Following the news that face masks are no longer mandatory from this week in the UAE, the UAE’s leading centre for early years education and development has collated key advice for parents to ensure little ones can be as safe and protected as possible
Education in a safe, comfortable and reliable environment has always been a deep-rooted priority at Hummingbird Early Learning Centre.
The pandemic-related events over the last few years have only served to strengthen this commitment – and its three centres across Dubai and Abu Dhabi have highly trained staff who adhere to the strictest of health and safety standards at all times.
This allows Hummingbird to not only provide an environment that supports children’s learning, development and wellbeing, but one in which every measure possible is taken to ensure they are safe and protected from any possible harm.
Expert tips for post-pandemic safety at home
With the news that face masks are no longer mandatory in the UAE, in order to ensure that children are as well protected as possible in every environment, the trained experts at Hummingbird have put together these top tips for parents:
1. Maintain social distancing where possible
Naturally young children want to spend time with their friends, however the safest place for this to happen is outside – think walks and playground meetups, rather than gathering in indoor areas. If you can, encourage your child to maintain a safe distance (six foot) from others. Ideal now we are entering the winter months.
2. Practice proper handwashing
Hummingbird teaches children how to properly wash their hands. It’s important that parents build on these foundations and see that hands are washed frequently, thoroughly and always before eating. Encouraging children to sing a favourite song while doing so – try the “ABC’s” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” – is a good way to make this more fun.
3. Stay vigilant
If you suspect your child is developing flu-like symptoms or has a fever, do not bring them into a school, nursery or early learning centre environment. Instead, make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible. Similarly, keep away from anyone who might be ill.
4. Keep tissues at the ready
Continue to follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and encourage your child to do the same: cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and discard of the tissue in a sealed container.
4. Pay attention to ventilation
Proper ventilation can play a pivotal role in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Try to ensure indoor areas are kept well ventilated, ideally with fresh air flowing through. There’s never been a better time to have the AC cleaned – and this can very much help when it comes to preventing the spread of germs.
Hummingbird Early Learning Centre’s Own Safety Procedures
All three centres closely adhere to the set government rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 – and here is how, with these measures remaining in place despite the latest news around face masks no longer being mandatory:
1. Temperature monitoring
Every morning before entering the premises all staff, parents and children have their temperature checked. If there are any concerns, the individual in question is asked to return home. Furthermore, if a child or staff member starts to feel unwell during the day they are sent home to minimise the risk of illness spreading.
2. Cleaning and sanitisation
Each centre has a strict cleaning schedule in place. This includes daily cleaning of all areas and equipment (with particular attention paid to frequently touched surfaces) and regular deep cleaning of the entire space. The sharing of toys between children is kept to a minimum and all play equipment is regularly cleaned and sanitised.
3. Social distancing
The centre also strives to practice social distancing and has taken decisive action in reducing group sizes compared to pre-COVID numbers to maintain a good practice in terms of health and safety.
4. Practicing good hygiene
Good hygiene practices are followed as a matter of course, with regular hand washing sessions at specific times during the day. Hummingbird’s full-time nurse also runs monthly, age-appropriate sessions specifically intended to educate children about the importance of staying fit and healthy.
5. Boosting vitamin D levels
Recognising the importance of maintaining good general health in order to fight illness and the role that exposing children to sunlight in order to boost vitamin D levels plays in this children are encouraged to spend plenty of time outdoors (the body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors).
For more information and advice, visit www.hummingbird.ae.