Keeping Children Safe and Healthy in the Daycare Learning and Play Space

Dr. Vincent Iannelli, a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics comment about the health and wellness of children in daycare, “Young children who are in daycare very often get frequent upper respiratory tract infections, including colds and secondary ear infections. In fact, experts estimate that the average child gets six to eight viral upper respiratory tract infections each year.”

Pediatrician Dr. Henry Ukpeh confirms that it is not unusual for toddlers just starting group childcare to get sick more frequently. They may develop as many as eight to 12 colds in the first 12 months of daycare. This is because daycares are, in his words, “the perfect environment for the transmission of viruses.”

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Dr. Vincent Iannelli also states, “Fortunately, the longer that kids are in daycare, the fewer infections they usually get. And by the time they start kindergarten, children who were in daycare seem to get sick much less often than children who weren’t in daycare.”

These considerations are essential in light of the recent declaration of a state of emergency in the United States concerning the infectious disease coronavirus or COVID-19.

COVID-19 in the News

Reports of the rise of a strain of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, have recently appeared in the news. What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is an infectious disease resulting from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The disease has spread around the globe beginning in 2019, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.

Most cases present only mild symptoms, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some individuals have muscle aches, sputum, and sore throat, as well. Some cases do get worse and move into pneumonia and more severe illness. The infection is spread by respiratory droplets, usually from coughing. Once a person has been exposed to COVID-19, the appearance of symptoms is, on average, approximately five days.

SERVPRO of Park Cities recommends that everyone take protective measures to protect themselves and others by following precautions offered by the CDC: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Seek medical attention if symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19 arise. Stay home if sickness occurs. Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Wear a facemask if one becomes sick. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently.

Daycare Specific Health Strategies

What can daycares and parents do to promote a healthy environment in light of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases such as the flu or a stomach virus?

A simple and efficient path to promote learning and play space health includes the following items.

  1. Encourage hand washing with real soap for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Put hand sanitizer in numerous stations around the facility for daycare workers and older children.
  3. Provide disinfectant wipes for workers to wipe down items and surfaces such as toys, tables, chairs, learning stations, inside recreational areas, outside playground equipment, and other frequently touched items or surfaces.
  4. Workers may wear disposable gloves when needed and appropriate. 
  5. Remind parents and workers of daycare sickness policy.
  6. Coordinate with the facility cleaning team regarding special measures to be taken during flu and cold season or during periods of a significant increase in sickness.

These measures are very basic, yet they go a long way to keep learning and play spaces healthy and happy.

When is it time to call in a professional cleaning service to clean, disinfect, and sanitize the facility?

It is always prudent to be proactive. It can never be too early to seek advice from a cleaning professional to address daycare facility health and hygiene. An outbreak of the flu or an aggressive stomach virus could result in the illness spreading through the daycare. If the facility were to shut down for a week or two, the impact on the families of the children and the workers could be difficult to manage.

A qualified cleaning professional can provide prevention strategies for a daycare, as well as for a business, school, nursing home, or church. SERVPRO of Park Cities has a reputation as the industry leader for water and fire damage restoration and disaster recovery. The SERVPRO team also specializes in commercial and residential cleaning at a level that excels above other cleaning services. Using advanced cleaning technologies, tools, and techniques, the SERVPRO experts clean to the most thorough standard. Following CDC guidelines, they use only safe, hospital-grade cleaning solutions that kill germs and bacteria.

When SERVPRO visits a daycare or nursery environment to address germs and infection, they offer a comprehensive solution that includes disinfecting all floors and flat surfaces. They clean air ducts, the HVAC system, and blinds to remove unhealthy dust and mites. COVID-19 causes inflammation throughout the entirety of the lungs, so eliminating dust reduces an inflammation risk factor. SERVPRO can clean drapes, upholstery, and carpet where dust, dirt, and germs hide.

SERVPRO can make any daycare look, smell, and feel clean and fresh while also making it a sanitary and safe environment for both children and workers. Most people think of a flooded basement, a sewage spill, a fire, or disaster recovery when they think of SERVPRO. But, the professionals at SERVPRO have been delivering deep clean and regular maintenance for daycares, businesses, churches, and homes for years. They are the pros who know how to serve.

For more information about daycare cleaning services, call SERVPRO of Park Cities at (214) 522-3000.

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