Sick children are cause for alarm in families and our communities. Grandparents, parents and community helpers are naturally concerned about our children’s health, but also, children who are ill often cannot attend early childhood education programs. As a result, parents or care-takers are forced to miss work, use leave time, and sometimes take a cut in their pay. Too often, sick children are excluded from early childhood education programs unnecessarily. As Dr. Susan Aronson points out in Healthy Young Children (2002, p. 7) “There are only three reasons to exclude an ill child from a child care setting:
1. The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in the program’s activities, as determined …
2. The illness makes the child have a greater need for care than the caregivers can manage without
compromise to the care of other children in the group.
3. The child has a specific condition that is likely to expose others to a communicable disease.”
Parents and community have a critical role in keeping young children healthy. We have all heard about infectious diseases and how easily these may spread once we enter group settings. While outbreaks of illness can happen, children, parents, and community can improve their chances for staying healthy. How? We ALL (parents, grandparents, community people) work together and support each other to maintain our health. We may prevent illness and promote good health by:
1. Making sure that all children are properly immunized and keeping our children’s health records current.
2. Promptly and properly reporting any contact with contagious diseases.
3. Keeping our environments at home, in the community, and in our center clean. Clean and sanitize areas
for diapering, toileting, and eating, as well as toys and furniture.
4. Requiring correct hand-washing procedures for adults and children.
5. Serving only nutritious foods.
6. Participating in daily safe exercise and movement at home or outside.
Families receiving their certificate of achievement for participating at one of many of LULAC Health Literacy Workshops held year round.