Health & Illness


Heath and Illness

Parents are required to complete and submit medical information prior to their child’s admission into the program, including up-to-date immunization records and any pertinent medical information such as allergies and other medical conditions.

Communication is very important. Staff and parents need to share health information daily in order to minimize illnesses, germs, and diseases. Staff will make general observations about the child’s health and well-being and record it on their daily attendance sheet and log book.

A child will be excluded from care at Bright Starts CELC if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • 2 episodes of diarrhea and or vomiting within a 24 hour period
  • A fever AND a combination of other symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting, body rash).
  • A fever over 39.4°C (103°F)
  • Eye discharge – yellow or white.
  • Head lice
  • Severe cough (the cough is uncontrollable preventing the child from participating fully in the program).
  • Yellowish skin or eyes, or jaundice.
  • Child presents signs of ongoing irritability, displays continuous crying, or requires more attention than can be provided (accompanied by other health related symptoms).

A child will not be excluded from care at Bright Starts CELC who has the following illnesses or conditions:

  • Cold Sores
  • Common Cold
  • Diaper rash/Thrush (Candidiasis)
  • Ear infections
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth disease
  • Pinworm
  • Chickenpox, with some exceptions


DIARRHEA and VOMITING:  If a child has one episode of diarrhea or vomiting within a 24 hour period/while in attendance at Bright Starts CELC, the staff will watch for other signs of illness and will inform the parents of the episode at the end of the day. If other signs of illness are present or a child has two or more episodes of diarrhea and/or vomiting within a 24 hour period the child will be separated from his/her group and the parents will be contacted and asked to come pick up their child. It is extremely important that parents are expected to notify staff if their child has experienced diarrhea or vomiting within the 24 hour period prior to their attendance. Parents are required to keep their child at home until they have not had an episode for 24hrs. In the event of an outbreak, the exclusion period may be increased to 48 hours.

FEVER: A fever is a sign of underlying illness, not an illness itself. How a child acts is the best indicator as to how they are feeling. If the child is showing signs of irritability, listlessness, drowsiness, or not able to fully participate in the program, the parents will be contacted and asked to pick up their child.  A child will be separated from his/her group when the fever is accompanied by other symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, rash).

Bright Starts CELC uses the armpit (axillary) method to check for fever in children while in attendance, but it’s not as accurate as a rectal temperature. If an axillary temperature does not show a fever but a child feels warm and seems unwell, parents will be informed (Caring for Kids website, Canadian Pediatric Society). The above information combined with the following degrees show the procedure staff will follow when determining if a child should remain in care at Bright Starts CELC.

  • 5°C to 37.5°C (97.8°F to 99.5°F) – Normal using the axillary method
  • 3°C (101°F) Low grade temperature – Call parents so they are aware their child has a fever
  • 9°C (102°F) Call parents to prepare for pick up or come now (parents choice)
  • 4°C (103°F) Pick up IMMEDIATELY – Call emergency contacts if not able to get a hold of parents

Parents should not send their child to Bright Starts CELC if they have a fever greater than 39.2°C (102.5°F) prior to their attendance, nor should they administer medications to mask a fever/illness in order for their child to attend. 

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES:  Bright Starts CELC is required to post for 7 days and report to the local Health Department if a “person has or may have a reportable disease or may be infected with an agent of a communicable disease.” Each communicable disease has its own guidelines for exclusion/treatment; parents are to be encouraged to ask if they are unsure whether or not their child should be excluded from the program.

Bright Starts CELC implements the following practices and exclusion periods for the listed communicable diseases.        

CONJUNCTIVITIS (PINKEYE) – When Bacterial Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) has been diagnosed and antibiotic drops are started a child is to remain out of the centre for 24 hours after starting treatment. A child who displays signs/symptoms of Pinkeye (runny, teary red eyes and/or pus like discharge) while in attendance will be asked to be picked up from the centre to seek medical diagnosis. If discharge is still present after the 24 hour treatment period a child may return to care unless there is an outbreak (3 or more cases). If a child has viral pinkeye, they can return to child care once seen by a doctor (a doctor’s note will be required).

CHICKENPOX – Children with mild Chickenpox may return to the centre as soon as they feel well enough to participate in normal activities, regardless of the stage of the rash.  They do not need to stay home. Children with more severe cases or those who have a fever or infected lesions must stay home. Research shows that by the time the rash appears, it is too late to stop the spread of the disease. Chickenpox is most infectious one to two days before the onset of the rash and when the child feels most ill.

HEAD LICE – Once evidence of head lice has been found on a child’s head, the child will be excluded from child care until appropriate head lice treatment has been applied. Parents of uninfected children within the group will be given a form to complete confirming that they have checked their child’s head thoroughly for any evidence of head lice, and if necessary an appropriate treatment has been applied.

In order to reduce the spread of infections children should stay home if they are unwell and unable to fully participate in the program (inside and outside activities).

Bright Starts CELC staff, students and volunteers are required to follow the same procedures.

Bright Starts CELC follows the requirements of the Waterloo Regional Community Health Department as outlined in the Safe Healthy Children Resource Manual for Child Care Providers. We also develop and implement our own policies and procedures for certain ailments in order to further reduce the spread of germs and infections to the children in our care.


Parents are strongly advised to give medications to children prior to daily attendance if they can be administered without affecting their daily treatment schedule.

When it is necessary for a drug or medication to be given while in attendance, the medication must be administered to a child from its original container as supplied by the pharmacist and the container or package is clearly labeled with the child’s name, the name of the drug or medication, the dosage of the drug or medication, the date of purchase and expiration and instruction for storage and administration.

All drugs/medications shall be accompanied by written authorization and instruction signed by the parent (medication-form-fillable).  Medication Forms must be accurately completed by the parent.  If the above mentioned are not completed, the medication cannot be administered.

Bright Starts CELC will not administer non-prescription drugs.  Non-prescription drugs should not be administered prior to a child’s attendance to reduce a fever or mask other symptoms to keep a child at the centre when they should potentially be at home or visiting a doctor.  Parents will be advised to seek professional medical care if symptoms persist which affect their child’s day. An exception may be made for fever medication/allergy medication to be kept on file and administered if it is accompanied by a doctor’s note for an already on-going diagnosed ailment i.e. febrile seizures, severe allergy, (drugs will not be administered by weight unless accompanied by written authorisation from a physician). If a child has fever medication on file it may be administered with parental consent by an assigned staff for a one time emergency use, i.e. in order to reduce the risk of a febrile seizure until parents arrive (parents must be on their way). Parents are not to leave any medication in their child’s cubby.