The entire autumn term is peak season for the flu, colds and illness, particularly in early years settings. However, how your setting might be managing cold and flu season this year is likely to be a bit different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During the initial peak of the virus, most schools and pre schools were closed. Now you’re probably having to manage identifying illnesses and symptoms, staff absences, questions and concerns from parents, increased and ever changing requirements for health and safety – as well as running your day to day operation.
Don’t worry, TeachKloud is here.
Our pre school management software can help you get organised. You can create checklists with our daily records feature, keep track of staff and child attendance and help to limit physical interaction with our comprehensive tool at your fingertips. In the meantime, these are a few ways you can
Create a Health and Hygiene Topic or Activity This Term
Germs spreading between children is somewhat inevitable. This year in particular is a good time to integrate education with the health and safety of your business, but also of your children and families.
Make handwashing a game
Children should be washing their hands before they eat, after they’ve used the bathroom and when they come in from outside. To encourage and positively enforce this habit, help to make it a game. Queue the children up and have them sing along with the 20 second songs. There are loads of fun options for nurseries!
Craft activities to demonstrate germs and hygiene
Demonstrating how germs spread is a useful way to highlight the importance of good health and hygiene. There are loads of fun, messy play activity suggestions for everyone to get involved with. If you’d prefer a teacher-led activity, why not amuse the children by demonstrating how washing your hands makes germs disappear using a zip lock back and permanent markers!
Control Toy Rotation
If you have separated children into limited groups to help restrict household mixing, another thing you might consider if how you share toys between the groups. Ideally, you could limit toys and resources to only one group. However, this can be a little unrealistic – not to mention boring for the children. Therefore, we recommend a schedule rotation, perhaps weekly, whereby staff are able to align their weekly plans and ensure that all toys are properly and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before going on to the next group.
You might also swap out the toys that frequently get put near children’s mouths, for example, make believe kitchen and food sets. As much as we try, make believe items like this often touch lips and mouths which could encourage the spread of germs and infection.
Share Information But Enforce Policies
Many parents are currently unsure when it comes to differentiating symptoms of a common cold and COVID-19. This is to be expected. However, many families are also uncertain and quite nervous about sending their children to school at this time due to the risk of infection.
To manage the cold and flu season this year, send out very clear guidelines on identifying illnesses. A clear resource for parents with useful, practical tips will help to provide some clarity and confidence. Moreover, it can help to educate parents on good health and hygiene practices and reduce the risk of infection.
It is equally important that if a child does present symptoms that they remain at home. Ensuring you standby the guidelines will also provide confidence and comfort to families.