15 questions to ask your child’s day care during the pandemic


15 questions to ask your child’s day care during the pandemic

When sending children to day care, safety is a top priority for parents. In the age of COVID-19, it’s natural for parents to wonder whether their provider is taking the appropriate precautions.
Even though young children are not considered to be at high risk for serious complications from the disease, they can come become infected and transmit the illness to others, including parents, siblings and older adults. In rare instances, some children have also developed a complication known as multisystem inflammatory disease, which can cause fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, bloodshot eyes, fatigue and neck pain.
“The precautions a day care takes are important because they can affect the health of your entire family,” says Angela Harris, infection control manager for Tidelands Health. “Even if children aren’t at high risk for serious complications from the illness, they can spread it to others who are.”

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The specific ways a day care implements safety precautions may vary based upon its unique environment, but it’s important a comprehensive plan is in place that aligns with state and federal guidance, Harris says.
To help evaluate the safety measures in place at your day care, here are 15 questions you can ask based upon CDC guidance for day cares:

  1. Do your health and safety protocols align with state guidelines and CDC recommendations?
  2. How are you cleaning and disinfecting the facility? Can you be specific about the techniques and intervals?
  3. What type of training are your employees undergoing to ensure health and safety protocols will be followed?
  4. Are staff members required to wear face coverings?
  5. Are you well-stocked on supplies such as hand soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant?
  6. How many children and employees are allowed inside at one time?
  7. Will children or employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 be prohibited from entering the day care until their quarantine period has ended?
  8. How will you maintain social distancing in an environment with children?
  9. How will you ensure that babies and very small children will not have access to face coverings due to the potential suffocation hazard?
  10. What will the sign-in, drop-off and pick-up procedures look like?
  11. Are you limiting guests in and out of the day care?
  12. How will you monitor children and employees for signs of illness? Will there be temperature checks?
  13. What is the protocol if someone exhibits symptoms?
  14. Is there an isolation area a child can go to if exhibiting symptoms?
  15. Do you have enough employees to continue operating should some employees need to be quarantined?

The answers you receive to the questions should be helpful in determining whether you are comfortable with the precautions put in place by the program. 

“There are also helpful things you can do at home to increase your child’s safety at day care,” Harris says. “Talk to your child about the importance of handwashing and how to do it properly. Also, teach your child to cough and sneeze into his or her elbow. Depending on the child’s age, you can explain why things like social distancing and avoiding face touching are important.”

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