Daycare Policy

Note: This posts contains talk of baby bodily functions. Proceed with caution.

Evan has been cycling through having a cold and having a stomach bug for the past three weeks. With the stomach bug comes vomiting (V) and diarrhea (Big D). I kind of have a phobia when it comes to V in that I refuse to do it at all costs, and I freak out a bit when I see/hear someone doing it. So, dealing with that has not been fun…but I’m actually getting used to it already. The Big D is not as bad to deal with, unless it’s of the explosive variety and we have to change his clothes (or clean the carpet :P).

When Evan has the stomach bug, even though he’s having the rare V and some Big D, he’s generally fine otherwise. He plays, crawls around, talks, and is his usual happy self. Apparently, though, this does not matter when it comes to daycare.

You see, Evan’s daycare has a policy of 2x V or Big D in a day and you have to go home. I find this a bit ridiculous, especially for 2x Big D. I could see sending him home if he has V, Big D, and a fever, and just all-round sick. But, to have to go home because of two bouts of only Big D (which has happened at least twice in the past two weeks)? On top of that, he’s not allowed to go back to daycare until 24 hours after his last bout of Big D. I’ve read that it could take weeks for a baby to get over a stomach bug, and will have Big D throughout this time. WEEKS.

It’s a bit frustrating to have to stay home because he has a couple bouts of Big D in one day and is otherwise totally fine, especially when I’m sure there will be a lot of other times he will be truly sick and need to be home.

Is this kind of policy normal? Any tips on how to…ummm….”bind” Evan up (he refuses Pedialyte)?


Comments on: "Daycare Policy" (13)

  1. Ok, it's been a long time since mine was that age, so I'm not sure about the food recommendations and I'm not sure if you can even give it to him yet, but cheese should work. I will say that it never worked for C, the kid LOVES cheese and eats an insane amount of it. Judging by the comments I get from people asking how he can eat so much cheese and not get stopped up I'm guessing that it does work for a lot of people. Good luck getting it figured out.


  2. I'd try the BRAT diet until things slow down a bit – bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. If he's keeping that down, you can add in yogurt, that helps with the good bacteria in the gut, which he might be losing with all the diarrhea. Also, avoid the “P” foods for now – peaches, pears, prunes, peas. A lot of “P” foods help them poop, which he doesn't need right at the moment.

    If he's just kind of naturally “looser”, cheese might really help longer-term, a lot of kids find dairy firms things up, but try BRAT until you're sure he's not sick. It could just be that that's the way his gut works… it's not diarrhea, he's just naturally got looser stools. One of my dayhome kids was like that.

    Big sympathy as I have a puker… he's not usually sick, he just has an insanely sensitive gag reflex. Those rules would be pretty frustrating.


  3. Our daycare has the same policy.


  4. Our preschool has the same policy. I'm grateful for it, actually, because while it's a pain when your kid is the one who is sick, it's good to not have other sick kids there while yours is healthy. We just came off an incredibly frustrating two-week run of stomach bug. Our doctor recommended the BRAT diet as well. Also, he suggested mixing probiotics into their food twice a day to help get their good bacteria back to normal (we used Florestor, I'm not sure if I spelled that right). And avoid dairy (temporarily switched to soy for Wes who only wanted milk, not water) except for yogurt, which is high in the probiotics naturally. I hope he's over it soon! Hopefully he'll be all better before you know it.


  5. Ray's daycare and preschool and SCHOOL all have the same policy. Thankfully as they get older no one really knows if the have the Big D… this policy is very common and something you may have to get used to.

    Ray was a puker, Ving several times a week for no apparent reason, it turned out to be a type of allergenic asthma, and I was able to work w/ his preschool and his DR in order for him to go (thankfully).

    As far as diet, I also agree on the BRAT diet and probiotics.

    Hope he's better soon.


  6. The same policy used to drive me crazy with my middle son. For maybe 2-3 months I would constantly have to pick him up because of diarrhea and occasional vomiting and sit at home with an otherwise happy and healthy kid. And then we figured out it was food allergies.
    Scrambled eggs would always make him vomit (one of his teachers made the connection), a couple of years later fish started as well.
    I had to keep him at home almost non-stop for months because of diarrhea, and they wound not discontinue milk for any period of time (policy says he had to have some type of milk all the time), so in order to be able to go back to work we switched to rice milk (can't do soy as he's allergic to peanuts). Once we switched to rice milk the diarrhea completely stopped, it was like a magic wand. Later we realized he's just allergic to the kind of milk they serve at daycare, because he's always had organic cows' milk at home and been fine (makes you wonder what kind of crap is in the milk at daycare). Now (3 years later) he no longer drinks rice milk, we just bring our own organic milk to daycare and no problem.

