A clean childcare environment plays a crucial role in keeping children healthy. Germs live on everything, including toys, bedding, linens, utensils, and surfaces. Consistent childcare cleaning forms one part of a facility’s line of defense, along with proper vaccinations and good hygienic behaviors. Taking the fight to germs stops the spread of illness, gives children a clean, safe environment to play in, and assuages parents’ fears. Here are some additional recommendations to bolster the daycare cleaning regimen of any childcare facility.
Frequent Hand Washing
Staff and children should all wash their hands when arriving at the facility, after using the restroom and before and after eating. Additionally, handwashing should occur between activities or contact with bodily fluids. For extra protection, require parents to wash their hands, too.
Procedures vary for cleaning a childcare facility, so make sure the facility has the latest requirements posted. Some general requirements include sanitizing food preparation areas, bathroom, diaper changing stations, or other high-traffic surfaces before and after use, and a regular cleaning of the entire facility.
Care should be taken when selecting cleaning products for use in a childcare facility. Young children have increased vulnerability to chemicals, so be aware of the ingredients used. Simple soap and water remains the safest option, and make sure to choose a product approved for use around children when disinfecting or sanitizing. Do not ignore hazard warnings, and make sure to use proper cleaning gear when required. Never mix cleaners unless the labels specifically state the cleaners can be mixed safely. If a staff member is unable to read the instructions, provide them with a translation or alternative means to ensure correct usage.
If a facility doesn’t have a requirement to clean toys daily, institute one. These come into contact with kids more than any other object or surface, increasing the chances for spreading germs. Clean toys before opening and after closing, and set aside any toy a child places in his or her mouth until someone properly cleans and disinfects it.
Follow all labels and instructions provided with the cleaning product. Use a general household cleaner to remove germs. Kill any remaining germs with an EPA-registered disinfectant, especially one declared effective against the flu virus. For visibly clean surfaces, use a disinfectant to remove germs, but be aware of time requirements for that particular cleaner. For electronics that get touched a lot, use disinfecting wipes, following provided instructions for proper cleaning.
Follow the facility procedures for waste disposal, including wearing necessary gear. Situate no-touch rubbish bins in easy-to-access spaces that children cannot reach. Dispose of cleaning items immediately. Wear gloves to dispose of potentially infected items, including used tissues or diapers, and when emptying the waste bins. Staff should thoroughly wash hands after emptying waste bins or accidentally touching waste items.
A cleaner, safer environment leads to healthy kids and staff, and reduces downtime for employees. Practice these tips to reduce the spread of germs and keep everyone healthy and happy.