What You Need To Know About Germs In Daycare

Up until the time your child starts daycare it’s been easy to keep them fairly healthy by keeping germs at bay. Parents should be aware that once in daycare the frequency of illness will escalate. An endless stream of runny noses, low grade fevers, mysterious rashes and bouts of diarrhea are to be expected. Pediatricians tell parents that it’s not unusual for your toddler to experience 8 to 12 colds in the first 12 months in daycare. When you put  lots of young children together it’s the perfect environment for transmitting viruses.

Children and toddlers in particular are likely to wipe their noses, sneeze and cough while sharing toys and food. Expect colds, stomach viruses, conjunctivitis ( pink eye ) even hand, foot and mouth disease will be transmitted in a daycare setting.

As a parent there are things you can do to help your whole family such as making sure they all get lots of rest and eating nutritious food. Make a point of washing your toddler’s hands when they get home and before eating or interacting with siblings.

In spite of how vigilant the daycare is about cleaning, disinfecting and hand washing it is a losing battle. Parents just don’t have a choice other than to drop their toddler off even when they’re ill and the result is an endless cycle of illness. Even the healthiest child can’t avoid getting sick when they start daycare. I remember parents I knew who wouldn’t allow anyone with a cold to visit when they had a toddler and bragged that the child had never been sick. However when that child eventually got sick it proved dangerous to the child because she had no immunity to viruses.

There are measures parents can take to strengthen a toddler’s immune system with a diet rich in protein, zinc and vitamin C. along with a diet free of refined sugar. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D which is shown to boost immunity and probiotics in drops or chewable tablets. Exposure to viruses actually makes their immune system stronger.

Researchers at the University of Montreal have conducted a long term study that found toddlers in group care might get sick more often than those who stay home, but those same children get sick less often than their peers in elementary school years. The point is that sooner or later your child is going to get sick. It’s reassuring to know that those sleepless nights and runny noses could mean less sick days in later years.

If you are looking for a Victoria BC Daycare, you can find many at that link. It’s a website dedicate to finding the best daycares in that city.

When Babies No Longer Need Pacifiers

As parents we comfort our babies by rocking and cuddling them, for some babies they have a need to suck more even after feeding is finished. Be sure feeding is well established before you introduce a pacifier should your baby need more sucking, a reflex that is comforting for them.

Pacifier or Thumb

Pacifiers can get lost in couch cushions, on the ground so keeping track of them and keeping them clean is inconvenient. Some studies have shown that babies who use a pacifier when napping or bedtime have a lower risk of SIDS ( sudden infant death syndrome ). While it’s doesn’t show that it prevents it just that there is a strong association with SIDS so why not use one. When it comes time to wean your toddler it’s a much easier task to remove a pacifier from the picture as opposed to distracting them from their thumb.

Pacifiers In The Long Term

The amount of time your baby uses their pacifier has an effect on the ease at which you can remove it from their routine. They should be weaned between 2 and 4 years old and some parents do so when their toddler reaches a year old, most babies are not needing the comfort from sucking by this age. Long term use of a thumb or binky can cause long term dental issues such as crooked teeth and improper jaw growth and development.

When It’s Time

Talk to your Langley Childrens Dentist. They will enquire as to when and how your child is comforted by the use of their pacifier and provide suggestions that may be new and helpful to you.

Right Time It can seem there is no right time to implement this change it’s easy to find excuse to delay it. Just be sure it’s the only change and try to keep to the routine, so no major moves or life changes will help with a smooth transition.

Slow and Steady While a complete withdrawal may work well for some babies for others just limiting the time the have the pacifier and slowly decreasing the length of time will work. Replace it with a new stuffed animal, something that will provide them with comfort and become a favourite.

Once you’ve made a plan stick with it and see it through, while some will adapt easier than others it’s important to ensure your child has no long term damage from this method of soothing.

Thanks to SmileTown Dentistry Langley for this post.