Too many parents sending sick kids to daycare, study says

Educators say that thoughtless parents are risking the health of other children

Over one third of Danish daycare providers are forced to take care of an ill child at least once every fourteen days. According to a study in the daycare providers' union publication Børn & Unge, 84 percent of daycare workers surveyed felt that children taking fever and pain-reliving medication had been left in their care without being told the child was ill.

Ill children not only threaten the health of other children and staff, there is a chance that they could become even more ill themselves because their weakened immune systems leave them more vulnerable to another infection or illness.

Birgitte Conradsen, a spokesperson for BUPL cautioned that parents are not entirely at fault.

“Educators can get irritated when father or mother drops off a sick child for the third time in a short period, but it is a symptom of how tough the work/life balance can be,” Conradsen told Børn & Unge. ”We must be careful not to blame the parents.”

Conradsen said that society in general had to get better at accepting that parents need to be at home when their children are not well.

Rules governing illness among children vary from institution to institution, but common sense says that sick children should stay home, and any child with an infectious disease should not return to daycare until they are no longer contagious.