Preventing Infection in Child Care Centers

disinfecting-day-careDisinfecting Day Care

Battling germs, microorganisms, and viruses that cause infection is challenging task for any commercial cleaner. Disinfecting child care centers takes the task to another level.

Young children and babies spend time crawling on the ground, mouthing toys, and frequently touching surfaces. Keeping a clean environment is paramount to their health.

Choosing Cleaning Products

Because young children interact so physically with their environment, it is also important to avoid using harsh chemicals and detergents when cleaning child care spaces. Hazardous ingredients found in many commercial cleaning products can compromise their health. Green cleaning alternatives are available.

Cleaning for Kids

Chicago’s Healthy Schools Campaign, and other efforts around the country, are partnering with cleaning advocacy organizations to help educate cleaning companies, educators, and children about the importance of proper child care cleanliness programs.

  • Rinse disinfected services with clean, clear water after allowing sufficient dwell time. Rinsing chemicals from high-touch surfaces will help reduce their threat to children, and will reduce dirt and grime build up that chemical films can attract.
  • Opt for green cleaning products that have a low environmental impact and don’t make use of harsh and harmful chemicals. Hand to mouth contact is constantly happening in child care environments. By using green cleaning products, you can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that children ingest or come into contact with while at day care.
  • Disinfect regularly. While children do need a moderate amount of exposure to germs while their immune systems are developing and learning to fight off infections, it is important that they are exposed to clean environments that are regularly disinfected. Daily cleaning of day care centers is a must.
  • Teach prevention to children by modeling effective hand washing practices. Teach children to wash their hands regularly, and to scrub them with hand soap for 20 full seconds. It can be helpful to suggest that they recite the ABCs or sing Happy Birthday twice while washing their hands. Colorful, engaging posters and informative displays can also remind children the importance of cleanliness.

Effective Methods

Cleaning the most used and interacted surfaces in a child care space is important for the health and safety of children and staff. Surfaces that need regular cleaning include toys, food preparation and service areas, cribs, bathrooms, and diaper changing stations.

Cleaning with soap and water, and a good all-purpose green cleaner is one of the most effective methods for reducing germs and microbes. Thorough scrubbing and washing, along with rinsing, will help keep learning environments clean and reduce the spread of disease and infection among children, staff, and parents.

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