Maintaining Good Hygiene in Child Care Center – How?
Maintaining good hygiene in child care center is necessary. With so many young kids in proximity, the risk of cross infection between children is high. It is essential for both parents and caregivers to educate children to become responsible for their own hygiene.
Child Care centers should plan out activities and programs at the school to make young children understand the simple yet important hygiene rules. Similarly, it is utmost crucial for teachers to keep the environment within the classroom as clean as possible.
Measures to promote good hygiene in child care center
Infection spreads through several ways – through cough, sneeze and direct contact with objects and surfaces. It is important that children are taught to avoid contact with things that are potentially contagious.
Caregivers can help children develop good hygiene behaviors through day-to-day experiences by frequently conversing hygiene rules with them, demonstrating it every day and encouraging them to follow it regularly.
Basic hygiene practice includes:
- Hand Washing and Drying
- Dental Care
- Hygienic nose blowing, coughing and sneezing
- Safe food handling and eating
Hand washing – Just washing is not enough, as it is believed that wet hands can transfer germs quite fast. It is equally important that children’s hands should be properly dried.
Caregivers should teach children the importance of hand washing and drying. They must also tell them when it should be done – after toileting or diapering and before meals, snacks or food preparation. Tell them to use liquid soap to clean their hands, use paper towels to dry it and shut off the water faucets after use. Since frequent hand washing could cause dry hands, keep a lotion for them to use as well.
Toileting Area – Toilets should be cleaned with disinfectant solution during nap time and at the end of the day, of course in between, if soiled. Potty chairs, if used, should be emptied immediately after use and disinfected. Staff should wear utility gloves to clean the toilets and potty chairs.
Diapering – No matter which type of diapers you are using, the steps to reduce the spread of illness remains the same.
- proper handwashing by adults and children
- surface sanitizing
- proper diaper disposal
- minimizing the handling of diaper wastes
- having the children wear clothes over diapers
Food Preparation & Storage – It is important to note that food preparation, serving and storage areas should be kept hygienic, dry and separate from the toileting and diapering. Avoid using the same sink for food and diapering. Also, caregivers should wash their hands before and after diapering before handling foods. Make children wash their hands before and after finishing their snack and lunch. High chairs, table tops and small chairs where children eat should be washed and sanitized with a bleach solution.
Tips to Avoid Respiratory Infections
- Have sufficient tissues or toilet papers available for nose-wiping, and use different tissue for every child. Once used, throw it in covered containers
- Teach children to cover their mouths with a tissue while coughing or sneezing and wash hands post that
- In case if you use dishwasher, use it daily to wash plastic toys which the children put in their mouths
- It is important to clean doorknobs, chairs, mats and other small baby furniture and toys daily
- Encourage children to get plenty of rest and to drink lots of fluids, especially those rich in Vitamin C
While illness or infections cannot be completely eliminated, it surely can be controlled. It is equally important for parents or family members to reinforce hygiene habits by reminding kids to clean their hands at frequent intervals, changing their clothes after coming from outside, keep them away from potential infections.
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