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Children and Sickness in a Child Care Setting

Well it is that time of year again. School has now been in session, in most local school districts, for a little over 7 weeks. So children are being exposed to more germs than usual. We are also entering into cold and flu season. As a center based provider of childcare for children ages 6 weeks to school age I would like to pass on some advice to help prevent the spread of germs.

First of all, everybody needs to practice good hand washing hygiene. Hot water and soap rub hands together for 30 seconds and then rinse.

If you sneeze or cough do so into the crook of your arm. Many viruses are spread through the air.

Dispose of used tissues immediately in a proper manner.

If you or your child is feeling unwell pay attention. (As you may have heard there have been some cases of enterovirus which looks and acts like a cold but is much worse)

If your child is running a temperature. See a doctor. Please don’t send your child to daycare. Yes, I know we all need to work and make money to live on ,but, sometimes, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Exclude your child from daycare if they are experiencing stomach or bowel upset. If you bring them in they will only end up being sent home.

Practice good sanitizing at home. At our child care centers we sanitize constantly to help prevent the spread of germs. Wipe down most frequently touched surface such as door knobs, door jambs, counter tops, tables, chairs you may also consider sanitizing your kids toys once a week, especially sanitize toys that have been shared with a friend. Never allow your child to drink from anyone elses glass.

When shopping take your own hand sanitizer with you and wipe down the cart handle. Especially if you are shopping with your child!!! They will inevitably lick or put their mouth on that handle.

If you practice good health habits your child will learn them too. Here is to staying healthy and not spreading our germs!

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Weather Fears and Children

Did You Know?

Thunderstorms are most likely to occur in the spring and summer months and mostly in the afternoon and evening hours. Thunderstorms can also occur other times of the year including winter during a snow storm.

 

Recently, I had a conversation with a parent after one of our Spring Thunderstorms. The parent told me she was so afraid because there were tornado watches and warnings. She had the television on and was glued to the weather while she was talking on the phone with her mother expressing her grave concerns . When the thunderstorm finally hit, her child was inconsolable. He walked around the house shaking and crying. She could not understand why her child was acting this way. He had never done this before.

Your child will pick up on your fears and emotions quickly. Had she just treated it in a calmer manner and not fixated on the weather forecast on the television, as well as calling her mother in front of her child and expressing her grave concerns, her child may not have reacted in the manner he did. Her fears were telegraphed to the child.

 

Our children look to use for security and reassurance during times of stress and uncertainty. When you are confronted with a situation that causes you fear and your child is with you, it is best to remain calm. Remain calm and take actions to protect your children and yourself. Being hysterical and expressing your fears will exasperate the situation.

 

Be sure to talk to your child about their fears. Yes, thunderstorms can be scary. Their fear of thunderstorms can be stopped or at least eased in a few steps.

 

First, reassure your child that the storm is outside and cannot hurt them in your home.

 

Let your child know you are there to protect them.

Explain to the child what causes lightening.

Be sure to reassure your child that the lightening clap is very loud and can be scary, but he is fine.

Have the child count after the lightening flash until they hear the clap.

Explain to them that is how many miles away from your house the lightening is.

 

If your child is school age and still afraid, take the time to explain the science behind thunder and lightning. By educating your child to the reason why storms happens you can help them look at it differently.

 

Until next time!

Miss Joy

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Put Down The Anti Bacterial and Back Away

Antibacterial Cleaning Products are they really worth it in the Long Run?

It would seem that if soap kills germs and helps us to be healthier than antibacterial soap would kill more germs and help us to be even healthier. The problem is that antibacterial soaps and cleaners may be doing far more damage to our bodies and our environments than they are doing goods. Some scientists even propose that taking these products off of the shelf, or regulating the amount of them that can be used in residential settings would be the best course of action.

