Making the most of pre-school and daycare
As your child embarks on the exciting process of learning, they come into contact with more people and their exposure to germs increases. Maintaining good hygiene will help to reduce the chance of your child becoming unwell. We have seen when and how your child should wash their hands when they are with you, but what about when they start at daycare or pre-school?
Places to wash their hands
Visit the centre with your child so you can both see the washing facilities available. You can then talk to your child about when and where they should wash their hands.
Remind them that even though they aren’t at home, they should still wash their hands regularly, especially after they have been to the toilet and before they eat.
Talk About Toilets
At first, using a toilet away from home may seem daunting. Give your child confidence to ask to go to the toilet when they need to and to ask for help if they need it. One way to reduce the likelihood that they will need help is to dress them in clothing that is easy to do up again once they have been to the toilet. Make sure they know they should wash their hands after they go to the toilet.
Eating at pre-school and daycare
If schools offer a set meal, this will usually be healthy and well balanced. If your child has a choice of food, talk to them about the good things to eat and the importance of eating different sorts of foods; when they get home ask what they chose for lunch so you know what they have eaten that day.
If you are providing your child with a packed lunch make sure it provides a nutritionally-balanced meal. Wash your hands before preparing, and pack it in a hard, airtight box. Prepare cooked and raw food separately, and wash fruit and vegetables before putting them in the lunch box.
Below is a list that you and your child can talk about to help them remember when they should wash their hands – before or after:
- Using the toilet or potty
- Touching blood or body fluids
- Playing with a pet or other animals
- Wiping/blowing their nose, or coughing/sneezing on their hands
- Touching a dirty surface (e.g. dirty cloth, used tissues)
- Contact with someone who is unwell
- Whenever they look dirty
When soap and water aren’t available...
- Hand sanitizers are designed to kill germs on hands that are not visibly dirty, without the need for water or towels.
- Apply gel per label directions.
- Rub hands together briskly, including the front and back, between fingers, around and under nails.
Preventing Cold & Flu’s in Children
Wash your hands
Teach your children how to hand wash after coughing and sneezing, and after touching dirty tissues. Make sure they understand importance of washing their hands before handling food, after going to the toilet and after playing outside.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Show children how to use a tissue to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze. Teach them to put their used tissues in the bin and to wash their hands afterwards.
Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces
It’s vital that you clean and disinfect surfaces regularly, especially the surfaces that people often touch with their hands, such as taps, handles and bench tops until hands are dry.