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Survey: Milwaukee-Area Child Care Centers Overreact to Minor Illnesses


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - Most child care centers in Metro Milwaukee are apparently overreacting to the minor ailments their children get. The Medical College of Wisconsin surveyed 305 care directors – and 57 percent send kids home for minor health conditions when various medical groups say it’s not necessary.

Andrew Hashikawa of the Medical College said there’s no reason to send most kids home if they get a runny nose or a mild cough – and it puts a major burden on working parents who must pick up the youngsters, and take them to a doctor. Hashikawa said many parents have jobs that don’t include sick leave – and when child care centers require doctor’s notes for minor conditions, it takes the doctors away from patients with more pressing needs.

It became such a problem that the American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics came up with guidelines for care providers in 1992. They were updated 10 years later. Hashikawa says he’d like to create a continuing education class to help day care providers use better judgments in deciding when to send sick kids home.