Home » ExchangeEveryDay » Managing Illnesses in Early Childhood Settings

ExchangeEveryDay Past Issues

<< Previous Issue | View Past Issues | | Next Issue >> ExchangeEveryDay
Managing Illnesses in Early Childhood Settings
September 13, 2023
It’s a serious mistake to see young children mostly as future older children, nor should any child be seen as just an adult in the making.
-Alfie Kohn, The Homework Myth

In the aftermath of the global Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in other types of childhood illnesses. According to Andrew Hashikawa, the reasons for this are twofold: many young children have had minimal exposure to common viruses and bacteria, so they have built up less natural resistance when they enter group settings, and pediatricians have seen vaccine rates plummet, as stay-at-home policies led many families to delay routine health care visits. Hashikawa argues, “In this post-pandemic environment, ECE providers must now continue to balance the need to safely manage mildly ill children in ECE settings without severely compromising parents’ ability to work or negatively disrupting children’s educational opportunities.”

Hashikawa offers these suggestions when determining when an illness necessitates excluding a child from your program:

  • Evaluate if caring for a sick child will negatively impact caring for others
  • Evaluate whether the mildly sick child can still participate
  • Use reliable resources
  • Seek help from child care health consultants
  • Establish written, transparent policies
  • Keep the focus on the child

Hashikawa remarks: “A healthy child who exercises, sleeps well, eats a balanced diet, and is vaccinated will develop an immune system that is optimized to fight infection. While managing illnesses is important in ECE settings, it is also essential to remember that these settings are crucial to children’s development…Focus on ensuring children do not have their education disrupted unnecessarily by excluding them for illnesses when it is not medically necessary (e.g., a child with a runny nose who has no other symptoms and is acting fine).”


Delivered five days a week containing news, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

What is ExchangeEveryDay?

ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

Post a Comment

Have an account? to submit your comment.


Your e-mail address will not be visible to other website visitors.

Check the box below, to help verify that you are not a bot. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this form.

Disclaimer: Exchange reserves the right to remove any comments at its discretion or reprint posted comments in other Exchange materials.