Daycare: Surviving the Playground of Germs

Guest Post by Childhood 101

New parents quickly learn that kids get sick, usually at the most inopportune times. But the first year a child begins attending any form of group care can be quite an eye opener, whether it be a child care centre, family day care, preschool or kindergarten it feels like children in care initially spend a LOT of time unwell.

As frustrating as it can be to have a child who is unwell and it is really no surprise that bringing together a group of small children into a confined space is likely to result in the regular transfer of germs.

So how can parents help to minimise the spread of germs as their children navigate the playground? The following tips will help you to assist your child to get off the roundabout of picking up germs.

Hand washing

Teaching your child the proper technique for hand washing and ensuring that it occurs regularly throughout the day is one of the most effective ways of limiting the spread of germs.

Managing symptoms

It is also important for children to learn the correct etiquette for managing coughing and sneezing.Teach children to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, to dispose of the tissue immediately and to then wash their hands. When a tissue is not available, children may be taught to cough or sneeze in the direction of their elbow or upper arm instead of their hands, to help prevent the very common spread of germs through hands touching other children or surfaces.Teach children to use a tissue to blow and wipe their nose when they feel it running, to dispose of the tissue immediately and to then wash their hands.Encourage children to close the toilet lid before flushing.


Children who attend daycare or preschool should be well enough to participate in the learning program. Children who are unwell should be excluded from any form of group care to help prevent the spread of germs. Centres should have a policy available to parents detailing exclusion periods when the child is unwell.