Welcome to 2021! I think we can all agree to cheerfully wave good-bye to 2020, the year that brought us many surprises – both good and bad. The year that taught us how to be strong and persevere even in the toughest times. The year that brought recognition to some of our under-recognized professions, including ECE’s and teachers. With all of the changes that came along with adjusting to life amid a pandemic, we also had to adjust how our classrooms operated.
The new norm in schools, classrooms and daycare centres are vastly different than they were one year ago. The focus has shifted to social distancing, PPE such as face masks and shields, hand sanitizer and following the recommended health guidelines. With all these new precautions and procedures it can be easy to get overwhelmed and we want to help lead you in the right direction.
As schools are re-opening, there are new hygiene protocols being implemented to help prevent the spread of germs. That means it is time for us to introduce some tips and new products to make your lives easier.
- Set up hand hygiene stations like our Portable Sink, Wall Mounted Sanitizer Dispenser or SaniTower Stations near the entrance of your room so that children and staff can easily clean their hands before entering.
- Promote proper handwashing with signs and a hands-free Time Timer Wash at every handwashing station.
- Develop a cleaning schedule and document when cleaning has taken place.
- Disinfect commonly touched surfaces, shared toys, tables, chairs, door handles, light switches, and high-touch electronic devices.
- Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., wear gloves, use in a well-ventilated area, allow enough contact time for the disinfectant to kill germs based on the product being used).
- Only use toys or equipment that can be easily cleaned and disinfected.
- Give your kids a friendly reminder about keeping space between one another by using carpet markers of social distancing spots.
One question we have found ourselves answering more frequently these days is “Am I able to sanitize my carpets to meet the health and safety guidelines?” The answer to that is…yes, absolutely! All of our carpets from Carpets for Kids feature Advanced Stain Blocker Technology which can be used with a 70% isopropyl alcohol spray mist to sanitize the rug surface for daily cleaning. For a deeper clean, contact your maintenance department, they can sanitize with hot water extraction at a 140-150 degree setting at the cleaning nozzle head. After each cleaning, allow to dry thoroughly before using again. You can also use other sanitizing methods or cleaners approved for carpeting per the guidelines.
Another question that has been popping up is how to safely use bleach to keep other items in your classroom sanitized. Classrooms are filled with a diverse array of items all made of different materials. Many items from Children’s Factory are made with a germ-free environment in mind which means they are made to be easily cleaned and sanitized. They recommend using a 1:5 bleach and water solution to disinfect many of their products (a 1:5 solution means 1 part bleach for every 5 parts of water) and they suggest using a two-step cleaning process to achieve the best results:
Step 1: Wipe your products with the bleach/water solution to sterilize.
Step 2: Wipe the chemical mixture off with a clean, damp cloth.
Step 3: Dry the surface with a dry cloth (wood furniture only).
Step 2 is important for two reasons; it will preserve the quality and durability of your classroom equipment AND it prevents your children from being exposed to the chemical solution. Step 3 is for your birch and melamine wood furniture as we recommend never leaving water or liquid on wood surfaces.
We hope that this helps guide you into a safe, healthy and happy new year!