Nanny & Au Pair Health Care Series

There is a barrage of information aimed at consumers offering health care advice. Which sources should a nanny follow and which should a nanny ignore?

A prudent consumer is skeptical about claims made in advertising. But it is not always easy to discern advertising from pure reporting. Increasingly, ad agencies and public relations firms disguise advertising as ‘news’ in segments that are shown on local news broadcasts. These are best to ignore.

Everyone has advice. Friends, family, neighbors all have their remedies for most maladies. But they do not know the child as well as you do. Plus, they are not qualified to make a diagnosis or medical advice. So, they are likely to offer an unproven remedy for an unknown illness. Our thought: accept the advice graciously, but ignore it.

The internet is a prolific source of information relating to illnesses, drugs, and drug interactions. Unless you are certain that you can interpret the data and understand the terminology, you should probably ignore it.

As a nanny, it is your responsibility to respond to health problems of your charge in a calm informed manner. When the child has health complaints, the nanny cannot ignore it. Work with the pediatrician and parents to determine the correct treatment course.

Have you ever disagreed with treatment advice of the parents?


  1. I disagree with the over use of antibiotics. The mother constantly is asking me to take the child to the doctor and ask for antibiotics. The child has ear infections and the pediatrician has explained using antibiotics makes the child immune to them. I really think that’s what is going on.

  2. I disagreed with a single mother I worked for and her daughter’s asthma treatment. Problem was simply that the mother did NOT take the problem seriously enough. She would skip nebulizer treatments when I wasn’t working, allow her boyfriend to smoke around the daughter with asthma, and even allowed her to have a pet, all or which made her symptoms worse.The pediatrician would call the mother at work asking her to come to the hospital or the doctor’s office when I had to bring the daughter in for asthma but the mother stayed at work.It’s not that she didn’t love her daughter. She didn’t understand the severity of the issue. Nebulizer treatments were time consuming and difficult (daughter couldn’t have steriods in her eyes so we covered her eyes with bandanas)and I felt that the mom just didn’t take precautions and treatment seriously.Wisconsin Nanny

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