Preventing the Spread of Infectious Disease

Keeping your family and your clients healthy is important. Please take a few minutes to read this important message about controlling the spread of infection, including COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
Although older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease) are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with COVID-19, the virus can infect people of all ages.  Newborns and pregnant women are always considered at risk.  To help control the spread of this—or any—infection, it is extremely important that you and your clients ask to reschedule if they or their young ones are feeling unwell and/or have a fever.  Individuals should be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medications such as Tylenol or Advil.  Refrain from administering medications in order to get through a session, and ask your clients to do the same.

Note: APNPI advises photographers to keep in mind that because newborns and pregnant women are always vulnerable and susceptible to a host of viruses, including influenzas, coronaviruses, hand-foot-mouth disease, RSV, Herpes, etc, that these precautions are good practice at all times and not just during serious outbreaks.


Follow infection prevention guidelines

To minimize the risk of infection, everyone should take these necessary infection prevention measures:
  • Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched household objects and surfaces, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay at least two metres away from anyone who is coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your bent elbow/sleeve if a tissue is not available).
  • Remain informed from reliable sources, such as the World Health Organization, your local ministry of health (ie: the Ontario Ministry of Health), your local public health unit (ie: Ontario Public Health) and your local city’s public health (ie: Hamilton Public Health).
  • In addition, here is a parent resource for talking to children about COVID-19.


Protecting your clients:

  • Thoroughly wash and sanitize all props between clients.
  • Thoroughly wash and sanitize all newborn clothing, wraps, and anything that comes into contact with baby.
  • For items that are unwashable, such as flokatis, consider that a typical virus can live on a surface without a host for up to 15 days, and some even longer.  If you are inclined to use a flokati, consider putting the flokati itself into quarantine for 2 weeks, and rotating such items.
  • Sanitize all surfaces that clients will be touching. (ie: doorknobs, railings, chairs, coat racks, etc)
  • Any toys in studio should be sanitized between clients.
  • Reschedule sessions if you or your children are sick.  Yes this sometimes can take weeks if a virus takes a while to move through your family.  If needed, recommend another photographer in your area, or simply wait until you are safely healthy, and keep in mind that you can still create a beautiful gallery with an older newborn that the parents will love.


Protecting your business

  • Show your clients that you are informed and pro-active.
  • Communicate what you are doing to keep your clients safe.  Post on your website, in social media, and in your newsletters.
  • Ask your clients if there are any additional measures they’d like to have implemented for their session.
  • Caring about your client comfort is key to them having a good experience with you.
  • As always, ensure that your business liability insurance is up to date.


Handling Mini-Sessions 

  • As public concern over virus transmission grows, let your clients know you are mindful and pro-actively taking measures.
  • Consider scheduling time in between sessions to do a thorough sanitize of the area in between your mini sessions.  Include all areas that parents and children touch, as well as props.  This will also limit exposure between families by not having them come into contact with each other in a small space.
  • Consider inviting clients to bring personal items for props so they have the option to use an unshared item.
  • Some items (such as balloons) can be given to your clients instead of being reused and shared.
  • Consider scheduling a back-up date 2 to 3 weeks later for those who are sick on the day of the mini-session or for those who have travelled or been exposed to a virus.


Protecting Yourself

  • Follow infection prevention guidelines as stated above.
  • Read through this parent resource for talking to children about COVID-19.
  • Put in place an illness and rescheduling policy.  Decide in advance how you want your clients to handle being sick, and whether or not you will accept them into your studio should they arrive with sick children or if they are clearly ill themselves.
  • To support the health of your community, you may put in place a policy asking clients to wait a 2 week period prior to their session if they have travelled to or have been in contact with someone who has recently travelled to a high-risk area as identified by public health or your local government.