When I was in first grade, I caught hepatitis from a drinking fountain. I had to miss school for nearly 30 days. Let's face it—keeping our kids safe means keeping them healthy too.
I once heard that church nurseries should be the cleanest rooms in the church. And I would have to agree with that. We want to pass on love and God's Word to the future generations. But we don't want to pass on sickness and disease.
One of the primary struggles that children's ministries face is training volunteers to deal with safety issues regarding cleanliness. Consistency for volunteer workers from week to week is difficult. To overcome this, it is vital to have a point person in charge of the nursery who will establish sanitation guidelines and communicate them with all volunteers. Training is essential. And written guidelines should be posted and shared regularly with staff and parents.
So where can you start to ensure a clean nursery in your church?
I have looked at a considerable number of policies that have varying guidelines regarding when children should stay home. Of the policies I looked at, not one had any such warnings about workers. The same rules should apply. In essence, the following should be posted and communicated:
Please refrain from working in the nursery if you are sick. Being sick includes, but is not limited to, the following symptoms:
- Body temperature over 100 degrees
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Undiagnosed rash
- Constant runny nose; yellow or green nasal discharge