The coronavirus pandemic has altered every aspect of life. As the economy opens up and employees are slowly asked to return to work, many parents wonder if it’s safe to bring their kids to childcare centers.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provided guidelines to daycare owners to ensure kids are safe. If your kid’s daycare follows those guidelines, you can be assured that your child is safe from the virus.
What to look for in a daycare amid the pandemic
Children are at a higher risk of contracting the virus as they may not always be able to adhere to social distancing and hygiene guidelines. However, with safety measures in place, daycare owners can reduce the risk of kids catching the virus.
Here are things to check before sending your child to a daycare facility.
Besides ensuring that kids are distancing, daycare staff should clean the physical space regularly than before. The facility should be cleaned according to the CDC recommendations. All high contact surfaces such as door hinges, tables, and chairs should be cleaned after use. The facility should be cleaned several times a day and disinfected in the evening.
Staff should pay keen attention to food and drinks. The food preparation area should be cleaned and sanitized well, and cooks should wear face masks all the time. Additionally, utensils should be sanitized after use, and drinking fountains should be cleaned several times a day.
Handwashing is the most effective way of curbing the spread of the highly transmittable virus. A daycare should have easy to access handwashing points, and the staff should encourage kids to wash their hands frequently.
Every person, including the staff, should wash their hands when entering and leaving the facility. If soap and clean water are not available, children should use hand sanitizers. Staff should supervise kids when using sanitizers since the product contains a high percentage of alcohol and could harm if swallowed.
Both children and employees should be screened
According to CDC recommendations, an individual with a fever higher than 100.4 should not access the facility. Parents should screen their children at home before dropping them. The facility should also schedule a confirmatory screening at the entrance of the facility.
Any person with evidence of lethargy, flushing, and cough should not be allowed to access the facility. Besides, any staff showing possible signs of illness should be given a sick leave. The daycare facility should formulate plans to isolate any person who shows any symptoms of being ill during the day.
Recommendations to parents who have children with underlying conditions
Children with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of catching Covid-19. In a study that involved 48 children admitted to pediatric ICUs, 17% didn’t have any identifiable health condition, 40% had underlying health conditions. Most of them were dependent on technologies associated with genetic anomalies and developmental delays. Therefore, if your child has a medical condition, it is imperative to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss the child’s risk of daycare. Consulting a pediatrician will enable you to make a sound decision.
In addition, family members with an underlying medical condition should neither drop nor pick up a child from a daycare facility. They should strive to distance themselves from such facilities as much as possible. Another family member should drop off the kid.
If there is no other person to pick up or drop off the kid, then the member with an underlying medical condition should strictly follow health protocols. Sanitize, wear a face mask, and observe social distancing while in the facility. The daycare can also schedule a staggered pick-up/ drop-off to limit the interaction of adults and children.
If sending your child to a daycare is necessary, you should check whether they comply with CDC guidelines. Also, the facility should test and offer sick leave to its staff. Parents and daycare staff should cooperate to improve children’s safety.