The winter months are a challenge keeping germs at bay inside the classroom. Winters such as the one this year are especially difficult because the “warmer” weather tends to be a petri dish to help grow more germs. I was looking at a flu threat map this weekend, and the entire United States is colored RED as everyone is high threat for the flu. Combine the warmer weather, high flu threat and 12-22 small children (some of whom have never been in a group setting) in an enclosed classroom and you have a “perfect storm” for sickness.
Each classroom does their part to eliminate germs by:
- Following state mandated cleaning procedures for surfaces that include soapy water and a separate disinfectant.
- Using those procedures to clean tables, chairs, shelves, works, door knobs and sink multiple times throughout the day.
- Cleaning and disinfecting any materials that are put in a child’s mouth.
- Having children wash their hands after they are in their mouth or nose. Also after using a tissue or coughing.
- Demonstrating correct usage of a tissue and coughing into ones elbow.
Parents can help the spread of germs by:
- Keeping your child at home if he is not well. While he has to stay home for a fever, he can also stay home if he: is just “off”, has a lot of mucus from his nose, has an excessive cough, needs one more day to feel healthy.
- Allowing your child to wipe his nose on his own AND wash his hands afterwards.
- Expecting him to cover his mouth with his elbow when he coughs.
- Remembering that sending your child into school sick will perpetuate the spread of germs to the other children in the class.
Sickness and the spread of germs is common place in a childcare setting. While we can spray and clean the environment multiple times, the children also have direct and indirect contact with each other. By keeping sick children at home, demonstrating ways to keep germs away from others and diligently disinfecting the environment, we can cut hopefully cut down a little bit on the spread of germs.