Teachers of infants and toddlers come in contact with a variety of bodily fluids on a daily basis. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that they be trained in ways to protect their own health and the health of the children in their care. ~Early Childhood News
Proper sanitation and procedures can go a long way in preventing the spread of diseases and illness in Early Childhood Classrooms and Child Care Centers. Procedures can be put into place for handling everything from scrapes and cuts to snacks and foods.
Choosing A Center That Works To Prevent And Contain Disease In Early Childhood Settings
Parents can help spread awareness by factoring in “sick child policies” when choosing a center for their children.
In many child care programs, as well as public and private schools, parents are contacted right away when their child shows signs of even a mild illness, like a cold. In others, a child is allowed to stay at the facility as long as he doesn’t have a fever and can take part in most activities. Either way, be certain that the school or caregiver has a way to reach you at all times—make your phone numbers at home and work available, as well as your cell phone number.
In many child care facilities and schools, the staff simply cannot care for a sick child, although in others, the child is kept comfortable in a separate area so a cold, a cough, or diarrhea doesn’t spread throughout the facility. In these programs, a staff member is trained to care for ill children, often in a “get-well room” where they won’t pass the disease to others. ~HealthyChildren.org
Great childcare centers understand that parents often have work demands, but will look at the implications of illness on all involved to make the best decision.
A child can become ill whether in child care or at home. However, when an illness occurs among a group of children, the situation becomes more complicated. The parent of a child who becomes ill is sure to feel torn between the demands of employment and the lack of alternatives for the child’s care during the time he or she is sick. However, the facility must decide what implications a child’s illness may have for all parties, including the other children in care, the caregivers, and the other members of the children’s families. ~PreventingIllnessInChildCareSettings, BCHealthPlanning
Important Factors Include:
- Handwashing procedures for staff and children
- Gloves and protective wear when handling bodily fluids
- Disinfecting toys and surfaces (many states have formulas that are required to be used)
Handwashing sounds so basic, but it can be huge in preventing disease in early childhood!
Soap + water = Cleaner bill of health and disease prevention in children
Children who got handwashing promotion reached developmental milestones 6 months earlier than those who did not.
Children whose families were exposed to nine months of a handwashing promotion tended to score better across five areas of development… ~CenterForDiseaseControlAndPrevention
According to the CDC, those five areas of development included Cognitive, Communication, Motor, Personal-Social, and Adaptive. How’s that for some simple soap and water!
“Children gathering in schools is one of the main ways germs circulate in communities,” says Athena P. Kourtis, MD, PhD, MPH, a pediatrician and author of Keeping Your Child Healthy in a Germ-Filled World.
- Children’s immune systems are less mature than those of adults, so they’re more susceptible to germs.
- At school, kids are in close contact with each other.
- And they tend to have germy habits, such as sticking fingers and objects in their mouths. ~WebMD
Parents, educators, and caregivers can work together to train children, develop healthy settings, and prevent as much disease as possible. Keeping kids healthy together!