Updated: Sep 7
Let's get straight to it: Everyone wants to know what to do about this new virus, right? Here are some tips and things to consider when thinking about how this affects your family, your community and some ideas on how to talk with your children about the coronavirus or COVID-19. Cason Children's Center want to share our gathered expert information and some fun activities with you all to help each other get through this strange time! Read all that and more about how we at Cason Children's Center are working to make sure everyone who works and plays here is happy and remains healthy.
First of all, what is this "novel coronavirus/COVID-19?"
To begin, this new virus has been named a new and concerning coronavirus, now officially called COVID-19, and it has gone "viral." COVID-19 is so new that health professionals and health experts still need time to determine the best tests for diagnosing it, how to limit its spread, and protect those most at risk, while developing effective treatment(s) and a potential vaccine.
So far, we have seen that children are less at risk than our older populations, but that does not mean they cannot carry the virus or have mild symptoms. People over the age of 50, those with severe respiratory and other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung diseases, are the most at risk at this time. We recommend this link to understand possible symptoms and how to get help if you feel you need emergency care: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fhigh-risk%2Fhigh-risk-complications.html
Young, healthy people have been affected by COVID-19 and have shown moderate to significant respiratory problems so please consider "social distancing" practices. The CDC, as of 3/15/2020, has stated that gatherings of 50 or more people be suspended or cancelled. We are operating on a smaller scale so we are keeping that in mind as the situation in Tennessee progresses. In any case, any older adults with underlying health problems are proving to be the most at risk so we ask that you and your children steer clear of grandparents for a little while, especially if/when any of you show symptoms of illness, even if minor.
The fact that COVID-19 is here during cold and flu season makes this virus even more of a challenge to our families and health professionals. These viruses have several similarities - fever, cough, shortness of breath seem to be the most common symptoms, but also headaches, body aches, and other common symptoms have been reported. The main difference is that while a vaccine and anti-viral medicines can be used to prevent and protect and/or treat influenza viruses, these same treatments have not yet proven to help with this coronavirus. This is why it is so important that if you feel you may have COVID-19, you must CALL your doctor before going to the ER or your doctor's office. This will help your doctor and/or ER to prepare to receive you if they decide your symptoms are severe. If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, please self-quarantine and reach out to friends and family to help you with groceries and essentials until it is determined that you are cleared.
If you are healthy, maintain your routine - keep hand sanitizer in your pocket or bag for after any hand interactions, avoid handshakes, steer clear of sick people, participate in some social distancing.
Cason Children's Center - Health and Safety Procedure
We are following our usual hand-washing and cleanliness practices in the classroom and throughout the building for staff and children. What has changed, is our procedure for Cason staff and families upon entering and leaving Cason Children's Center.
1. Parents/Guardians, upon entering the lobby, please wash your hands and your child(ren's) hands before checking them in and allowing them to walk to their classroom with their teacher/a staff member at Cason Children's Center. Hand sanitizer is available, but hand-washing at the restroom sink is preferable.
2. Your temperature will be checked by a staff member. Your child's temperature will also be taken. If you or your child has a temperature of 100.4 or above, you will be asked to return home with your child and not return until you have been tested.
3. Once hands have been washed and temperatures taken, your little one will be escorted to their classroom to start their day at Cason!
Parents are not allowed into the main hallways or classrooms until further notice. As it is more difficult to communicate with your child's teacher due to this, we are working on ways to make this easier. Our hours are different now, but as we go back to regular hours and a more regular schedule for teachers, communication will be easier and more regular.
During pick up, the procedure will simply be reversed, without taking temperatures. If you have questions about their day or something you saw on KidReports, please ask the staff member at the front desk, call, and/or email, and we will get your questions answered. Please text the number given to you at the front desk to let us know you are 5 to 10 minutes away so we can get your little one ready for you and in the reception area. Please wash your hands! Help us #flattenthecurve.
Information as of 3/19/2020:
The White House Coronavirus Guidelines for America ask Americans to cancel gatherings of 10 or more, limit your groups less than 10, stay home and only go out to get food or medical attention, keep yourself and your children home if you are or suspect illness, and keep six feet between you and others. We encourage you to reschedule your events with over 10 people for the rest of March until after April 17th. Reschedule, don't cancel!
Worried about your family’s nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic? WIC may be able to help. Give us a call at 1 (800) Dial-WIC or visit our website at tn.gov/wic for more information. For all families, please pay attention to the WIC signs if you can. Those are designated items.
