• Nov

Shielding your setting from seasonal illnesses

Shielding your setting from seasonal illnesses
As we wrap ourselves up in the cosy embrace of winter, it’s not just festive spirit that’s in the air – a parade of seasonal sniffles, coughs, and of course the ever-present Coronavirus, are on the prowl too. According to the NHS, it’s completely normal for a child to have 8 or more colds a year. Their little immune systems are in training, building up resistance, which means they will gradually get fewer colds as they grow. Most colds resolve in about 5 to 7 days, but don’t be surprised if they linger for up to 2 weeks in smaller children.

What about other illnesses we hear you cry? Fear not! You can transform your childminding haven into a fortress of health and wellbeing with our trusty guide to keeping those germs at bay…

Prioritise hygiene: Make handwashing fun! Sing songs, use colourful soaps, and ensure those little hands are cleaned regularly, especially before meals and after playtime. Regularly clean toys, surfaces, and doorknobs with an antibacterial cleaning product.

Illness awareness: Keep up-to-date with the latest advice on common winter illnesses. Be vigilant. If a child shows signs of illness (think persistent coughing, high temperature, unusual lethargy), it’s time for them to rest at home and seek medical advice if necessary.

Clear communication: Keep parents in the loop with your policies on illness and administering medicines. Having these in writing makes it easier for parents to refer to, and policies should include information about exclusion periods for illnesses. Talk to parents about their back up plan in the event their child is ill.

A ready-to-go isolation zone: Have a cosy corner ready just in case a child starts to feel unwell during the day, where they can wait for their parents to collect them. This helps prevent the spread of any potential illness.

Promoting healthy habits: Serve up plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost those young immune systems. Fresh air is vital. Wrap the kids up warmly and let them play outside. This not only boosts physical health but mental well-being too.

Don’t forget about yourself: You’re the captain of this ship, and keeping yourself healthy is crucial. Make sure you get enough rest and relaxation. A well-rested childminder equals a happy, healthy setting.

The winter months can be challenging, but with a little preparation, vigilance, and care your childminding setting can be a safe, warm, and joyful place, even when the temperatures drop.

By Ivy Steele