Daycare doesn't wash toddlers hands before eating. Ok with you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-15-2011, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So dd2 will be going to a daycare 3x/week for 21 hours. I love everything about it, but when I was there visiting today (our second visit) the 2 year old and her 16 month old (this is a small home daycare) had snack outside and their hands were not washed before snack.

Also the 2 year old went potty in the potty chair (just pee) and then wiped herself and the woman did not wash the little girls hands.

 

Not trying to be a "germ a phobe" but is it odd that she doesn't do that? We pretty much always wash dds hands before she eats anything, just to get her into the habit at a young age. It's part of our routine.

 

If you think it is gross, should I say something? And how? 


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#2 of 12 Old 08-15-2011, 10:49 PM
 
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I'd say something.  That's just disgusting.  If they don't make the kids wash hands you have to wonder if they do.  I know I wouldn't want someone touching my kids food if they hadn't washed their hands after peeing or going outside.  And this is coming from someone who didn't freak out when her kid ate dirt at the playground today. sulkoff.gif


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#3 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 12:11 AM
 
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Yes, I run a daycare and the first thing they told us about (I work for an orginization), is washing hands. When coming in, before eating, after eating, and of course after diaper / potty changes. I'd be looking elsewhere.


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#4 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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We don't wash hands before eating and we frequently eat snacks outside without washing first. We do, however, usually wash when it seems appropriate (visibly dirty, after using the bathroom, etc.) if there's a bathroom nearby. We aren't militant about it and I really wouldn't even think twice if I saw someone's kid skip the hand-washing. Just not a big deal to us. But to me, it seems like a daycare should be more diligent about things like that... I don't know why it feels different to me, maybe because I hear about daycare kids always getting sick (although supposedly this is good for the immune system down the line). Bottom line, though, is if you aren't OK with it, you need to make other arrangements with the provider or find another daycare.

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#5 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did see her wash her hands a few times, just not the kid's hands. I'm not sure of a polite way to say it?

 

Do you think if they are outside playing and then have snack it would be a pain to drag everyone inside to wash hands then back outside for snack. Would wipes of some sort be acceptable to "wash" hands when outside? They're too little, I think, for hand sanitizer.

 

 


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#6 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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What do you use if you're out & about and need to wash hands before eating (or do you just take her to the bathroom)? Maybe you could just give her a box of wipes/sanitizer/whatever you feel is acceptable and ask her to clean your kid's hands before she eats. I think if you focus on your own kid & not hers, you can definitely politely say that you want her hands washed, though I wouldn't expect her to wash the other kids' hands (if that's a concern for you).

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#7 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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honestly, it depends. if this is a small, informal home daycare (unlicensed, etc) then i wouldn't be surprised that they don't. at home we don't wash our hands before and after every little thing, but at our daycare, they have a pretty rigid routine for the day, and that includes plenty of handwashing. when you've got 5 kids per teacher, you need to have that, just to keep things sanitary and organized. 

 

you can definitely say something though. i would word it to be specifically about your child, i.e you are trying to teach good sanitary habits, and you would like if she could make a point to wash your child's hands before meals and after pottying, or you're concerned about her getting sick, etc. just say what you would like to happen for your own child, and chances are it'll bleed over onto the other kids. i'm guessing you're using this daycare because she can be flexible about your child's care, so hopefully she'll adopt a more structured handwashing routine. 

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#8 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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I do think it strange, and would be concerned, that she is not washing the kids hands after going potty. In fact, I think it unacceptable and it would be a deal breaker for me. I doubt talking with her about it will change anything. Even if you can get her to wipe your little ones hands, other children with unwashed hands will touch toys that your dd will share, and possibly put in her mouth...and that is just gross! So I would look for another daycare provider who do at least wash the kids hands after pottying and when they have been outside playing in the sand.

 

As for washing the kids hands before eating, I don't think it is that much of a concern as long as the hands aren't visibly dirty (and they are washed after going potty). After all, small children have a tendency to put their hands and other things in their mouth throughout the day and so I don't think it really matters with regards to becoming exposed to bacteria whether they eat their meals with newly washed hands or not.

 

In my family, we really only wash our hands after bathroom visits, if our hands are feeling dirty (like after petting a dirty dog), or if we are going to prepare food actively using our hands (yes, I've been known to peel potatoes without first washing my hands *gasp*). Might sound very unhygienic, and probably is. On the other hand, our immune system seems to be stronger than most because of it. We do always come down with the "back to school cold", since really it is unavoidable even if you wash your hands ever so carefully. Then, some time after Christmas, we tend to pick up the yearly flu. Though, it seldom is really bad. Usually mostly a bit of fever and a bit of vomiting that first day before being put on a "flu diet" that is essentially lots and lots of water and whatever fruit our stomachs doesn't reject in some way or another.