Antibacterial cleaners include substances such as triclosan, which is well known for being a bacteria killer. The problem is that the human body has good bacteria on it that it needs and triclosan cannot distinguish between the good bacteria that we need and the bad bacteria that is going to give us an intestinal bug,

The antibacterial cleaners can only kill what bacteria are susceptible to it. When you are sick the doctor has to write you a prescription for the antibiotic that is known to take care of the type of illness you have. Not all antibiotics work on all bacteria. The same is true of these antibacterial agents. Some bacteria are resistant to their effects. If you kill all of the susceptible bacteria with the cleanser you leave the non-responsive bacteria there with no competition so they can multiple even faster than before. Soon you have diseases and bacteria that are super-resistant because they have been exposed to the low doses so frequently that they adapt to it.

While we are using these antibacterial agents and creating stronger bacteria we are not killing the main cause for most human illnesses. Most of the diseases we catch are viral in nature and viruses are not affected by antibacterial cleansers or by antibiotics. The common cold can be relieved with some medications, but basically we have to let it run its course once we have been in contact with the virus. A normal cleanser is just as effective at removing the presence of viruses as the antibacterial versions are.

The ingredients in the antibacterial cleansers have been proven to cause fish to become sterile. With all of the people in all of the houses using some sort of antibacterial cleanser, large quantities of these killing chemicals are being flushed into the sewer systems. When the sewer water has been through its cleansing process at the sewer treatment facility it reenters our systems in lakes, streams, drinking water, and such. When the fish that are exposed to these chemicals for a long period of time become sterile then we start to reduce the world’s food supply through the use of these cleansers. It is even scarier to think that if these chemicals can cause fish to be sterile; can they cause human beings to also become sterile over a period of time?

Antibacterial cleansers are promoted as being the healthiest thing for you to use, but old timers say we all have to eat a peck of dirt in our lives. Maybe the old timers were right.

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Calling on your IMAGINATION

Growing your Child’s Imagination

The days of childhood when you were free to let your imagination take you wherever it may lead were special times in our lives. Many children never get to experience this freedom because today every minute of their lives is organized, categorized, and filled with activities that have been structured for them. Children spend more time playing with video games than they do playing with a cardboard box. That box can become anything in their mind, castles, hospitals, and houses. Imagination is what it takes to design new things and to make the world a better place. You can help your child grow their imagination and let their inner creativity surface with a few simple activities.

Tell your child stories. Do not get down a book, sit down with the child and ask them what they would like to hear a story about. Start to make up the story and ask the child for help with what the characters look like and what they do in the story. It does not matter if your tale is silly or does not make sense because it is all imaginary, and it does not even have to have a moral.

Go by your local appliance store and bring home a big cardboard box. Set the big box in an open area inside the house and allow your child to determine what the box will become. It may be a castle where the beautiful princess lives and then again it could be a cave that the child must use as a place to hide from enemies. Let them decorate their box and help them make window cutouts or other things that turn their big empty box into something they imagine it to be.

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Have a puppet show, but instead of puppets use ordinary household items. Collect things from your home like strainers, flashlights, paper cups, and anything you can think of. Take the items and allow the child to use them as their puppets. They have to imagine the items as being something other than what they are.

Paint with your child and draw with them. Get blank sheets of paper and allow your child to draw and paint anything they wish. If you also get a blank piece of paper and draw alongside of them you will find that not only will they be using their imaginations to create new images, but you will be spending quality bonding time with them.

Visit an art museum with your child. You can also use a picture book that has pictures of places and people in them. Make up stories about what is happening in the picture that you see. You and your child can make up the story together or you can each say what you think is happening or should happen next. This can also be done by sitting on a park bench and watching the people pass by. As you watch the people play the game of trying to guess what they do for a living or where they are going today.

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Whooping Cough Alert!

Yesterday it was reported that several cases of whooping cough has been confirmed at a Pittsburgh High School.

The school district is taking precautions to prevent further spread. It is not known at this time where it was contracted.

 

Whooping cough can be deadly to the very young, very old and those with a compromised immune systems.

Whooping cough was pretty much wiped out here in the United States. But, in other parts of the world it is still very much a problem the same with polio, measles, mumps and small pox and many other diseases. I personally know a woman who recently had Whooping Cough. She caught it while visiting the Far East. She was immunized as a child against Whooping Cough. She suggests that adults get boosters to their immunizations.

