Tips for a Clean Play Room
This information should not replace guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
We have compiled contributions from the American Psychological Association (APA), the CDC, and your peers, sharing methods and tips to keep your playroom clean in an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. While these practices should be in place year-round, it is important to be extra vigilant during this time. You can take steps now to prepare your practices, reduce the risk of transmission and address family concerns.
- Post signs encouraging hand-washing and put hand sanitizers in play rooms, waiting rooms, offices and restrooms.
- Require hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before entering the playroom. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using a regular household detergent and water prior to disinfection.
- After a toy is touched it does not go back on the shelf. Remove these from the play room to disinfect at the end of your day.
- Consider removing specific items that clearly encourage transmission of saliva such as flutes, whistles, bubbles, harmonicas, baby bottles, etc. If you are not sure how to clean an item you may consider removing it from your play room.
- If a sand tray is used in your play room, review the series of videos by Jerry Bergosh about cleaning your sand and sand tray.
- Post your cleaning procedures in your office/clinic in order to inform parents that you are taking precautions but also state that it is not possible to ensure that your playroom is completely clear of all infectious contaminants.
- If you suspect that your playroom has been exposed to the coronavirus, view the Center for Disease Control Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations.
Cleaning Products and Disinfectants
Communicating with Parents and Clients
Determine how to stay in touch with parents and families during an outbreak or quarantine. Write a notice outlining how your office will function so you are prepared to discuss with parents. Review it with every family; post it to your website, in your waiting room and share by email. Include information on office policies and procedures such as last-minute closings and cancellations. Ask families to consider their health and possible symptoms before their appointments. If they have symptoms or concerns, they should reschedule per the guidelines you set forth.
Example: “To Our Parents and Families, During the current concerns regarding coronavirus, we would like to reassure you that we are taking precautions to keep our playrooms as hygienic as possible. We will be wiping down the playroom with disinfectant each day and often in between each session. We have removed play materials that encourage sharing bodily fluids, such as flutes and whistles, among others. We are also asking you and your child to use hand sanitizer as you enter and leave the clinic. Although we are taking precautions, we cannot guarantee that the playroom is completely virus-free. If you are uncomfortable with bringing your child to play therapy, please feel free to share your concerns and we will schedule accordingly. We remain committed to you and your children and will work with you on the safest way to provide play therapy services.”
Remember to take care of your own health and that of your family. It can be tempting to prioritize patient needs, but remember that if you become ill, you cannot provide effective care.
Special thanks to Rachel Freeburg, Katherine Linder, Jerry Bergosh and Dee Ray for sharing their procedures. If you have anything to add please contact us, as this information will continue to be updated.