ECE Health Policies

Health Policies

Laws of the State of Iowa require that each child enrolled in an early childhood education program have an annual physical checkup.  A report of this examination and an up-to-date immunization card shall be in the Center’s office, on or before the first day the child attends.  Both must be signed by a physician or physician’s designee such as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

I. Medications:

No medication (prescribed or over the counter) will be given to any child without the parent or guardians’ written authorization and a licensed health care provider’s written authorization. Both signatures and written authorizations must be provided. The following does not require a physician note only a written permission form by a parent: sunscreen, bug repellent, medicated or non-medicated Chapstick, over the counter skin ointments, lotions, and sprays. Over-the-counter medication must be labeled with the child’s name. Each medication must be accompanied by a physician’s or pharmacists’ written directions and in an original and up to date container. Center staff will administer the proper medication to your child as directed by the written authorization from the physician. Center staff will record dosages in the center medication log. All medications are stored in the Center’s west kitchen, away from the children in locked boxes.

A medication form must be on file for all medications including sunscreen. A special sunscreen form is available. Medications left at the Center after dosages have ended will be disposed of. Parents should take medicine home when it is no longer being dispensed. Medication left more than one week after medication authorization has expired will be thrown away by the center staff.

II. Sunscreen:

Because children play outdoors daily, parents are requested to send sunscreen (labeled with child’s name) for children to use especially during the summer. There is a sunscreen authorization form available, which requires a parent signature. Sunscreen is kept in the children’s rooms in a cupboard out of children’s reach.

III. Illness:

When children are sick, they need TLC at home. We are not set up for providing sick child care; we are also not licensed to provide sick child care. Illness is caused by germs, viruses, and bacteria and not by cold weather. Sick children who attend the Center spread germs to other children and make them sick, too. Each child shall be free of symptoms of illness each day that he/she attends the Center. The following guidelines should be observed to know when to keep your child at home.

A child should stay home if any of the follow conditions exist:

  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting within the last 24 hours.
  • Excessively runny nose or unusual cough; common colds are okay as long as the child does not have excessive nasal discharge or severe cough complaint of unusual pain
  • Any rash or skin sores that have not to be identified and/or are under treatment
  • Suspected impetigo, scabies, or ringworm
  • Head lice and/or nits (children must be nit-free to return to the center)
  • Fever over 100 degrees F; children are to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning
  • Pink eye; the child may return after being on antibiotic treatment for a full 24 hours
  • Sore throat, including strep throat; the child may return after being on antibiotic treatment for a full 24 hours

A child should stay home if he/she has been exposed to a communicable disease and indicates signs of that disease. A chart of communicable diseases is at the end parent handbook. If your child becomes ill with a communicable disease, please notify the Center so that we may post a notice of exposure for the other parents. If you call to report that your child will not attend the center due to illness, please let the staff member know what the illness is.

Iowa Western ECE Center staff may call a parent to pick up a child if he/she shows symptoms of illness during the day. Center staff also may refuse to allow a child to attend the Center on a day if they display symptoms of illness upon arrival. 

Your cooperation will assist us in lessening the amount of illness in the center. As many of you are working parents, we understand that it is difficult for you to miss work when your child is ill.  We do, however, ask that you not send your child to the Center when you know he/she is sick and that you cooperate with staff when asked to pick up a sick child from the Center. There is sick child care available in the community through Mercy Hospital and the Visiting Nurses Association. If you would like more information about these services, please let a staff member know.

We will assist with lessening illness by:

  • Calling parents to send sick children home.
  • Observing proper handwashing procedures to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Observing proper surface sanitation procedures around mealtimes and diapering.
  • Ensuring those staff members who are ill stay home.
  • Providing your children with a rest time each day which contributes to a healthy body.
  • Posting exposure notices for parents when we are notified of communicable illness in the Center.
  • Observing universal precaution procedures when handling bodily fluids.

