When there is a concentration of children, there is an increased risk of the transmission of infectious diseases. This is especially important to remember around young children because they frequently use their hands to do things like wipe their noses or massage their eyes, and then proceed to play with toys or interact with other children.
These children then touch their own noses and rub their eyes, which allows the virus to spread from the nose or eyes of one child to the nose or eyes of the next child via their hands or toys. The subsequent child then touches his or her own nose or rubs his or her own eyes, which further spreads the virus. In addition, because their systems are still developing immunity to diseases throughout the first few years of life, kids get a lot of illnesses.
There is a lot of excitement and pleasure to be had in schools, playgrounds, and childcare facilities; however, there is also a lot of germs to be found there. Any setting in which a large number of children interact with one another is likely to have a high incidence of infectious diseases. You will not be able to protect your child from every illness that is circulating in the community, which is unfortunate. If you want to avoid sneezing, sore throats, and stomach problems, however, you should try your best to follow these seven measures for preventing the spread of germs. Check this list of Sydney early learning programs to help you choose the best education for your children.
Questions to Ask About Germs
Children who are ill and attending daycare may go hand in hand, but there are several things you can do to ensure that your childcare facility is doing everything it can to keep the common cold and influenza viruses, in addition to a variety of bacteria, under control. To get started, try your hand at some of these questions.
How often do employees wash hands?
The perfect facility would have staff members wash their hands between each interaction with a child, just like a physician does. This would be the gold standard.
If your childcare centre does not provide a sink in each individual room, you should search for bottles of hand sanitizer. It's possible that staff will be less likely to wash their hands if they had to leave the area to do it.
How clean are the toys?
At the very least once every day, toys at many centres are required to undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitation process. However, recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics state that if a kid puts a toy in their mouth, the object should be removed from the child's possession and set away until it can be sanitised and disinfected.
Why do germs spread easily at child care centres?
Did you know that enrolled children and staff at child care centres both have the ability to assist limit the transmission of germs by taking specific preventative measures?
Youngsters have an innate pattern of behaviour that can only be fully developed by close social interaction with both adults and other children. When an innocent child invades the personal space of a sick friend or instructor, this can present a concern that needs to be addressed. Not to mention the fact that a child's immune system is still developing, making them more susceptible to getting sick from infections that are passed on during these intimate encounters. Consequently, training for caregivers needs to take into account the setting in which children are cared for.
How to limit exposure to germs
Choose facilities wisely
Before enrolling your child in a school or daycare, it is essential to go over the establishment's policies regarding health and safety. Ensure that children are reminded to wash their hands frequently throughout the day with soap and warm water, particularly before and after engaging in activities that take place outside or consuming food. Inquire with the staff about the frequency with which they sanitise the tables and toys. Make sure that the place where sick children rest is separate from the rest of the group, and enquire as to whether or not the other parents are informed when a child is sent home because they are feeling homesick.
Ask about vaccinations
In the majority of states, childcare facilities are required to preserve written records of children's vaccinations; therefore, you should enquire as to whether or not the facility in question has these documentation. Inquire more as to whether or not your daycare will accept children who are currently undergoing "catch-up" vaccination programmes. These children pose a possible threat to younger children who have not yet achieved the age requirement for vaccination since they could pass diseases on to them.
Vocalise your concerns
Talk to the adults in charge at your child's school or daycare if you notice anything that doesn't seem quite right, and make sure to clarify the standards of cleanliness you require. If the facility is unable to amend its policies, you might think about selecting another option.
Keep a clean home
You anticipate that the employees at your child's daycare or school will maintain a clean and orderly environment, don't you? Therefore, you should make sure that the same thing is done at your own home. Sanitize on a regular basis all surfaces and locations that are regularly touched, such as doorknobs and light switches. Childproofing your home can also help prevent scrapes and bruises, which can lead to infections if they are not treated promptly.
Keep hands clean
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the most effective strategies to prevent the spread of germs is to regularly wash one's hands (CDC). Teach kids to wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least as long as it takes to sing the ABC song. This will ensure that their hands stay clean and healthy.
