is the VOA Special English Health Report.
A mother in Tamil Nadu, India, recently had a question for our new series on
children and parenting. This woman
in Tuticorin has a son who is almost three years old. He attends a pre-kindergarten school. She wonders why
he often suffers from a blocked or leaky nose and a cough. Along with these, he
gets a temperature of thirty-eight and three-tenths degrees Celsius.
course, the only advice we can give our listeners is to ask a medical
professional about any conditions. But this is a good chance to talk about young
children in group settings. There is a reason why schools and child care centers
are known as germ factories.
Children can come in contact with all sorts of bacteria, viruses and other
organisms as they share toys, toilets and towels. Some will make them sick,
others are harmless.
Good hand washing is an important way to reduce the spread of infections.
Caregivers should also be trained in ways to clean, sanitize and disinfect. The Web site for the National Resource
Center for Health and Safety in Child Care explains the differences.
This government-financed center is part of the University of Colorado in
Denver. It says parents should look around child care centers. Make sure toys,
furniture and other equipment are clean and in good condition. Not only that,
ask how often things get cleaned -- there should be an established program.
The experts in Colorado say parents should not take sick children to day care
if they might infect others. They also advise child care operators to keep a
sick child away from healthy children whenever possible.
Some places are not equipped to deal with a sick child.
Many day care centers and schools require children to be without fever for at
least 24 hours before they can come back.
Being in a "germ factory" is not necessarily all bad. Some experts believe
that children exposed early to common germs develop a greater resistance to them
when they reach school age.
Next week, we are going to continue talking about childhood health. If you
have a general question, send it to email@example.com. And please be sure to
tell us who you are and where you are writing from.
And that's the Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. Our
reports -- and a link to the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in
Child Care -- are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Faith Lapidus.