Keeping Your Child Healthy In Daycare: Preventative Measures and Illness Management

Health and safety is one of the core pillars on which the My Ohana nursery environment is built, focusing not only on how we can ensure that activities run smoothly and safely but also preventing the spread of illness throughout our community.

Published on November 29, 2023

After all, while learning to share is very much a foundational part of the nursery experience for all our young people, we don’t want that to spread into the spread and sharing of illnesses and sickness bugs.

That’s why, whether it’s the flu in winter or diarrhoea and vomiting bugs throughout the year, managing and mitigating the risk of illness is something which underpins a great deal of our planning and administrative work. We do this through a series of measures, in place to ensure that any bugs can be contained efficiently and kept away from nursery altogether as much as possible. 

Here’s how we keep children healthy in daycare, and what to do if your child starts exhibiting signs of illness at home.

The importance of good hygiene habits and awareness to keep children healthy

Here at My Ohana, we believe that prevention is better than cure when it comes to health and wellbeing at nursery. What this means is that the nursery routine is integrated with various hygiene tasks which we encourage from day one – nurturing good habits in even our youngest children, from handwashing to blowing noses into tissues and engaging in regular cleaning.

These hygiene habits are further buoyed by our regular communication with parents, which we use to raise awareness of any bugs making their way through the nursery community, so that parents can look out for symptoms and minimise the risk of passing bugs on.

One way that we do this is through our simple exclusion policy, as explained below. And don’t worry - it’s not as scary as it sounds!

Managing the spread of illness: a guide to our exclusion policy

In short, our exclusion policy outlines that if your child is exhibiting symptoms of an infectious illness or bug, we ask that you keep them at home and away from nursery.

The main symptoms that we urge parents to look out for include diarrhoea, sickness, a temperature, or conjunctivitis, as these can be easily passed from one child to another. Similarly, if your child has chickenpox, mumps, or measles, it is important that they do not attend nursery or socialise with other children as these illnesses can pose potential risk to babies and pregnant women – not to mention they are extremely contagious.

The exclusion policy and the amount of time that we ask you to stay away from nursery depends on the symptoms; however, for the most part we encourage 48 hours exclusion for most regular illnesses, and longer if the symptoms are more serious. If in any doubt, you can ask us about this directly, or seek external medical advice. 

Our Covid-19 policy and how Covid changed our approach to illness management

Our Covid-19 policy follows the current government guidance, urging families to stay vigilant and aware of the symptoms for both their own safety and that of others.

As a result of Covid-19, here at My Ohana we have developed a more comprehensive approach to illness in the nursery environment and have first aiders who are onsite to care for and monitor any child who exhibits signs of illness while in care. In addition to this hands-on approach to care at nursery, we have also increased our emphasis on healthy hygiene habits, creating permanent signs which engage children in the importance of hand washing and other routine habits.

Health and safety at My Ohana: how we keep children safe through daily activities

Of course, illness management is just one area of our approach to health and safety at My Ohana, with our response to accidents and other incidents just as important to both parents and our nursery community.

Regular risk assessments underpin each activity that we offer at My Ohana, with policies in place which cover safeguarding both at nursery and when out and about, as well as potential hazards. Those who have visited or researched the My Ohana nursery experience will already know that we pride ourselves on our child-led approach to activity management and the nursery routine, empowering children to make decisions relating to both our internal and external adventures. As well as developing a healthy curiosity for structured and more information learning, this enables our children to explore new environments – something which is underpinned by our comprehensive risk assessments and site visits.

You can read more about our full health and safety policies via the FAQs page on our website, which dives into greater detail about security, pick ups and drop offs, and more.

Finding the right nursery setting to support your child

While we do what we can to ensure all the children in our care follow healthy routines and nurture excellent hygiene habits, sometimes those pesky sickness bugs and viruses can infiltrate your child’s routine and cause a few days of upset.

Here at My Ohana, our commitment to a safe environment for children and staff is included within our comprehensive illness management response – covered by our exclusion policy and by the habits we bestow on children at nursery. Prevention is always better than a cure, with parents urged to be vigilant and take care to prevent the spread of illness by keeping unwell children safely at home until they recover.

For more information on availability and to find your perfect nursery, get in touch with My Ohana today.


We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Nursery Group Under 10 Settings’ in the National Day Nursery Awards 2022

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