There has been a surge in Whooping Cough outbreaks across the country. In 2010 there was a Whooping Cough out break in California. Over 5,00 infants came down with whooping cough. Out of that number 9 infants died. This was the largest outbreak since 1955 in California. Recent history in PA 2009 in Western PA 19 school age children from one school district were diagnosed with Whooping cough. All of these children had not been immunized.

Vaccinating your child today will keep disease at bay in the future. Why chance your child becoming ill with Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Whooping Cough or even Polio.

 

For more information on Whooping Cough also known as Pertussis you can go to this link http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/signs-symptoms.html

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Make Time For Family!

 

Importance of ” Family Time “

What is “family time” and why is it so important? We are hearing more and more references to family time from different experts on child rearing. There have been studies done to show that this time spent with familial members is crucial in the mental well-being of a child. There have been studies that show this time could make the difference in your having an adolescent that is out of control and having an adolescent that is dependable and easy to communicate with.

Family time allows you to establish a bond with your children that can never be broken and will never be forgotten. You should make at least on specific time in the day and the week as family time. Dinner time is generally considered to be family time in most homes. During dinner most people like to sit around the table with the whole family and discuss their days and the things they need done the next day. These evening hours give you the chance to find out what is happening in the life of your child and gives them time to find out what is happening in your life.

Family game night is popular in m any households. On family game night there are no guests and the family participates in things like board games together. The playing of these games gives your family a chance to bond and interact with one another. Remember that during family game night the telephones are turned off as well as all of the other electronic devices. You want to have time together with no distractions, and to show your children that they are the most important things in your life.

Family time builds trust between the members of the familial group. The act of spending time together unites parents to children, children to parents, and siblings to each other. These bonds are crucial to a family’s happiness and survival.

Family time gives each member of the family an opportunity to see the other members of their family in a different light. If the kids see dad dressed for work and leaving each morning, and then returning home late in the evening tired and stressed they really do not get a clear picture of who their dad is. During family time dad gets to relax and allow the children to see the casual side of their father.

A good way to spend some family time is in front of a fire and telling stories. Not ghost stories, but family remembrances. Mom and dad can tell stories of things they have seen and done and the children can ask questions and tell stories of their own. Some families are musically inclined and they play instruments and sing together, it does not matter what you are doing as long as you are unplugged from the world and your attention is on your family members only.

Do not forget to include aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents in some of your family time activities. Make homemade ice cream under a shade tree and tell stories. Just get together and be together.

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So you need a crib….

So you need a crib. Please read the following information before you buy a crib from a resale shop or let your neighbor or family member lend you the one they used for their kids.

The following statement comes directly from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission..

As of June 28, 2011, all cribs manufactured and sold (including resale) must comply with new and improved federal safety standards. The new rules, which apply to full-size and non full-size cribs, prohibit the manufacture or sale of traditional drop-side rail cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware and require more rigorous testing. The details of the rule are available on CPSC’s website at www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr11/cribfinal.pdf.

To view the full sized version got to CPSC Website
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Professional Licensed Child Care VS. Unlicensed Child Care

Professional Licensed Child Care Center VS Unlicensed In Home Babysitting

 I listened to a very disturbing news report today, A woman who babysits out of her home was recently arrested for drugging the children in her care with Benadryl to keep them quiet.
I was frankly appalled, but, not shocked,  all too often you hear on the news about an in home unregulated provider doing something outrageous. Whether it is allowing a person to watch the children that has a criminal record, leaving children unattended or even worse.
In today’s economic times it seems as if any person who has ever babysat a child or who has given birth is advertising that they provide low cost daycare in their home.

The never ending debate between choosing Child Care Center based child care or In Home child care. What is the right choice? This is really a personal choice.

Below find the definitions of the types of care:

  • Child Care Center: A child care facility in which seven or more children who are not related to the operator receive child care. A child care center must have a certificate of compliance (“license”) from the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) in order to legally operate.
  • Group Child Care Home: A child care facility in which seven through 12 children of various ages or in which seven through 15 children from 4th grade through 15 years of age who are not related to the operator receive child care. A group child care home must have a certificate of compliance (“license”) from DPW in order to legally operate.
  • Family Child Care Home: A child care facility located in a home in which four, five, or six children who are not related to the caregiver receive child care. A family child care home must have a certificate of registration from DPW in order to legally operate.

