Few daycares accept ill children

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - As the number of H1N1 cases continue to rise, one Birmingham daycare is seeing a boost in business.

The Huggs and Kisses Daycare in downtown Birmingham is one of the few establishments that accepts sick kids, and owner Dr. Jacqueline Stewart says her phones have been ringing off the hook with concerned parents.

Dr. Stewart and her staff of nurses place kids in rooms depending on their conditions, and monitor them constantly. She says as more sick kids come in they are taking extra precautions to keep things clean.

"We do universal precautions," said Dr. Stewart, "We do plenty of hand sanitizer, we teach children how to wash their hands, and we are washing our hands constantly."

Dr. Stewart said the best advice for parents is to keep their kids out of school if they start experiencing flu-like symptoms.

"The newest recommendations on returning to school is 24 hours without fever, without fever medicine," said Dr. Stewart, "because with long acting fever medicine, they can go a good while without fever."

Christy Richardson said it was a relief to be able to bring her two sick kids to a place where they would receive excellent care.

"To know that I can bring my children somewhere to be safe, to be taken care of, like I would take care of them, it gave me peace of mind," said Richardson.

Dr. Stewart said she expects business to stay strong through the remainder of the traditional flu season.