there was a measles outbreak. It's an awful illness and a serious one at that.


innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:52

Bunbaker, thank you for the links, will follow up & get informed.
Zipzap, there is actually a note up currently informing about chicken pox in the nursery, but they have always been cagey about who has a particular illness. TThis has not bothered me before, I've just seen it as them protecting confidentiality. So they might say there have been cases of sickness, but nit who or how many. I'm now feeling this my not be best practice, and in fact demonstrates more concerns over their liability than child safety.
My 4 year old just told me s child was vomiting yesterday in nursery, the staff made no mention of this.
Should I just look for another nursery?

OP posts:

innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:56

Glossy, my 3 month old is not at nursery yet, but is with me for drop off & pick up. My 4 yr old is fully immunized, so maybe I am being over cautious.
Despite this, I still feel nursery should have informed parents. Then I would be in a position to make decisions about the potential risk iyswim?

OP posts:

innermuddle · 11/04/2013 11:00

Posted too soon, I think there probably is very little risk to my little one so far, but as I understand it the vaccination does not make a child 100% immune, but reduces the severity of measles. So if my 4yr old was exposed to it, she may have a mild case. Or have I got this wrong?

OP posts:

MandragoraWurzelstock · 11/04/2013 11:06

Your 4yo could theoretically get it despite being vacc'd
I'd also be aware of the possibility of their passing it on the the little one simply through contact with the illness in the air/on clothes? I don't know, but basically if you cannot trust the nursery and they're not being fully transparent about this then yes, I'd be changing nurseries.


ChairmanWow · 11/04/2013 11:10

I agree with zipzap. Complain to OFSTED. There has been an outbreak at my son's nursery as well, and I have a newborn. Nursery have been brilliant - they've notified all parents and attached a fact sheet plus their own advice and updated us regularly. They emailed the all-clear yesterday. Your nursery should have done the same.

DS's nursery is now saying all kids should be vaccinated, possibly a bit controversial to some but I agree. There are pregnant women and young babies going in and out of that nursery.


nametakenagain · 11/04/2013 11:10

If there was more than one case of confirmed measles at our nursery, I would expect to be told. If there was a confirmed case in a child my DC plays with a lot, I would expect to be told. Not that it would worry me for my DC as they have been immunised.

If one or two children were thought to have measles but the cases were not yet confirmed by medical tests, I would not necessarily expect to be told immediately because early measles is hard to diagnose, apparently, and worrying people without good reason is a bad thing in itself.

If a child vomited at nursery near my child, I would not expect to be told necessarily.

I'm not particularly laid back, its just that kids have minor illnesses all the time. By the time a child has vomited near mine, I can't reduce the risk my child getting sick. Measles can be very nasty, and so we should be told about that - but the only thing I need to know is has my child been exposed to a child who turns out to have measles. And even then I can't do much, because they are already immunised.

I wouldn't worry for yourself- just be sorry for the families with measles.


glossyflower · 11/04/2013 11:10

Yes I see what you mean. The nursery has a responsibility to fully inform all parents, then it's down to the parents as to what they want to do.

Maybe though when you spoke to the manager the second case was not yet confirmed? Regardless she/he should have said yes there's one confirmed case and one suspected case.


NorthernLurker · 11/04/2013 11:15

I would be very angry that they had concealed this and yes I would keep my child away, if I could, until they had sorted themselves out.


Offcolour · 11/04/2013 11:32

I have an vaccinated child at nursery and an un-vaccinated 4 month old (will be vaccinated at 13 months) so similar to you in that the baby goes into nursery for pick ups. I would be livid if I found out that there was measles at nursery and they didnt inform parents immediately, resulting in me unwittingly taking the baby into an environment where measles had been reported. I think I would take dd out and find a new nursery.


quoteunquote · 11/04/2013 11:40

I would find a nursery that is not run by very very stupid people.

If they have made such huge misjudgement over something so dangerous, do you really want them looking after your child?

one of my big life rules is stay away from stupid people,

I would thank your luck stars you have found out how hopeless they are, and find somewhere where they care about children.

The nursery my children attended had(still does) a notice board inside the gate before you got anywhere near the building, which had any infection warning on it updated each day, they also emailed all parents when an infection was spotted, they did this so parents would be extra vigilant for symptoms,and not send in children who were about to come down with an illness and for people who had low immune system, siblings and families members on chemo, babies, it worked really well, the staff were brilliant, well trained, mature ,no nonsense lovely women and man,

When I read MN I wonder how these business survive, they would have instantly no customers around here.


EssexGurl · 11/04/2013 12:48

DDs nursery put notices on the door - so before you enter - if there are any contagious disease outbreaks. For things like chicken pox they do a running total of how many cases each day. All up front and clear to parents. Your nursery sounds suspect and I would not be happy.


Shelby2010 · 11/04/2013 13:09

I think you are right to be careful. Measles can be caught by breathing in contaminated air, so you baby is at risk if you walk down a corridor or into a room where a contagious child has sneezed or coughed. You can also catch it by touching surfaces that have been sneezed on, but I don't know if that would include your 4 yr olds clothing, or how long it lasts.


narmada · 11/04/2013 13:21

what quoteunquote says. I would be furious with the nursery. Measles is a notifiable disease and it is common practice for unvaccinated siblings/ babies to be brought in at collection and drop-off time.

I wonder how the nursery can be sure that the infected child was not there when s/he was contagious? Unless said child was on holiday at the time or something.

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