Sanitiser for the hands is still another effective method for preventing the spread of germs; nevertheless, it is essential that you use it correctly. You should only put a small bit of hand sanitiser in your child's hands and have them massage their hands together until the product is dry. When using hand sanitiser, it is important to take the following safety measures to prevent alcohol poisoning:
- After applying hand sanitizer, it is important to remind youngsters not to put their hands in their mouths.
- Do not use hand sanitizer immediately before consuming anything.
- Sanitiser should be kept out of the reach of children so that it is not used without the supervision of an adult.
- Purchase an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that does not have a fruity or otherwise enticing flavour.
- Think about using hand sanitisers that don't include alcohol.
Also, demonstrate to children how to cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbows to prevent spreading germs. While you're about it, you should also tell them not to wipe anything with their sleeves because doing so could transmit germs from a recent sneeze or cough.
Call in sick
Children should stay home from school or daycare if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): vomiting, fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a sore throat, white spots in the back of the throat, signs of pink eye, or a severe cough that produces a lot of phlegm. Adults are subject to the same rules as well. Stay at home and be a model for others to follow when you are ill.
Keep in mind that there are some things from which you simply cannot shield your child. In point of fact, some bacteria may be beneficial for children; research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that being exposed to germs may, in the long run, assist children in developing stronger immune systems.
Basic hygiene at home, daycare, or school
It is not possible to keep your child safe from every disease that can be spread to others. However, you may assist lessen the likelihood that your child will contract an infection by teaching them to engage in healthy behaviours. Explain to your kid that:
- People who do not wash their hands before touching their face spread germs by touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Teach your child to cough or sneeze into their arm instead of their mouth so that their mouth is protected from germs. When children blow their noses or use the restroom, they should always wash their hands afterwards, especially if drainage gets on their hands. Children should also wash their hands after using the toilet. Teach your child to fully dry their hands after washing them with soap and water. Utilizing hand sanitizers is another way to eliminate the germs that might lead to disease.
- It is important to teach youngsters that they should not lend their hats, combs, toothbrushes, eating utensils, or any other personal belongings to other children. Teach your kid that it's rude to share things like food, drinks, or cutlery with other people.
- When coughing or sneezing, it is important to use tissues and to protect one's mouth. To prevent discharge from getting on their hands, demonstrate to your youngster the proper way to handle the tissues. Instruct your child to always toss tissues away in a garbage container when they are finished using them.
- paper towels and tissues should only be used if they are clean and dry before usage. Teach your child to avoid touching used tissues or paper towels, especially those that have been touched by other children.
- should avoid coming into contact with the blood, urine, stool, or other drainage of other children. Teach your child to alert an adult caregiver if they see another child bleed, urinate or defecate inadvertently, or pass stool. This is especially important if the bleeding is profuse.
Children younger than two years old require the assistance of a caregiver in order to stop the transmission of germs. Make sure that your youngster washes their hands often, and disinfect any shared objects. If your child goes to daycare, you should carefully look over the policies surrounding sick children and issues related to hygiene. Looking for an early learning centre in Sydney ? Then Little Angels early learning centre is what you’re looking for.
If your child gets sick, you should keep them home from daycare and away from other kids until the infectious time is over. Make an appointment with your primary care physician if you are unsure how long this should last.
Make sure that your youngster is not exposed to secondhand smoking. The mucous membranes in your child's nose, sinuses, and lungs get irritated when they are exposed to smoke, which increases the likelihood that they may develop an infection.
How can child care centres help prevent the spread of germs?
Frequent hand washing
Hand hygiene is essential not only for children but also for the adults who care for them. According to a number of studies, thorough hand washing is probably the most effective method for reducing the risk of illness in child care facilities.
