It’s September! And as you may know, each September is recognized as National Preparedness Month. Preparedness Month promotes family and community disaster planning now, during the month, and throughout the year.
Emergency events or disasters can happen anywhere at any time. And with some types of events, power may be lost or turned off for a period of time. Luckily, generators are a good source of power for your home or business and can be used relatively easily. However, it is important to use a generator safely to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on July 15, 2020 but has since been updated with information from a new alert from the FDA about sanitizers that include isopropyl alcohol as an ingredient.
Child care providers implement hand hygiene procedures to keep children in care, their families and themselves healthy and well. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased hand hygiene vigilance in child care programs to protect against viral spread. Health experts recommend using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when hand washing with soap is not feasible. Hand sanitizer that once was extremely difficult to access early on in the coronavirus crisis, now is increasingly becoming more available. As a result of the pandemic, new hand sanitizer brands and products are being introduced into the consumer market. Unfortunately, some of the emerging hand sanitizer products are not safe to use, prompting alerts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
A few months after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) surveyed Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies. In response to the survey, 163 CCR&R professionals from 41 states relayed the most pressing concerns they are hearing from child care providers. Locating and purchasing disinfecting supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) were among the top 5 concerns.
Like no other time in the history of child care, coronavirus (COVID-19) is challenging child care professionals to make difficult decisions about closing their programs temporarily and then determining when and how to reopen. These decisions are critical to protecting the health and safety of all enrolled children and their families as well as program staff and their household members.
Aside from state/local mandates for child care programs, reopening decisions are complicated by numerous factors: Will children be enrolled who have easily compromised immune system health or who have conditions, like asthma, that put them at enhanced risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes if exposed to the virus? Are child care program staff comfortable with potentially being on the front lines of coronavirus as they are in close quarters with children when providing care? Can cleaning, sanitizing and personal protective equipment be sourced and will it be affordable for child care programs for as long as it is needed? How do continuously shifting community transmission rates and many other COVID-19 unknowns factor in to decision making to re-open doors to children and their families?
The COVID-19 situation and its impact are fluid, changing from day to day. There are many uncertainties regarding child care and child care operations, and child care professionals at both the program and system level must be nimble in their response to the pandemic. They must lean on and build upon the strengths that have served them well and will continue to serve them well during COVID-19 and beyond: relationship-based practices and data-driven decision making.