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The Odds of Catching a Cold Are In Your Own Hands

Winter is the peak of cold and flu season and this year Americans will come down with 1 billion colds, and 20% of us will get the flu. When it's colder and less humid, germs travel faster and hang in the air. This environment allows them to live longer and makes transmission easier; making it more likely that you'll catch or spread an illness-causing bug.

As child care providers we must actively fight against colds and flu, not only for ourselves, but for the children in our care, too. As an owner and/or director, it falls to you to educate your staff and check in with them periodically to follow up on their follow through! Don't wait for a parent who is frustrated about missing work because her child keeps getting sick to complain about your lack of preventive measures. Be proactive and know what is really taking place in your classrooms - and what is not.

Germs have difficulty growing in clean, dry and well-ventilated environments. Research supports preventive steps such as regular and proper hand washing, ventilating rooms regularly with lots of fresh air, getting children outside in the fresh air, and establishing cleaning routines to help limit the spread of infections.

Notice how often each classroom changes the soap in the dispenser at their hand washing sink. Visit classrooms during lunch preparation, after playing outside, etc. and observe how well the children wash their hands. Ask parents to reinforce proper hand washing techniques at home, too.  Consider visiting a thrift store and purchasing plastic tissue box covers for the classrooms. Think about it, as adults, we reach for a tissue before we sneeze or before the contents of our nose runs out onto our face; but children usually do not reach for a tissue until after the mucous explosion! Yucky but true.  A cardboard tissue box spreads germs to each person who uses it. A plastic cover can be wiped with a disinfectant cleaner a few times a day.

The children must take their nap blankets, pillows, etc. home to be washed at least weekly.

Make believers of your staff! Convince them that proper hand washing really is the single most important prevention step for reducing the spread of disease. If everyone will properly wash their hands often, and keep their hands away form their mouths, eyes and noses, the occurrences of colds and flu will be greatly reduced this year. See this months handout which includes the phrase "bubble gloves" and a suggestion to make this chore easier to deal with in the classroom.

Teach everyone to cough and sneeze "into their elbow" instead of their hands. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces several times throughout the day. Advocate fist bumps over handshakes and high fives.

Teachers need to regularly and properly use disinfectant to wipe down toys, crib rails, high chairs, doorknobs, toilet handles, keyboards, tabletops and other areas that are frequently touched throughout the day. Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces often will reduce the chance of spreading germs. Make sure that you and your staff read and follow the directions printed on the labels of every cleaner and disinfectant used in the child care center. Contamination of toys and other objects in the room contributes to the transmission of diseases and germs in child-care centers. Proper use of the chemicals you purchase to fight germs helps maintain a healthy environment.

"Two of the most important things we've done in medicine are getting people vaccinated and getting people to wash their hands." Robert W. Frenck Jr., MD, Professor of Pediatrics Cincinnati Children's Medical Center

What does child care licensing mean when it refers to "sanitizing" and what is the difference between "sanitizing" and "disinfecting?" Disinfecting is the third step in sanitizing after washing the item with water and soap. Sanitizing requires a four-step process. For the sanitizing process to be effective, these steps must be followed in order:

(1) Wash with water and soap;
(2) Rinse with clear water;
(3) Soak in or spray on a disinfecting solution (at least two minutes). Rinsing with cool water only those items that children are likely to place in their mouths; and
(4) Allow the surfaces or articles to air-dry.

What is a disinfecting solution? A disinfecting solution may be:
(1) A self-made solution, prepared as follows:
One tablespoon of regular strength liquid household bleach to each gallon of water used for disinfecting such items as toys and eating utensils; or
One-fourth cup of regular strength liquid household bleach to each gallon of water used for disinfecting surfaces such as bathrooms, crib rails, and diaper-changing tables; and
You must prepare each solution daily and place it in a closed and labeled container; or
(2) A commercial product that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an antimicrobial product and includes directions for use in a hospital as a disinfectant. You must use the product according to label directions.

Items that may be washed in a dishwasher or hot cycle of a washing machine which runs at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for five or more minutes do not need additional disinfecting because these machines use water that is hot enough, for long enough, to kill most germs.

One final fact that may go a long way in convincing everyone at the child care center that they must be vigilant about preventing colds, flu and other illnesses in the child care center: Most illnesses are contagious before their signs and symptoms appear, and certainly while their symptoms are masked by medication. It is possible to pass the germs without having the symptoms and/or to continue passing them even after recovering from the illness.


