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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>How to Help Prevent Your Own Illnesses. . . HELP!
momofboys 10:51 AM 01-07-2010
I started providing childcare this past September & despite my own attempts to remain healthy I seem like I am always fighting off a cold or a sore throat or minor cough. Seriously I have never had this many bouts of minor illnesses in one winter. I do have 3 children of my own, two who are in grade school & one who is home with me & "helps" me provide care for other children. I have never been so seriously sick that I had to call off (no fever, no vomiting, etc). Here is what I do to help prevent things: I disinfect doorknobs, sink knobs, toilet handles, coutners, toys, etc. I try to get a good amount of sleep although I know I can do better. I eat pretty healthy & exercise 3 x a week & take vitamins. I wash my hands like crazy & use hand gel when I can't get right to the sink. And my kids have had to stay home from school more days than they did last year. So is this fairly normal? Do other childcare providers find that they get sick more often, get more colds b/c of their extra exposure to kids with runny noses/etc? Is there anything else I can do to cut down on my exposure other than to stop providing childcare?
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mac60 11:04 AM 01-07-2010
I rarely ever get sick. It is a given that usually 2 times a year....change of the season, I get a nasty head cold, otherwise I rarely get sick, even after all the wiping of noses, getting coughed on and cleaning others germs up.
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laundryduchess@yahoo.com 11:14 AM 01-07-2010
DONT STOP!!!!! the first couple years is the worst. I can honestly say that between myself and my four kids,.. in 20 yrs, we have had 3 ear infections, 1 sinus infection and one bout with strep. that is all of us combined in over 18 yrs. 5 scripts for antibiotic. between 5 people in 20 years.

In fact my son has a sore on his foot, he is 18,..he last went to the doc when he was 11,... they wanted to see him as a new patient in the peds office at 18 yrs old and a senior in high school. They were actually very snotty with me,.. "why do you need an appt now? who has he been seeing? You should just stick with one doctor and not hop around. why havent you been in? " Well,.. we dont get sick. Of course they changed their tune when I sent my ped (also a daycare client) a text while on the phone and she went to the desk to deal with the appt lady.
but I promise,.. it is a hard thing the first year or so,.. your immunities will build and you will get better.


Originally Posted by janarae:
I started providing childcare this past September & despite my own attempts to remain healthy I seem like I am always fighting off a cold or a sore throat or minor cough. Seriously I have never had this many bouts of minor illnesses in one winter. I do have 3 children of my own, two who are in grade school & one who is home with me & "helps" me provide care for other children. I have never been so seriously sick that I had to call off (no fever, no vomiting, etc). Here is what I do to help prevent things: I disinfect doorknobs, sink knobs, toilet handles, coutners, toys, etc. I try to get a good amount of sleep although I know I can do better. I eat pretty healthy & exercise 3 x a week & take vitamins. I wash my hands like crazy & use hand gel when I can't get right to the sink. And my kids have had to stay home from school more days than they did last year. So is this fairly normal? Do other childcare providers find that they get sick more often, get more colds b/c of their extra exposure to kids with runny noses/etc? Is there anything else I can do to cut down on my exposure other than to stop providing childcare?

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DBug 11:32 AM 01-07-2010
One thing I did that has made a big difference, is going to single-use towels for hand-drying. As much as the kids wash their hands before using a common-use towel, there's always one that will not wash well enough, or will wipe their nose or mouth on it or whatever. You may have regulations you have to follow that have a similar method, but if not, here's what I did. I couldn't justify the expense and waste of using paper towels, so I bought about 100 white facecloths at Walmart for relatively little. I have a small basket of clean ones in the bathrooms the kids use, along with an empty basket for used ones. I wash them each night (or every other night). The kids know the procedure (even my 14 month old kids!).

We've all been pretty healthy since we started using the towels, both the daycare kids and my family.
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mac60 12:26 PM 01-07-2010
I too went to single use towels, but I cut paper towls in 1/2 and fold them and place them on a towel on the counter by the pump foam hand soap..
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momofboys 02:05 PM 01-07-2010
Originally Posted by mac60:
I too went to single use towels, but I cut paper towls in 1/2 and fold them and place them on a towel on the counter by the pump foam hand soap..

thanks guys that is a good idea! I try to switch my handtowels every day, sometimes 2x a day but this would be even better.
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originalkat 02:45 PM 01-07-2010
I usually dont get sick. I get a bad head cold about twice a year and once in awhile I will get flue type stuff but not every year. We use single use towels and do general disinfecting. When my kids get sick (and I know it was passed by one of the daycare kids) it is frustrating...but that is part of life.
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Unregistered 01:10 PM 01-23-2010
What works for me is making sure to gargle with warm salt water twice a day and also cleaning my nostrils twice a day with the same solution. Germs love warm, moist evironments and this doesn't give them as much of a chance to "hang" around. To be honest, I didn't even really believe it at first, until my student teacher contracted Swine Flu and I didn't. ( I was pregnant at the time ano no, I did not get vaccinated.)
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mamajennleigh 02:59 PM 01-23-2010
I would never have thought of the single-use towel thing with towels you wash at the end of the day. I'm definitely going to use that method from now on. I have about 50 white washcloths that are sitting in my bathroom cabinet not getting used at all, so I won't even have to buy any!

As far as rinsing out your nostrils and gargling twice a day, that is something we do anyway when it's cold out because the heat inside makes our noses and throats dry. Funny that you mention the swine flu, because my parents were visiting when my dad came down with it and none of us got it!

I had 5 sick babies here last week (not all at the same time, remember) and even though my own littlest one got a horrible cold, none of the rest of us (I have 4 boys 17, 12, 11, and 18 mos) got sick at all. I was a madwoman about changing and washing the sheets, towels, anything that could be washed got washed. And, I disinfected the toilets, door knobs, etc. several times a day. I always disinfect the changing table between uses and I use hand sanitizer between diaper changes and then wash my hands thoroughly with a/b soap and hot water after all the diapers have been changed. At night, I washed and disinfected all the toys.

I also took any toys that couldn't be submersed and washed upstairs until everyone was well. In fact, I haven't brought any of them back down, and I don't think I will until Spring LOL!

One of the best habits you can have also to help keep the spread of germs down is to keep your hands away from your face. People don't realize how often they touch their face or put their fingers in or near their nose/mouth/eyes. If you keep your own hands (which have usually spent the day touching little ones) away from your face, you can minimize the amount of germs getting into your body.

And, I totally agree with the posters above who said that your immunity will build over time. It really will!
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Tags:antibiotic, bacteria, cold, cough, disinfectants, flue, germs, health, illness, sick, sore throat, vomiting
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