A sick child is the nightmare of many working parents: the daycare center demands quarantine, the doctor waves it off, the employer raises the index finger. There is only one remedy for such problems.
Today of all days! Sometimes you might think the offspring have a built-in radar for when it's worst to get sick. But it's no use: When the child has a fever, rash or diarrhea, he or she first goes to the doctor instead of the kindergarten. And a parent must go with.
Especially in February and March, but generally in the cold season, the waiting rooms of the pediatrician's offices are full. Coughs, colds and gastrointestinal problems are the most common illnesses that drive parents to the nursery.
But typical nursery illnesses such as hand-mouth-foot also crop up again and again. The absurdity of the situation: parents, pediatricians and community agencies alike are in hot water.
Daycare centers must send sick children home
Kindergartens and daycare centers fear an epidemic and must therefore send sick children home immediately. It becomes annoying for them when parents drop off their offspring in the morning despite corresponding symptoms and then leave them at the daycare center for the whole day.
Daycare centers levy fines for late pickups
There the children sit in the kindergarten and wait. Educators also want to call it a day, but parents just don't show up. That's why parents in Taunusstein who pick up their children too late have to pay a fine. Pediatricians are confronted with a mass influx of patients. Have less and less time for individual patients. Parents often go to the doctor out of uncertainty, even though they don't have to – or because they need a doctor's certificate.
And parents fear problems at work because the sick child has to be cared for. Many do not know how long and how often they are allowed to stay at home.
Do not always stay at home
Children often get sick. On average, children get a runny nose six times a year; this is commonly known as a cold, but doctors call it an upper respiratory tract infection. As with adults, however, this does not always mean that strict bed rest is the order of the day.
Coughs and colds alone are no reason to stay at home if the child is otherwise fit. "An essential task of the daycare center is social learning for children, and that includes learning how to deal with each other's infections, in other words, strengthening their immune system," explains Reutlingen pediatrician Till Reckert. "There will never be a germ-free daycare center."
A child should always stay at home if he or she has a fever or is suffering from symptoms, pediatricians advise. Even with diarrhea or vomiting, a visit to the daycare center is not advisable. In addition, there are some contagious diseases for which it is clearly forbidden for children to go to the nursery or kindergarten. This is regulated by the Infection Protection Act. The state health offices.
It's not about contagion
According to Till Reckert, the following mantra applies to all illnesses: "A child should have been so fit for 24 hours that it could have gone to kindergarten. Then it can go the next day."There are individual exceptions to this rule, in which case the child may have to wait two days.
The pediatrician emphasizes that the waiting period is not about the risk of infection of other children: "They bring most diseases with them from kindergarten anyway."And for every child with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, for example, there are three children who are completely symptom-free, but who are still infectious. It is therefore pointless to exclude children who are ill.
Most illnesses do not have to be reported – even though rumors to the contrary often circulate. These include hand-foot-and-mouth disease, conjunctivitis, three-day fever, ringworm and mononucleosis. According to pediatricians' recommendations, children are usually allowed to go back to daycare after a few days – even if they still have visible symptoms.
Some diseases are notifiable
In the case of acute hand-foot-and-mouth disease, for example, the offspring need only stay at home until no more new blisters appear. This is usually the case after three to five days. Before that, however, the disease is very contagious.
As soon as the child is free of fever and feels well, he or she may return to kindergarten. Purulent conjunctivitis is also not reportable. It often occurs as an accompanying symptom of a banal cold. However, the sick children are usually so limited that they can not go to kindergarten anyway, according to doctors.
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Source: N24/Andreas Heidorn
But a few diseases are actually reportable. According to the Robert Koch Institute, these include infectious diseases such as mumps, measles, rubella or chickenpox. Most childhood diseases can be vaccinated against. Some daycare centers now even require parents to do this.
The facility must also be informed in the event of whooping cough or head lice infestation – and then reports this to other parents. In some homes, a notice about rampant gastrointestinal diseases such as noro or rotaviruses hangs almost all year round. These are particularly contagious and must also be reported if children under six are affected or there is more than one case.
Doctors shake their heads
When the illness is over and the child is fit again, the parents are confronted with a completely different problem: The daycare center wants a certificate that the child is healthy. The so-called Gesundschreibung is requested by community facilities again and again; this is sometimes even in the care contract.
But most pediatricians shake their heads at that. Pediatrician Till Reckert also ies them extremely rarely. He appeals to parents and employers to allow sick children their break to regenerate instead of immediately shooing them back to the daycare center when the symptoms have barely subsided.
"Health certificates are usually required by kindergartens when social prere causes this rule to be violated," the pediatrician explains with regard to the burden on parents. However, in case of doubt, he sends a letter to the kindergarten teachers regarding the corresponding illness in order to defuse the situation.
A medical certificate is mandatory
For many parents, a sick child means a double burden: not only is there a little pile of misery in bed – they can't go to work themselves. "A sick child who has to be nursed back to health by the parents at home brings with it some side effects in terms of the employment relationship," knows lawyer Sandra Runge, who as a "smart mom" clarifies countless legal questions about parenthood on her blog and in the book "Don't worry, be Mommy".
But for the time being it gives the all-clear. Because in principle, one hundred percent continued payment of wages is regulated by law for five days after all. "But beware! This claim is often excluded in employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements," warns Runge.