Daycare cleaning can be most challenging during winter months. Regardless the season there are steps you can take to ensure you’re daycare is safe from germs and other harmful contaminants.
Keeping any building clean during the winter months makes for challenging cleaning. But when it comes to daycare centres winter time can pose an even greater test for daycare cleaning services particularly when it comes to minimizing the impact of germs.
As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder and cold and flu season reaches its peak, it becomes much that much harder to keep a daycare clean. Preventing the spread of germs becomes a going concern throughout the season, as does coping with the snow, slush, mud, and salt tracked in from outdoors.
At Decca Janitorial we understand the challenges daycares face maintaining healthy, clean facilities during the winter. We also know that, with help from a qualified and reliable cleaning service, there are a number of steps you can take to safeguard your facility against dirt, slush, and germs at this time of year.
Encouraging Healthy Personal Hygiene Habits
While the prevention of germs is always a priority for daycare throughout the year, during cold and flu season the concern is understandably amplified.
Between December and February, incidences of influenza and the cold become far more common with young children particularly vulnerable. When younger children become sick they are at greater risk of serious complications. They are also more inclined to get sick more frequently than adults or older children.
There are a number of ways, however, that daycares can ensure that the kids in their care are kept healthy and safe at this time of year.
Handwashing: this is an important habit that is encouraged for everyone, really, but in a daycare setting, where toddlers and preschoolers are still learning proper hygiene, it’s doubly critical. Children should be taught the practice of washing their hands frequently throughout the day, particularly at transitions – from play to eating, or playtime to nap, for instance. After visiting the bathroom, too, of course.
Covering mouths: Encouraging proper etiquette while sneezing or coughing is essential to prevent the spread of germs; a handwash to follow each incident ensures healthy germ management and the promotion of good hygiene habits. Coughing and sneezing into the elbow is a good, and easy, rule of thumb.
Stay-at-home policy: many daycare centers institute stay-at-home policies for sick children, providing parents with a list of the symptoms that require the child be kept home.
Thorough Daycare Cleaning During Cold & Flu Season
With young children very much in the exploration phase of development, they aren’t squeamish or shy about touching germy surfaces or putting germy objects in their mouths.
Given this fact, it is recommended that daycare cleaning services are adjusted to accommodate the increased health and hygiene risks posed by cold and flu season.
Runny noses, messy sneezes, and kids coughing constantly – and the kids all handling the same toys, germs are passed from one to the other in rapid succession.
A way to incorporate a regular toy cleaning schedule is to include the kids! A regular toy wash is a great way for children to have fun while taking on some of the responsibility of cleaning the toys they play with. It’s also a great way to pass time when the weather is particularly cold and everyone is stuck indoors.
Cleaning toys and surfaces effectively, to reduce the spread of germs, is a two-step process:
Wash the item, using soap and water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
Washing the item. Cleaning removes dirt but does not kill all germs. To be sure germs are gone, you must disinfect them as well. The most common ways of disinfecting are as follows:
- You can disinfect with a bleach and water solution. A solution of regular household bleach and water is an inexpensive and easy way to disinfect surfaces and objects in child care programs. The amount of bleach and water to use depends on the concentration of the bleach you choose.
- You can use a dishwasher. Durable plastic toys can be washed in the dishwasher. High water pressure and temperatures do a great job of removing germs.
- You can use a washing machine. Washcloth toys, linens, and bedding in the washing machine. Add one-half cup of chlorine bleach to the wash cycle when washing colorfast material; for non-colorfast material, add one-half cup of non-chlorinated bleach.
If toys, play equipment, tabletops, and other areas aren’t already being disinfected by staff on a daily basis, it’s important to request that your cleaning service provider increases the frequency with which this is done during winter months.
Remember that disinfecting is included in most childcare licensing regulations.
Snow, Slush, Salt & Daycare Cleaning
While minimizing germs is a priority, if your region receives significant snowfall during winter, you’ll need to adjust your daycare cleaning practices to accommodate snow, slush, salt, and other common winter contaminants.
Snow and slush melt and evaporate, leaving behind any salt, grit, or grime that was originally mixed in with the slush. This not only leaves floors and surfaces dirty, but also impacts air quality within your facility. When these particles are disturbed, they become airborne, reducing air quality, and creating concerns for children and staff with respiratory difficulties.
To help mitigate the impact of winter conditions on your facility begin with establishing a dedicated mud or cloakroom and enforce rules for how to store winter clothing.
A regular cleaning schedule will keep your daycare facility clean throughout the winter. It will also help ensure that healthy surfaces and air quality is maintained.
Consider letting Decca Janitorial Service ensure your daycare facility is cleaned right!
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1-905-792-9978, 1-416-490-7773 or 1-877-580-3980