How Risky Is Bringing My Kids To Day Care?

How Risky Is Bringing My Kids To Day Care?
In our series "What's the Risk?", experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have, too. Jessica Myhre asked, "What’s the risk of sending my kids to day care?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Cleveland Clinic; Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine.

Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 from day care is medium.

"Sending kids to day care is something that we're starting to ramp up right now as the rest of all the states have opened up their their communities. I would say it's somewhere between low to medium. I would also, though, say that it really depends on the kid that you're sending. If this is a child who is at risk of getting really, really bad colds, bad flu, have heart problems, have lung problems, I would say that's not something that I would do right now. Or the people who live in the house with this child, ... are they someone who are at risk of higher infections or higher disease severity if the child brings that virus home?" Esper said.

"There is risk sending your kids to day care, but what is very important is that your day care has good practices in place to screen for symptoms and making sure that all the kids are at day care are really consistent. Cleaning of the environment is important, and really good hand hygiene," Cary said.

"Probably limiting the number of children in the day care to probably 10 or under. And I've seen some guidance where they're talking about a number of square feet available per child, that you want to be able to have enough space. There is a lot of people who do in-home day cares and they're licensed with that. But so it depends on how much space you have as well. The kids need to be able to take naps. How much distance and can you maintain when they're taking naps as well? So it's those kind of things that are really important to in order to ensure safety in a day care," Hafiz said.

If you have a question about your risk, send us a video to You can see answers to other questions here