Is it safe for my child to return to day care?
With COVID-19 numbers on the decline, many parents who chose to keep their children at home through the winter are planning for their children to return to some form of child care. But, do doctors think it’s safe to send kids back?
Dr. Elaine Rosenfeld, pediatric infectious disease specialist for Advocate Children’s Hospital, said research suggests that it is safe for children to attend child care centers if the centers can take the proper safety steps.
According to recent guidance shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), new research findings that school settings have not been a significant driver of COVID-19 transmission in the community when certain safety precautions are followed. Transmission has been especially low among younger children. The AAP recommends child care centers to work with local and state health departments to help keep children and staff as safe as possible.
Additionally, the CDC recently published guidance for child care centers to help ensure their facilities are doing all possible to minimize risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. Dr. Rosenfeld said there are a number of steps the child care center needs to take to create a safe environment, including:
- Cleaning and disinfecting procedures
- Daily health checks and screenings
- Testing and isolation policies if someone gets sick
- Visitor rules and guidelines
“Child care centers will also need to provide protective gear and have protocols in place developed using CDC guidance regarding meals, snacks, naps, drop off and pick up,” Dr. Rosenfeld said.
Dr. Rosenfeld said it’s also important for child care employees to consider how they’re staying safe when not in the building.
“Outside of work, child care staff and their families should be following all recommendations for reducing risk contracting and spreading COVID-19, which includes hand hygiene, masking and social distancing to reduce their chance of contracting the illness.”
Dr. Rosenfeld suggests contacting your family pediatrician as a resource to discuss what child care options are the best choice for your child and family.
Click here to find a pediatrician for your child.
About the Author
Bridget Kozlowski, health enews contributor, is a public affairs manager with Advocate Aurora Health. She holds a masters degree in Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in journalism, both from the University of Missouri. Bridget previously worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and has also lead local government communications teams for both the City of Sterling Heights, Michigan and the Village of Lombard, Ill. Bridget loves trying new restaurants, traveling and spending as much time as possible with her son, husband and rescue mutt.