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Saturday, October 13, 2007

More Sick Days, Please.

Manufacturers Remove Drugs for Infant Cold - New York Times:
"A 1994 study found that more than a third of all 3-year-olds in the country were given over-the-counter cough and cold preparations in one 30-day span."

Notice it doesn't say how many of these kids attend day care? That's because
(1)there's a big movement going on against parents being able to take time off work to care for their kids (not just by businesses, but by single workers as well) and
(2)they don't want you to know that daycares are breeding grounds for germs---I worked in one for over 6 yrs.

You'd be surprised how many of those kids come in dosed with meds to mask symptoms until after the parents were gone for a few hours...then suddenly we'd have a kid with a high fever, or green snot, or coughing up a fit--because the parent's couldn't take the time off work, not that they wouldn't have just that they couldn't.


"There is little evidence that cough and cold medicines are effective in young children, and there are increasing fears that they may be dangerous. From 1969 to 2006, at least 45 children died in the United States after taking decongestants, and 69 died after taking antihistamines, according to the F.D.A. Many children were sickened after they were mistakenly given too much — either because parents failed to realize that products from two makers contained identical medicines or because parents had given improper amounts. "

Yep, user error. Thier little bodies don't work the same as ours....the checks-and-balances that protect us aren't developed enough in their bodies so any little error could be live threatening.

I can remember having one of the kids with a really bad cold when they were younger and having the dr's "guess" a dosage for them---they were very honest though and said that tests for these meds are not done on kids under 6yrs old because the FDA doesn't allow it.

So all the info on kids younger than 6 yrs old are just "guesstimates"....they don't know....because they aren't allowed by their own rules to do the tests needed to find out--all they can do is look at the numbers and...guess.

Now the side effect of this is---daycares, at least those around here, are not allowed to take kids who have any one or combination of the folloowing:

1.fevers over 100*F (before meds)

2.excessively runny noses or colored discharge from the nose

3.had a loose bm with in the last 24 hrs

4.vomited within the last 24 hrs.

All this plus they can't return to the daycare until after the child is no longer contagious....here is the sticky part.

Drs tend to tell people "its just a virus, they can go back to school" whenever they can't find an answer for what's wrong....its not strep, its just a virus...so off the kid goes back to the daycare; or if they DO get meds, its very rarely that the dr's will tell the parents how long the kids need to be out of school/daycare so many parents assume that it is just 24 hrs after they start the meds--but its often more than that.

All this leads up to...daycares, and schools in general, are petridishes....if you only knew how many kids get meds and never call or let the school know that their kid was out for strep....or that they went in over the weekend and got meds because the dosages happen to work outside of the school day. This means that while "jr" was in class he was spreading germs to "sally", who was exposed and took them home to baby "grace" who now has strep which can easily turn into scarlet fever if left unchecked for too long (and depending on the child this could be as little as 8 hrs).

Oops tangented again.....this all leads to more parents calling into their works asking for time off to stay home to care for them...dropping productivity and making it less likely for companies to hire someone with a family....putting more families at risk for losing their wages.....putting more families onto welfare....putting more families on decreased incomes....putting more families in the foreclosure/eviction mess....putting more families in the shelters & food lines....

we can't win.

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