6 Things Your Kids Are Likely to Bring Home from Daycare and How to Treat Them

Before you had your little one, you probably daydreamed of all the lovely things your future offspring would bring home to you after a day of learning and exploring at daycare – Mother’s Day cards, creative finger paintings, and other works of art that would fill your home. The last thing on your mind was likely all the bugs and illnesses they would bring home, and probably just as often as the cute crafts.

Most daycare centres are vigilant about disinfecting and making hygiene a priority, but the fact is daycare is inevitably a breeding ground for illness.

Your child will most likely bring home one of these icky things at some point, and the best thing you can do is be prepared.

Here are a few things you can expect to encounter:

Gastro Bugs

Gastroenteritis, commonly referred to simply as “gastro,” is an illness that affects the digestive tract. It is highly contagious, so typically, once one child in the centre has it, several will soon be impacted.

The main concern with gastro is dehydration, particularly for babies and young children.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of gastro include stomach pains, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fever, and general lethargy and feeling unwell.

How do you treat it?

Typically, gastro illness has to run its course because it is a virus. Keep your child hydrated and ensure they get plenty of rest.

You can also administer over-the-counter medicines to help with fever and nausea.

Skin Infections and Rashes

Unlike many other daycare illnesses, skin infections and rashes are not always contagious. They can be caused by a variety of viral infections and include things such as:

  • Fifth disease
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease
  • Impetigo

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of the above skin infections and rashes can be similar to the other illness on our list – fever, lethargy, and runny nose. However, you will also notice a rash appear on various parts of their body. Some might also be accompanied by blisters.

How do you treat it?

Avoid touching the rash and sores, and encourage your child to refrain from scratching them, if possible. Wash all clothes and bedding, and regularly bathe your child using a clean washcloth and fragrance-free soaps.

Acute Respiratory Illness

This is one of the most common illnesses among children. Most babies and children will suffer from several each year.

Acute respiratory illnesses encompass infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract. Some common respiratory tract illnesses are bronchitis, influenza, whooping cough, croup, and pneumonia.

What are the symptoms?

If your child is coughing, sneezing, and has a runny nose, they probably have some sort of acute respiratory illness.

How do you treat it?

Treatment will vary based on the identified illness. Common treatments include rest, keeping them well hydrated, and antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. When your child has an acute respiratory illness, it is important to monitor their symptoms, especially temperature, as this could indicate the illness has progressed.


Nobody likes the idea of a worm living inside their body. But because these worms – pinworms or threadworms – produce microscopic eggs, they can easily spread from person to person.

What are the symptoms?

Worms inhabit the intestines and around the anus, so symptoms can be an itchy bottom, irritability, loss of appetite, and disturbed sleep.

How do you treat it?

There is a specific worm treatment that should be given to the child and everyone else in the family.

Head Lice

Daycare is a prime breeding ground for head lice with blankets, napping cots, and endless dress-up clothes surrounding your child.

What are the symptoms?

If your child is having regular itching of their scalp, it is probably time to check for head lice.

How do we treat it?

You can purchase a conditioner and comb treatment or a chemical treatment from your local pharmacy.

Strep throat

Strep throat is an infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria and is common among kids ages 5 to 15.

What are the symptoms?

Your child might complain of a sore throat and feeling like they can’t swallow. But how you differ strep throat from the common cold is the presence of a sore throat but the lack of a runny or stuffy nose.

How do we treat it?

Strep throat can persist if not treated and, in some rare cases, can progress to something more serious. Your child should see a doctor and be tested so that antibiotics can be administered.

Prevention is Best

The best thing you can do for your child and others is help prevent the spread of germs in the first place.

Here are some preventative measures we recommend you encourage your child to adopt:

  • Wash your hands regularly :
    Hand washing should be a regular activity and should always be done before a meal, after using the restroom, after messy activities, and anytime in between, as necessary.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing :
    A tissue is ideal for this but is not always accessible, so encourage your child to practice covering their mouth when coughing. Instead of their hand, it is also good practice to cough into the crook of their arm or their shirt sleeve.
  • Don’t drink after people :
    Kids don’t fully grasp the concept of germs, and drinking after the child next to them typically doesn’t faze them. However, this is a fast and easy way for germs and illnesses to be spread. Encourage your child to stay focused on their food and drink during mealtime.

Get the Help You Need

As you will notice with most of the common illnesses, rest, hydration, and medicine – depending on what it is – are the best treatments. It is always recommended that you consult a doctor when your child is sick to identify what the illness is so you can properly treat it.

At 13CURE,serving patients round the clock is our passion. So, when your child does come home with something from daycare, we want to help get them on the fast track to feeling better.

Our medical team in Australia will come straight to you in the comfort of your own home to give your child the type of care they need. Find out more about us and how we can help you today.

Name: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin, General Practitioner

University Degree: MBBS, AMC

Bio: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin completed his studies from Univerisity of Health Sciences, Lahore Pakistan in 2008. He came to Australia in 2012 and has worked as a resident and GP in various hospitals and medical centres across Australia. He has a particular interest in men's health, travels medicine, chronic disease management, and general family medicine.