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  #1  
Old 01-24-2010, 08:24 PM
Angela
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Default Daycare Withheld Health Related Information

I came across this site when searching for PA's guidelines and thought this would be an excellent place to post my question/concern. My two-year-old son recently attended a local YMCA Child Care Center two days a week. I work from home, so I took him two days for socialization. About two months ago he developed a rash. The doctors thought it was a contact allergy, and we went through the whole ordeal - changing soaps, rewashing all clothing, bedding, etc. multiple times with no fabric softener, different detergent, tried topical itch creams, eliminated foods, even went so far as to bug bomb our home because we thought perhaps we had a flea problem we were unaware of. Nothing helped. Five trips to the doctor.

Right before Christmas I called the director and left a voicemail stating that I would not be bringing my son until after the new year because he continued to have this terrible rash that would not go away. A few days later I dropped by to take some cookies for the staff for Christmas, when one of the workers told me that there had been two children with scabies a few weeks prior. I immediately took my child to the doctor, got treatment to do that night, and within 24 hours we began to notice improvement. I never received a call from the director letting me know about the other children with scabies even after I informed her about my son's rash. To this day, we would still possibly be wondering what this terrible rash is because it is very difficult to diagnose - it closely mimics many common skin conditions.

The facility finally sent a notice to other parents after we called and insisted. We did find out that scabies is not considered a reportable disease in PA so the facility can't get a regulatory violation for not informing parents. My question is, did this director not have some sort of obligation to public health when I told her about my son's rash and she purposely withheld this pertinent information? And what kind of person would want to intentionally let a child continue to suffer like that? My son was itching until he literally had blood running down his legs. Now, they refuse to meet with us to discuss the matter, I have withdrawn my child, but we are still dealing with this nightmare - been to two dermatologists, treated our entire family, even my two month old infant (after he developed symptoms indicating that he had contracted scabies) who had an adverse reaction to the cream and developed a more severe rash. The cream used to treat it is a pesticide - which has been linked to cancer. I don't want to have to put this cream on my children again, but we're not sure it's gone. What recourse do I possibly have? I don't really want to sue them or anything - my primary concern is making sure no other child, and no other family, has to go through what we've gone through. We've been dealing with this for nearly three months now, and it's terrible. And I don't understand why they would want someone else to go through this - but all they will say is, "We were within our guidelines." Anyone have any insight?
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:19 AM
jen jen is offline
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First, I'm sorry you have had to deal with all of this. As a daycare provider, I can't imagine not informing everyone regardless of what is or is not considered a reportable condition. That said...

I don't think that there is anything you can do to force the facility to change unless you find a way to get the licensing agency to change the policy on reportable conditions. You may be able to the YMCA to adopt a policy that is excess of the state regulations but it will have to be at a corporate level as opposed to a facility level.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:02 AM
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mamajennleigh mamajennleigh is offline
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Default Ugh!

Regardless of what is or is not a "reportable" illness, this daycare had an ethical obligation to tell you there was a case/cases of scabies in the daycare, especially if they knew you were dealing with a similar rash on your son! I am sure there were conversations between you and the workers regarding not being able to figure out what the rash was from, etc. At any time, they could have cleared the entire matter up by telling you (or asking the director to tell you) what they had already experienced. It would have saved you months of pain and expense.

My sons contracted scabies from a daycare, and I can tell you that by the time that nasty rash made it's way through our family, I thought we would all go insane from the itching.

They should have told you, plain and simple, whether they were required to or not. Scabies is very easily treated and rarely recurs when the proper treatment of the skin and the proper washing of linens and pillows and things is done. It's easy to contract and is not that much of a big deal, so I can't imagine why they wouldn't just tell you?
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:02 AM
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I really hate to say this because I can't stand sue happy people but I feel the only way to really "wake them up" to the SERIOUSNESS is to file an injury claim against them. If it was in their guidelines there is nothing the state will due. The agency will continue to with hold information and find it appropriate to do. Getting hit with an injury lawsuit could force them to change company policy even though state wont change it. Once they have to implement these changes I am sure they will rally for the state to change so they are not the only ones being forced to make changes.

