Illness Policy

Diarrhea and Vomiting

Diarrhea is defined as “the change in consistency and frequency of individual bowel movements. The stool may be watery or very loose. The stool may be bloody, foul smelling, mushy or contain mucus”.


If your child has two diarrhea's or has vomited twice, he/she must be picked up immediately.


If your child has a fever of 38.5ºC/101ºF or more you must pick him/her up immediately.


Temperatures are taken with a digital thermometer under the armpit.


Important Note: The most accurate reading of children’s temperatures are oral readings.  Internal body temperatures are a degree higher.  Therefore, when we take a child’s temperature, 1 degree is added to the temperature reading that was indicated on the thermometer after the “beep” was heard.


Note: Staff will administer acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol or Tempera) that you provide only if you have provided a doctor's note and filled out non-prescription medication administration form. You still must pick up your child immediately.


An outbreak is considered as four or more children in the same room with similar symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, high fever). If your child becomes ill during an outbreak, your child will be excluded from the Centre for 48 hours after the close of the Centre’s following business day.


We will follow the Public Health’s posted Outbreak Action plan and the following steps will be taken by the Squirrels’ Nest staff:

1.       Immediately notify parents that child is ill and needs to be pickup as soon as possible.


2.       Isolate all ill children until parent arrives and send ill staff home.


3.       Start Outbreak Line Sheet which includes ill child’s and staffs name, date of birth, gender, symptoms, date, and time they became ill and room illness occurred and a contact number for the ill child’s family.  


4.       Report outbreak to Toronto Public Health at 416-392-7411.


5.       Obtain parent permission to collect stool or vomit samples (if possible) from ill children to be tested in Public Health Laboratory. 


6.       Immediately suspend all water and sensory play.


7.       Increased hand washing will occur and will reinforce proper hand washing techniques.


8.       Ensure that all automatic hand sanitizer dispensers are full.  Encourage all staff, parents, and visitors to use them upon entering the Centre.  


9.       Will immediately change the bleach and water concentration from 1 to 100 to 1 to 110.


10.   Will increase the sanitation of all hard surfaces.


Signs will be posted at the front door of the Centre to inform families of a possible outbreak. 


After Public Health has tested collected stool and vomit samples at their labs they will inform parents of their findings and will get parental consent to share findings with Child Care Centre.  If there is a virus in the Centre, Public Health will provide us with a fact sheet that will be posted to make parents aware of the possible symptoms of the illness.

Communicable Diseases

The Guidelines for Common Communicable Diseases are posted in all rooms.  If your child is suspected of having a communicable disease staff will immediately refer to communicable disease chart and be aware of when, if and who to call to confirm suspected communicable diseases.  Communicable diseases included but not limited to, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, gastroenteritis, impetigo, ringworm, conjunctivitis (pink eye), head lice, roseola, hand foot and mouth diseases, etc., you must pick him/her up immediately. For undetermined rashes, infections, and other symptoms, your child needs to see a doctor for an examination immediately to determine if he/she is contagious. In either case, you must provide a doctor’s note stating that your child is not infectious for your child to return to the Centre.


Squirrels’ Nest staff are aware that some of the Communicable Diseases are reported or non-reported diseases. 


Important Note: Management will reserve the right to request that your ill child remain off, depending on the severity of a contagious outbreak that is non-reportable and is a non-exclusionary disease. Management will determine the number of days. 

Reportable Diseases

Child Care Educators are required to contact Public Health when an illness is considered a “reportable disease”.  A current list of reportable communicable diseases is posted in all the rooms.