Thursday, December 10, 2009


Years ago, I ran a childcare in my home. Just prior to doing that, I went to the state required run-a-childcare-out-of-your-home school.

This was nice, just a few training classes for a few evenings. I met some nice ladies there. What's not to like about a run-a-childcare-out-of-your-home lady? I have yet to meet one that I didn't like.

Anyway, I learned many useful things there regarding the care and feeding of other people's children. Did you know that a caregiver is only really allowed to carry, at most, two babies at a time? Particularly if running? What would you do in case of a fire? And you have more than two babies? Ever think about THAT?

I hung up my home childcare hat a while ago, but one tip that has remained with me is the art of ventilating the home EVERY day. Yes, it is highly recommended that we open windows, preferrably all windows, of the house for at least 30 minutes a day. This keeps the inside air fresh as opposed to just recirculating the old, stale, kiddie-germ infected air, and helps keep the house from becoming a very large petri dish. Do you do that cover-windows-with-ugly-plastic-and-smooth-it-with-the-blowdryer each winter? STOP!

To this day, I open the windows - north, south, east, west - for at least 30 minutes a day.

Yes, even when the temperatures are in the single digits. (Note: you should turn off your thermostat during this ventilation time, to prevent your furnace from trying to heat the entire neighborhood).

Since we and many in the rest of the country are currently in the deep freeze, it is more noticeable when I do this ventilation ritual. Actually, I typically do it when I leave the house and everyone else is at work or school.

Tuesday was a major freeze day as well as a snow day off from school. Everybody but Magnum was home, shunning the outdoors. Nonetheless, I ventilated. Oh, how I ventilated.

I opened the windows and let the screaming wind have it's way with us. No one really freaked out too much. I think they were all on a snowday high. Eventually, however, it started to become noticeable.

Cover was sought, blankets were wrapped, thermostat was consulted.

"When it drops below 55, buy!", I directed.

The huddling continued.

Ultimately, we did reach 55 degrees. I gave the signal, and there was a mass frenzy of window slamming. One window revolted however. Snow had blown in and had gotten icy and prevented the shutting of said window.

After some struggle, I got it closed. "HA HA, that would be funny if we couldn't shut it until spring!"



Whodat? said...

My house (built in 1937) is self-ventilating. How convenient.


Anita said...

I had a friend that did licensed day care in her Maryland home. I wonder if she knew about that, and if she did, just chose to ignore it. Maybe she didn't get that lesson during her courses.
I think it's an idea worth trying. Wonder if I can stand it. :)

terri said...

I ran a home daycare for about 11 years. I don't remember that we ever got a lesson about ventilating the house. It makes a lot of sense. There were lessons about cleaning product safety, and stair safety and pool safety, but no ventilation safety.

It's in the single digits here today and I'm not willing to put this ventilation thing to practice just yet. Remind me in April or May, okay?

Judy said...

Okay, freaky. You and Terri AND EVEN ME - we all ran home daycares!

I love to air out my house. I can barely stand it when it is 60 degrees outside, though. I can't imagine it in Colorado right now! YIKES!

Hey, warm that place up, will ya? I'm coming soon!

agg79 said...

I like the idea of venting. Makes sense, although doing it in a deep freeze might be a challenge for some. We used to have an attic fan in our house in Jersey that would accomplish pretty much the same thing.

Adam said...

You know, of all the methods of not getting sick, I never would have thought just to open the windows. Thanks for the tip, Abby ^_^

Beej said...

I have never run a daycare and hope that I never do, considering how the only kids I like are my own and I sometimes they get on my very last nerve.

I like knowing this information about you. It's says ALL KINDS OF STUFF.

Goes by the name of Anna said...

For a second there I thought you'd written "55 below" instead of "below 55", and I nearly had a heart attack...

I am a big fan of airing out the house though. Just not when it's quite that cold!

Herb said...

It's nice to have a blog and be able to vent.