July 16, 2020

How Children Can Stay Safe, Part #4: Symptom Monitoring

Looking out for signs of sickness is an integral part of curtailing the spread of the coronavirus. That’s why we include symptom monitoring as one of the four guiding principles behind Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care’s Health EssentialsSM initiative.

“Health and wellness are paramount to the operations of a child care facility,” said Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy Chief Academic Officer. “We recommend Academies follow the guidelines put forth in our Health Essentials Program Guide. The four principals of Health Essentials are wellness education, healthy environment, enhanced hygiene and symptom monitoring.

With symptom monitoring, we’re keeping a watchful eye out for signs of sickness throughout the day. The Health Essentials guidelines focus on two components: Admittance Procedures and Monitoring Procedures. Successful implementation requires participation of Kiddie Academy staff, and the parents of students, too.

Admittance Procedures

The Health Essentials guidelines recommend that a team of at least two Academy staff members will handle admittance during drop-off. One member of the team will be outside or in the vestibule to greet your child and make a precautionary check for symptoms, including a temperature check with a touchless thermometer. “During a check, staff decide if the child’s behavior is typical for the time of day and circumstance,” said Peterson. If the child is healthy, other members of the team will escort them to their classrooms. Staff is also having their temperature checked upon arrival and anyone with a fever will be sent home.

Kiddie Academy COVID safety

Monitoring Procedures

In addition to wellness checks during drop-off, the guidelines direct staff to closely monitor the children’s appearance and behavior during the day. Peterson said, “They’ll keep an eye on the child’s appearance, noting skin, nose, mouth and breathing. Children with even mild symptoms will have their temperature checked and be isolated from others.” He said in that instance, parents or guardians will be contacted and asked to pick up the child as soon as possible. Staff will also be monitored for symptoms throughout the day.

Peterson stressed the important role parents play. “At drop-off, we’ll ask each parent how the child seemed to feel or act at home. We ask that parents be respectful of the other attendees and staff members. If their child is ill, exhibiting symptoms and or having a contagious or communicable disease, we ask that they keep the child home. Children who have been sick must remain fever-free with a temperature below 100 degrees for 24 hours before returning to the Academy. Our goal is to maintain the healthiest environment for all of our children and staff.”

For more information on symptom monitoring check out the following links:

Keep Children Healthy during the COVID-19 Outbreak – Centers for Disease Control

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: What to Do if Your Child Is Sick – KidsHealth

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