Keep in mind, however, that carrying out the activity in the appropriate manner is more important than carrying out the activity at all. For instance, the results of one study revealed that the handles of faucets are among the regions in child care centres that are the most contaminated! Automatic faucets are one option; however, their high cost may be outweighed by the benefits they provide, despite the fact that they are an efficient choice that can help your centre minimise the transmission of germs. Another possibility is the use of antimicrobial soap.
Clean diapering stations and restrooms
Diaper trash cans that roll out when activated by one's foot are an excellent way to reduce the spread of germs on one's hands. In addition, it is essential to have proper sanitation standards and disposable latex gloves available in diapering locations in order to reduce the risk of infections that might lead to gastrointestinal and intestinal disorders.
Proper food storage
Make sure the areas in which food is stored are clean, and refrigerate any food that might go bad if left out at room temperature.
Proper food preparation.
Surfaces that are porous, broken, or otherwise damaged might serve as safe havens for the hiding place of bacteria. Make sure that any counters or tables that are used for food preparation are nonporous, in good shape, and are situated a safe distance away from any locations that are used for changing diapers. In order to cut the number of germs that are present even more, these places must to be kept clean at all times.
Proper ways to serve food
Children shouldn't be permitted to share their food, drinks, or utensils with anyone else, and they shouldn't even be allowed to touch serving dishes, utensils, or places until it's absolutely required.
Ensure that caregivers have received adequate training on correct hygiene procedures in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. When it comes to infection prevention, having a solid understanding of how diseases are transmitted and which ones to watch out for can be a tremendous help.
It may be difficult for you to provide continual training to new employees in the child care sector because of the high staff turnover rate that is prevalent in the field. However, making the effort is necessary if you want to be successful in implementing the hygienic standards at your centre.
What Parents Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs
- Seek out child care groups that have a limited number of children in order to reduce the likelihood that infectious diseases may be passed from child to child.
- Be certain that the child care centre you choose implements appropriate hygiene standards, particularly frequent hand washing, clean diapering spaces, and appropriate dietary practises.
- When sick children visit your child care centre, make sure to follow their advice for keeping your child at home.
- Try to find child care centres that have open-door policy so that daily hygienic procedures, the admittance of sick children, and the cleanliness of the facilities may be carefully observed.
- Have discussions with paediatricians because they know which neighbourhoods have child care centres with the highest rates of illness and can provide you with valuable insight.
How to Properly Clean a Child Care Center
The first step in producing a child care facility that is free of germs is to clean it in a comprehensive manner. Scrubbing, washing, and rinsing should be performed on every surface, including but not limited to windows, carpets, glass, doorknobs, restrooms, and toys. Since dirt can inhibit the effectiveness of sanitizers and disinfectants, it is imperative that the "cleaning" stage completely eliminate all traces of dirt.
The best option is one that consists of a gentle detergent and water. Avoid using cleaning detergents that include a lot of chemicals; green cleaning solutions are superior and have a smaller impact on both human health and the environment compared to alternatives that are not environmentally friendly.
It is essential to select the appropriate cleaning materials for a child care centre in order to keep the facility in good health. Use of a suitable sanitiser that reduces the number of germs present on surfaces and objects to a level that is safe is required for good sanitation.
Sanitising everything that touches food, including doorknobs, railings, faucets, and dining utensils, should be done using antimicrobials.
Sanitising is a wonderful practise, but it can't take the place of thoroughly disinfecting an area. In order to maintain a safe environment for the children in a day care centre, it is necessary to disinfect any area that the children may have come into contact with germs. Germs can be eliminated from surfaces and items by using disinfection, such as those found in diaper changing areas, toilets, mouthed toys, and water fountains.
After applying a disinfecting solution to a space and letting it air dry for a few minutes, you will have effectively disinfected the area. Rinsing the area with a solution of soap and water should be done if it is going to be utilised immediately after the disinfection process has been completed. See our list of available early learning programs Sydney to help you make an informed decision for your child.
Bleach is a good option that may be used for sanitising and disinfecting, and it is frequently utilised in child care centres. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that any substance that is used to sanitise or disinfect be registered, and bleach is, of course, one of such products. Bleach is a useful disinfectant since it is easily available, relatively inexpensive, user-friendly, and has a short killing time. These qualities combine to make bleach an excellent choice.
