UCL Day Nursery


UCL Day Nursery Sickness Policy

Statement of intent

It is our intention to protect the health and wellbeing of all the children and staff at the UCL Day Nursery by excluding any child, or member of staff, who is ill or infectious. UCL Day Nursery will promote the good health of the children and staff, taking necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and taking appropriate action when they are ill.

The good health of all children in our care is important to us. Unfortunately, children do fall ill from time to time for a multitude of reasons. It is the intention of the UCL Day Nursery to act quickly where symptoms of an illness are evident for the well-being of the child involved and to minimise the risk of spreading any infections or illnesses to other children, parents and staff in the Nursery.

Sick children procedure

If a child arrives at the Nursery and appears to have an infectious illness they shall not be admitted to the Nursery for the risk of infecting others.

The Nursery Manager, or in her absence the Deputy Manager or senior Nursery staff, has the right and responsibility to refuse entry to a child or request that a child is taken home if they are considered to be unwell or not well enough to be attending Nursery.

If a child becomes ill during the day the following shall apply:

  • If staff suspect a child is unwell they must inform their seniors
  • Staff will take the child’s temperature and carefully monitor the child; the temperature will be recorded on UCL Day Nursery temperature sheets, stating time, date and temperature taken. This must be monitored every fifteen minutes and recorded.
  • During this time the child will be cared for in a quiet and calm area with their key person or other familiar carer. The child should be kept safe and away from other children where possible.
  • If deemed appropriate by the manager parents can be contacted to ask if they are happy for their child to be given an emergency dose of Calpol. After receiving Calpol the child must be collected from the Nursery within the hour.

The parent will be contacted to take the child home if symptoms and a high temperature (of 38.2 and above) are evident, and two or more of the following:

  • Lethargic
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Limbs or joint pain
  • Headache or stomach ache
  • The child is overly upset
  • Diarrhoea (defined as two or more very loose or liquid bowel movement within 24 hours)
  • There is blood in the child's faeces
  • The child vomits
  • Continuing severe stomach pain
  • The child has a suspicious rash that cannot be identified as a potentially contagious disease
  • The child is generally unwell (feels hot or looks flushed) and continuously needs consoling

If more than five children show similar signs or symptoms, staff may need to contact the local health protection team for advice on 020 3837 7084.

Collection of Sick Children

When a parent is contacted to pick up a child due to illness, the following applies:

  • The parent shall collect the child as soon as possible and within one hour.
  • If it is not possible, then the parent shall arrange for another person to collect the child, giving the Nursery a full name and description confirming that the person collecting the child will have the password.
  • If the parent cannot be contacted within fifteen minutes of the initial phone call, then the Nursery will exhaust all other means of contact within UCL. If no contact is made the nursery shall contact the emergency contact person on the child’s file to arrange collection. In this event the nursery will endeavour to leave a message for the parents notifying them of the actions.
  • If the child’s condition gives ongoing cause for concern and no person is able to collect the child within a reasonable time scale, then the Nursery shall at their discretion call the emergency services. Parents shall be informed of this decision and told where the child is being taken.
  • Two members of staff will accompany the child to hospital (unless ratios are not adhered to) taking along with them the child’s file and remain with the child until the parent, carer or family member arrives.

If a child is or has been at home the following will apply:

  • Following sickness or diarrhoea the child shall not attend the Nursery until at least 48 hours after the last incidence and must have passed one normal stool.
  • All incubation periods should be adhered to, to ensure no further spread of infection.
  • Parents are asked to inform the Nursery if their child has an infectious illness, or develops one after attending Nursery, so that the other parents can be advised. This is very important for all other parents to be aware and alert to look for signs of illness in their children.

Exclusion periods after hospitalisation

Following treatment or a stay in hospital, whether resulting from an accident, operation or illness, we request that a child does not attend the Nursery for at least 24 hours, or at the discretion of the Nursery after being discharged.

Parents shall be required to provide evidence from the hospital of their recommendations with regards to any additional rest periods and after care.

After immunisation

Parents must ensure that they are contactable at all times following an immunisation in case their child suffers an allergic reaction.

In the event of a suspected case of a contagious or communicable disease, then in addition to the above the following shall apply: 

  • Information will be given to parents, carers and staff.
  • The HPT will be notified where we have any child or staff member with a notifiable disease such as food poisoning or acute meningitis.
  • All equipment and resources that may have come into contact with a contagious child will be cleaned and sterilised thoroughly to reduce the spread of infection.

Exclusion periods for common infections

The following exclusion shall be observed:

High temperature – Any child sent home or kept at home or kept at at home with a raised temperature shall not be re admitted to the nursery for least 24 hours.

Vomiting or diarrhoea – Any child sent home, or kept at home having suffered vomiting or diarrhoea shall not be re-admitted to the Nursery for at least 48 hours.

Conjunctivitis – any child sent home or kept at home, suffering from conjunctivitis shall not be readmitted to the Nursery for at least 48 hours after antibiotics have been administered or until the eyes have stopped weeping.

Prescribed Antibiotics – Any child on prescribed antibiotics shall not be admitted to the Nursery until at least 48 hours from the first dose administered (unless this is part of an ongoing care plan to treat individual medical conditions e.g. asthma and the child is unwell). It is important that children are not subjected to the rigours of the Nursery day, which requires socialising with other children and being part of a group setting when they have first become ill and require a course of antibiotics. Prescribed antibiotics may be administered to the child on their return to the Nursery only if there is a clear prescription label on the medication.

Meningitis Procedure

If a parent informs the nursery that their child has meningitis, the Nursery Manager should contact the Infection Control (IC) nursery for their area and the Care Inspectorate (CI) the IC Nurse will give guidance and support in each individual case.

If parents do not inform the Nursery, we will be contacted directly by the IC Nurse and he appropriate support will be given.

The Nursery will ensure that it follows all guidance given and that the appropriate authority is notified.

Transporting children to hospital

If the sickness or injury is severe enough to need urgent medical attention a designated member of staff should call for a member of the management team.

An ambulance will be called immediately whilst still ensuring that the child continues to be comforted and there is adequate staff deployment to care for the remaining children. This may mean temporarily grouping the children together.

Whilst waiting for the ambulance contact with parents must be made. 

Two of the most appropriate members of staff must accompany the child and collect together registration forms, relevant medication sheets, any medication and their child’s comforter. Two members of staff will accompany the child to hospital (unless ratios are not adhered too) taking along with them the child’s file and remain with the child until the parents, carers or family member arrives.

Staff must remain calm at all times, children who witness an incident may be affected by it and may needs lots of cuddles and reassurance. Parents must be informed at the earliest opportunity that their child has witnessed the incident. 

Staff may also require support after the incident. 

Last updated: Thursday, June 28, 2018