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Sickness and Illness Policy

Sickness and Illness Policy

At Rabbit Patch Day Nursery we promote the good health of all children attending including oral health by:

  • Asking parents to keep children at home if they are unwell. If a child is unwell, it is in their best interest to be in a home environment rather than at nursery with their peers
  • Asking staff and other visitors not to attend the setting if they are unwell
  • Helping children to keep healthy by providing balanced and nutritious snacks, meals and drinks
  • Minimising infection through our rigorous cleaning and hand washing processes (see Infection control policy)
  • Ensuring children have regular access to the outdoors and having good ventilation inside
  • Sharing information with parents about the importance of the vaccination programme for young children to help protect them and the wider society from communicable diseases
  • Sharing information from the Department of Health that all children aged 6 months – 5 years should take a daily vitamin
  • Having areas for rest and sleep, where required and sharing information about the importance of sleep and how many hours young children should be having.

Our procedures

In order to take appropriate action of children who become ill and to minimise the spread of infection we implement the following procedures:

  • If a child becomes ill during the nursery day, we contact their parent(s) and ask them to pick up their child as soon as possible. During this time we care for the child in a quiet, calm area with their key person (wearing PPE), wherever possible
  • We follow the guidance published by UK Health Security Agency for managing specific infectious diseases[1] and advice from our local health protection unit on exclusion times for specific illnesses, e.g. sickness and diarrhoea, measles and chicken pox, to protect other children in the nursery
  • Should a child have an infectious disease, such as sickness and diarrhoea, they must not return to nursery until they have been clear for at least 48 hours.
  • Any child receiving inoculations can only return to the setting 24 hours after the Immunisation.
  • We inform all parents if there is a contagious infection identified in the nursery, to enable them to spot the early signs of this illness. We thoroughly clean and sterilise all equipment and resources that may have come into contact with a contagious child to reduce the spread of infection
  • We notify Ofsted as soon as is reasonably practical, but in any event within 14 days of the incident of any food poisoning affecting two or more children cared for on the premises
  • We ask parents to keep children on antibiotics at home for the first 24 hours of the course (unless this is part of an ongoing care plan to treat individual medical conditions e.g. asthma and the child is not unwell). This is because it is important that children are not subjected to the rigours of the nursery day, which requires socialising with other children and being part of a group setting, when they have first become ill and require a course of antibiotics or at least have given the child their first dose 24 hours prior to returning to nursery
  • We have the right to refuse admission to a child who is unwell. This decision will be taken by the manager on duty and is non-negotiable
  • We make information and posters about head lice readily available and all parents are requested to regularly check their children’s hair. If a parent finds that their child has head lice, we would be grateful if they could inform the nursery so that other parents can be alerted to check their child’s hair.

Meningitis procedure

If a parent informs the nursery that their child has meningitis, the nursery manager will contact the Local Area Infection Control (IC) Nurse. The IC Nurse will give guidance and support in each individual case. If parents do not inform the nursery, we may be contacted directly by the IC Nurse and the appropriate support given. We will follow all guidance given and notify any of the appropriate authorities including Ofsted where necessary.

We will follow the transporting children to hospital procedure in any cases where children may need hospital treatment.

The nursery manager or selected staff member must:

  • Inform a member of the management team immediately
  • Call 999 for an ambulance immediately if the illness is severe. DO NOT attempt to transport the unwell child in your own vehicle**
  • Follow the instructions from the 999 call handler
  • Whilst waiting for the ambulance, a member of staff must contact the parent(s) and arrange to meet them at the hospital
  • Redeploy staff if necessary to ensure there is adequate staff deployment to care for the remaining children. This may mean temporarily grouping the children together
  • Arrange for the most appropriate member of staff to accompany the child taking with them any relevant information such as registration forms, relevant medication sheets, medication and the child’s comforter
  • Remain calm at all times. Children who witness an incident may well be affected by it and may need lots of cuddles and reassurance. Staff may also require additional support following the accident.

**If a child has an accident that may require hospital treatment but not an ambulance and you choose to transport children within staff vehicles Citation advise the following considerations:

  • Requesting permission from parents
  • Ratio requirements of the setting being maintained
  • The age and height of the child, in regards to whether they will need a car seat. Further guidance can be found at
  • There are some exceptions for needing a child seat depending on their age. Further guidance can be found at
  • When fitting the car seat, the individual has training in carrying in carrying this out
  • The transport is covered under business insurance and so there is business insurance on the vehicle
  • Safeguarding the child will be prioritised e.g. a designated member of staff will plan and provide oversight of all transporting arrangements and respond to any difficulties that may arise including emergency procedures, e.g. what happens if the child’s health begins to deteriorate during the journey
  • At least one adult additional to the driver will act as an escort. Staff will ensure that the transport arrangements and the vehicle meet all legal requirements. Staff will ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy and appropriately insured and that the maximum capacity is not exceeded
  • Wherever possible and practicable we will seek alternatives to transport in undertaken in private vehicles.

This policy will be reviewed at least annually in consultation with staff and parents and/or after a significant incident, e.g. serious illness and/or hospital visit required.

Exclusion Periods

Illness Exclusion period / treatment
Chicken Pox Five days from onset of rash and all the lesions have crusted over
Conjunctivitis We will make a courtesy call to you to recommend you get a GP appointment. Under 2’s eye drops must beprescribed. No exclusion with the correct medication.
Cold Sores No Exclusion


Croup Child should stay at home until they feel well enough to be back.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting 48 hours after the last bout of diarrhoea and vomiting.
Diphtheria Exclusion while treating, may be 2-3 weeks.
German Measles – Rubella An ill childshould remain out of nursery until 5 days from onset of rash.
Hand, Foot and Mouth Exclusion until blisters have crusted over as highly contagious.
Headlice We will make a courtesy call to you upon finding headlice to recommend you get treatment. No exclusion
Impetigo 48-hour exclusion period after first dose of prescribed treatment. Patches must have crusted over before returning
Influenza Children may return when they feel well enough.
Molluscum contagiosum No exclusion.


Mumps 5 days exclusion from onset of symptoms.
Ringworm Treatment must commence before return. No exclusion
Scabies Can return after first treatment, no exclusion
Scarlet Fever 24 hour exclusion period after first dose of antibiotics.
Shingles Exclusion only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered
Slap Cheek No exclusion – as long as the child feels well enough to return
Threadworm No exclusion, treatment is necessary
Whooping cough 5 days from commencement of antibiotics
Warts and Verruca’s No exclusion, verrucae should be covered. (Socks)


This policy was adopted on Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
31/10/2023 Chevelle White October 2024



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