When your child starts daycare, you can bet it won’t be long before they start getting sick. It’s common for toddlers to pick up germs at daycare, leaving them with what feels like constant colds, runny noses and coughs.
While experts say the germs that children are exposed to in daycare are actually good for their immune system, as a parent, it can be tough watching your child pick up yet another illness. So, how can you prevent your toddler getting sick at daycare and more importantly, should you try to prevent it? Here, you’ll discover some great tips and advice you can follow.
Why Daycare Germs Are Actually Good For Toddlers, According To Experts
Did you know it’s actually really common for toddlers to get sick a lot during their first 12 months at daycare? Some experts even suggest that it is common for them to develop anything from 8-12 colds over the first 12-month period. It’s understandably really frustrating for parents, but could it actually be good for your toddler?
According to many health experts, the germs toddlers are exposed to during daycare are good for their immune system. There’s even been research to suggest that toddler’s who do get sick a lot at day care, go on to become healthier than those who didn’t. So, attempting to eliminate the risk of your toddler getting sick completely isn’t a good idea if you want them to develop a healthy immune system.
However, that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t reduce the number of times your toddler does get sick. So, let’s take a look at the things you can do to lower their risk.
How Clean Is The Daycare Center?
Each daycare center is different and not all of them follow strict hygiene policies. So, it’s worth taking a look around the daycare center to see how clean it is and what hygiene practices they have in place.
How clean are the toys for example? It’s common for toddlers to put toys in their mouth, then share them with others. This is the number one-way germs are spread in a daycare center. So, ideally the daycare center would frequently wash the toys after they’ve been played with.
Understanding The Daycare Sickness Policy
Another thing to look into is the daycare’s sickness policy. Some specifically state that if a child has a fever, they shouldn’t attend daycare until it’s disappeared. Others ask parents to keep their child out of daycare if they have any symptoms, regardless of whether they have a fever or not. This is because a fever often comes after a child has already developed other contagious symptoms.
You’ll also want to see what the staff sickness policy entails. Are staff allowed to just call in sick if they are ill? If not, you might want to consider switching to a different daycare center!
Ensure Your Toddler Knows The Importance Of Hand Washing
You can’t necessarily control how the staff handle sickness at daycare, but you can make sure your toddler knows how to reduce the risks themselves. Hand washing is one of the best habits you can teach your toddler. Ensure they know why it’s important to wash their hands and get them into the habit at home.
Let them know they should wash heir hands after playing with toys or sharing anything with other children. This will really help to reduce their risk of picking up germs.
Practice Good Hygiene At Home
Toddlers often learn from their parents when it comes to basic hygiene. So, make sure you’re setting a good example at home. Make it a point to wash your hands together before eating and after playing with toys. That way, they’ll get so used to dong it at home, they won’t think twice about doing it at daycare too.
Boosting Your Toddler’s Immune System
While good hygiene will definitely reduce the risk of your toddler getting sick at daycare, it’s even more important to build up their immune system. This means making sure they’re eating a balanced, healthy diet packed full of vitamins and nutrients. It also means making sure they are active and spend a good amount of time playing outdoors.
Calcium, Vitamin C and Vitamin D are all important for your toddler’s immune system. So, by focusing on boosting their immune system and keeping them active, you’ll be able to minimize their risk of getting sick.
These are some of the best ways to prevent your toddler getting sick at daycare. It is worth noting however, that you can’t possibly prevent sickness bugs completely. As discussed earlier, it’s also important for toddlers to be exposed to some common germs as it helps build up their immune system over time. So, follow the tips and advice above, but stock up on toddler cold remedies for the illnesses you can’t prevent.