Coronavirus and Child Care

Child Care Aware of America is committed to providing news and the latest information to help prepare families, child care providers and policymakers as the situation around the Coronavirus(COVID-19) outbreak continues to be monitored. To equip communities, CCAoA gathered resources to ensure the safety of all individuals. This particular article will focus on how Coronavirus impacts child care providers and CCR&Rs.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, human Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that commonly cause mild to moderate illnesses like the common cold. Almost everyone gets infected with one of these viruses at some point in their lives, and most of the time the illness lasts for a short amount of time. 

A new human Coronavirus, called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), was discovered in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. Symptoms are similar to the flu and can include: 

-Shortness of breath
-Body aches
-Sore throat

The CDC recommends protecting yourself and the children in your care by taking some basic precautions:

-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-Stay home when you are sick.
-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For child care providers, that means staying vigilant about hand hygiene and keeping a close eye on children and staff who are showing signs of illness. Daily health checks are a great way for providers to take a few moments to notice how each child is looking, feeling and acting when they first arrive. That will make it easier to notice if the child’s behavior or symptoms change throughout the day.

In the long run, it is important for child care programs to have a plan for dealing with disease outbreaks. If you don’t already have a workplace emergency plan in place, now is the time to get moving. You want to make sure you and your staff are prepared for any type of emergency.

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