Communicable Disease

A Note To Parents:

Communicable diseases spread easily in childcare, preschool, and school environments. When children enter such group situations, their associations with other children are greatly increased in number because contacts are closer and more prolonged. Parents should know that most of the common diseases of childhood usually begin with innocent-appearing symptoms, quite like those of the common cold. It is only after a few days that the more telltale symptoms appear, other members of the family may be infected and incubated the disease. If a disease appears in a family, the parents should notify the center that their child has that specific disease. If this is one, the staff will be on the alert for other cases. Sometimes prompt action of the staff will enable the physicians of the community to take preventive action to stop the spread of disease. Diseases are reported by the Center to the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Public Health Department. The Department, by watching the “big picture” is often able to prevent much suffering of our children. Reporting of disease is important so please do your part to make it complete, timely, and useful.

Methods Of Disease Transmission:

Childhood diseases are usually spread by direct contact or indirectly via respiratory or alimentary routes. Direct contact means touching one person by another, such as walking hand-in-hand, kissing, or any other instance where skin comes in contact with skin. Indirect contact includes handling of objects such as pencils, apples, handkerchiefs, papers, or desks freshly contaminated by an infected person. Airborne spread, on the other hand, does not require touching or handling of persons or things. The germs are breathed in by another. The infected person may have left the room or program/school long before the airborne transmission interval is rather brief.

Rules To Prevent The Transmission Of The Disease:

  1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after toilet and before eating.
  2. Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.  Use handkerchief of tissue. 
  3. Stay home when ill.  Contact your doctor.

Concise descriptions and recommendations for exclusion of cases from school.

Communicable Disease Chart

DiseaseUsual IntervalMain SymptomsMinimum Exclusion
*Immunization is AvailableBetween exposure and first symptoms of disease.  
*Chicken Pox13 to 17 daysMild symptoms and fever. Pocks are blistery. Develop scabs, mostly on covered parts of the body.7 days from onset of pocks or until pocks become dry.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)24 to 72 hoursTearing, redness, and puffy lids, eye discharge.Until treatment begins or Dr. approves re-admissions.
Erythema Infectiosum (5th Disease)4 to 20 daysUsual age 5 to 14 years, unusual in adults. Brief prodrome of low-grade fever followed by Erythema (slapped check) appearance on cheeks, lace-like rash on extremities lasting a few days to 3 weeks. 

Rash seems to recur.
After diagnosis, no exclusion.
*German Measles
14 to 23 daysUsually mild. Enlarged glands in neck and behind ears. Brief red rash.7 days from onset of rash. Keep away from pregnant women.
*Haemophilus2 to 4 daysFever, vomiting, lethargy, stiff neck and backUntil physician permits return.
Hepatitis AVariable 15 to 50 days. (Avg. 28 to 30 days)Abdominal pain, nausea, usually fever. Skin and eyes may or may not turn yellow.14 days from onset of clinical disease and at least 7 days from onset of jaundice.
Impetigo1 to 3 daysInflamed sores, with pus48 hours after antibiotic therapy started or Dr. permits return.
*Measles10 days to fever; 14 days to rashBegins with fever, conjunctivitis, runny nose, cough, then blotchy red rash.4 days from onset of rash.
Meningococcal Meningitis2 to 10 (Commonly 3 to 4) daysHeadache, nausea, stiff neck fever.Until physician permits return.
*Mumps12 to 25 daysFever, swelling and tenderness of glands at angle of jaw.9 days after onset of swollen glands or until swelling disappears.
(Head/Body Lice)
7 days for eggs to hatchLice and nits (eggs) in hair.24 hours after adequate treatment to kill lice and nits.
Ringworm of Scalp10 to 14 daysScaly patch, usually ring shaped, on scalp.No exclusion, no swimming, gym or contact sports.
Scabies2 to 6 weeks initial exposure; 1 to 4 days re-exposureTiny burrows in skin caused by mitesUntil 24 hours after treatment.
Scarlet Fever
Strep Throat
1 to 3 daysSudden on-set, vomiting, sore throat, fever, later fine rash (not on face). Rash usually only with first infection.24 hours after antibiotics started and no fever.
*Whooping Cough
7 to 10 daysHead cold, slight fever, cough, characteristic whoop after about 2 weeks.5 days after start of antibiotic treatment.

Readmission shall include written permission from the health officer, physician or attending physician, before any child is readmitted to the center/preschool following any disease which requires exclusion, not mere absence.