'Should I Take My Child To Daycare?' 4 Things To Consider Before Returning to Child Care.
As of Monday May 18, Gov Greg Abbott announced that daycare centers in Texas can immediately open.
But many parents are still asking the question, 'Should I take my child to daycare?'
Of course, there's no one clear answer for all families. The bottom line is that everyone should consider carefully whether taking their child to daycare is the right decision for them.
The first consideration is whether you think your child’s daycare center is ready to open.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued some guidance for child care opening. Before I sent my child back, I would ensure that they are at a minimum following their recommendations that daycare centers should only open when:
- They can be compliant with local and state orders, are ready to protect high risk children and employees, and can screen children and employees on arrival.
- The following health and safety actions are in place: promote hygiene practice such as handwashing with employees wearing masks, intensified cleaning, encouraged social distancing when feasible, adjust activities to limit sharing of toys/supplies and training all employees.
- Ongoing monitoring is in place. Children and employees should have a process for checking for signs and symptoms upon arrival, sick employees should be allowed to stay home and a plan should be in place should employees or children get sick.
Once daycare center readiness has been determined, each family will still need to make a determination for when their child should go back. Here are some factors to consider:
- Child’s medical history - This may seem obvious but children with chronic conditions are who are immunosuppressed would be at higher risk with returning to day care.
- Child’s age - Children 2 and older will likely be asked to wear a mask but the younger kids are, the harder it will be. It might be easier for children who aren’t mobile to be separated. Toddlers will be the trickiest as they are mobile and can’t wear masks.
- Family medical history - At risk family or household members will be at risk for contracting disease from asymptomatic children who bring infection home.
- Family work situation - As offices open up, many parents will not have a choice. Even parents who work from home may face increasing pressure to be more productive as the economy begins to open up. Parents need to be able to provide for their family and maintain insurance coverage in a time where work insecurity is a real issue.
While each parent will have a choice to make in regards to taking their kids back to daycare, hopefully these considerations will help you make the best decision for you and your children.
Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Smith is an experienced keynote speaker for a variety of topics including pediatric/parenting topics, healthcare social media and physician leadership. If you are interested in having Dr. Smith present to your conference or meeting, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.