Area child care centers are stepping up cleaning practices among staff and children in an effort to prevent the spread of the Swine Flu. While hand washings and regular facility cleanings may have already been standard practice, many centers are adding new preventative policies such as more frequent washing, parent and child health practice education measures, and newly installed hand sanitizer mechanisms.
"We're observing an hourly hand washing policy with the children at the preschool," said Shawn Cadmes, director of Inland Vineyard Christian Preschool in Corona. The hand washing is in addition to extra sterilization of the center.
There were several children who didn't attend school this week, which may have been related to flu incidences.
"Ninety-eight percent of the parents have kept them in, but we did have the nearby school that just closed down," Cadmes said. Parents have also been reminded about the preschool's health policy, which asks parents to keep a child home if he or she is ill.
Alongside the school policy information, parents have been given handouts on symptoms and prevention from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and City Health Officials.
Tender Care For Kids in Redlands has had several worried parents, but no students pulled from the facility.
"Out of 150 families, we've probably had two that were extremely concerned, but both have kept their kids in so far," said Bea Wilson, Tender Care director. "We've stepped up sanitizing door handles, toilets, drinking fountains, door knobs, all those kinds of common things."
Children are being reminded to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing and to wash their hands.
The Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino cares for children from schools all over San Bernardino and surrounding communities.
"The staff has been briefed on extra precautions," said A. Majadi, facility director. "We are installing extra hand sanitation machines throughout the club. The recreation room and all classrooms are wiped down daily. Restrooms, water faucets and doorknobs are all regularly cleaned.
"We're encouraging kids to pay attention and just keeping a very close eye. We'll follow the school district's lead as to what to do to protect families."
Peggy Holmes, director of Ruben Family Child Care in Moreno Valley has had some worried parents.
"They are very concerned," Holmes said. "We are washing, washing, washing our hands and practicing coughing on our sleeves, rather than our hands."
"We're doing extreme health checks in the mornings, no one can come in with a runny nose, fever, etc.," said Wendy Swift, director of the YMCA's Preschool University in Redlands. "We're being extra diligent."
There are hand sanitizer pumps throughout the building and parents are being required to clean their hands and their child's hands before entering.
"We're prepared if there is a case among our children or staff, the program will be shut down immediately," Swift said. "We're constantly on the lookout."