It’s no fun taking care of sick children.

You feel sorry for them and care for them the best you can, but in no way do you want them to pass the germs to you or to anyone else. To protect their immune systems from the unwanted flu, here are some tips to keep your school flu-free.

1. Consider disposables

Paper towels, paper cups, and wooden disposable utensils can be your friends when germs are an issue.

Give children a roll of paper towels to use when washing hands in the bathroom, instead of using a communal towel.

You can advise parents not to bring their children to school. But sometimes they still bring their mildly ill children to your childcare centre. And since they’re sick, there’s usually a lot of water-drinking and vitamin/pill-taking. Plus they need to eat too…So instead of having to soak glasses and utensils in hot water together with the non-infected utensils, switch to paper cups and paper plates for the duration of the illness.

This will also help you reduce the hassle of cleaning and at the same time prevent the germs from spreading to other students.

2. Conduct routine cleaning and disinfecting

One of the most important steps in reducing the spread of infectious diseases in a childcare setting is cleaning, sanitizing or disinfecting surfaces that could possibly pose a risk to children or staff.

We’ve all heard the phrase “prevention is better than cure” right? But often we getlazy to keep the habit.

And the Early Childhood Development Association (ECDA) in Singapore is in consensus. They recently produced a detailed document stating infection control guidelines. All this is done to encourage schools and childcare centres to take routine cleaning and disinfecting a lot more seriously.

As much as your centre is about learning and development, and you have a solid curriculum, health and safety play an integral role in parents choosing your learning centre.

3. Implement good handwashing practices

As basic as it sounds, it’s that effective. Proper handwashing is a good habit to inculcate in students from a young age or any age for that matter.

All handwashing is not equal. For it to be effective, make sure you, your teachers and your students follow these steps:

  • Run warm water over your hands.
  • Add soap.
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse and dry.

You can print out handwashing reminders to put up by your sinks as visual reminders for children (and forgetful adults).

You’ll need to remind kids to wash up:

  • Each time they use the bathroom
  • Before they eat
  • After they come home from school or a play date

Washing hands is easy to do and easy not to do. Forgetting to wash hands over time could really accumulate germs and bacteria in your school.

Here’s a catchy song that your teachers can use to get children excited about handwashing.

Watch: Wash Your Hands Song

4. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often

If you think about it, door handles and light switches are practically touched by everyone and that’s a cause for concern.

New research shows that contamination of just a single doorknob can help spread germs throughout buildings, hotels or health care facilities within hours. Within a short 2-4hours, the germs spread to almost 60% of the visitors in that space. 

Now imagine 60% of your students falling ill…after going to your school. Fortunately, the researchers say that there seems to be an easy solution to the contamination issue: disinfectant wipes.

That brings us to the next practice that goes hand in hand with disinfectant wipes…

5. Stock up on alcohol-based hand sanitizers 

Hand sanitizers are tremendously effective in preventing the spread of the seasonal flu, H1N1, HFMD, general colds and other viral and bacterial-based diseases. Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol have been proven to be the most effective. 

And remember that hand sanitizers are NOT a replacement for washing your hands with soap and warm water — they don’t tackle all germs, and don’t work on visibly dirty hands.

Still, it’s good to place them in areas where sinks aren’t available or when you’re out and about exploring the great outdoors. It can also help to set up a hand sanitizer station by your door, as the first line of defense against outside germs.

*Note Of Caution: Store them out of the reach of young children. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And ensure children have adult supervision when using them (You don’t want to have curious kids eating it by accident!)

6. Here are some bonus tips…

  • Wash towels and bedding in hot water with soap
  • Wash your mops
  • Clear the rubbish bin regularly
  • Use disinfecting cleaning products

These are the minimum strategies that you should be implementing in your childcare centre. If you’d like some help with scheduling a cleaner to your childcare centre to have all these taken care of, talk to us and let’s work together

Here’s a checklist you could give to parents to help them look out for their children at home too 🙂

Here are a few songs you can sing along too as well WHILE washing your hands so that children can remember. 

Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands

(To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat):

Wash, wash

Wash your hands

Wash them nice and clean.

Scrub them here (with hand motion scrubbing together)

Scrub them there (with hand motion scrubbing tops of hands)

And scrub them in between (with hand motion scrubbing between fingers).

Wash, wash, wash, your hands

Play our handy game

Rub and scrub, scrub and rub

Germs go down the drain HEY!

Wash, wash, wash, your hands

Play our handy game

Rub and scrub, scrub and rub

Germs go down the drain HEY!

This is the Way We Wash Our Hands

(To the tune of Mulberry Bush):

This is the way we wash our hands

Wash our hands

Wash our hands

This is the way we wash our hands

Before we eat our food.

Continue with these variations: 

After we play outside. 

After we play with pets. 

After we use the potty.

After we sneeze or cough.

If You’re Happy and You Know It Wash Your Hands

(To the tune of If You’re Happy And You Know It):

If You’re Happy and You Know It Wash Your Hands!

If you’re happy and you know it,

Wash your hands!

If you’re happy and you know it,

Wash your hands!

If you’re happy and you know it,

then your face will surely show it,

If you’re happy and you know it,

Wash your hands!

Look how clean my two hands are,

(To the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star):

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

Look how clean my two hands are,

Soap and water, wash and scrub,

Get those germs off rub-a-dub,

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

Look how clean my two hands are.

The soap on your hands

(To the tune of Wheels on the Bus):

The soap on your hands goes sud, sud, sud.

Sud, sud, sud.

Sud, sud, sud.

The soap on your hands goes sud, sud, sud.

And the germs go down the drain.

Prevent the spread: Keep Flu Out of School Toolkit

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