Having a professional nanny working in your home comes with many benefits. One of these is not having to call into your job sick every time your child is sick. Many nannies are willing to care for sick children which allows the parents to not have to take extra sick days. While this is definitely a benefit it comes with certain details and parameters that need to be discussed. It is good to discuss how sick children will be handled during the interview process. If you did not go over this during that time, take the time to talk it over with your nanny now. There are some basic things to consider for all parties involved.
If you discover that your child is sick in the morning let your nanny know right away. She may choose to take extra precautions such as vitamins, immune boosting blends, and even bringing a mask to wear to work to avoid getting sick herself. Even if it is a simple cold it is respectful to inform your nanny so that she can be prepared. Take your child’s temperature and look at symptoms to see if this looks like a common cold or something more. Your nanny may need to take your sick child to the doctor. Make sure that you have planned for this by giving her any information that she will need as well as giving the doctor’s office any release papers or forms required for a non-family member to assume responsibility for care. If staying home is something that you as the parent are choosing to do consider letting your nanny stay home. It can get tough with both of you trying to help and care for a sick child. You also risk the chance of both of you becoming ill. If staying home works for you it is best if possible, to let your nanny stay clear of the germs. If you have other children and need your nanny’s assistance decide who will handle what, and who is in charge of which kids that day. Perhaps your nanny will tend to the other children and their daily activities while you care for your sick child or vice versa. Have a plan in place in the morning so that each person knows what to expect and focus on during the day.
If you as the parent are going to work and leaving your sick child with the nanny double check that her emergency contact list is up to date. Be available to take her calls during your work day as much as possible in the event the child becomes more ill and your nanny needs to speak with you. When your child is sick that fully becomes the focus for your nanny. Be understanding if some chores are not finished and the day is not as routine. Give your nanny permission for this to be a relaxed day. Your child will best heal with proper rest. Favorite television programs and movies are the way to go on a day like this. If you have some supplements that you take to prevent getting sick on hand in the house it is a kind gesture to offer them to your nanny if she would like to partake. Leave out Lysol wipes or cleaning products of your choice so that she can wipe down the counters and common areas. Taking proactive steps to avoid the whole household getting sick is a great thing to do.
While having a nanny can make having a sick child much easier for the working parent there are some times when you will absolutely need to let your nanny stay home while you care for your sick little one. If your child has the flu, a stomach bug, and is otherwise highly contagious you will need to take this seriously. It would not be fair or wise to let your nanny come to work under these circumstances. This could easily be passed on to her and should be avoided. Follow the doctors’ orders on care, medication, and how long your child is contagious. Contact your nanny and let her know what is going on before she comes to work and ask her to stay home. Once your child is on the mend take the time to disinfect before inviting your nanny back to work.
Open communication, consideration, and having a plan in place for times of illness will go a long way in keeping these days running smoothly!
By: Anne-Marie Ferraro