Daycares weigh safety protocols after COVID closures

Coronavirus

ST. LOUIS – It only took one case of COVID-19 to shut down a KinderCare in south St. Louis. It will reopen Friday after being closed for 72 hours for a deep cleaning.

Pediatrician Joel Koenig said it’s a tough decision for parents, whether or not to send children to daycare.

“Every family has to do a risk-benefit analysis, taking into account their own circumstances,” he said.

Dr. Amelia Bray-Asehenbrenner, an emergency room physician, sends her 2-year-old son to daycare.

“People depend on me at work as a physician, so you got to take the risks you got to take; we don’t have family in town to watch him,” she said.

A KinderCare spokeswoman said they have 1,500 daycares nationwide and the one on Hampton is not the only one to be struck by COVID-19.

She said KinderCare has many health safety protocols. She said they require sanitizing of hands, surfaces and toys, workers wear masks. There are temperature checks and health questionnaires for anyone entering the building. KinderCare notifies health departments if anyone becomes infected.

Fortunately, the disease is not as hard on little kids as older adults.

“The youngest is least likely to catch it. If they do catch it, they are the least likely to require hospitalization,” Dr. Koenig said.

Laura Shocklee’s daughter sends three of her grandchildren to daycare.

“She did tell me a lot of kids weren’t going, a lot of times her daughter was the only one there,” she said.

Even if you trust your daycare, it’s difficult to relax when they are caring for your most precious thing in the world, your children.

“It definitely makes you worry about every little sniffle every little thing that comes up that it could be something more,” Dr. Bray-Asehenbrenner said.

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