The state of Montana lifted the state-wide quarantine as of April 26, and businesses have begun to open using precautions to help keep their employees and customers safe. But businesses that revolve around children, like daycares, play places, gyms, or recreational spaces have to follow additional rules put into place by Gov. Steve Bullock. Keeping children safe from getting illnesses like COVID-19 is especially important. Knowing how to keep your childcare facility clean to help prevent the spread will help keep the children healthy and your customers feel safer.
The number of children in any given facility cannot be more than 24. Each group of children in one space cannot be greater than 10. This makes it easier to keep track of kids, how they’re feeling, and who they’ve been in contact with. But besides limiting the exposure children have to one another, follow these cleaning tips to help minimize the spread of disease.
Clean toys regularly.
If you’re in a facility that has a lot of soft and hard toys for kids to play with, it’s key that you clean them as often as possible. For soft, machine washable toys, place them inside a mesh bag or pillowcase to prevent them from clanking around in the washing machine or losing their shape. Wash them on hot if you can. Hard, non-electronic based toys can be washed in a dishwasher or by hand in the sink with soap and water. You can also use disinfectant wipes if you are short on time. For larger items, like play kitchens or playground equipment, you can scrub down surfaces with disinfectant wipes or use EPA-registered disinfectants for best results. If you use disinfectants, make sure to follow the instructions listed on the disinfectant container. Remember to always wear safety gear like gloves and eye protection when disinfecting surfaces.
It is recommended that you use different toys for every group of kids in your facility, especially if you can’t wipe down or scrub toys between groups of children. After one group plays with one set of toys, bag them up to be wiped down or washed. Then set out a new set of toys for the next group of kids to will help prevent cross contamination.
Clean hard surfaces in your facility.
Even though the type of childcare facilities may vary, there is one thing they all have in common–hard surfaces that will most likely be touched by everyone…especially the children. Hard surfaces include doorknobs, countertops, plastic toys, backpacks, bathroom surfaces, faucets, and light switches. Basically, anything in your facility that the children would touch frequently. The easiest way to keep all hard surfaces clean is to use disposable disinfecting wipes. These are quick ways to kill most germs and bacteria. You can also have hand sanitizer available in multiple parts of your facility to use on the kids and your employees.
If you have time between classes or groups of children coming through your facility, it is recommended you do a deeper-clean wipe down of your hard surfaces by applying EPA-registered disinfectants or a mixture of hot water and soap. Use the soap mixture to scrub down all surfaces, then throw the rag, towel, or sponge into the dishwasher or washing machine when you’re done.
Wash hands for 20 seconds.
Take multiple breaks throughout the day to have kids wash their hands. It may seem like a boring break in their day, so keep it fun by singing 20 second hand washing songs! Make sure children really scrub their hands. Including between each finger, thumb, and on the backs on their hands and around their wrists.
What to do when a child is sick.
Sometimes a child will show signs of illness while at your facility. Don’t panic. Immediately place them in a separate room from the other kids while waiting for their parent(s) to pick them up. Make sure the child washes their hands or uses hand sanitizer. Give them a mask to wear. If possible, check their temperature. Immediately clean any high touch surfaces or toys the child touched while they were in your facility. Removing what they interacted with as soon as possible can help prevent the spread of germs. If you can, remove the other children from the area where the sick child played until you have had an opportunity to wipe down the surfaces. Wear gloves and eye protection when cleaning, and wash your hands after removing your gloves.
Notify all parents of children who were present that a child they were exposed to has become ill. This allows the parents to take precautions and monitor their own kids. They may choose to keep their child home for isolation after this incident.
Have professional cleaners help keep your childcare facility clean.
Sometimes it can be difficult to wipe down your facility everyday or after a child becomes sick inside your facility. You want to make sure to thoroughly wipe down all surfaces to prevent the spread of germs. If you can’t do this yourself, it’s okay to hire an outside professional team. Alpha Omega Pros Cleaning and Disinfecting Services can help keep your childcare facility safer during virus outbreaks, like COVID-19. They are careful to use safe cleaning products, including ULV fogging machines and EPA-approved products. The team will start with all of the high touch points first, and then finish with contact cleaning. We follow the CDC guidelines for personal protective equipment and products, as well. Our team has disinfected areas as small as vehicles to as big as large buildings. No matter the size of your facility, we are prepared.
Does Your Childcare Facility Need Deep Cleaning?
Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration. We’re still open, available 24/7, and here to help you sanitize your building, high touch point areas, and items. We offer emergency response plans and clean-up, to help you more easily get through these difficult times. We are a professional disaster restoration company that employs industry experts who are seen as trusted advisors. We’ll manage the recovery of your property damage by dedicating ourselves to honesty, integrity, reliability and producing a superior-quality service. We strive to continually challenge ourselves through learning, development, and accountability through industry relations.
Alpha-Omega is the leading disaster restoration and cleaning company serving Billings, MT and surrounding areas.