Why is my child not allowed to attend child care with a fever?
A fever is a natural response to help the body fight infection. That means that when your child has a fever, his or her body is trying to fight a virus or bacteria, so staying home to rest makes sense because the infection may be spread to other children or daycare staff and your child’s body is working hard to stay healthy and needs rest
What is a fever?
Average normal body temperature is 37°C (98.6°F). Every person is slightly different, and small variations in temperature can be caused by exercise, especially in hot weather, and overdressing (especially infants). The method of measuring temperature can affect the number. “Low grade” fever, about a degree over the average, may occur after an immunization. The actual number of the temperature measurement is not an indicator of the severity of the illness; the fever is an indicator that something is affecting your child. Your child’s behavior is an indicator of severity of illness.
Bottom line: a child behaving differently from normal and whose body temperature measures higher than normal needs care and rest, because his or her body is working to deal with a stress. This child should not attend daycare until 24 hours fever free without requiring fever-reducing medication.
How should I care for my child?
You can contact a nurse at Telehealth 1-866-797-0000 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for information about caring for a child with a fever.
For further information about why a child should stay home with a fever, please contact your local health unit office.