One major drawback to day care centres that our family has discovered with Leo’s first few months in one is the almost bi-weekly cold or flu that he brings home.
I understand how it happens. Toddlers don’t know better, so they sneeze in each others’ faces, touch each others’ food with snotty hands, and generally have lousy hygiene. Day care is a veritable petri dish for viruses and bacteria.
But what I can’t believe is how susceptible we the parents are to catching the bugs. I figured that being older and having had more colds in our lifetimes than our son, we’d have some immunity to the common diseases Leo is catching.
But no. Almost without fail, about 48 hours after Leo sprays me with a sudden, unshielded sneeze, I get a scratchy throat. Then I start to sneeze. Then my nose gets stuffy, and lo and behold, I have caught his *#^$*& cold. As a matter of fact, I have his most recent cold now, probably my fifth or sixth one this year.
Is there no way to isolate the kids at day care who are sneezing somehow? Put ’em in a little microfiltered room with toys, a TV running Barney DVDs and a big pair of rubber gloves hanging out of each wall?
Okay, maybe not.
How about a little HazMat suit for each kid, then? That way they can play with each other without proliferating their various infections. Of course, this would only be necessary until they were old enough to understand the principles of hand-washing, etc.
I don’t know what the solution is, but you can bet we’d be willing to pay extra to the day care centre that figures it out.