Editor’s note: New guidance has been released since this article was published. Please visit the updated interim guidance document. For the latest news on COVID-19, visit https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/01/28/coronavirus.
The AAP has updated its interim guidance for child care programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding new advice on sanitizing spaces and screening staff members.
“Guidance Related to Childcare During COVID-19” includes resources and a list of frequently asked questions about keeping children and staff safe.
Before staff members return to work, they should be asked whether they or their household members have experienced any symptoms. The AAP cautioned that testing does not determine if someone is contagious. Those who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. The AAP continues to recommend taking the temperature of all children and staff at check-in each day.
Programs should sanitize their facilities using common Environmental Protection Agency-registered household disinfectants, not special products, and use caution with products containing bleach, according to the AAP. Some surfaces will need to be rinsed after being disinfected as children may put their mouth on them.
The AAP also has added advice on feeding children, saying infants should be held while being fed. For preschool-age children who are grouped in small cohorts, maintaining 6 feet of space while eating may not be necessary.
When trying to keep distance between children, child care programs may want to consider using outdoor and office space, according to the guidance. It also addresses staff-to-child ratios, personal protective equipment and the use of hand sanitizers.