Tips to spot bad daycare!!!Mommy alert..
Today we are again being disturbed with the news of a 2 month old baby who passed away in a day care Putrajaya.
The statistic of cases involving Putrajaya's daycare is alarmingly high.
Despite being the administrative city.
Being a Putrajaya's citizen myself, I tend to be very cautious.
One could say daycare/baby sitter phobic if ever such a word exists.
Yes I made a career choice to suit my baby.
It was the biggest decision of my life.
I took a job which was flexible so that I could take my baby to work until I found a neighbour who was willing to care for my baby.
It was a struggling 10 months.
However, now that she is not around with me at work, I do miss her.
Still, I know that she is well taken care and well loved by the family.
That give me peace and ability to concentrate at work.
There are so many cases in daycare here that I have encountered myself through my patients.
I even wrote in previous entries how the baby's neck was tied and she had nail cut marks on the legs.
You can click under the label 'bad taska' and the title is "Are they treating our children well in taska?"
So here are the things that we parents should consider or be suspicious about a daycare centre:
1)First thing, does my baby's behavior changed? If my always so happy baby suddenly became moody, too quiet or such a cry baby, I would like to investigate more.
Why the sudden change.
Don't assume your babies don't know anything.
After all they are born geniuses.
A baby or a child might not tell you things in words but she reacts to her surroundings and the people around her very well.
A happy baby doesn't cry that long wail which goes on for hours.
The cry can be when you drop her off or picking her up.
I have even being told my patient that her child would cry when she sees even the babysitter's house.
She cannot talk yet but she would cry violently if she even sees the rooftop.
I advised the mother to be extra cautious because based on my observation and stories from patients, they usually ignored their children's warning until they were too late.
So it doesn't hurt at all to be extra suspicious.
p/s:If my baby hates a place eventhough nothing was wrong with anyone, I will not force her to be there.
Just because she can't demand her ways, and her needs don't suit mine, I would force her.
Imagine if I was forced to be somewhere which scares me or I hate such as in prison.
And there is nothing that I can do about it.
Look at your child's face and think would you do that to her?
When Isabella suddenly became too quiet, zombie like everytime I visited her in daycare (staring at the ceiling oblivious to surrounding), I became suspicious.
I observed her behavior every time I picked her up.
She is such an active baby, such a talker, and there is no way she would stay put.
But there she was refusing to crawl at 6 months old.
Just staring at the ceiling.
I sensed, she wasn't happy.
My baby became quiet for 2 weeks that I sent her there.
She didn't throw tantrum but more like accepting her fate.
2)Check her weight.
I weighted Isabella almost daily or you can do it as you think necessary.
A happy and well taken care baby will not start losing weight if she is not sick.
Isabella lost weight then.
I asked the baby sitter if she was eating and drinking well.
I received a reply that she was eating very well.
I kindly told her 'Yeke?Sebab dia tak berak dan badan turun sket'.
I didn't mean it bad at all as I even arranged my sentence so that it would sound polite.
I received a snap rudely 'Taklah. Saya tengok sama saja'.
Lady, you think I would make up a story?I am a doctor and a weighing scale is with me all the time.
And I am her mother so I know everything about her.
3)Does she poop?
A baby who eats and drinks enough will poop daily.
So if she doesn't investigate.
Isabella didn't poop for a week until I was on leave and started caring for her myself.
Kids and babies come to me with diaper rash all the time.
Some rash was so thick that it turned blue.
The baby was such in pain that everytime she pees she would shiver and her body shook.
4)Tick/fleas or bugs bite.
This is so famous.
I get babies coming to the clinic because of so many bites all over her body.
Obviously they were not rashes or skin disease as the parents thought it was initially.
When I pointed out, they agreed that the marks disappeared when their baby stayed with them during the holiday.
The first day that they sent her back, she came back with new marks.
I told them to advise the sitters to wash all linen.
5)Rashes on the body.
Heat rash maybe.
Your baby might be sensitive to heat and she developped heat rash a lot.
Remind your babysitter about this and monitor the rash.
Babies shouldn't be overheated.
Cream should be applied regularly as well.
6)She comes back with some infectious disease such as acute gastroenteritis (AGE).
This is highly contagious especially amongst children.
Either the food preparation wasn't hygienic or the babysitters don't practice proper hand wash.
Your baby might get infected from other kids as well if they are mixed with sick kid or if no proper hand washing was practised amongst babysitters.
To me infection control is very important.
There are outbreak of chicken pox, hand foot and mouth, conjunctivitis and AGE all the time in daycare to the extend several daycare centres have to temporarily be closed.
Check your kids body for marks daily.
I remember everything about Isabella.
So new rashes come out, I will know.
Check for body mark and sign of abuse.
Sometimes your kid might get bruises here and there and that could be because he or she is so active.
You can accept the explaination.
However if it happens so often and set off your alarm, just be cautious.
It is better to be overly cautious than to have regrets.
After all my baby is my number one priority.
I am allowed to go overly protective.
8)Listen to your older child. I had a patient who sent 2 kids to the same daycare centre.
One a baby and the older child was a 3 year old boy.
Once they found a stranggling mark around the baby's neck, they asked the brother what happened.
After coercion, he confessed that 'teacher tied baby's neck'.
So, always get your older child to tell stories about teachers and babysitters.
You will know more about your kids' daily activities like this.
9)Choose a daycare which allows you to visit each room and drop by anytime.
Inspect the place to make sure no danger lurking somewhere.
Drop by whenever you can to see your baby and to observe.
Until you developped trust.
10)Have a chat with the owner of the daycare and babysitters to know their characters and personalities.
Preferably soft, gentle, loving ladies to take care of the children.