Gastroenteritis Outbreaks, Reportable Diseases Policy and Procedures

At Little Friends, we have on the premises copies of the booklet “Sneezes and Diseases” This booklet is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers alike. We receive updated copies from Vancouver Coastal Health as required. The booklet describes a list of many childhood diseases that may plague a child or childcare centre. The information sheets are clear and simple to read and easy to follow in order to give both parents and schools the step by step requirements to help prevent the spread of many diseases. If the school receives information that a child has contracted a disease such as chicken pox, pink eye, etc. we are able to photocopy a page from “Sneezes and Diseases” and give parents information easily. When parents phone in to inform the school that their child is sick, we take a survey of the symptoms they are suffering and keep track of the date in order to determine if any other children are inflicted with the same symptoms. If we receive more than three (3) children contracting the same disease we will then inform our public health nurse from Vancouver Coastal Public Health to give us any more instructions that may be needed and the protocols required. If necessary, she/he will then inform our licensing officer. Notices will be posted and handed out to families.  We wish that no children ever suffer such an outbreak, so we take serious measures to hopefully prevent them from occurring. We ask parents not to send their children to school if they are feeling ill as described in our Health Policy. If they do arrive and the teacher determines that they are too ill to be at school, the teachers will phone the parent/guardian to pick up their child. When the children arrive at school, they are all asked to wash their hands before entering the classrooms. If children need to wipe their nose they are asked to wash hands again. On a regular basis all toys are disinfected bi-weekly, if there are colds and flu within the school we wash all toys every two to three days (depending on the classroom infected). If we have an outbreak within the whole school, all toys, chairs, countertops, tables and any area that children play are all washed down and disinfected with a bleach solution.

Tables and chairs and counters are washed down with a bleach solution three-four times a day every day. Once before children arrive in the morning, before any eating (snack, lunch) and at the end of the day.

With ongoing communication between families, school, health department and licensing departments we can help keep each other informed of any illness and hopefully prevent a spread of any disease.