Those classroom germs

I'm going to preface this post by saying that none of this is based on scientific statistic or knowledge and all of it is based on 20 years of experience in the field. Some of it comes from knowledge that I obtained in these years that do have some scientific basics but I am not going to find a link to give because there are too many places to find these facts.

Most people know that children get sick in child care. It's true. Typically, people (children, teachers, volunteers, etc...) will get sick in the first 6 months quite often. It will seem like you or the child never fully gets better. This is true every time you change centers as well.

After about six months (and sometimes up to a year), the rate of illness drastically gets reduced.

Why? Well, the fact is that you build up an immunity to the germs that are common to your environment. So, when you go into a new environment you are introduced to some germs that you have no experiences with. This is what causes those illnesses.

When I change jobs or centers, I just know that I will get sick in the first few months and resign myself to push through it. Unless I am kneeling in front of the porcelain bowl or have a high fever, I make sure to go in to work.

I have heard parents comment that they don't like to see their child's teacher sick at school because, in their opinion, the teacher is going to get their child sick. For the most part, the children have already been sick or at least half the class has been sick. In other words: the teacher got sick from the kids in the class.

I always implement a rule into the centers and classrooms I work in: Everyone must wash their hand upon entering the building.

This includes parents, children, teachers, volunteers, etc... When we do this, we stop MOST "new germs" from coming into the environment. Sure, germs get in, but it greatly reduces the illnesses.

Another thing that we do is open the windows and turn of the air or heater. Of course, when it's under 62, we don't do this, but in San Diego there are many days which we can keep the windows open from about 10 to 4. This also keeps the germs out.

See, the reason that people get sick more in the winter than the summer is because we get caught inside much more in the winter. Those germs sit inside multiplying and getting passed from person to person while it does it's most damage.

As long as it's not raining or we have enough cover, we make sure to get outside as well. Yes, we wear jackets and all that. But here's the thing: you don't get sick from being cold!

We actually have less illness when we do this. We also have parents donate galoshes (enough for all the children) and after a good rain we go puddle jumping! It gets them out, gets their energy used up, and stops the teachers from going insane stuck inside.

Here's the bottom line: we don't get sick from being wet or cold. If that were the case, we'd get sick every time we took a shower. We get sick from, well, being sick!

Getting wet or cold will not get you sick. Actually, it seems to be the contrary; staying in a warm, heated classroom seems to cause more illness!

So, open those windows, get out those jackets and galoshes, and get outside! Children will warm themselves up by running around and moving anyway!

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Oh, the getting sick syndrome! You really can't go through life scared of getting sick. Use common sense, wash your hands and for adults clean your phones and you would be amazed at how much trouble you save yourself. I live in the Midwest and go through a lot of the winter without a jacket, just gets in the way of driving!