Please know that we are very mindful of doing everything possible to not spread disease. Therefore, we request the help of all of our parents/caregivers to aid us in monitoring their child's use of our instruments and if they believe the instruments used by their child has gotten wet or has been compromised in any way to please put those instruments into our "Wet Box". At the end of each class we spray all of the instruments in our wet box with antiseptic mouthwash (repeatedly confirmed effective by the Santa Cruz County Public Health Nurse), let the mouthwash sit for a few minutes to do it's job, and then thoroughly wipe down each instrument individually before it is used again. This is the method we have used very effectively for over 14 years, and we believe it is the best possible method available to avoid spreading disease, including flu viruses.
It is not correct to assume a clear runny nose is OK and green is not. The color of the runny nose does not help you determine how contagious a child is. It is more reliable to make a judgment call by the way the child is acting. If your child has slept poorly and is acting tired and grouchy along with the runny nose, assume he is sick enough to stay home. If the runny nose is a week old and your child is acting playful and active, she is likely healthy enough to attend. If your child's nose is runny enough that the mucus is being wiped on sleeves/classroom equipment it is best to keep him at home! Some children can have consistently runny noses of any color for weeks or months, which is often caused by allergies, and should not be contagious. Please check with your teacher if you are concerned about a child with a consistently runny nose in your class.
A child with a frequent deep moist cough should stay home, especially if he is too young to cover his own mouth when he coughs. An occasional cough in an otherwise healthy-appearing energetic child is of no more concern than the cold that causes it.
Even if your child has been put on antibiotics, this does not make their cold any less contagious. While ear infections are not contagious, the colds that lead to them are. If your child has a severe cough, fever, or is not feeling well, please stay home until she feels better. Most viruses take at least 48 hours to incubate. Therefore if you or your child comes down with a cold or fever the day after your class, chances are you did NOT catch the virus in our Music Together® class. Germs can be airborne OR carried on clothes as well as passed through hand to hand contact. Another member in the family could bring home a germ from the office or grocery store on their hands. They may develop minimal symptoms because their adult immune system is more developed and yet they can pass this on to a child who may have more severe symptoms days later.
Please keep your child at home until it has been over 24 hours since her last fever without the assistance of fever reducer medicines. Your child is the most contagious during the time she is feverish.People are often contagious 24 hours before showing any symptoms. Therefore a child who appeared perfectly healthy in class could come down with a fever two hours later and may have unwittingly exposed the class. Obviously, this is unavoidable.
In summary, there is going to be exposure to germs no matter how careful anyone is or what the policies are. Any communal activity, storytime at library, playgroup, new moms group, church etc. all lays us open to catching germs. Indeed, humans need to be exposed to germs to develop their immune systems. As an important line of defense for you and your child, please wash your hands and those of your child before and after class or avail yourself of the antiseptic hand wash that is available in every class. If you are not sure if your child is contagious or not, please err on the side of caution and stay at home.