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Childcare & Health

Child immunization
Immunizations may prevent diseases which can cause serious problems for adults and children. Many of these illnesses are now rare, due to the effectiveness of widespread immunization.
Cleaning and disinfection
One important feature of a qualified childcare provider's facility is cleanliness. When touring daycare centers and family daycare homes, observe whether the floors appear swept and mopped or vacuumed.
Child caregivers must practice safe and sanitary methods for changing diapers. First, the caregiver should ensure all necessary supplies, such as the diaper, wiping cloths, lotions, and medications are within easy reach before the baby is put on the table.
Exclusion for illness
Daycare providers are responsible for maintaining a healthy environment for children. Part of this responsibility may entail requiring sick children to be cared for outside the facility.
First aid and kits
Child care facilities must have first aid kits handy. In some states, a single kit may be legal for a family daycare home, but standards suggested by the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care mandates each daycare center have two first aid kits.
Group separation for children
Many daycare centers separate children by age groups and developmental levels. This can help prevent the spread of illness, as the presence of children in diapers pose a higher risk of spreading diarrheal (die-uh-ree-ull) diseases and hepatitis A.
Hand washing
A basic and necessary precaution for stopping the spread of germs is hand-washing. Regularly washing hands with warm water and soap, and then drying with a sanitary towel can eliminate germs and bacteria.
Medication administration
Occasionally, children are healthy enough to attend daycare, but need to receive medication. Before a caregiver can administer any prescription or over-the-counter medicine, parents must sign a permission slip.
The federal government has developed standard guidelines for meal planning, to ensure a child receives balanced meals with adequate nutrition. Most state regulations require licensed caregiver's to follow these guidelines.
Smoking/alcohol/illegal drug policies
Most states require daycare centers to restrict all parents and employees from smoking on the premises (prim-ih-sis). A few states allow smoking outside the building, in areas not designated for children's play.

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