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#9 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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no way would i be ok with this.  not only the germ factor but the idea that you're trying to teach healthy lifelong habits to a very impressionable age group.  i would be very pushy about this.  there are some really horrible diseases that can run rampant through a center this way, too.


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#10 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

What do you use if you're out & about and need to wash hands before eating (or do you just take her to the bathroom)? Maybe you could just give her a box of wipes/sanitizer/whatever you feel is acceptable and ask her to clean your kid's hands before she eats. I think if you focus on your own kid & not hers, you can definitely politely say that you want her hands washed, though I wouldn't expect her to wash the other kids' hands (if that's a concern for you).


Older dd and I just use hand sanitizer. But I wouldn't want to use that with 17 month old dd, since she is still putting her hands in her mouth. I guess I will look for some wipes that she could keep by her door to the back yard.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

honestly, it depends. if this is a small, informal home daycare (unlicensed, etc) then i wouldn't be surprised that they don't. at home we don't wash our hands before and after every little thing, but at our daycare, they have a pretty rigid routine for the day, and that includes plenty of handwashing. when you've got 5 kids per teacher, you need to have that, just to keep things sanitary and organized. 

 

you can definitely say something though. i would word it to be specifically about your child, i.e you are trying to teach good sanitary habits, and you would like if she could make a point to wash your child's hands before meals and after pottying, or you're concerned about her getting sick, etc. just say what you would like to happen for your own child, and chances are it'll bleed over onto the other kids. i'm guessing you're using this daycare because she can be flexible about your child's care, so hopefully she'll adopt a more structured handwashing routine. 


It is a very small home daycare, she is licensed. It is her daughter 16 months old, a 2 year old girl, and a 2 year old boy. But all of them don't go everyday. Like Mondays she just has the 2 year old and her daughter. That is going to be one of the days that dd is going, so 3 total. This was what I was looking for actually, small numbers. Enough that dd can be around other kids besides 5 year old dd.

And the woman is very kind and has sort of a waldorf theme and has been a nanny for many years and has a early childhood ed bachelors degree and she genuinely loves little kids and she's ok with extended breastfeeding, feeds organic foods, ok with no vax.

The first daycare I was interested (the woman was way crunchy waldorfy homeschooling mama) had so many kids, probably the max she could have. I liked it, but could not get beyond her numbers. Also, I heard that kids in her daycare were constantly sick. That kinda put me off too.

 

I really wasn't a washy washy hands type of person until my dd started preschool and then the sickies came. Ya know once you all have the stomach flu one right after another, it is not fun.

The daycare lady has just one kid and maybe she hasn't had to deal with any great sicknesses roundabout yet. I don't know....sure made me think twice.


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#11 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 09:23 PM
 
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As a mom, I certainly understand your concerns and appreciate the ick factor. As a former daycare worker, I have some mixed thoughts about it. There were times when I felt like all I did was wash hands and times it seemed totally ridiculous to me. Over washing hands, actually kills the natural bacteria that grows on your hands to kill off germs. We had to wash the children's hands, after toileting of course, before and after eating, before and after doing any seated activity at the table, after they came in from outside. There were children who literally became fixated on washing their hands. They would hang out by the sink and cry and have fits to wash their hands. Seriously. Some of it just didn't make sense. Like washing their hands when they came in from outside. Outside is probably one of the cleanest places they play. The sun is a natural sanitizer, the toys out there were a lot cleaner than the ones the children are cooped up with in the room, coughing on, wiping their snotty hands on, breathing, on for 8 hours a day. I hate to say this but all the hand washing in the world isn't going to stop the spread of germs in a child care setting, especially with toddlers. As long as they have toys, those toys are going in the mouth and there is no way, no way, to catch every toy every child puts in their mouth. The fingers go in their mouthes and then they touch things and again there is no way to catch every child, every time. Some days it just made all the handwashing seem so pointless. Maybe this woman has a better chance of catching these things if she only has 3 children to watch.

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#12 of 12 Old 08-16-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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I was pretty lax about handwashing until dd had elevated lead. First, handwashing before every time she ate and whenever she came in from outside was the only big change we made, and it helped a bit. Later it became high, and eventually went down to normal. Meantime we got pretty strict about the hands. Needless to say, sanitizer does nothing to remove lead, so if we don't have time or water available, we use wipes. Even if it's a newer building (since 1977) without lead in the construction, there are countless ways there could be unknown contamination at the location. If there was some kind of construction and old windows or trim were set in the yard for a while . . . if there was a spot where somebody used to work on cars . . . our MD said one family after searching and testing etc etc etc finally discovered there was a place in the yard where some batteries had been buried. Even if you tested the soil around the place, you wouldn't necessarily find something like that. Maybe for most people it will never be an issue, but it was so awful for us, I do not compromise on this. I also look out for old toys, etc at preschool and tell the teacher whenever I see anything that might need to be tested.

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