Summer is officially over. Vacation pictures are posted, bags finally unpacked, and your older children have headed back to school. With this back to school transition comes germs, and a whole lot of them; especially in an early learning environment. We are only one week in, and I am one of the first to catch the cooties! As such, I am home writing this in hopes that I can keep my germs to myself.
I wanted to let you all know it’s normal after the summer break for children to get a runny nose or catch a cold. Thankfully, it is still very nice out, but as it begins to cool down, everyone spends a little more time inside. In our environment, children are playing in close quarters, versus at individual desks like older children. They crawl over to explore a friend, hug, dance, create, and play right next to each other. On top of these play behaviors, the children have not yet mastered the “catch your cough” technique, or to feel that the sneeze that is coming. These are skills that we teach as they are able.
To combat germs in our center, we:
Sanitize each classroom daily
Wash and sanitize toys that have been mouthed multiple times a day
Have strict handwashing policies for both staff and children
Wash and sanitize all tables and chairs at each meal time
Wear gloves when changing diapers and policies on washing before and after
Complete a daily health check with families to know how each child is feeling
These practices are very helpful, but will not eliminate all of the germs, or the possibility that your child may get sick.
If your child is ill, we ask that you not bring them to school. Our policy is that children must be symptom-free for 24 hours, and fever-free without the aid of fever-reducing medications for 24 hours. This helps to ensure that we can keep your child as safe as possible.
If your child becomes sick while they are in our care, we will call you and let you know what the symptoms are, when we noticed them, and, if applicable, when we checked their temperature and what the readings were.
For more detailed information, please see pages 26 and 27 of the 2018-2019 Parent Handbook.
When a contagious illness hits our center, this information will be shared via email to the classroom affected. If it’s something that is in multiple rooms, I will share with the entire center. I cannot share who has the illness. I can share the classroom, dates of exposure, and fact sheet on the illness.
We work hard to ensure the health and safety of each child in our care. My hope is to have a happy and healthy school year, but want you all to have a solid understanding of our policies and practices for when you catch the cooties like me!