Sickness Policy

It is Footsteps Daycare policy for staff to reserve the right to exclude any child from the Nursery should they be considered not well enough to attend or if they are suffering from a contagious illness.  Whilst we have a realistic attitude towards the needs of the parents, we do request that parents refrain from bringing their children to the nursery should they be deemed not well enough.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you or your child has any of the above symptoms you must not to leave your home. This is called self-isolation. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days from when their symptoms started, and anyone who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service if your child is 5 or over. Call 111 if they’re under 5. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

If your child becomes ill during the day with any of the above symptoms, the nursery seniors will contact the parent/guardian to collect immediately. The child will be moved, if possible and appropriate, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door. If it is not possible to isolate them move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. A window should be opened for ventilation.

If a child needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.

We will need evidence of a confirmed case of COVID-19, this can be a screenshot of the confirmation from the department of health, please email this over to (See appendix 1. Guidelines)


Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus and is the most common respiratory illness in infants. The incubation period is approx. 2-8 days. The child can return once he or she feels better.

Sickness and Diarrhoea

Symptoms can consist of a sudden bout of sickness and Diarrhoea with occasional stomach cramps.  One symptom or the other may follow, not all persons will experience the same symptoms.  Children can return to their setting 24 hours after the last bout of illness.

Chickenpox and Shingles

Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus and are characterised by spots.  Following infection, the virus remains hidden in nerve cells of the body and may appear later in life as shingles.  Illness may appear between 13 and 17 days after contact with an infected person.  A person should stay away for at least 5 days after the appearance of the last crop of spots and vesicles are crusted over and until they feel well.

A person with shingles can return once all the spots have dried and crusted over and they feel well again.


Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, clear membrane (conjunctiva) that covers the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelid.  It can be caused by bacteria, virus or and allergy (as in hay fever).  The incubation period is between 12 hours and 3 days.  The infected person should remain absent for 24 hours or until at least 3 doses of eye drops or ointment has been administered.

Common Cold

It’s a virus affecting the upper respiratory tract.

The incubation period is between 12 and 72 hours usually 48 hours.  A person may remain at their setting if the symptoms are not severe.


Gastroenteritis is an infection, which causes stomach upset.  Eating infected food can cause some cases. The incubation period varies from a few hours to a few days, depending on the bug and how much food has been eaten. In general people should stay off nursery until they are free from symptoms for 48 hours.

Fifth Disease ‘Slapped cheek’

A virus (human parvovirus) causes Fifth Disease.  The illness may occur 4 – 20 days after contact with an infected person.  The Infected person may return once they are physically well as they do not have to stay off nursery.

Glandular Fever

A virus (Epstein-Barr virus) causes glandular Fever.  The incubation period is usually between 4 – 6 weeks.  Often the illness is caught from someone who has no symptoms.  The infected person may return to nursery when they feel better.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

A virus causes Hand, Foot and Mouth.  The illness usually appears 3 to 5 days after a person has been in close contact with an infected person.  Keep your child away from nursery whilst they are feeling unwell. Official government advice is that if your child has hand, foot and mouth but is feeling well, they do not need to stay away from nursery.


Impetigo is an antibacterial skin infection.  The incubation period is usually between 4 to 10 days.  The child can return 48 hours after starting to use the medication prescribed by the GP or once the spots have crusted or healed and the child is feeling well again if you do not get treatment.

Influenza (Flu)

Influenza is an acute viral Disease of the respiratory tract.  There are several types of influenza virus, which keep changing to overcome the immunity in the population.  The incubation period is usually 24- 72 hours.  People are thought to be infectious for about 3 days from the onset of illness.  Ability to attend school/work will depend on the severity of symptoms.


Measles is caused by a virus.  The incubation period is about 10 days (varying from 7-14 days) from exposure to measles to the onset of fever.  The child should stay away from their setting at least until 5 days after the rash first appeared and until the person feels well.


Mumps is caused by a virus.  The incubation period is normally 18 days but can be 12-25 days.  The child should not return until they feel well again but no sooner than 5 days from the onset of swollen glands.


Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin.  The incubation period is 4 to 10 days.  Children can return to their setting once treatment has started.  Children should avoid swimming pools etc while treatment is underway.

Rubella (German Measles)

A virus causes Rubella (or German measles).  The incubation period is 16-18 days but may between 14 and 23 days.  A child with Measles can return to their setting when they feel well enough, but no sooner than four days after the rash first appeared.

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever is caused by bacteria and is characterised by a rash.  The incubation period is usually 1-3 days.  The child can return to their setting once they feel well enough to do so and 24hrs after starting antibiotic treatment.


Threadworms are white tiny worms that live in the bowl.  The incubation period is between 2-6 weeks after contact with a source of infection before the life cycle is completed and eggs are laid in the newly infected person.   Children can return to their setting once they have received treatment (after their first treatment dose).  Bathing, trimming and scrubbing of nails is encouraged.


Scabies is a skin infection due to a mite.  Scabies symptoms may start from several days to about 6 weeks after contact with infected person.  Children can return back to their setting 24hrs after the first treatment.


Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a Bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The incubation period is usually 4-12 weeks. You must keep your child off until advised by GP.

Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is a chest infection caused by bacteria.  The incubation period is usually between 7-10 days.  Children can return to their setting as soon as they feel well. No sooner 48hrs after starting antibiotic treatment.

Swine Flu

Swine flu is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus.

Expected course: like regular flu, the fever lasts 2-3 days, the runny/congested nose 1-2 weeks and the cough 2-3 weeks. With some flu viruses, the fever lasts 4 or 5 days.

Contagious period: a person is contagious for 1 day prior to and for 7 days after the onset of symptoms (e.g., the fever and cough).

Incubation period: after exposure, a person will come down with swine flu symptoms in 4 to 6 days (5 days on the average). An outer limit rarely could be 7 days. This virus has a longer incubation period than seasonal flu (1 to 3 days).


If your child becomes ill during the day, the nursery seniors will contact the parent/guardian. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure any changes of contact are communicated to the setting.

This information is only intended to ensure that Footsteps Daycare remains a safe and healthy environment for our children.  This information must not be used for a non-health professional to make a diagnosis or to be a substitute for advice from your GP.

If your child is suffering with any of the above or is showing symptoms then please seek medical advice.  This information has been supplied from Infections in Children Fact sheets and the NHS website.