Up until the time your child starts daycare it’s been easy to keep them fairly healthy by keeping germs at bay. Parents should be aware that once in daycare the frequency of illness will escalate. An endless stream of runny noses, low grade fevers, mysterious rashes and bouts of diarrhea are to be expected. Pediatricians tell parents that it’s not unusual for your toddler to experience 8 to 12 colds in the first 12 months in daycare. When you put lots of young children together it’s the perfect environment for transmitting viruses.
Children and toddlers in particular are likely to wipe their noses, sneeze and cough while sharing toys and food. Expect colds, stomach viruses, conjunctivitis ( pink eye ) even hand, foot and mouth disease will be transmitted in a daycare setting.
As a parent there are things you can do to help your whole family such as making sure they all get lots of rest and eating nutritious food. Make a point of washing your toddler’s hands when they get home and before eating or interacting with siblings.
In spite of how vigilant the daycare is about cleaning, disinfecting and hand washing it is a losing battle. Parents just don’t have a choice other than to drop their toddler off even when they’re ill and the result is an endless cycle of illness. Even the healthiest child can’t avoid getting sick when they start daycare. I remember parents I knew who wouldn’t allow anyone with a cold to visit when they had a toddler and bragged that the child had never been sick. However when that child eventually got sick it proved dangerous to the child because she had no immunity to viruses.
There are measures parents can take to strengthen a toddler’s immune system with a diet rich in protein, zinc and vitamin C. along with a diet free of refined sugar. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D which is shown to boost immunity and probiotics in drops or chewable tablets. Exposure to viruses actually makes their immune system stronger.
Researchers at the University of Montreal have conducted a long term study that found toddlers in group care might get sick more often than those who stay home, but those same children get sick less often than their peers in elementary school years. The point is that sooner or later your child is going to get sick. It’s reassuring to know that those sleepless nights and runny noses could mean less sick days in later years.
If you are looking for a Victoria BC Daycare, you can find many at that link. It’s a website dedicate to finding the best daycares in that city.