2013 Fall Training Conferences

Friday Management Session/$99 per person 

(8:30am-1:30pm/5 clock hours)

Director's Boot Camp #21

Creating an Unstoppable Team, Taking Care of Your Staff On A Tight Budget and Getting the Most Out of Your Staffing Hours 

Saturday Management Session - Director's Round Table   

$99.00 per person

Survival Skills for Effective Directors

Find out how experienced directors have developed their skills to bring out the best in employees, ten tips for supervisors, techniques for avoiding burnout and how you are doing - self review tool.


Saturday Staff Session/$29.00 per person    

*Group Discount: 10 or more staff- $25.00 per person*


 (5 Clock hrs. each attendee will receive a 1 hr. take-away training module)

Keynote: "Team Work"

The Role of a Teacher - Being a teacher is hard work today. There are so many facets to the job that didn't exist 10 yrs ago. Learn what that entails and how to do your job effectively without being stressed out. Positive interactions and building relationships with parents

will also be covered in this session. 


Fri. Dec.13th & Sat. Dec. 14th 

Marriott Waterway 1601 Lake Robbins Dr.


Click here to view more info on these and other conferences through December! 


Visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com to download 

the registration form under the CONFERENCE tab,  

or call 972-979-0282 for more information
on these exciting training sessions.




DFW - Prestigious Child Care Center                       $3,250,000.00

This premier location (east of Dallas) has street frontage and significant public exposure in a thriving community with lots of growth potential. Excellent reputation with limited competition within a 5 mile radius. The center is licensed to serve more than 300 children operating Monday-Friday, 6:30am to 6:30pm. This year-round program offers educational day care services for children 6 wks. to 12 yrs., including after-school care and summer programs. The state-of-the-art facility is over 10,000 square feet, situated on more than 3 acres, is in impeccable condition and well-equipped. It is a solid-producer with considerable room for expansion. Thus, revenues and profitability can be improved significantly.  In recent months some operational procedures have been modified which are creating immediate expense reductions leading to increased profitability. The current sales price is predicated on its current enrollment.  This booming area commands the presence of centers of this quality. A well-established Preschool of this caliber doesn't come along everyday!



See you next month with more new and exciting ideas and information!


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Click here
to download this month's Staff Handout

"Classroom Health Is In Your Hands"




Wash Your Hands

(tune: "Row Your Boat")

Wash, wash,
wash your hands.

Wash them nice and clean.

Wash them on top,
wash them on bottom
and fingers in between.

(Sing twice through while washing hands.)


Hand Washing Song

(tune: "Frere Jacques")

Tops and Bottoms,
Tops and Bottoms,

In between,
In between,

All around your hands,
All around your hands,

Makes them clean.
Makes them clean.

All around, All around

Our Favorite Ideas from Pinterest this month:

*Teachers and caregivers whose manicures match their classroom's weekly learning theme!

*"I Spy" Christmas ornaments:  Children put small trinkets and epsom salts inside clear plastic ornaments!

*Children stack green plastic Solo cups into a tree/pyramid shape and toss round brightly colored beanbags to knock 'em down!

*Children count multicolored pom poms as they stick them on pine cones in the math center. They  look like mini Christmas trees!

*And of course, Rudolph pictures made with a child's footprint (head) and hand prints (antlers) are always adorable!


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*The best "treatment" for a cold is prevention so please reinforce lessons about hand washing at home.

*Children need fresh air and exercise in order to remain healthy. Children who are too ill to play outside are too ill to attend the child care center.  

*To relieve a stuffy nose, use saline nose drops. Ask your pediatrician which ones to use, and NEVER use over-the-counter nose drops that contain any medication.
*Clear a baby's nose with a suction bulb. Squeeze the bulb, gently put the rubber tip into the baby's nostril and slowly release the bulb. This works best for babies less than 6 months old.
*Use a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room to moisten the air and clear nasal passages. Clean the humidifier often and use distilled water.

If your child does catch a cold:

*Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
*Serve soup. Chicken soup for colds is not a myth. University of Nebraska researchers
exposed neutrophils (the white blood cells that fight infections but also cause
inflammation) to diluted chicken broth. The liquid slowed the movement of the
cells, suggesting that in the body, chicken soup can do the same thing, possibly by relieving symptoms. Fish soup is revered as a cold-fighter in various cultures-and some physicians sanction hot and sour soup from Chinese restaurants!
*If the virus does not go away, or seems to worsen, call your pediatrician.




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December 2012 Newsletter January 2013 Newsletter
February 2013 Newsletter March 2013 Newsletter
April 2013 Newsletter May 2013 Newsletter
June 2013 Newsletter July 2013 Newsletter
August 2013 Newsletter September 2013 Newsletter
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