Daycare centers help many working families. Parents take comfort in knowing that their child is being taken care of by qualified individuals. However, daycare is not insulated from danger and abuse. Numerous studies point to health and safety risks associated with daycare centers. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of these risks and discuss what you can do to help mitigate harm.
Communicable Diseases, Illnesses & Infections
Infections such as the common cold, sties, lice and gastroenteritis can be passed on from one child to the next due to poor hygiene standards as well as the kids not washing their hands after using the restroom. This makes it that much easier for kids to come home with these infections which might then be passed on to other family members, necessitating treatment and sometimes hospitalization. While not all kids are going to fall sick, most do, and it’s the responsibility of both the parents and healthcare owners to ensure these infections don’t spread. One of the ways you can help out is by teaching your child to wash their hands every time they use the bathroom. Ensuring that your child gets the flu shot before the onset of flu season can also help protect them from nasty bugs. At the same time, you should speak to the daycare center owners and ask them about their vaccination policy before enrolling your kid just to keep you and your child on the safe side. Other illnesses to keep an eye out include giardiasis, hepatitis A, strep throat and scabies.
Behavioral Problems & Mood Changes
Given the fact that kids have different personalities, daycare may not be the best idea for some kids. If you notice that your child likes to keep to him or herself and is sensitive about their personal space, you might be better off hiring a babysitter than using a daycare service. However, if you decide to enroll them into daycare, watch out for aggressive kids and incidences of bullying. Aggression may take on the form of biting, slapping, pinching or name-calling. Always ask about how well your kid is getting along with everyone as well as his new environment. In some cases, daycare workers themselves will mistreat kids or neglect them. All these things may cause a kid to act out, be anxious, have nightmares, etc. Recently, a study published in the Journal Child Development pointed to the fact that day-care kids are more likely to be impulsive and become bigger risk-takers, putting them in danger during their teenage years. This may make them more prone to act without thinking which might put them on the wrong side of the law or in hospital.
Daycare centers provide a vital service for busy parents. At the end of the day, you need to do your research regarding the conditions of your chosen daycare institution so you can give your child the best quality of care that you can afford.