Sunday, July 14, 2024
The Parents' Voice

Germs

When your little one starts daycare or school for the first time, you can be sure to . . .

expect sickness. No matter how much you mentally prepare for the changes in your life with the return to work, the amount your little ones get sick in their first year of daycare will blow you away. 
Think runny noses, low-grade fevers, rashes, diarrhea, colds, flu, pink eye, hand food and mouth disease, earaches and more. It sounds terrifying, but really like everything else your family will adjust to sickness, you’ll see! It’s completely normal and unavoidable because in places where groups of little ones are together, germs are being exchanged no matter what. Little ones who are in close proximity cough, sneeze, and wipe their noses, all while sharing toys and food. 
It’s absolutely impossible to keep the germs from spreading no matter how hard daycare providers try, and they do. They sanitize, disinfect and clean toys regularly to try and stop the spreading of germs.
However, little kids simply learn through their senses and this inevitably means that everything goes in their mouth. The question becomes what can we do to help reduce the number of times they get sick in a winter? Here are a few tips that you can implement to try to help.
1. Wash their hands with soap the minute they step through the door at the end of the day. Incorporate this into your nightly routine and it’ll become habit.
2. When they do show signs of sickness, tired, lethargic, runny nose, coughing, fever …keep them home. I know this is sometimes impossible but as much as possible get them resting when their immune system is down. This might help cut back on how sick they get.
3.  Nutrition is important. Eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables full of vitamin C as well as food rich in protein to help curb the sickness. Don’t forget lots of water is great to flush out their system.
4. Disinfect toys and surfaces in your home to help minimized the spread between siblings. 
5. Make sure your little ones are getting enough rest. Ensure there is an early bed time to help them get enough sleep each night. This will help keep their immune system strong.
6. When your little one is sick, has been sick or is sent home sick respect the daycares handbook by keeping them home for the period of time required. This is to help reduce the spread of germs and to try and get the virus out of the daycare.
If this is in fact your child’s first fall/winter in daycare, rest assured it does get better. I’m told the first year is always the hardest, the sickness will reduce in years to come. Take advantage of the sick cuddles and hugs because before long their big and wrestling them for a hug or snuggle is a lot less fun.