Child Care Centers in Pennsylvania are subject to state regulations and annual inspections as well as additional trainings every year. In Home care is not subject to any regulation until the in home provider reaches 4 children in their care not including their own. Once an in home care provider reaches 4 children then they must be registered with the Department of Public Welfare and then they are regulated. A Family Child Care Home is Inspected every 2 years.

Child Care Facilities are set up exclusively for the care and education of children. Safety and Education are the top priority.

A home is, well, just that a home. A place a family lives.

Child Care Facility Staff have been trained and educated in caring for and educating children.

In Home providers do get some training if they are running legally.
Most “Stay At Home Moms” do not have the required training.

How many times have you seen an ad for a stay at home mom willing to babysit?

The questions you need to ask are:

  • What sort of education does this provider have?
  • Is there a learning program?
  • How can you be assured your child will not be just sat in front of the television?
  • Will your baby be put in the same room as older children?
  • How does this person discipline children?
  • Does this person have the proper insurance in case your child gets hurt?
  • Is this person certified in CPR and First Aid?
  • Is the outdoor play space safe?
  • Is the primary indoor area safe?
  • Has this person had a Criminal Background check or Child Abuse Clearances?
  • Is there any other individuals who will be in contact with your child during the day?
  • Do those people have Criminal Background checks or Child Abuse Clearances?
  • What happens when the provider gets sick or has a family emergency?
  • What are you supposed to do when they are not available?

Fortunately, by enrolling in a good quality professionally run and licensed child care center your child will be safe, educated and cared for. No center is perfect, but, they are held to a high set of standards that In Home babysitters are not.

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Immunizations Part 2

In this ever expanding Global Community you no longer have to travel outside of the United States to come in contact with diseases we immunize against. If you fly on an airplane chances are pretty good someone on that flight has traveled outside of the US and could be a carrier of a disease. Take a look at the woman in the news recently. She infected hundreds of people with measles just by flying in an airplane and changing planes in 2 US airports. You should protect your child with proper immunizations.

Whooping cough was pretty much wiped out here in the United States. But, in other parts of the world it is still very much a problem the same with polio, measles, mumps and small pox and many other diseases. I personally know a woman who recently had Whooping cough. She caught it while visiting the Far East. She was immunized as a child against Whooping Cough. She suggests that adults get boosters to their immunizations.

There has been a surge in Whooping Cough outbreaks across the country. In 2010 there was a Whooping Cough out break in California. Over 5,00 infants came down with whooping cough. Out of that number 9 infants died. This was the largest outbreak since 1955 in California. Recent history in PA 2009 in Western PA 19 school age children from one school district were diagnosed with Whooping cough. All of these children had not been immunized.

Vaccinating your child today will keep disease at bay in the future. Why chance your child becoming ill with Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Whooping Cough or even Polio.

‘Til Next Time

Miss Joy

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Immunization Debate

There are some parents who believe they cause Autism, some believe they are cause of neurological disorders.

 

Well, I am on the fence on this one. Parents can choose whether to immunize or not. I personally chose immunization for my own child. The only problem I had was when the Pediatrician would say 5 shots. Whoa .. Hold on a minute there. 5.. Really. Even I can see that bombarding a young child or infant with so many vaccines seems a bit excessive. I told my Pediatrician I limited it to 2 per visit. I even held off on the MMR series until my son was 5 years old.

 

You, as a parent, have the right to limit how many shots your child will receive at each visit. Speak to your pediatrician and let them know where you stand. You do not have to allow your child be bombarded.

 

If your child attends child care you can write a note to be placed in your childs file that states your feelings and that the schedule will be XY and Z. You should protect your child with proper immunizations. Whooping cough was pretty much gone here. But, in other parts of the world it is still very much a problem the same with polio, measels, mumps and many other diseases.

 

In my next installment I will discuss Whooping Cough and other diseases that have been recently become a problem..

 

Until Next Time

Children are our future

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