Help Your Children Understand and Help Prevent the Spread
Wash your hands. We cannot stress this enough! Please make sure you explain proper hand washing to your little ones and enforce it everywhere you go. This is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, but the CDC has said that you can use a hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and it will be effective against germs.
Steer clear of people you know are sick. Like many common viruses, this novel coronavirus is spread through close contact. "Close contact" is typically considered within 6 feet of another person - a distance that virus-containing "respiratory droplets" coughed or sneezed into the air can reach and expose others. This is why there is so much emphasis on "social distancing" and also why we ask that if you or someone close to you has symptoms, that you call to let us know that you and your children will remain at home.
Keep your hands to yourself. This is always a difficult one when it comes to children, but let's do our best here. Just by keeping hands washed as often as possible will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Introduce fist-bumps and/or elbow bumps as a fun, new way to great people! Also avoid touching your face - we touch our face multiple times an hour so it will be hard to do, but work on being conscious of it to prevent it. An infected hand touching eyes, nose, or mouth is how the virus gets into the body and cause infection.
Watch what you touch. It has been proven that COVID-19 can live up to 72 hours on some surfaces, 24 hours on cardboard - viruses can live on surfaces for a long time so it is possible to become infected by touching a surface that was previously touched by someone who is infected. At Cason Children's Center, we are meticulously disinfecting toys and surfaces throughout the day, continuing with a sanitizing spray nightly, and our regular deep clean service weekly. Not only are we encouraging parents and children to wash and/or sanitize their hands, but we are using disinfecting wipes on regularly touched surfaces after contact, such as our front doors and the check-in computer.
Wash Your Hands. Just another reminder! Here is the CDC's five step, 20-second hand-washing technique:
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold.) Turn off the tap and apply soap
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" tune twice in your head.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.
Of course, it is important not to scare children. Please remember that while you may feel uncertain or scared about the situation, your children are looking to you for guidance- this is another opportunity to give them a sense of security and help them understand what they see and hear so you can discuss this with them, age-appropriately. Focus on what they can do, such as saying "When we wash our hands, we are not spreading germs and we keep ourselves and everyone else, from getting sick." Just like adults, children want information and the ability to act on it, but it is up to you to help them understand what they can handle. Sometimes limiting exposure to television is a good idea, and for others it is not because it can stimulate discussions about current events. Here two good resources for information on how to talk to your kids about this:
As COVID-19 spreads, so will misinformation. To avoid confusion and to make sure you have the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to visit these sites and read the articles thoroughly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and your local health department will have the most up-to-date information. Of course, check with your child's doctor if and when your child needs to be evaluated, since recommendations regarding who needs to be seen, tested and/or treated will continue to be updated throughout the coming days, weeks, and months.
Activities for Children to Do With or Without their Parents
This will eventually be a compiled list of activities you can do with your kids or they can enjoy by themselves while you have to work.
Virtual tours of 12 famous museums around the world: https://www.parents.com/syndication/museums-with-virtual-tours/?utm_source=instagram&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=parents_parentsmagazine&utm_content=like2buy&utm_term=curalate_like2buy
On The Road with Steve Hartman (PBS Nightly News segment): Starting MONDAY: On the Road with Steve Hartman is off-roading -- into a virtual classroom with all of you!
Join Steve next week as he teaches courses for your kids on kindness and community.
As always, we want to keep our families happy and healthy.
At Cason Children's Center, we have increased our usual cleaning routines in the classroom - increased focus on hand-washing technique, cleaning toys directly after play then returning them to play after a certain amount of time, for example. In addition, parents are now required to drop off their children in the reception area and children will be escorted to their classroom. Parents will wash their hands and their child(ren)'s hands at signing in - you have the choice to wash hands or use hand sanitizer. Not only are we following our usual best practices in cleanliness, we are having the entire building sprayed with disinfectant nightly. Staff are encouraged to stay home and call in if they are feeling sick and have told our older staff members that should they feel they need to stay home until this is over, they can certainly do so.
All of these extra precautions are so we can stay open for you as long as possible through this strange time. We certainly want to be here for our Cason family after all of this is over so let us work together to find the best solution for each family and #flattenthecurve.
Stay healthy and keep in touch,
Administrative team at Cason Children's Center
We want to say a warm, sincere thank you to all our Cason Children's Center families.
Thank you for your contributions and your patience with us through this.