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Is your child feeling under the weather? Bearly Sick can help.

Family Health
Jan 8, 2019

St. Joseph’s/Candler childcare program tends to mildly ill children who can’t go to school or daycare

With a 7-year-old in second grade and 3-year-old twins in daycare, it’s not unusual for someone to be sick in Christina Head’s household. Luckily for Christina, there’s a program at St. Joseph’s/Candler that can help out so Christina doesn’t have to miss work.

BearlySick HeadkidsBearly Sick is a childcare program for mildly ill children that allows parents to drop off their child and go to work. It is open to anyone and staffed by full-time, certified patient care technicians.

Christina, who works at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion, has used Bearly Sick too many times to count, especially with the twins, she says. For example, when they were teething, they ran a fever. The daycare Christina uses doesn’t differentiate between a teething fever and an infection fever; therefore, they couldn’t go to daycare until they were fever free for 24 hours.

“That’s when Bearly Sick comes in,” Christina says. “I’ve had many times where I would have had to take the day off, but being we have this service, I’ve been able to work. It’s been wonderful for our family.”

Christina’s children love Bearly Sick just as much. The twins, Amelia and Anderson, will tell Christina, ‘My tummy hurts. I need to see Ms. Glenda,’ or make up other reasons to go to Bearly Sick. Ms. Glenda is the patient care technician who’s worked at Bearly Sick for more than six years.

“Ms. Glenda is the best person for the job,” Christina says. “The twins love their daycare, but they also want to go to work with mommy and see Ms. Glenda.”

More about Bearly Sick

At Bearly Sick, children receive special attention for minor illnesses that force them to miss daycare or school, such as cold, allergies, fevers less than 101 degrees or infections for which the child has received antibiotics over the previous 24 hours.

“Bearly Sick allows parents to go to work knowing that their child will be cared for by a trained professional,” says Angela Strickland, RN, nurse at the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital.

Bearly Sick is for children ages 3 months to 14 years of age. Meals and snacks are provided, Strickland says. The daycare-like setting allows for plenty of room to rest when a child doesn’t feel well. There also are plenty of engagement opportunities when a child is feeling better including arts and crafts, toys, games and television.

Christina has recommended Bearly Sick several times and encourages any parent to take advantage of the program, whether they are an employee of St. Joseph’s/Candler or not.

“I feel very blessed to work for an organization that has this service. Many people don’t have paid time off available through their jobs or accrued time off and have concerns about missing work when their child is sick,” Christina says. “I think this is such a wonderful service that the hospital offers to their employees and the general public.”

Bearly Sick is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., except on holidays. It is located at Candler Hospital on the Pediatric Unit (5North). Registration is required by calling Bearly Sick at 912-819-7382, during business hours, or calling 912-819-6215 after hours. Immunization records are required.

Cost is $24 a day for the general public and St. Joseph’s/Candler co-workers. It’s free for members of the Savannah Business Group.

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