Prevent Germs in Your Classroom
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a new school year and its possibilities! There is one possibility, however, that is not so fun, and that is the genuine threat of germs. Seasoned providers and parents know that school can bring colds, coughs, and stomach flu that spread quickly in the classroom. You can prevent and reduce germs in your classroom by initiating healthy practices and activities for students, staff, and your environment.
How to Minimize the Spread Of Germs At School
One of the best ways to minimize the spread of germs at school is to build routines around personal care and classroom clean up and safety. Providers can create regular practices for children and cleaning schedules for staff. It is essential to have a full stock of sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other approved cleaning materials and that all items are safely stored. Protocols for food safety, diapering areas, toys, and sleeping areas should be clearly outlined for all staff. The California child care licensing regulations chart provides a helpful breakdown of which stations to clean, sanitize or disinfect.
Promote Hand Washing
Hand washing is vital to keep kids and adults healthy in the classroom (and all settings)! As you know, young learners do best with routines. When children can predict what happens next, they are more likely to positively engage in necessary activities like washing their hands before meals, after the bathroom, and coming in from outside play. Adding a catchy song can be another helpful tool to build hygiene habits.
Scrub scrub scrub.
Rub a dub dub.
Twist your hands together!
Teaching Little Ones About Germs
Curious little students will also want to know more about germs, what they are and where they come from. The pepper experiment is a simple way to illustrate how germs work and what we can do to stop them:
- Fill a bowl with water.
- Sprinkle pepper on top. The pepper illustrates the germs.
- First, have a child stick their finger in the bowl.
- Practice observation; watch as the pepper sticks to their fingers.
- Second, dip a finger with soap on it in the water. See how it dispels the pepper.
- Thoroughly wash their hands; you don’t want anyone with pepper in their eyes
Health for All
The state requires that children, staff, and volunteers be current on certain vaccines. The California Department of Public Health offers tools on staff and child immunizations and how to implement immunization requirements. The Vaccines for Children Program provides families extensive information on vaccines including where they can get free immunizations.
National Child Health Day
The first Monday of every October marks National Child Health Day. The purpose is to focus on childhood physical and mental health, education, and the importance of creating access to care for all. San Bernardino County has organizations that connect children and families to services, preventative tools, and health-building resources.
- Help Me Grow Inland Empire: Access referral services and developmental screenings for questions and concerns about children ages zero to five.
- Smile San Bernardino County: Helps individuals to secure optimal oral health
- San Bernardino County Department of Public Health WIC Department: WIC connects families, new mothers, and pregnant women with healthy food, nutrition education and more.
- County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health: Assists with screening, assessment, early identification and intervention, referral, and treatment services for children birth through age 6.
- Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) and Pomona Unified School District: Resource and referral agencies for child care and financial aid services for families. CCRC also hosts professional development and training opportunities for providers, including health and safety trainings
- Benefits Cal is a one stop to apply for food, cash aid and health coverage programs.