The hegemony of daycare

I have only been a pediatrician in practice for a few years, so I am unable to comment with authority on the social trends that append to raising children. But there is a phenomenon I have noticed that I find utterly and completely baffling, and I wonder how long it has existed.

When did daycares get so bloody powerful? And paranoid, for that matter?

I cannot even begin to describe the cavalcade of frustrated and bemused parents that have been forced to schlep their patently healthy children in for evaluation because they have been directed to by their daycare providers. The parents know there is nothing wrong with their child, but are not allowed to return them to daycare until they get a note from a doctor stating that they are free of illness.

HIPAA prevents me from giving the details that would hammer my point home. Suffice it to say that there is no scrape too small or sniffle too insignificant to warrant a mandated visit. If one kid in the daycare has been diagnosed with something, any kid with a whisper of a hint of a related symptom needs to be seen pronto, which means mom or dad has to leave work, and then wait around my office until I can say that their little one is fine. Which they already knew.

Has it been ever thus? Is this new? Is this just a Maine thing? Because man, as much as I like being gainfully employed, it sure is a silly way of racking up healthcare costs.

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