Say it isn’t so. This couldn’t have happened at a daycare in the house of the Lord. A daycare in Ohio is under investigation and facing a lawsuit filed by parents for allegations that the workers gave children an over the counter medicine in candy to make the children nap.

The police sent a letter to parents as well as called each parent to let them know about the investigation. The medicine, a sleep supplement, melatonin, was allegedly given to the children to help them sleep during the center’s regular naptime. The letter recommended that parents contact the Poison Control Center or their family pediatrician to inquire about the effects of the drug. According to the Mayo clinic website, it is thought that if the drug is taken for more than 2 months the side effects may be harmful.

Although according to news reports, the two workers believed responsible were fired, this is just disheartening. After all, many parents, especially moms, struggle each day with the conflict about whether to leave their children in the care of others and to hear something like this makes that decision even more difficult.

If you are a parent and you’re considering whether to put your child in a daycare center or someone else’s care consider the following:


1. Are they licensed? Is it a national center or a home location? Although licensing isn’t a 100% proof method to ensure nothing like this ever happens, it does ensure that at least minimum standards are implemented by the person you’re entrusting your children to. Also consider a national center such as KinderCare, Tutor time, etc. Although the quality of care varies by location, at least a national center will also have some minimum standards for its locations or franchisees to abide by.


2. Ask for referrals and speak to current parents of the center. When my kids were younger and in daycare, I would wait outside the daycare center of places I was considering and ask parents entering and leaving their thoughts about the particular center. This allowed parents to speak freely about the center out of earshot or view of the center employees.


3. Google the center. Now there are so many sites that discuss daycare centers that you would be amazed what you can find about a particular center. Many of those sites also allow for parent comments and I would read them carefully.

4. Ask for insurance. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for proof of insurance. This to me is an important component because it shows the center recognizes that it has serious obligations with respect to your child.

5. Take your child with you to visit the center. How does he or she interact with the staff and other children? Do you get a good feeling about the center?

6. Learn about the staff. Trying to judge if staff is qualified and caring can be difficult but ask some preliminary questions. What’s your turnover rate? How long has each staff member been there? What are the requirements for the lead classroom staff? Are degrees required or a high school diploma sufficient?


7. Stimulating curriculum. What’s the curriculum? Do they encourage active play with your kids or is there a lot of nap and inactive time?


What do you think? Do you have other tips or suggestions for parents who have kids in or may need to put in daycare? Has anything this ridiculous happened at your daycare or a daycare your kids use to go to?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Kim

I just joined the group and read your piece just now.. So horrible! I am so thankful that I have am able to watch my grands until the age of 3. By then, they were able to talk really well and could share their day with us. Now, after reading this, I don't know! The kids would not know the candy was drugged! How distressing to hear of this, but, it does make ya think.

Irene
Hi Kim, so timely that you wrote this. I have been reading alot about the the natural supplement melatonin. Problem is that because you can get it from a health food shop, over the counter at the pharmacist, there is no standard or regulated dosage.

As you mentioned, more than 2 months is scary. Anything with young children should be in moderation really. I have heard of parents that have sworn by it to help get their children into a routine when they have been poor sleepers, but even at that doctors usually recommend that they be at minimum 5 years old. The scary thing with these melatonin supplements is that parents are buying it for themselves and then giving them to their kids without a second thought.

What I take away from this is:
1 - disgraceful that the daycare workers were doing this without parent consent. Your tips for choosing a center are spot on
2 - a warning to parents, just cause something is meant to be "natural" or a "supplement" think twice and get advice before administering it to your children. Especially if you the parent was the original intended recipient
Well said Ghada!

Ghada ~Girlstoysrevue said:
Hi Kim, so timely that you wrote this. I have been reading alot about the the natural supplement melatonin. Problem is that because you can get it from a health food shop, over the counter at the pharmacist, there is no standard or regulated dosage.

As you mentioned, more than 2 months is scary. Anything with young children should be in moderation really. I have heard of parents that have sworn by it to help get their children into a routine when they have been poor sleepers, but even at that doctors usually recommend that they be at minimum 5 years old. The scary thing with these melatonin supplements is that parents are buying it for themselves and then giving them to their kids without a second thought.

What I take away from this is:
1 - disgraceful that the daycare workers were doing this without parent consent. Your tips for choosing a center are spot on
2 - a warning to parents, just cause something is meant to be "natural" or a "supplement" think twice and get advice before administering it to your children. Especially if you the parent was the original intended recipient
I have been a preschool teacher for 11 years.
It hurts me to the heart to hear about all these incedents at childcare centers but the truth is you have to love children to do this job. you have to love what you do. Its hard to gage if someone truly belongs in a child care center. I've seen and worked with the most amazing teachers in the business, but there are people out there that see the children as simply a paycheck. Its unacceptable! the stress of this job is unmeasureable, but there is no excuse for neglect or abuse! being fired is not enough they should go to jail.
sadly, I'm leaving the profession...It's a thankless job and its time for me to move on.
That is just sad and tragic.
OMGoodness!! I can believe this!! I don't know why...some ppl are cruel and heartless. Those babies could've DIED! I've never wanted to leave my girls in a daycare...so I left my oldest with a "church member" when she was small...only to find out she was taking her food and diapers to use for her grandson who was the same age as my daughter. She was soaking we EVERYTIME I picked her up. And cried EVERYTIME I left her. Before I could get her out of there...the church member decided to close her daycare. I was going to report her...and became conflicted because we were "sisters-in-Christ"...so I never did. Just gave her a serious piece of my mind...and made things some things extremely "clear" to her.

So when I had the chance to be w/my youngest...and stay home...I did. It hasn't been easy living on one -income, but God has provided...and I will continue to stay with my youngest...until...oh...just...until. lol

This is a major reason why I'm not sending my son to daycare. Aside from me having seperation anxiety, I would not rest until their demise! My cousin owns a daycare and that still doesn't make me comfortable. Here I am being worried that my son would crawl into the path of a clorox bottle because of unsupervision and the supervision is the problem.

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