Measures to Promote Good Hygiene in Child Care:
It is important that the institution fulfils specific requirements that encourage proper cleanliness in order to cut down on the incidence of disease in educational and child care settings.
- Are there sinks in every room, and are there separate sinks for preparing food and washing hands? Is food handled in areas separate from the toilets and diaper-changing tables?
- Are the toilets and sinks clean and readily available for the children and staff? Our disposable paper towels are used so each child will use only their towel and not share with others?
- Are toys that infants and toddlers put in their mouths sanitised before others can play with them?
- Are all doors and cabinet handles, drinking fountains, all surfaces in the toileting and diapering areas cleaned and disinfected at the end of every day?
- Are all changing tables and any potty chairs cleaned and disinfected after each use?
- Our staff and other children fully immunised, especially against the flu?
- Is food brought in from home properly stored? Is food prepared on-site properly handled?
- Is breast milk labelled and stored correctly?
- Are children and their caregivers or teachers instructed to wash their hands throughout the day, including:
- When they arrive at the facility
- Before and after handling food, feeding a child, or eating
- After using the toilet, changing a diaper, or helping a child use the bathroom (Following a diaper change, the caregiver's and child's hands should be washed, and the diaper-changing surfaces should be disinfected.)
- After helping a child wipe his nose or mouth or tending to a cut or sore
- After playing in sandboxes
- Before and after playing in water that other children use
- Before and after, staff members give medicine to a child.
- After handling wastebaskets or garbage
- After handling a pet or other animal
- Make sure your child understands good hygiene and the importance of handwashing after using the toilet and before and after eating.
- Is health consultation available to deal with outbreaks or to review policies?
The Importance of Child Care Center Cleaning
In the majority of instances, children are at a greater risk than their adult counterparts of being exposed to harmful poisons and microorganisms. Illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, coughs, and sore throats are just some of the conditions that are quite prevalent in child care facilities. For instance, it is anticipated that children who spend their days in child care and school would experience anywhere from eight to twelve cases of the common cold each year. In addition, both the children and the employees who work in child care facilities have a significantly increased risk of contracting hepatitis A. Therefore, child care centres are obligated to do everything in their power to ensure that the environments in which children learn and play are both safe and hygienic.
Hiring cleaning services that have experience specifically geared towards the requirements of child care centres is a fantastic approach to ensure that your child care is cleaned in the most comprehensive and frequent manner possible. This results in an increased operational cost, but it also gives you piece of mind and trust in the cleanliness of your child care centre, as well as the knowledge that your facility will not serve as a point of distribution for harmful bacteria.
FAQs About Preventing Germs In Daycare
The only way to prevent kids from getting sick is to wash their hands several times a day (or have their daycare provider help when you're not there) and to teach them healthy hand hygiene when they're old enough to catch on. Teaching kids to “dab,” or sneeze into their elbow, is a good one to start with.
Surfaces and objects, including toys, bottles, pacifiers, sandboxes, water tables and doorknobs, are often touched by children carrying germs. Because young children do not wash their hands on their own after toileting, eating or wiping their noses, they often spread germs.
Teach good hand washing practices. Clean and disinfect classroom materials and surfaces. Provide reminders in daily announcements about preventing the spread of germs and illnesses. Adopt healthy practices, such as safe handling of food and the use of standard precautions when handling body fluids and excretions.
You can help prevent your child from getting sick or spreading germs by teaching them these five things:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
- Encourage them to try to avoid sick people.
- Don't eat or drink after others.
- Sneeze and cough into a tissue, then wash your hands.
- Stay home when you're feeling sick.
The ideal centre should require employees to wash their hands as often as a doctor does -- between touching every child. If your child-care centre doesn't have a sink in every room, look for bottles of hand sanitiser. If employees leave the room to clean their hands, they may be less likely to do it.