It’s common to hear of little ones falling ill when attending infant/child care or preschool. These places are prime breeding and transmissions for viruses, which are easily spread through direct and/or indirect contact amongst children.
It doesn’t help that the kiddos aren’t great at following hygiene practice. How many times have we witnessed a little wiping his snotty nose then immediately handling shared objects such as books or toys, or rubbing his eyes and touching other children – not to mention younger children who are prone to popping whatever object they found on the ground, into their mouths? And with immature immunity systems, children are highly susceptible to infection. Fret not! While sick days are inevitable, there are measures parents can take to help ensure children stay healthy. Here’s how.
Monitor the centre’s cleanliness and hygiene standards
The first thing you’d want to do when checking out any infant care centre, is to size up the hygiene standards of its facilities. Is the kitchen sanitary? Are the cribs clean? How often do they disinfect the toys? All these are important questions that must be answered before entrusting anyone with your precious bundle. Better yet, find out if the organisation has been vetted by national health professionals, and make sure the staff receive regular training and evaluation. Additionally, find out if the infant care centre ensures that each little attendee is up to date on their immunity shots and vaccines. has protocol on ensuring each little is up to date on their immunity and vaccines.
Know the centre’s illness protocol
Any reputable childcare centres should follow a standard “sick policy”, most of which require parents to pick up their infant if they start exhibiting symptoms of illness. This prevents the spread of potentially contagious diseases. If the staff are able to provide with you with such information, you can be better assured that this centre will be responsible and vigilant in monitoring the health status of your baby.
Provide your baby with the best nutrition at home
Maintaining a healthy diet rich in veggies, fruits and iron-rich grub will help build up your child’s immune system. For babies who aren’t old enough for solid foods, breastfeeding is a great way to provide the necessary vitamins, proteins and minerals in order for them to grow strong, as well as develop antibodies to fight off the germs that they’ll inevitably come into contact with. For formula-fed babies, consider introducing probiotic supplements to boost gut health – always speak to your pediatrican before introducing any supplement!
Give your infant a bath when you get home
Once you pick up your baby and bring them back home, try to give them a wash as soon as possible. Although infants typically don’t need to bathe everyday, it’s advisable to at least wipe them down thoroughly. Of course, don’t forget to wash your own hands beforehand!
Make sure your baby gets plenty of rest
As a general rule, babies need about 14 hours of sleep a day. Which means that if your little one is still having trouble adjusting to the new environment in infant care, then they’ll need to make up for it back home. Build up a regular sleep pattern and routine – this will train them to fall asleep on their own (for instance: 1. bath time 2. feeding 3. changing into PJs 4. sleep). Since most newborns also tend to wake up at night, it would be good if you share a room, so that you can feed, comfort and let them get back to sleep as fast as possible.