Saturday, November 26, 2005
Here's a really irritating article which takes business, parents, and doctors into account but seems to miss the boat on the subject of the study - namely the kids. If a child really requires medication when he first awakens in the morning, if he vomits, has diarrhea, a toothache, a stomach ache, a profound head ache or so much slimy or stuck mucus he or she can't breathe or lift his head, no matter how many days he has had this physical complaint - keep him home. If he or she is running any kind of a fever (99 is a fever for my naturally 96.4 body) he needs to stay home. He simply doesn't feel well, and school with other children is not only unfair to the ill child, it's not fair to the well child. Parnets - my favorite typo - should remember that children feel worse ill than adults, and that a headache or a stomach ache they can't reason with is just a torment. As far as the rash goes, it could be berryberry - so keep him home.
When is a Child Too Sick for Day Care?
Bloomberg News Service
Originally published November 25, 2005
If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees, do you keep him home from day care?
A survey of more than 250 U.S. parents, pediatricians and day-care providers found that about one-third of the time respondents were wrong about this and other questions regarding when to keep young kids home because of illness.
Pediatricians were inaccurate most often, failing 39 percent of the time to identify the right reasons as described in guidelines accepted by the American medical profession.
Parents needlessly are taking time off from work to stay at home with children they think are too sick to attend day care, according to the study led by Kristen Copeland, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
American workers spend about 25 percent of sick-leave days taking care of an ill child or other relative, according to a 2000 U.S. Department of Labor report.
"The most surprising finding is that pediatricians did no better than child-care providers and parents" in assessing which conditions required children to be kept out of day care, said Copeland. Her results appear in the November-December issue of Ambulatory Pediatrics.
Copeland's study was based on surveys completed in 2000 by 80 child-care providers, 142 parents and 36 pediatricians. To evaluate their answers, the study relied upon the guidelines adopted jointly by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the U.S. government's Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Given a list of 12 common symptoms, the pediatricians gave the wrong advice 39 percent of the time, including 37 percent of the time in cases where they should have advised the parent to let the child attend day care. Child-care providers gave wrong answers, as measured by the joint guidelines, 37 percent of the time, and the parents were wrong 36 percent of the time.
The joint guidelines indicate that three of the 12 symptoms described in Copeland's survey do not require children to be kept home: a new rash without other symptoms, five days of green or yellow discharge from the nose and redness of the eyes with watery discharge.
A majority of the pediatricians, 53 percent, incorrectly cited the eye redness as sufficient to keep children home, the study found. The guidelines recommend keeping children home if their temperature is 101 degrees or higher if measured in the mouth or 100 degrees or higher if taken under the arm. Pediatricians knew the former correctly 86 percent of the time, and the latter only 60 percent of the time, according to the study.
The high rate of incorrect responses among physicians could be due to several possible factors, including disagreement with the guidelines and variations in the types of patients seen by those participating in the survey, Copeland said.