Alternative child care center will look after sick kids

Alternative child care center will look after sick kids

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Hugs & Kisses. Source: WBRC video Hugs & Kisses. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It's an issue for working moms and dads everywhere: how to balance your job workload with staying at home with a sick child. Thankfully there's a special child care center that can help lift that burden.

Today actually marks the 22nd anniversary since Hugs & Kisses opened with the goal of serving kids and keeping parents at work.

It's no secret the flu has hit early this year with a vengeance, including among children, and caring for sick kids can put parents in a bind with their jobs as one mother explained Thursday.

"She told us her child was diagnosed with the flu yesterday but she took her back today because she had not been on her job long and needed to go to work," Jacqueline Stewart said.

It's was a story Stewart would hear often in her pediatric practice.

"I started seeing parents who were saying, 'If my child gets one more earl infection...no vacation time,'" she said. "So I started looking for a resource for those parents."

That was 22 years ago. Today, Hugs & Kisses remains open as an alternative care center for children who are mildly ill. That includes anything from the flu, to diarrhea, or just a common cold.

"We have an RN at the center...specially trained staff who can recognize symptoms, worsening symptoms, improving symptoms," Stewart said.

There are separate rooms for different type illnesses and staff stays in their individual rooms as to not cross contaminate children. Dr. Stewart says the goal is to provide parents with safe alternatives that won't cost them sick or vacation days.

"Because we'll be doing the same stuff you'll be doing at home except you can go to work now," Stewart said.

Hugs & Kisses is for kids ages 6 weeks to 15 years. It's $45 dollars a day or $115 for three days. They can be reached at 205-324-8447 Dr. Stewarts says there are numerous employers in the Birmingham area that have a contract with Hugs and Kissess so it may cost even less.

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