Important Update: As of 3-17-2020, we are connecting with each other ONLINE through the ZOOM app for all of our regular classes and events. As we are separted into our own homes, we can still make music together… AND stay healthy. We will begin to meet again in our happy studio when we feel it is safe to gather again in small groups in this place where we are confident we can keep us HEALTHY and HAPPY.
Nobody wants to be sick. Staying healthy is key for all of us to thrive. But, we cannot truly thrive by staying away from anywhere there might be germs. Parents are legitimately concerned for the health of their children as they venture outside of their home, and engage with others in group activities. There are a lot of germs out there, and there always seems to be a new virus or illness that makes us ALL take a look at what we can do to stay healthy.
Kindermusik International (as always) has done extensive research on the subject, and is providing educators facts and recommended methods for keeping everyone Healthy and Happy. And Ms Debbie and Ms. Lisa are also obsessively good about keeping the instruments, manipulatives and surfaces wiped clean with Odoban (used by most high quality child care centers due to it’s effectiveness and safety to use with children right away).
“It is extremely important to create environments where parents are assured their children are as safe as we can provide. It adheres to our Core Value of doing what is best for the parent and child.” – Michael Dougherty, President of Kindermusik International, 2014.
Based on this information, and my further research, the following policies are in place for our Kindermusik classrooms. We take care of many of these cleanliness practices in the classroom, we just need you and your child to do your part as well. Together we must continually renew our commitment to be diligent, consistent, and proactive in keeping each other healthy.
If your family is sick, it is important that you do not attend. Stay home and get better. In Kindermusik, we love to share many things, just not germs. I swear that is one of the hardest decisions we have to make as parents – to determine whether a child is dealing with contagious or non-contagious symptoms.
Of course, an easily identified indicator of being contagious is the presence of a fever. The CDC recommends being fever free for at least 24 hours before going out to interact with others. Learn more about evaluating fevers in this KidsHealth article.
We understand that children can have a runny nose from teething, or allergies, which is not contagious, and you cannot keep them home for life due to allergies, but this kind of mucus is clear and thin. If this is the case, feel free to attend, just make sure to have tissues at hand for limiting it’s spread. My son had really bad allergies in the spring, so I fully feel for any of you dealing with those issues. When the color of the mucus changes, you will want to stay home.
- The thickened mucus that accompanies many illnesses is often darker and yellow-colored (early part of illness and likely to be contagious.)
- Greenish mucus means that the mucus contains infection-fighting white blood cells (highly likely to be contagious)
A cough is only a symptom, not a disease, and often the importance of a cough can be determined only when other symptoms are evaluated. This article about Coughs in Children from University of Michigan can be very helpful in your evaluation.
If you attend and it appears that you or your child have symptoms that seem contagious, we reserve the right to ask you to leave, as it is important for the health of everyone. If that occurs, you will still be able to schedule a make-up class. We have an open and flexible make up policy so there will be ample opportunities for class attendance. See our Guide for Scheduling Make-Up Classes HERE.
We look forward to making music with you and your child every single class when you are healthy. If you ever have questions, please call Debbie.
All instruments and props, as well as door handles, etc. are sanitized fully each week. Items in use during the day are cleaned BEFORE they are used again. So you may find me cleaning instruments between classes. Feel free to help if you have an extra moment. But know that I believe YOUR first priority is getting your child clean and comfortable and ready to participate.
In our healthy and happy Kindermusik studio, we use Clorox wipes which are known to kill 99% of germs on non-porous surfaces. These will be used on door handles, and instruments that will be shared again. in between classes. There must be at least 5 minutes after a wipe has been used on an object before a child should be allowed to touch it (as it takes that much time for the chlorine to dissipate and no longer be harmful.)
What YOU can do when you enter:
Each person, upon arriving, must clean hands with water and soap, or sanitize with antibacterial hand gel. (FYI: Research indicates best practice is using water and soap for 20 seconds, rinsing for 10 seconds.) You will find a sign in the bathroom for proper hand washing guides to help your child recognize these steps and their importance. Please make sure to arrive timely so there is time for this before class starts. It is also recommended to wash hands after class. Soap and water works best, so Ms. Debbie will clean her own hands this way before each class.
My blankets serve as uniquely defined spaces for each family to sit that encourages interactions with each other, and reduces touching interactions with other families. Blankets will be washed weekly, and extra blankets will be available if some need to be removed. The foam mats are kept clean by a delightful woman who cleans weekly to ensure our studio is happy and healthy !
ALL scarves are washed weekly, and I have plenty of clean scarves to replenish as necessary. Used scarves are placed in a hamper to be washed before their next use. If there is a babies class later in the day, I make sure to have a set of scarves that are secured from our regular spaces until we use them, then all washed again. You should see my laundry room on Friday mornings… very colorful !!.
All participants must strive to utilize the healthy habits of keeping their hands out of their mouths, and covering sneezes and coughs with the inside elbow. If a child wipes their noses or puts their hands in their mouth, their hands should be cleaned again before any interactions with others outside their family. Of course, we expect young children to explore instruments and their hands with their mouths – that’s how they learn. We will just all need to do our best to reduce the possibility of sharing germs along with our learning experiences.
Instruments / props will be handed out individually (also a good opportunity for practicing the skills of waiting for a turn), and collected in a separate container where they will be sanitized before any further use. Sometimes in class, we may have a “TRADING” opportunity (whether planned, or spontaneous), and that is part of learning how to interact well with others. As parents, we want to encourage these positive social interactions, but make sure that only clean instruments are traded. Ms. Debbie will be watching closely and promoting safe and healthy practices, but, as with all aspects of raising children… it takes a Village. Together, we can keep our children as healthy as possible.
Some activities may be adapted to reduce unnecessary touching
. For some activities that encourage person to person contact, like circle dances, we may clean hands prior to the activity, families may simply hold hands with each other, and/or we can make sure to wash hands right after class. We WANT our children to interact with each other and connect by holding hands with friends (these moments are precious), and don’t want them to feel afraid to touch others, so we must teach the skills of healthy interactions.
It may take a little extra class time to ensure a healthy environment, but it will be worth it for the health of everyone involved. I am committed to ensure this happens for each one of you! (I don’t want to be sick either.)
THANK YOU for following these guidelines and doing your part to help us all stay healthy and happy at Kindermusik !
If you have any questions, or recommendations, be aware that I would love to hear from you. I’m sure there are still things I can learn about staying healthy, and I am always eager to learn more. If you have a specific concern or recommendation, make sure to talk to me directly. There may be something we can do right away to keep everyone safe, healthy, and happy.