Cold weather impacts Saskatoon daycares

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SASKATOON – It’s no surprise little ones are being kept inside this week as the cold weather continues in Saskatoon. A situation that comes with it’s own set of challenges as daycares try to keep colds and the stomach bug at bay.

At Helping Hands abc Daycare in Hampton Village, all 36 children have been inside this week thanks to the cold.

“Outside time has been few and far between” said Angela Wood, owner of the daycare.

“We’ve probably kept them inside more this year than we have in the past, we try to incorporate yoga and we’ve come up with a program with Health Start.”

While the children have been kept busy with indoor activities, daycare workers have been kept busy keeping everyone happy and healthy.

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“We do daily cleaning, weekly cleaning, our staff come in once a month and do a deep clean for our staff nights and we’re really strict on our sick policy, we send kids home if they’re not feeling good, if they’re contagious and we require them to be without the aid of Tylenol or throwing up before they come back to the centre.”

At one point, 10 of the 36 children came down with the flu, as did the entire staff.

All the more reason this daycare focuses on proper hygiene in an effort to stop the spread of germs.

“All of our kids know to wash hands before and after eating time, playing time, we require that parents wash their children’s hands when they come into the centre at drop-off time and they all use their own paper towels we don’t use towels.”

If your child gets sick, Angela also recommends washing their bedding, bleaching their toys and using products such as Lysol to wipe everything down.

Consult your pharmacist when purchasing over-the-counter medications for your little ones.

“Anyone under 12-years-old the dosing does change vs. an adult dosing so it’s a really good idea to come in and talk to your pharmacist and make sure you’re getting the best medication for your child for treating whatever condition they are experiencing at that time or symptoms that sort of thing,” said Kaylyn Bassett, retail pharmacist at London Drugs.

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This pharmacist also couldn’t stress the importance of hand washing.

“Definitely with a hand soap and warm water, make sure you get a good lather for 20 to 30 seconds, sing “Happy Birthday” to keep them occupied while they’re washing their hands but that’s probably the number one biggest thing to help prevent the cough and cold and flu season that’s going on.”

It is recommend you contact your physician or the Saskatchewan Healthline at 8-1-1- if your child has a sudden onset of fever but no cold or stomach virus symptoms.

According to the College of Family Physicians of Canada, a fever is considered an oral temperature of above 37 point five degrees Celsius. A fever in a healthy child is usually not dangerous and it goes away in three or four days.

In some cases though, a little bit of fresh air is exactly what everyone needs.

“We cannot wait to get outside and play and enjoy the sunshine and the kids probably feel exactly the same way,” said Wood.