The healthcare surrounding your children does not stop at home. A recent case of suspected meningitis saw two deaths at a child care center in Miami, where the two children died within days of each other. Children are generally more susceptible to illness in comparison to adults, as they are not able to make choices to keep them healthy. A child’s will to explore will inevitably have them touching multiple surfaces and putting things in their mouths, without being aware of bacteria that is invisible to the naked eye.
Your Child’s Immunity
Any public place, such as a child care center, will have lots of different people, which means lot of different germs. A child does not have the same immunity as an adult, as they are missing a subsystem of the immune system that is specialized for eliminating germs. Although we are all born with some natural immunity that provides us with a general protection, it is not enough to prevent your child from getting sick. This is because children do not yet have the adaptive immunity that adults have built up over time.
Adaptive immunity works when the body is exposed to different strains of viruses and bacteria, creating a ‘memory’ of the pathogen. By remembering this pathogen, the body can destroy it the next time it is reencountered. Over the years, an adult body would have been exposed to different strains of viruses and bacteria when going about daily life, whereas a child would have not yet been exposed to such a large variety of germs.
This does not mean that children should not be exposed to new environments, as It is only natural (and educational) for little children to explore their environment, and it is important that they do! Children use their motor and sensory abilities to make sense of the world around them, and touch is one of the most important senses when it comes to child development. But the question is, how do you let your child explore freely, without the risk of infection?
Choosing The Right Child Care Center
Do your research. Although most child care centers are aware of the risk for spreading germs, not all of them are successful in preventing them. This is why it’s important to know how your child care center maintains a healthy environment.
- It is common for many care centers to use chemicals to kill bacteria, such as chlorine-based products like household bleach. Although these chemicals are good for killing germs, they are also toxic and can be harmful to your children. A recent case in Monsanto saw a lawsuit filed against Sky Valley Education Center due to health problems caused by exposure to toxic chemicals. The article revealed that children suffered from asthma, cardiac problems and even developmental disorders. Children are by nature spending more time closer to the ground; playing and crawling, which means they are even more exposed to floor cleaning products in comparison to adults. Ingesting toxins produced from cleaning products can even result in cancer, and in rare cases, death.
- When looking for your ideal child care center, look out for places that use natural cleaning products instead, as children can safely learn and explore without the risk of germs or toxins. At Providence Children’s Academy, we make use of a non-toxic, antibacterial rubber surface that is soft and naturally germ-free. This makes it safe for children to play on, as its soft rubber surface prevents injury, whilst its anti-bacterial properties prevent germs from harming your child.
- Be sure to enquire whether your child care center is well equipped for emergency situations, as it is not always possible to prevent illness or infection. A well-run care center should have constant supervision and effective communication in order to solve any problems as quickly as possible. Security cameras, intercom systems and well-trained, equipped staff should be on your checklist. So don’t be shy to ask how emergency and preventative measures are carried out. It is important to know that your child is in safe and healthy environment in order for them to explore, learn and play to the best of their ability, without you having to worry about their well-being.
Providence Children’s Academy is family-owned, and this is reflected in the way that we operate in our child care center. Safety and care is of utmost important to us, and we strive to offer a healthy learning environment for you child. Feel free to give us at Providence Children’s Academy a call for more information.