It is a fact of life that little kids get sick. As any parent knows, there will be days when clean-up is job one. A good parent also knows how important thorough and proper clean-up and sanitation is for preventing the spread of illness from one child to another.
Sanitiation is particularly important in daycare settings. In August, 2000, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to the Kindercare facility in Folsom, California. An investigation revealed that the outbreak began when the probable “index case” – a child who unknowingly brought the bacteria into the facility – experienced “explosive diarrhea at the daycare on August 3. It was the failure to deal properly with this event that led to four additional illnesses.
The four other children that attended the daycare became infected with E. coli O157:H7 on successive days, the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th of August. According to the Facility Evaluation Report by the Department of Social Services dated November 7, 2000, “the cause of the outbreak was the use of a sponge for both for wiping down a [diaper] changing table and wiping down a table used for serving meals."
Children are particularly susceptible to severe outcomes when infected with E. coli O157:H7, as well as other pathogens. Those who care for children must take thorough precautions and follow all sanitation guidelines in order to limit the spread of illness.