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    Contagious Daycare?

    Cleanliness is the key to keeping daycare healthy.

    Hygiene Helpers

    Good old-fashioned cleanliness can go a long way in keeping a child healthy. First, make sure the day care has proper hand-washing arrangements. "The more sinks the better," says Cordell. "Ideally, there would be one sink within arm's reach of the diaper table and a second one that's used for kid hand washing in the room." The sink used to wash dirty dishes should also be completely separate. Also, the day care should require parents to wash their children's hands right after dropping them off, which will significantly decrease the number of germs spread.

    Safety Check

    In addition to keeping your child as healthy as possible, you want to ensure your child's basic safety at day care. Make sure that background checks have been done on all providers and on anyone in a day-care home. You should also ensure that the day care has a secure system in case someone else needs to pick up your child, says Cordell (for example, a system that authorizes only certain family members or close friends to retrieve your child when you are not able to). If you have an infant, make sure that the providers put the babies to sleep on their backs, which can decrease their risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

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