Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I read something the other day... our local newspaper.
The Advertiser.
here we go...

"Children are being encouraged to get their hands dirty at childcare centres renovated with a nature theme.
In SA, Mission Australia is renovating three failed childcare centres, which were known for their carpeted walls and artificial turf playgrounds.
These were replaced with outdoor discovery gardens, wooden play equipment, tunnels and bridges. Each centre also has its own vegetable patch.
Mission Australia hopes this will all help to combat "bio-phobia" - a fear of nature's risks. "

All well and good, but let's go back to the bit that bothered me.

"carpeted walls and artificial turf playgrounds"

Carpeted walls.
On the walls.
How the hell did they keep these clean???

Carpet is well known for attracting dust, harbouring dust mites, aggravating asthma, hayfever and eczema.
In a place that has probably more than a dozen small children in morning and afternoon sessions, children with colds who probably cough and sneeze a lot, the carpeted walls would hold a lot more germs than just dust and sticky finger marks.

Carpet on the floor is bad enough, but on the walls?  That's just plain ridiculous!!
Most childcare centres and kindergartens I knew had a carpeted area or a large mat for the kids to sit on for story time. The rest of the floor was surfaced in something easily washable, because let's face it, kids do have accidents. Dropped food, spilled drinks, the occasional vomit.

This is not an attack on all of you at home who have carpets on your floors. I'm betting you keep them as clean as you possibly can and I'm also betting you don't have hordes of children in your home twice a day, every day.

Moving back to the carpeted walls....a few years ago there was something in the papers about how high the incidences of asthma in small children were now.
I'm wondering if dusty, germy (wall) carpets might have had anything to do with this. If they were spot cleaned and didn't dry properly while the place was closed overnight, these carpeted walls could also be harbouring mildews and moulds between the carpet and the wall. Ditto carpet and floor.
It may be that the kids didn't have true asthma, but like me, simply had asthmatic type reactions to dust, mildews and moulds.

Further into the article were a couple of paragraphs which I just had to laugh at.

"....a lot of research into early childhood showed the importance of children having access to the outside environment."

"Children need to get outside and play.........children need exposure to nature because it helps you build up an immune system........"

Why did I laugh at this?
Because it's been known for generations.
This is not new knowledge.


  1. Remember when we used to play down at the creek and you'd just hose us down when we came home? Good times.

  2. Not new, but requiring rediscovery. Which I find so sad. It seems that those children in the carpeted rooms were being 'protected' from the terrible dangers lurking in a hand full of dirt. Or a pocket full of snails. Or all the similar things that I took for granted. Which were fun as well as helping to build up our immune systems.

  3. It's only a matter of time before some researcher discovers the wheel.

  4. I don't think you are on the right track with asthma as carpet has been widely used for a long time now. The subject has been pretty extensively studied. Pity I can't remember the details. But of course, kids need to get outside, skin a knee, get a mouthful of dirt and cuddle their dog/cat/chooks.

  5. Good grief our mothers knew all about kids needing to be outdoors....whether we wanted to or not.

  6. Carpeted walls ...... sounds too bizarre to me, too.

    I agree with you re having surfaces that are easily cleaned. I may not run a childcare centre, but LC and Sapphire both get asthma and we have a dog who sheds.

  7. I moved into a house once that had carpet on one master bedroom wall. And flocked velvet wallpaper on the other three.

    God, that was an ugly house.

  8. no-one; I remember those days. Remember when I'd bring your boots and raincoat to kindy and let you spalsh in the full gutters on the way home?

    EC; it is sad that these things require rediscovery at great research cost, when really all they need to do is go to an old folks home and listen to stories maybe.

    FruitCake; or fire...

    Andrew; you're right, it doesn't cause asthma, but carpet does hold a lot of dust....

    Delores; mine spent a lot of time outside, after school, weekends, holidays...all so that I could have "free" time to read.

    Kath Lockett; Vacuuming sucks, I'm so glad now to have lino floors. Aquick swish with broom then mop and I'm done.

    Toni; I've seen flocked wallpaper and wondered who the heck invented such a thing and why.

  9. I remember exactly as Delores says, mothers pushing kids outside; "Get out and play." My daughter runs a large childcare centre, the grounds do have artificial turf (a surprise when I saw it) but the walls are plain. A panel van I bought from a bloke years ago had the entire rear section carpeted, floor, walls and ceiling.
    It's too much work keeping carpet clean, especially with two dogs in the house. But it's an unhygienic thing anyway.

  10. Hi River,

    You've touched on one of my pet ranting subjects. In fact, I am in the middle of a post that will appear in the next few days on this very subject.







  11. When my kids were young they were always told to play outside and get dirty, bleed a bit, play in mud, fall down and get bruised so they could build up a strong immune system :-).

  12. R.H. I remember days when my kids came inside only to use the toilet. I'd give them breakfast, send them outside with many toys and books, then take out a picnic lunch and a mid afternoon snack. They'd come in for dinner when it started getting dark.

    Plasman; I'll have to check in and read it.

    Windsmoke; I remember those days, I spent a lot of time alone at the beach, riding my bike all over town, many happy hours up in a tree reading a book.

  13. Isn't it baffling, that this sort of "research about children" has to be rediscovered? My, my. Outdoors is good for them, then, 'eh? I am scared for the future!

    Carpet on the walls. Another scary thought. My childhood home had carpet in the bathroom. Now THAT was a ridiculous 70's new idea! They probably thought it was very plush and luxurious to have warm carpet underfoot. No wait, sorry. I forgot a word.... warm ORANGE carpet.

    My home now has carpet in just 3 rooms - 2 of the bedrooms and the "good" (lounge) room. More than enough!

  14. I could never get my two horrors inside and the first thing in the bath along with the hot water was Pine-0-clean.