Education and care centres for small children are notorious breeding grounds for common illnesses affecting young children. Given the myriad germs and viruses which circulate every day, illnesses such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis, conjunctivitis, nasopharyngitis and gastroenteritis can harm children’s health and disrupt their parents’ lives.
Through special hygiene measures in our crèches, we manage to avoid most problems, especially those caused by contamination involving faeces, mucous secretions and skin wounds. These measures include, among other things, thorough cleaning of our premises with professional, environmentally-friendly products which do not harm human health (EcoLab). In addition to this, we place particular emphasis on HACCP training for our staff.
The hygiene and health of the adults responsible for children (hand washing, bodily hygiene, etc.) is subject to daily inspection. In addition to this, as part of Montessori pedagogy and through our personal care exercises, we teach children about personal hygiene (washing hands, brushing teeth, washing the face, blowing one’s nose, not sneezing in another child’s face, etc.)
Another important part of this, which falls under the responsibility of parents, is absence from crèche during illness. In effect, if a sick child is not cared for in the family environment until he or she has fully recovered, this feeds the outbreak, allowing it to continue through the winter, infecting each child one by one.
Warning parents, knowing how to recognise an illness or the worrying signs of a health problem – these are our challenges, and to help us meet them, we have the assistance of our paediatric nurse and our crèche governess.