Well, it’s that time of year again….a time of reflection and preparation…gifts to purchase, houses to decorate, parties to attend, flu shots to get…..that’s right, it’s cold and flu season! Are you ready? At the first sign of the weather changing, I go into germ-fighting mode. With a young child in daycare, every sniffle has me on hyper-mom alert. It’s tough on both of us to stay home when she is sick, in part because I inevitably end up getting whatever lovely cold/cough/fever she has. Even though I don’t really have control over the spread of germs out in the world, I do what I can to make sure my home and family stays as healthy as possible. Conveniently, that is also part of my job here at Kidspace, so at least there are two corners of the world I feel confident in as being safe havens from the germs which abound in the colder weather.
Health and safety of our guests and staff has always been a high priority here and as such, we are constantly evaluating our processes, analyzing data, and responding to guest concerns. Because paying constant attention to health and safety issues is such normal part of my job, and everyone else’s job here, we don’t often pat ourselves on the back for it or proclaim our great safety record from the rooftops.
But in the spirit of preparedness and the good fight against germs, bacteria, and viruses, I thought I would share with everyone some of the ways in which we strive to maintain a healthy and safe environment here at Kidspace. Since there are a lot of touch points throughout the museum, we provide hand sanitizer stations throughout the museum. There are also two sinks located in the main gallery, along of course with all the restroom sinks available for hand washing. We disinfect the trike helmets and bug bonz in the gallery daily, and our cleaning crew comes in to wipe down and clean all surfaces nightly.
Another main area we pay particular attention to is our Early Childhood Learning Center. Not only are our littlest visitors more susceptible to illness, but also spend more time with toys and hands in their mouths. Many museums and child care centers struggle with the balance of properly disinfecting and using safe cleaners to do so. The use of bleach is prevalent in many early child care centers, and while bleach kills bacteria and viruses, there are also associated health and environmental risks. Kidspace has never struggled with this balance, choosing to use green cleaners and disinfectants which are safer for our health, friendlier to our environment and still get the job done. Our products are recommended by various agencies as “best practice” choices for non- bleach cleaners and we work regularly with our supplier to ensure we are using the best product possible for our needs. All of our staff who work in the EC are trained in our cleaning procedures and clean toys and surfaces throughout the day to minimize the spread of germs. Our night crew cleans the ECLC every night, disinfecting surfaces, and does a deep clean once a week as well.
While we encourage families with sick children to stay home and rest to minimize the spread of infection, we are prepared to stop germs in their tracks by making a concerted effort on a daily basis to provide the healthiest and safest environment to the public that we can. We hope to see you and your healthy families this holiday season!
Lauren Kaye, Senior Operations Manager, has worked at Kidspace Children’s Museum over four years. Her current focus includes safety, facilities management, exhibits, and technology. Her favorite exhibit at the museum is the Observation Beehive.