Fresh Air/Outdoor Play
The children play outdoors daily weather permitting. Fresh air in the colder months does not cause or promote illness; it actually facilitates good health. Cold air is not related to making a child sick. If a child is in attendance during the outdoor time, he/she is healthy enough to go outside with the rest of the children. All children in attendance during their classroom’s outdoor play time will be going outside.
Parents may not make requests for their child to stay inside while the rest of the group is outside. If these requests were granted, there would be serious staff issues. Granting these requests is not feasible, practical or fair to the other families and children.
Programs are expected to include outdoor experiences in their daily activities during all seasons. Children benefit from the fresh air by breathing air which has fewer germs than indoor air and outdoor exercise will increase their general fitness and resistance to infection.
Colds and flu’s are common during the winter months because they spread easily when people spend more time in closed, heated and stuffy rooms. Breathing warm, dry indoor air irritates tissues in the nose and throat making it easier to catch a cold. Therefore outdoor experiences help promote health not illness.
When it is very cold with the wind chill temperature of –45° F or a standing temp of 0° the children will not go outside. If the temperature doesn’t exceed the Outside Play Policy the children will go outside to play for a period to be determined by staff.
Taking children outside is considered healthy practice in a quality child care program. Of course infants and sometimes toddlers are not as mobile and free to move and play in the snow as the preschoolers are. Taking them on short walks in the strollers and providing them with fresh air and sunshine is what they need to get.
There are opportunities for year round swimming in Mayville and during the summer months at other sites.
Outside Play Policy – Cold Weather
Children will not go outside when the wind chill or standing temperature is 0°F or below.
Staff may opt to go outside for a portion of their designated outside time, using their discretion. Please dress children in appropriate clothing for the weather. This includes (labeled with child’s first & last names) winter coat, snow pants or snowsuit, mittens or gloves, boots, face mask or scarf (whenever possible).
Staff will monitor children for open skin exposure to cold by looking for reddened and/or white cheeks.
Outside Play Policy – Hot Weather
Children will not go outside when heat index is at or above 90° or a combination of relative humidity and temperature are in the danger category of the Heat Index Chart.
Children will be well hydrated with water and kept in shady areas whenever possible. Water play activities will be available. The Heat Index Chart will be utilized to determine the length of time outdoors.
Appropriate dress includes (labeled with child’s first and last names) shorts, short-sleeved or tank tops, sandals (with back straps), swimsuits or swim trunks.
Staff will monitor children for skin exposure to sun and heat by looking for red skin. All children will be sent out with sunscreen on and reapplications will happen as necessary.