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Temporary exclusion of ill children from childcare centres in Switzerland: practice, problems and potential solutions


Sticher, Benjamin; Bielicki, Julia; Berger, Christoph (2018). Temporary exclusion of ill children from childcare centres in Switzerland: practice, problems and potential solutions. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1):25.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In childcare centres, temporary exclusion of ill children, if their illness poses a risk of spread of harmful diseases to others, is a central approach to fight disease transmission. However, not all ill children need to be excluded. Previous studies suggested that childcare centre staff have difficulties in deciding whether or not to exclude an ill child, even when official ill-child guidelines are used. We aimed to describe, quantify and analyse these ambiguities and discuss potential solutions.
METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, we sent postal surveys to 488 childcare centre directors in the Swiss Canton of Zurich, where no official ill-child guideline is in place. We asked for exclusion criteria for ill children and ambiguities faced when dealing with ill children. We checked whether existing guidelines provided solutions to the ambiguities identified.
RESULTS: 249/488 (51%) directors responded to the survey. The most common exclusion criteria were fever (87.4%) and contagiousness (52.2%). Ambiguities were mostly caused by conjunctivitis (23.7%) and use of antipyretic drugs (22.9%). Roughly one third of the ambiguities identified could have been resolved with existing guidelines, another third if existing guidelines contained additional information. For the last third, clear written directives are difficult to formulate.
CONCLUSIONS: Written recommendations may help to clarify when an ill child should temporarily be excluded. However, such a guideline should cover the topics antipyretic drugs and teething and have room for modification to local circumstances. Collaboration with a paediatrician may be of additional benefit.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In childcare centres, temporary exclusion of ill children, if their illness poses a risk of spread of harmful diseases to others, is a central approach to fight disease transmission. However, not all ill children need to be excluded. Previous studies suggested that childcare centre staff have difficulties in deciding whether or not to exclude an ill child, even when official ill-child guidelines are used. We aimed to describe, quantify and analyse these ambiguities and discuss potential solutions.
METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, we sent postal surveys to 488 childcare centre directors in the Swiss Canton of Zurich, where no official ill-child guideline is in place. We asked for exclusion criteria for ill children and ambiguities faced when dealing with ill children. We checked whether existing guidelines provided solutions to the ambiguities identified.
RESULTS: 249/488 (51%) directors responded to the survey. The most common exclusion criteria were fever (87.4%) and contagiousness (52.2%). Ambiguities were mostly caused by conjunctivitis (23.7%) and use of antipyretic drugs (22.9%). Roughly one third of the ambiguities identified could have been resolved with existing guidelines, another third if existing guidelines contained additional information. For the last third, clear written directives are difficult to formulate.
CONCLUSIONS: Written recommendations may help to clarify when an ill child should temporarily be excluded. However, such a guideline should cover the topics antipyretic drugs and teething and have room for modification to local circumstances. Collaboration with a paediatrician may be of additional benefit.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Health Policy
Language:English
Date:15 January 2018
Deposited On:02 May 2018 10:29
Last Modified:08 Apr 2020 23:29
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1472-6963
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-2831-5
PubMed ID:29334933
Other Identification Number:PMC5769496

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