How Children Can Stay Safe, Part #2: Healthy Environment
June 29, 2020
Now more than ever, maintaining a scrupulously clean environment for kids, families and staff is a must. That’s why creating a healthy environment is one of the principles on which our Health Essentials initiative is based.
In a previous post, we introduced you to Health Essentials, Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care’s expanded set of daily health and safety precautions based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and current licensing regulations. This initiative focuses on four global principles:
- Wellness Education – Education is the first step to prevent the spread of pathogens.
- Healthy Environment – Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting throughout the Academy.
- Enhanced Hygiene – Implementation of enhanced handwashing and other personal cleanliness procedures.
- Symptom Monitoring – Keeping a watchful eye for illness throughout the day.
The earlier article looked closely at our Wellness Education principle. This post will do the same with Healthy Environment.
How Kiddie Academy is Creating a Healthy and Safe Environment for Children
Creating a healthy environment involves adopting advanced procedures and guidelines to help ensure a safe environment for children to learn and play. It includes thorough and frequent disinfecting protocols, as well as taking precautions to wear protective equipment and limit who and what may come into the Academy.
“Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched is critical to limit the spread of germs and potential disease,” said Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy Chief Academic Officer. “In addition to being one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs, a routinely cleaned Kiddie Academy facility provides parents with the greatest comfort that their children are cared for and safe from unnecessary exposure to germs.”
The Kiddie Academy Health and Safety Policy that was previously in place included practices that met or exceeded regulatory and licensing standards. Health Essentials expands upon those recommendations while adding distinct enhancements to address COVID-19. Among the new protocols are:
- Academies are professionally cleaned multiple times per week along with standard staff cleaning procedures throughout the day.
- A stronger cleaning solution effective at disinfecting coronavirus is mixed daily to ensure maximum potency.
- High-touch surfaces and toys are disinfected with a standard bleach solution. These surfaces include eating tables and highchairs, kitchen countertops, changing tables, bathrooms, sinks, toilets, water fountains, cots, infant toys, toddler toys, preschool toys, classroom tables and chairs, playground equipment, low shelves, doorknobs, other frequently touched surfaces, hardwood and laminate floors, carpets. Toys are disinfected several times each day. Mouthed toys are removed immediately after the child loses interest. Soft toys and bedding are laundered daily.
In addition to cleaning, other precautions we’re now familiar with, such as wearing facemasks, are also included in the recommendations.
Creating a healthy environment also involves being very selective on who and what can come into the Academy. That involves:
- Limiting who can come into the Academy. Children will be escorted into and out of the building by staff. Mail and delivery people will be asked to leave items at the front door. We’ll use virtual tours for many of our prospective families to reduce the risk of exposure.
- Outside personal items, such as sippy cups, toys, stuffed animals, will not be allowed.
Peterson added that other precautions we’re taking are simply based on common sense. “Children and staff who are showing signs of sickness, such as a fever, should stay at home to prevent the spread of infectious disease. If children develop symptoms during the day, Academies will have a place to segregate or quarantine the child from the rest of the children until they can be picked up.”
In addition to knowing your child will be safe at Kiddie Academy, there are many things you can do to ensure a healthy environment at home.
One way is to use the correct strength cleaning solution. The proper bleach mixture for combating COVID-19 is slightly stronger than normal:
-The bleach/water solution loses its potency over a 24-hour period, so it should be mixed daily.
-Contaminated areas require a stronger solution of ½ cup bleach to 1-gallon water when disinfecting areas exposed to vomit or feces.
-Make sure to label your spray bottles of bleach/water solution at home and keep them out of reach of children.
The CDC has more important information for making your home a healthier environment available at:
We’ll have posts on our other Health Essentials principles soon. Until then, here’s where you can learn more about the Kiddie Academy Health Essentials initiative and download information about it.
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The learning doesn't stop for parents, either. That’s why we created an information resource with helpful tips on everything from enriching our STEM program at home to introducing lifelong healthy eating and fitness habits.