Children are generally much more likely to contract illnesses in childcare centres than at home. In a childcare centre, a child is in contact with a lot of children all at once, so infections can easily spread from one pupil to another.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, infectious bacteria can survive for hours and even days on many surfaces. These include equipment made of steel, wood, plastic or leather, as well as clothes, hands and toys.
Illness can be transmitted through the air when coughing or sneezing. We also know how much small children tend to enjoy sucking on toys, and saliva is another way germs are easily spread from one playmate to another!
So what are the top three tips for maintaining hygiene in childcare centres?
1. Use experienced commercial cleaners
Commercial cleaning services which specialise in childcare centres can assist in preventing the spread of illness-causing bacteria and viruses by safely and hygienically disinfecting all surfaces daily.
2. Hand washing is one of the biggest helpers
Hand washing in childcare centres is one of the most important ways of helping to stop the spread of illnesses and maintain a hygienic environment. This relates to not only the children, but staff as well.
Hand Hygiene Australia states that effective hand washing should take from 40 to 60 seconds. This includes wetting hands with warm running water, cleaning them thoroughly (don’t forget to do in between the fingers), rinsing hands, and drying hands meticulously with a paper towel.
There are never too many times to wash your hands in a childcare environment. Gloves can also be worthwhile for workers who regularly come into contact with bodily fluids. Employees who do wear gloves should ensure they wash their hands before and after using them.
3. Staying home when sick
This point is imperative for childcare centres, and indeed all workplaces. Commercial cleaning services and hand washing can assist in limiting the spread of illnesses, but the best way to prevent the spread entirely is by keeping the sick person at home and away from the centre. Some childcare facilities have an exclusion policy when it comes to sick children, and staff members who are unwell should also stay home until they are no longer infectious.
Childcare centres face a number of hygiene issues. By using a reputable commercial cleaning service, instituting correct hand washing procedures, and excluding sick children or staff members, you can help limit the spread of illnesses in your facility.