High-performance environmental hygiene and cleaning practices are vital for the health and safety of young children in daycare and Pre-K facilities.
Environmental Cleaning Best Practices for Daycare and Pre-K Facilities
Young children, especially toddlers and infants, are particularly vulnerable to germs and bacteria typically present in school settings due to their underdeveloped immune system and lack of exposure to common illnesses.
Additionally, their bodies are more susceptible to conventional commercial cleaning chemicals, which can lead to dangerous reactions, possible hospitalization, and potential life-long health issues, if not worse.
Compounding the issue is the exploratory nature of young children, which often leads them to place objects in their mouth that have been handled by other children or adults.
All of this combines to create a worst-case scenario for the transfer of disease and the possible ingestion of toxic chemicals.
The implementation of environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices that focus on the elimination of cross-contamination will help prevent the spread of infection and illness.
Cleaning for Health in Pre-K Facilities
Cleaning for health in Pre-K and daycare facilities focuses on several significant areas of concern, including staff training and a clean for health first approach to disinfection.
The first stage of training revolves around administrative staff behavior, specifically involving personal hand hygiene to prevent cross-contamination of dangerous bacteria from transferring from the hands of care providers directly to the children, or indirectly to objects the children are likely to come into contact with.
About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world.
Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia..
The second stage involves the purchase and implementation of environmentally-friendly cleaning products combined with single-room color-coded microfiber cleaning, and disinfection plans to reduce, if not eliminate, the instances of janitorial-induced cross-contamination.
Studies have shown that microorganisms can survive on inanimate objects or surfaces for hours, days, weeks or even months.
Cross-contamination is defined as the spread of germs from one surface or object to another and frequently occurs when performing janitorial tasks.
Effective cleaning and disinfection protocols can reduce the prevalence of cross-contamination in the facilities we clean.
The protocols should focus on the sequence of cleaning as well as the type of equipment and supplies that are used. Standard “janitorial precautions” should be customized for each facility and should include protocols for using gloves to reduce the incidence of cross contamination.
The program is relatively self-explanatory--each room is assigned a single color that is not to be used in any other space within the facility.
Each product used to clean and disinfect in that room is identically color-coded, including flat mop heads, microfiber cloths and brooms, buckets, and gloves.
The final stage requires the elimination of toxic cleaning products in favor of environmentally-friendly certified green cleaning products that do not leave behind a toxic residue that can be ingested by children, ultimately resulting in direct poisoning through ingestion or respiratory issues as a result of fume inhalation.
Professional cleaning services are necessary to clean, disinfect, and control dust and mold on surfaces, but a number of studies in recent years have reported associations between exposure to cleaning products and asthma.
Other recent studies have linked the chlorine in swimming pools and in bleach used for cleaning homes and schools to asthma and respiratory infections among swimmers and school children.
References & Resources
- Developing Environmental Hygiene Best Practices for Pre-K Schools
- CASE STUDY: Environmental Hygiene Best Practices For Pre-K Schools
- Hand Washing Tips for Child Care Providers
The full sterilization of facility surfaces within Pre-K and daycare facilities is unnecessary and impractical.
However, a significant reduction in infectious disease that can lead to a host of life-threatening illnesses in children is possible with the practical implementation of cleaning practices that focus on the reduction of cross-contamination between rooms and surfaces, the use of environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and a heavy focus on personal hand hygiene among staff and students.
Outsourcing your facilities cleaning and infection control services to a service provider with a proven track record of success across multiple industries over more than a decade is a verifiable method for cost-effectively ensuring the high-performance of your organization's various facilities, as well as the health and safety of its occupants.
Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450
In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410
In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777