10 Ways to Improve the Health and Hygiene of your Childcare Business

There is nothing more important than the health and safety of the children in your care. Help protect children and employees by taking precautions to improve the health and hygiene of your daycare business. There are 10 simple ways to do so:

  1. Frequent Hand washing: One of the best ways to improve the health and hygiene of your daycare business is through proper and frequent hand washing by both children and staff. Daycare providers must wash their hands after handling food, wiping the face of a child, after diapering, assisting children with the toilet, and before and after treating a wound. Hand sanitizers are safe and effective if they have at least 60-70% alcohol.
  2. Balanced meals and healthy snacks. It is recommended that children ages 3-5 maintain a total caloric intake of about 1,000-1,200 calories per day and snacks should provide an estimated 20 to 25 percent of those calories. It is also recommended that a 2-year old child who engages in 60 minutes of exercise daily consume 2 cups of milk, 3 ounces of grains, 1 cup of vegetables, and 1 cup of fruit each day. It is also equally important that you model healthy eating habits as well as offer children a wide range of nutritious choices.
  3. Go green: Creating an environmentally friendly environment will enhance the health and hygiene of your daycare business. Reduce the amount of pesticides, buy organic foods, use nontoxic and biodegradable products, reduce or eliminate the use of lead-based products, buy nontoxic art supplies, and begin a recycling program.
  4. Routine toy cleaning: Another key step in maintain good health and hygiene in your daycare business is by thoroughly clean the children’s toys. At the end of the day, all toys should be cleaned with hot water or disinfectant.  If a small child puts a toy in his or her mouth, it should be washed immediately afterward.
  5. Education: Your daycare program should provide fun and informative nutrition activities in order to help children adopt a long-term healthy lifestyle. Children at this age should learn how to wash their hands properly and frequently and learn to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Proper diapering procedures: If your daycare business cares for infants, it is imperative that soiled diapers are handled properly and that there is thorough cleansing of the diaper changing area. It is also important that child care providers use non-porous disposable gloves while diapering a child and in especially in any situation where there might be contact with blood, bodily fluids, or blood or fluid-contaminated bodies, item, or substances.
  7. Exclusion policies: It is a childcare provider’s responsibility to assess each child as they enter the daycare or preschool facility in order to determine whether they should be excluded due to illness. Exclude children from daycare who have a fever greater than or equal to 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, severe abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea, moderate draining from nose, eyes or ears, skin rashes, and red discoloration to the whites of the eyes. This will keep help contain the spread of infectious illnesses.
  8. Keep track of employee immunizations and staff training: Daycare businesses must keep track of staff immunization records and schedules. All staff members should be trained in CPR and First Aid and these certifications must be updated regularly. Staff members should also know how to prevent injury and illness and identify abuse. Childcare software helps keep track of employee training schedules and immunizations. This helps ensure that your daycare staff is abreast of child development issues as well as child health and safety.
  9. Keep track of immunizations and allergies in children: Did you know that 4 out of 100 children have a food allergy, according to recent studies by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)? Daycare software allows you to track allergies, food intake, and immunization schedules to ensure that the children in your care stay healthy and safe.
  10. Proper food handling in the kitchen: Food preparations areas should be clean and well maintained, tables should be sanitized before meals, staff should wash their hands before handling food, and old items should be kept cold while hot items should be kept hot.  Children should not share cups or utensils at mealtime and there should not be a community snack platter. Instead, each child should have his or her own bowl or plate. These will help prevent the spread of illness and reduce the threat of food borne illness.
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