Choosing a childcare centre that suits your little one is a difficult decision for many parents, but it's even more difficult when your child has a long-term illness like asthma. If your child is asthmatic, you may be concerned about how safe they'll be when they enter childcare. Trying to find a facility that provides a healthy environment for them can be nerve-racking if you don't know what to look out for. Luckily, there's no need to get stressed about the choice if you keep these 4 questions in mind.
1. Are the staff trained in first-aid and medical care?
When you have an asthmatic child, it's essential that their childcare centre has an adequate number of staff members who know how to administer first aid, give medications and manage an asthma attack. Ask the centre how many people are qualified or trained in these areas, how many will be on duty at any one time and whether they'll be stationed close enough to your child's room to be on hand in an emergency. Make sure the centre know what medications your child needs, how severe their asthma is and what activities are off limits. A great childcare facility will use this information to assign the best possible staff members to your child's case. Knowing this information will also help when you draw up a written plan to be used in case of an asthma attack.
2. What is their cleaning routine?
Cleanliness is essential for asthmatic children attending day care. Indoor environments can be filled with a range of allergens and irritants (like dust and mould) which can irritate your child's lungs and trigger their asthma. One essential question you need to ask staff at the centre you're considering is what kind of cleaning routine they have in place? Do they clean the whole centre daily? How often are fabric-covered furnishings, carpets and rugs deep cleaned? Do they use 'green' cleaning products which are free from harmful airborne chemicals? Have they had any problems with cockroaches or other pests which leave droppings? Make sure the centre keeps everything spic and span before choosing it for your asthmatic child.
3. Is the building well ventilated?
Even deep cleaning can't completely rid a childcare facility of allergens and irritants. Asthmatic children need centres with great ventilation, so ask the staff about what sort of ventilation and air conditioning or air purifying equipment they have installed. Open windows are no substitute for an actual HVAC system; aside from the safety concern, windows can also let in outdoor irritants like pollen.
4. What activities are on offer?
Depending on how your child's lungs cope with physical activity, you'll want to know that there are a range of activities on offer that are suitable for your little one. If your child struggles with running and jumping, a centre which puts all their focus on outdoor play may not be ideal. If your child needs help to participate in outdoor play, make sure staff will be able to administer necessary medications, adapt intense activities and monitor your child for breathing problems during play.
Contact a facility like Hopskotch Kindergarten to learn more about how childcare centres can help children learn, grow and stay healthy.