It's the dead of winter around the state of Utah, and one of the things that means is that we're in peak cold, flu and sickness season. This can be particularly impactful on children, especially those who regularly attend any kind of child care program around other kids - but there are also some basic precautions that can be taken to limit germ spread and keep everyone protected.
At Devlin's Child Development, we take strong and robust health and safety practices for all our Sandy child care programs, which range from preschool and daycare to after-school care and more. Whether at home, in a child care setting or in any other location, here are some basic tips for children, parents and caregivers alike to limiting germ spread and sickness this winter.
One of the single best tools at our disposal for preventing germ spread is proper and regular hand washing. Children should be taught how to thoroughly wash their hands - scrubbing with soap and water, then drying off - and reminded to do so after using the restroom, before eating or drinking anything, after playing outside or petting animals, or after coughing or sneezing.
In a daycare setting, for instance, our team will make sure all children wash their hands immediately upon arrival. This is just one of several such measures we take to ensure preschool and daycare are healthy places for kids throughout the year.
Another important step here is teaching children how to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze - occurrences that are simply unavoidable, even for kids who aren't actually sick. They need to learn to do so in a way that minimizes the spread of germs, however, which means covering their mouth and nose with either an elbow or tissue.
If they use a tissue, it should be disposed of immediately after. They should also be reminded to wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.
It's important that parents and caregivers keep sick children home until they are fully recovered. While this can be inconvenient for working parents, it's a crucial step in preventing the spread of sickness to other children.
If your child is exhibiting symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea or a persistent cough, it's best to keep them home and monitor their condition. If they do attend child care while sick, remind the staff of any medication they may need throughout the day.
Particularly within a child care setting where germs are easily spread, regular disinfection is crucial. At Devlin's Child Development, our Sandy child care programs include regular cleaning and sanitizing of all toys, surfaces and equipment used by children throughout the day. We also teach children about the importance of not sharing personal items like water bottles or snacks to prevent germ spread.
This is also helpful with the regular winter illnesses like colds or flu. By regularly disinfecting, we can help keep everyone healthier and reduce the spread of illness.
While the nuanced concept of self care might be a bit complex for some younger children, it's still important to teach them the basics of taking care of themselves. This means getting enough rest, eating healthy foods and staying hydrated - all key components in maintaining a strong immune system that can fight off germs.
As kids get older, they will form a greater understanding of how these kinds of basic self care habits can impact their health and well-being. By teaching them early on, we are setting the foundation for a healthy lifestyle that will benefit them throughout their lives.
As a parent or caregiver, it's important to regularly check your child for symptoms of illness. If they are exhibiting any, it's best to keep them home and consult with a doctor if necessary.
While this can be stressful for both the child and the parent, it's an important step in keeping everyone healthy and preventing the spread of sickness.
Winter is a time when many people tend to get sick, but by following these basic precautions and teaching children about germ spread and self care, we can minimize the impact of colds, flu and other illnesses. At Devlin's Child Development, we prioritize the health and safety of all our Sandy students, providing a clean and healthy environment for them to learn and grow in. Contact us today to learn more about our policies here, or about any of our child care programs and services!