The health crisis of the past year and a half have made us mindful of healthy practices to follow. There are several practices to follow in your preschool room at church. Although not foolproof, these will help to prevent the spread of viruses and infections. Following these guidelines will help to keep you, preschoolers, and their families healthy.
The most effective thing you can do to keep germs from spreading is by washing hands. Take care to wash hands yourself and teach preschoolers hand washing procedures. The preferred method for washing hands is with soap and running water. Using hand sanitizer is recommended only if you cannot use soap and water, and there is no visible soil. Keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of preschoolers and supervise the use of hand sanitizer at all times so it is not ingested. Wash hands at these times:
- Upon entering the classroom.
- Before and after preparing food and eating.
- After using the toilet and after helping a preschooler use the toilet.
- Before playing in water that is used by more than 1 person.
- After playing in sand.
- After playing outdoors.
- After blowing your nose or helping a preschooler blow his nose.
- Consider adding a handwashing time before and after play in the interest areas.
Keep a Clean Classroom
Healthy practices include:
- Disinfect surfaces after each session: tables, chairs, door handles, drawer pulls, diapering surfaces, cribs, and cubbies.
- Keep a plastic tub or bin in the classroom to place toys used in the session or items a baby puts in her mouth. These will be ready to disinfect at the end of the session.
- Use materials that are smooth and nonporous so these can be disinfected.
- Avoid using cloth dolls and stuffed animals unless they will be laundered each week.
- Launder dress-up clothes and doll blankets from the Homeliving area each month.
- Follow proper diapering procedures.
- Maintain proper distance between cribs.
- Keep disposable gloves in the classroom to use when there is contact with blood or other body fluids. Wash hands after gloves are removed.
Teach Healthy Habits
Teaching preschoolers how to stay healthy is ongoing. Use teachable moments to help preschoolers learn healthy habits.
- Practice coughing into the elbow.
- Teach preschoolers to cough into a tissue and then throw the tissue away.
- Teach the steps in washing hands: wet, soap, rub, rinse, dry.