Exclusion of Ill children from child-care centers in Israel

Ernesto Kahan*, Samuel Gross, Herman Avner Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine criteria for ill children in child-care centers. A questionnaire on practices of exclusion/return of children according to specific signs and symptoms was mailed to the directors of care centers in central Israel. Thirty-six of the 60 questionnaires (60%) were returned by mail and the reminded were completed in personal visits to the CCCs achieving a response rate of 100%. About half (51.7%) used "common sense" and "personal feelings" to exclude children and to allow their return, and 29 (48.3%) used the guidelines of the Ministries of Education and Health or other authorities. The percentage of centers excluding children by signs/symptoms was as follows: high fever (>38°C), 100%; low-grade fever, 76.7%; asthma exacerbation, 80.0%; heavy cough, 75.0%; eye discharge or conjunctivitis, 83.3%; diarrhea and vomiting more than twice per day, 100%; rash, 72.3%; otalgia, 46.7%; and infected skin lesion, 66.7%. Only four centers excluded children with head lice. Most centers required a physician's note on return of a child after high fever (76.7%), eye discharge or conjunctivitis (48.3%), and from 75 to 80%, respectively, for frequent vomiting and bloody or mucinous diarrhea. The results show that exclusion practices among child-care centers (CCCs) vary widely, suggesting the need for the establishment of a uniform exclusion and return policy in Israel, with distribution of clear, up-to-date guidelines on the prevention and control of communicable diseases to all day-care centers. In a simple way, this study identified attitudes concerning the exclusion/return of sick children in CCCs and was useful for the discussion of the related policy with CCCs responsible and national health and educational authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2005

Keywords

  • Day-care centers
  • Guidelines
  • Policy

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