Illness in childcare

Illness in childcare

Ok, so lets talk about the elephant in the room. How many times do young children get sick when they are in day care??? 

The first year is often the hardest, not only on children, but alos on Educators. We find that if you are just starting out in a childcare centrre, you will contract everything from conjunctivits, to gastro, to school sores, head lice and even chickenpox! As we are exposed to these illnesses, we develop a bit of immunity, and we don't get as sick the next time. As frustrating as it is, our bodies need to be exposed to these germs to build a resistance.

Most infections are spread from mouth to hand contact or droplet contact, so dribbling, coughing, sneezing, are all easy ways to share germs. If you think about babies and toddlers, they are always putting their hands in their mouths and then touching toys or another child. Even as children get older, they don't always think to wash their hands after they have come into contact with these germs. This is where we, as adults, come in. We need to be able to role model to children the best ways to wash hands and protect ourselves from illness.

According to 'Staying Healthy in childcare - 5th edition', Hand washing is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of infection. 

Soap and water is the best method:
The most effective method of hand hygiene is using soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and running water loosens, dilutes and flushes off dirt and germs. Soap alone cannot remove dirt or kill germs— it is the combination of running water, rubbing your hands and the detergent in the soap that helps loosen the dirt, remove the germs and rinse them off your skin.

As educators, we have a responsibility not only to keep your child safe and well while they are here, but also to keep other people's children safe and well. So, if there are times when we ask you to collect your child, it is becasue we are following procedure and policy. We need to do this so there is a standard rule applying to everyone. We understand that often as a working parent, it is hard to get off work, but we also need to maintain a healthy atmosphere for everyone in the centre.