Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection

3.6 Management of Illness

3.6.2 Caring for Children Who Are Ill Information Required for Children Who Are Ill

For each day of care in a special facility that provides care for children who are ill, the caregiver/teacher should have the following information on each child:

  1. The child’s specific diagnosis and the individual providing the diagnosis (primary care provider, parent/guardian);
  2. Current status of the illness, including potential for contagion, diet, activity level, and duration of illness;
  3. Health care, diet, allergies (particularly to foods or medication), and medication and treatment plan, including appropriate release forms to obtain emergency health care and administer medication;
  4. Communication with the parent/guardian on the child’s progress;
  5. Name, address, and telephone number of the child’s source of primary health care;
  6. Communication with the child’s primary care provider.

Communication between parents/guardians, the child care program and the primary care provider (medical home) requires the free exchange of protected medical information (2). Confidentiality should be maintained at each step in compliance with any laws or regulations that are pertinent to all parties such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly known as FERPA) and/or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (commonly known as HIPAA) (2).

The caregiver/teacher must have child-specific information to provide optimum care for each child who is ill and to make appropriate decisions regarding whether to include or exclude a given child. The caregiver/teacher must have contact information for the child’s source of primary health care or specialty health care (in the case of a child with asthma, diabetes, etc.) to assist with the management of any situation that arises.
For school-age children, documentation of the care of the child during the illness should be provided to the parent to deliver to the school health program upon the child’s return to school. Coordination with the child’s source of health care and school health program facilitates the overall care of the child (1).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. Beierlein, J. G., J. E. Van Horn. 1995. Sick child care. National Network for Child Care.
  2. Donoghue, E. A., C. A. Kraft, eds. 2010. Managing chronic health needs in child care and schools: A quick reference guide. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.