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Conjuctivitus and nursery policies

14 replies

woozle · 26/03/2003 15:41

Hoping to gauge some mums net opinions out there!

I have just had a call from ds's nursery to say that he has developed conjunctivitus and requires antibiotic eye drops. I tried to argue that these are not that more effective than vigilant cleaning. However, their policy is that he can 't be in nursery without the drops. I started to get into a debate about where they get there medical advise from (OSFTED apparently??!!) which is interesting.

Any one else had experience of this?
Any one at a nursery with a different policy?
Anyone working in OFSTED to see if I can challenge this?

OP posts:
Bozza · 26/03/2003 15:42

At my nursery they are not allowed in full stop.

Bozza · 26/03/2003 15:42

Suppose that should read "at DS's nursery"...

Jimjams · 26/03/2003 15:46

I don't think you'll get a change in policy although I tend to agree with you. Can you keep him home until it clears up?

Meid · 26/03/2003 16:03

I am very pleased that you brought this subject up. At my DD's nursery, if she has "conjunctivitis" she has to stay away from nursery for 3 days and on her return they will administer eye drops - prescription only (but not necessarily antibiotic). I have questioned this with them. Firstly, because I do not always agree with their diagnosis of conjunctivitis. Sometimes she just has a sticky eye which will clear up in less than a day with regular bathing. And, secondly, 3 days away from nursery I think is excessive especially as the chances are it is still going around the nursery on her return.
When I asked them where they get their guidelines from they told me Social Services. Social Services (or at least the person I spoke to) said it wasn't them. The local council said it wasn't them. OFSTED said it wasn't them but told me to ring the Department of Health. They e-mailed me a link to nursery guidelines. (I've never done a link on Mumsnet before but will try in a minute!) On reading these guidelines it seems that the nursery can make up their own rules, as long as they are consistent and the rules are open for parents to look at.
I absolutely dread DD getting conjunctivitis. I know that if I take her into nusery with slightly gungy eyes they will say she has to stay off for 3 days. I've kept her off for one day before to treat it and therefore prevent 3 days off.

Meid · 26/03/2003 16:10

Sorry I couldn't find the link (am busy at work), but the document is on the DOH website somewhere. I'll try and look for it later.

woozle · 26/03/2003 19:22

Thanks Meid et al.

I work for the NHS so should be able to find the DOH link. Thanks.
I spoke to someone at OFSTED who said that they issue guidance about infection control but would not be prescriptive about individual conditions - this is as Meid says a local decision.

I talked to some of the nurses at work today who agreed that infection control is more about cleanliness, not sharing flannels etc.

Our nursery is a charitable organisation owned and run by the parents so in theroy I could lobby for a policy change.

JimJams - thanks for the thoughts - can't keep him off really at the moment - NHS is under huge pressure as you all know and ds is a journalist so rather busy with the war ( his in this country though thank God). These things never happen at quiet times do they?

OP posts:
Claireandrich · 26/03/2003 20:16

At our nursery children and babies with conjunctivitus are not allowed in nursery at all until it is completely cleared up, as it is so contagious.

DD got it off another little boy there who had gone back a bit too early and had to have a few days off until hers had gone entirely. We did have drops but these were a nightmare with a baby and I doubt they cleared it up any quicker.

judetheobscure · 26/03/2003 20:41

My nursery, pre-school and school all say to keep the child away until it is clear. It does spread very easily. It was very annoying when ds1 had it as it took 6 days off school for it to clear. Sometime just cleaning does the trick, usually eye drops (non-prescription)work, but for ds1 it was only when he was prescribed the antibiotic ones that it cleared.

bea · 28/03/2003 14:00

at my dd's nursery, as soon as it is spotted dd has to stay off until it is cleared... i am completely behind this policy as i hate the thought of sending dd in and then some other tot catching it from her... as i know i would hate it if it happenned to her...

mears · 28/03/2003 14:34

woozle - when your child has an infectious ailment no matter how minor it may seem they should be kept out of nursery. The NHS will survive and has carer leave for such times.

mears · 28/03/2003 14:36

Sorry, jusr re-read that message and it sounds a bit harsh. Working for the NHS I know how torn you can feel when you know the staffing difficulties incurred by taking time off. However, there are times that you must put yourself and family first and the clinical area will cope.

J49401 · 21/04/2010 23:09

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in England and Wales have recently published "Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings" found at the following web site:

Please forward this guidance to anyone you know who might be affected. Maybe this will lead to a change in nusery policies.

My nursery have today supplied their "new" guidelines which generally states that it is possible to tell the difference between bacterial conjunctivitis (conx) and viral conx by looking at the child, absolute nonsense. Bacterial conx needs to treated with antibiotics (not according to my GP as conx rarely has a clinically significant outcome) and the child is able to return to nursery after 24hrs of treatment. Viral conx is untreatable and therefore the child must not return to nursery until the episode is over.
I have found a nursery that allows the child to return to nursery as long as the child is receiving treatment even if that treatment is Optrex. This nursery is also on NHS property.

marantha · 22/04/2010 09:04

Oh dear, this thread is very resonant for me.
Having just suffered a bout of this, I would agree that stopping it from infecting another person requires vigilance.

Two adults in a household where one is infected will -if not mentally impaired in any way- understand the basic hygiene rules required not to catch it, however, I don't think that small children would be able to grasp these rules (although perhaps a bright little 5-year-old might).

Then again, perhaps a bout of conjunctivitis isn't really harmful in small children and if a person is of this opinion then the children should attend nursery regardless, if, however, this is about that small children DO have the capacity to obey rules of hygiene then I am afraid it is misguided.

fledtoscotland · 22/04/2010 22:56

J49401 - that is on the wall in our DS's nursery. I would sent my children to nursery with conjunctivitis since most is viral no amount of eye drops will make a scrap of difference to clearing it up.

My only comment would be that if the child is unwell in themselves, I would keep them at home.

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