Resources for Child Care Givers
Provided by All Family Resources

Editors List Spanish books.
Site Index  
Facts Index  
Shigellosis in the Child Care Setting


Shigellosis is a diarrheal illness caused by the Shigella group of bacteria. Infection is spread by the fecal-oral route. Only a few bacteria are needed to cause an infection and, unlike many of the diarrheal agents in child care settings, shigella may spread through groups of children who are toilet trained as well as through groups of children who are in diapers.

Depending on the infectious dose, infection with shigella may be very mild or it may result in severe bloody diarrhea, fever, cramping, nausea and vomiting. Numerous outbreaks have been reported from child care settings. Children may spread infections acquired in child care facilities to their parents and siblings and whole families may be ill within a matter of days. Deaths have been reported from this illness and it is one of the more serious infections providers are likely to encounter in the child care setting.

If you suspect a case of shigellosis in your child care facility: Contact your state or local health department. Prompt intervention may help prevent the spread of shigellosis to others and your health department should be in a position to give assistance and advice. Exclude the ill child and any children who subsequently develop diarrhea from child care until they no longer have diarrhea and have been shown to be free of the shigella bacteria. In many areas, public health regulations require proof that an infected person is no longer excreting shigella bacteria before they can return to their normal activities. Your health department should be able to tell you when infected persons can return to child care. Make sure all children and adults use careful handwashing and that staff are practicing good diapering practices. Make sure procedures for cleaning and disinfecting toys are being followed; that toys are being cleaned and disinfected between use by children who are likely to put them in their mouths, especially in groups where there have been ill children. Notify parents of children in the involved classroom of the illness, ask that they have any child with diarrhea, vomiting or severe cramping evaluated by a physician and that they inform you of diarrheal illness in their child and family. Explain to them the value of handwashing with soap and running water in stopping the spread of infection in the home. In the event of an outbreak, your health department may recommend a more extensive notification of parents.

Note: This information is not intended to take the place of your state's or locality's child care regulations and laws. In every case, the laws and regulations of the city, county, and state in which the child care facility is located must be carefully followed even if they differ from these recommendations.

All Family Resources
Children / Teens
Family Law
Aging / Seniors
Health / Fitness
Parents / Parenting
Money / Investing
En Espanol / In Spanish
Small Business
For the Spirit
Nutrition / Recipies

Copyright 1999 All Family Resources. All rights reserved.
Terms of use