    Bottom line — sounds like it may be food allergies, especially milk. Try taking him off the milk they serve for a while and going with rice milk and see if it helps. Good luck!


  7. I agree that the BRAT diet tends to help. But I have to say although our policy isn't as strong I do think that kids with any sort of stomach issues that are leading to vomiting or diarrhea shouldn't be at daycare. These things are passed on the easiest and can be really dangerous for other kids.

    Common cold symptoms on the other hand; cough, runny nose, occasional fever are fine in my book and I don't care if kids have symptoms like that at daycare- neither does our daycare provider, although she will send a child home if they seem too weak or out of sorts.

    I'm guessing that Evan never really got over the first stomach bug and that is why he had had it twice in two weeks but in general I am sure you will go a few months before it happens again- the first year around other kids is always full of sickness but thankfully they get it over it and they start getting sick a lot less as they get older.

    Hang in there!


  8. Good Witch – we can give him cheese, and we've tried but he just throws it on the floor.

    Tamara – thankfully, he's not vomiting (he only did that once at the beginning of the week), so we're feeding him normally. Must be tough to have a puker! Not sure if Evan will be or not – time will tell.

    Anon – sounds like it is typical, which is a good thing in one sense, but annoying at the same time.

    Becca – sorry about your family's bout with a stomach bug. We have been giving him yogurt.

    Kate – tough to deal with a puker, but glad you figured out what was causing it and could make arrangements to allow him to go to school.

    GMP – I've been wondering if it's an allergy. It can't be milk, because we don't give it to him yet (he's still on formula, and we haven't changed brands). If it doesn't go away, or we find it goes away on the weekends and comes back during the week, we'll have to investigate further.

    Ash – I know the policy is there for a reason, but it's still annoying to have to pull him out of daycare 2+ times a week and miss work for it. Our daycare has the same policy about colds and such (they can go as long as they're not lethargic, etc.).

    1. BRAT diet – I've read in a few places that this is generally not recommended anymore (our doctor also said it was obsolete), because it doesn't give the child the nutrients they need to fight off the virus. We've just been feeding him as normal.

    2. I talked to the daycare manager, and she said if we can get a note from his doctor that he is healthy otherwise (i.e., it's due to teething or something), then we can take him in. We're going to see how he does this weekend and go from there.


  9. Another thing that may be is too much fruit juice or canned fruits — they tend to feed those to kids at daycare centers more than I would like, all that sugar and corn syrup may make the stool loose… Ah, poopy conundrums! 🙂


  10. OK, late to the party (vacation!)

    But yes, our day care has a similar policy. It is state law here.

    Really try some probiotics to help end the tummy bug problems. They really help, I swear.

    But my first was prone to tummy problems, and could get either diarrhea or vomiting from just having a cold (snot in the tummy). So yes, very frustrating- but perhaps not as frustrating as the fevers we've had with the second. Anyway, our general routine was probiotics and pureed apples and bananas.

    Watch out for the stone fruits. Those do the opposite of what you want.


  11. GMP – they don't give the babies juice, but I'm not sure about the canned fruit. Something to ask!

    Cloud – Okay, I really need to look into the probiotic thing!


  12. Sorry very late to the party. We have a similar policy, but the teachers are pretty lax about loose stools (especially since they're so common with the little babies that are being fed breast milk). They generally rely on fever and the child's behavior as a litmus for calling the parents.

    I also wonder if it's their definition of diarrhea that's causing trouble: a loose stool doesn't necessarily indicate infection, while (sorry to be gross) watery or bloody stools are much more problematic. Hopefully a note from the pediatrician will (or already has) clarify this.


  13. Dr. O – they do decipher between loose stools and watery stools (they only classify it as diarrhea if it's very watery).

    As an update: his diarrhea ended up going away over the weekend, so we didn't get a note. We'll see if/when it comes back!


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