I don't have to report common illnesses, only contagious virus, but I even tell my parents when there is a child with the stomach bug. It is their choice if they want their child exposed and they should know its possibly comming. It comes down to ethics and integrity.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:00 AM
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Just because they do not have to report it to the health department/licensing, does not mean they do not have to report it to parents. Scabies is the same as head lice, except it is on the body. They are required to report it to parents. If I were you, I'd make sure all of the other parents know.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
Just because they do not have to report it to the health department/licensing, does not mean they do not have to report it to parents. Scabies is the same as head lice, except it is on the body. They are required to report it to parents. If I were you, I'd make sure all of the other parents know.
Agreed- At least in MN if it is on the state exclusion guideline (which scabies is) you need to notify parents of possible exposure. Rules for centers or in other states may be different.... No home daycare would want scabies running around and getting brought back in the daycare- just like head lice everyone needs notified and checked, then checked again, and all areas, bedding etc need cleaned both at home and in the center.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:56 PM
Angela
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Well, I'm glad to hear that everyone else feels as though we should have been informed. Makes me feel like I'm not crazy, at least. I think the guidelines in PA must be different - both the Department of Health and Dept. of Public Welfare said they didn't make any violations by not informing the parents. Yes, I did take it upon myself to tell everyone I knew and asked them to tell all the other parents they knew, as well. Now, I'm the bad guy as far as the daycare is concerned, because I made a big stink out of nothing, because they didn't violate any regulations.

One parent I know came out and asked if any other kids had a rash, because her son had an unusual rash, and they told her no - it was during this same time frame. So I asked the regulatory agencies I spoke with about this, and they basically said, yes, they can lie to you about it if they don't feel like telling you. I'm at a loss. I had no idea, and I don't think most other parents realize what a daycare can get away with hiding from parents. You just don't know what you're not being informed about, when you take your kids there in good faith that you'll be informed of any information that could relate to health or well-being. It's just insane. Luckily, I work from home so I'm able to keep him here with me - at this point, I'd hesitate to take him to ANY daycare in this state.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:36 PM
Janet
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Default I keep my bulletin board updated...

I put up a note anytime that anyone in my care gets anything more serious than a cold, just because I want them to bee aware of any illnesses that are circulating. This helps too because the parents can't say that they didn't know that strep throat was going around, or whatever illness it might be. Also, I speak to the families in person and keep everyone updated. I also put up a list of symptoms and I reiterate my illness policy. Seems to help a little. It's bullcrap that a daycare wouldn't tell the families about scabies! That is unreal. I would be absolutely livid. I understand how some illness can go undetected but scabies seems like it would be fairly obvious to notice.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela View Post
Well, I'm glad to hear that everyone else feels as though we should have been informed. Makes me feel like I'm not crazy, at least. I think the guidelines in PA must be different - both the Department of Health and Dept. of Public Welfare said they didn't make any violations by not informing the parents. Yes, I did take it upon myself to tell everyone I knew and asked them to tell all the other parents they knew, as well. Now, I'm the bad guy as far as the daycare is concerned, because I made a big stink out of nothing, because they didn't violate any regulations.

One parent I know came out and asked if any other kids had a rash, because her son had an unusual rash, and they told her no - it was during this same time frame. So I asked the regulatory agencies I spoke with about this, and they basically said, yes, they can lie to you about it if they don't feel like telling you. I'm at a loss. I had no idea, and I don't think most other parents realize what a daycare can get away with hiding from parents. You just don't know what you're not being informed about, when you take your kids there in good faith that you'll be informed of any information that could relate to health or well-being. It's just insane. Luckily, I work from home so I'm able to keep him here with me - at this point, I'd hesitate to take him to ANY daycare in this state.

This does not sound accurate to me. When I have some time, I'll do a little bit of research for you. I would NOT let them get away with this.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:26 AM
Angela
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If you do find anything helpful, please let me know! I don't want to let them get away with it, but it seems like I have nothing left to do. I also thought it sounded rather strange that a daycare could lie to parents about their own kids, but that's what they told me. For what it's worth, I think PA in general is a little behind the curve when it comes to things like this. But, yes, please if anyone has any ideas for how I can pursue this, I'd be happy to hear them!
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2010, 07:52 AM
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Default Getting the word out about Scabies and Daycare

Although the daycare your child attended may have acted within legal guidelines, it's quite clear that they acted unethically. Since they apparently broke no law, you have no legal recourse BUT it seems to me you could contact local news journalists with your story. I would think whomever covers consumer affairs/human interest stories would be VERY interested. Just be certain the daycare can't sue YOU for slander (though I would think it would be up to the journalist covering the story to fact-check thereby making her/him liable more than you).

Good Luck!
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