The spread of infectious disease can be prevented and the three most important ways to do this are:
- Washing and drying hands thoroughly – A person can show no signs of an illness and an infection can still spread. Washing and drying hands thoroughly dilutes, loosens and rinses off germs
- Exclusion of sick children and staff –the infected person should be sent home as soon as possible and adhere to the centre’s exclusion policy.
This is a simple and effective method of preventing certain infections which can cause serious illness. If your toddler is immunised they will be unlikely to pass the infection onto others. To make sure that your child has received all the current vaccinations recommended for their age group and to view the National Immunisation Program Schedule – click here.
Your child care centre should ask for a copy of your child’s immunisation records when you enrol.
Unfortunately, it is inevitable your toddler will get sick at some point, regardless of whether they attend child care. However, the chance of infections and illness spreading is greatly increased in child care due to exposure to a large number of children.
It all starts at home
Balanced nutrition from a variety of food groups and enough sleep is vital for your toddler. Poor diet and sleep cannot support their energy needs when they’re busy at child care!
Good hygiene habits are also important and if taught early and practised at home they can help prevent your toddler and others from getting an infection. Teach and practice the importance of:
- Washing and drying hands after going to the toilet, coughing, sneezing, touching pets, when they come home from child care and before eating
- When using tissues to blow their nose and throwing these in the bin right after they’ve finished
- Coughing or sneezing into their elbow. If your toddler covers their mouth with hands teach them to wash them afterwards.