Hygiene and Infection Control Aims and Ethos
At Chingford House Nursery, we recognise our duty in providing a healthy and safe environment for the children, staff, parents and visitors to the setting.
Maintaining and promoting the children’s best health is our priority; ensuring an exceptional high standard of hygiene across the whole nursery is fundamental to this, therefore the children’s rooms, toilets and kitchen are a particular focus in controlling infection.
The main health and safety policy outlines the various aspects in which the setting endeavours to provide an environment which is optimum to health. However, this policy focuses on hygiene which is a significant contributor in controlling and minimising the spread of infection.
We have robust induction procedures in place where new staff learn about policies such as health & safety and how we keep children safe. Health & safety issues are always on the agenda at staff meetings to ensure that we have regular discussions; these factors are crucial in establishing good working practices and ensuring that there is a high level of consistency in how we approach our duty of care.
Infection is termed as ‘diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread directly or indirectly from one person to another’ (NHS)
Children are more likely to pick up an infection due to issues such as an immature immune system, incomplete vaccinations, the fact that they play so closely with other children and that they do not fully understand or employ good hygiene practices.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) places an emphasis on the provider to ensure that they minimise the risk of infections spreading, that they have procedures in place if children become ill or infectious and how they respond and communicate this to parent/carers.
It is crucial that Chingford House Nursery deploys ways in which we can stop or at least minimise the spread of infections, and this can be achieved through the:
• Promotion of immunisations/vaccinations for children and staff
• Exclusion of staff or children when they are infectious
• Effectiveness of hand washing practices
• Cleanliness of the setting
Coronavirus (Covid-19) was declared a pandemic in March 2020 and therefore is significant not only to this policy but other policies in our setting; it determines how rigorous we need to be to control and minimise the spread of this extremely dangerous disease.
The NHS states that immunisations are the most effective way to prevent infections or death. Particularly in an environment where there are a lot of children, immunisations are effective in protecting the child and stopping the spread of infection.
Our registration form has a section that asks parents what immunisations their child has had and asks that they keep us up to date with further immunisations.
We have implemented the following procedures to ensure that we are complying with appropriate statutory guidelines.
Many viruses can live outside the body for a short period of time; the virus which causes the common cold can live on hands and remain infectious for up to an hour. Other viruses can live on door handles and hard surfaces for up to 6 hours. Although it is not yet known how long the coronavirus remains infectious, PHE has stated that ‘other viruses in the same family suggest that, in most circumstances, the risk is likely to be reduced significantly after 72 hours’.
Hand washing is one of the most important ways of controlling the spread of infections, especially those that cause diarrhoea, vomiting, respiratory diseases and coronavirus.
Each of the rooms in the nursery has a sink, allowing easy and regular access for staff and children to adopt good hygiene practices.
The recommended hand washing method is the use of liquid soap, ensuring that it lathers around the hands and fingers; they should then be washed with warm water for at least 20 seconds and dried thoroughly using paper towels (see appendix for full technique)
Staff will now wash their hands on arrival at work and before they start working with the children. Staff always wash their hands after using the toilet, and will do so after coughing/ sneezing/wiping their nose. Hand washing will take place before eating, preparing or handling food (gloves must always be worn when handling food).
As well as this, staff wear gloves when changing children’s nappies and wash their hands thoroughly after changing each child.
Cuts and abrasions must be covered with waterproof dressings or gloves if staff are in contact with bodily fluids or food.
Supporting children’s hand washing:
Staff will wash the children’s hands on entering their room. They must have constant and continuous conversations with the children about the importance of washing their hands; this can be carried out in circle times or particular themes promoting health. Children must also be accompanied to the bathrooms, ensuring that, where necessary, staff show the children how to wash their hands effectively.
The children also need to wash their hands before eating, after using the toilet and after coughing/sneezing/wiping their noses.
Where practical, the Senior staff team will routinely monitor how staff and children are washing their hands to ensure that we maintain a high level of good hand-washing practices.
Chingford House Nursery ensures that the Cook undergoes thorough training and has a good understanding of food handling and hygiene. Food hygiene courses are renewed every three years and we ensure that the Cook keeps up to date with the latest guidelines and practices.
Other staff who handle food will also undertake training so that they understand their responsibility. Staff will not handle food without first washing their hands and wearing gloves before they prepare or serve food.
Managing bodily fluids:
Infections can spread via small droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing (respiratory) and through contact of faeces, vomit and blood.
Through the nature of their work and due to close physical contact with children, particularly when they are poorly, staff can increase the risk of exposure to, and the spread of, an infection. It is important therefore that staff consistently manage how they deal with bodily fluids.
Nappy changing, toileting & potty training:
The full nappy-changing policy outlines how staff support the children through toileting needs. However, staff must wear an apron and gloves to change children’s nappies; the wet or soiled nappies must be placed in the nappy disposable bin. Hands must be washed before and after each nappy change. The changing mat must also be cleaned and sanitised after each child is changed and will be checked weekly to ensure that there are not any cuts or tears in it (this would be a source of accumulating germs).
Similarly, staff must wear gloves when supporting the children using the potty or toilet. Staff must dispose of bodily fluids in the toilet (if potty training) and the potty must be washed with soapy water and disinfectant and dried and stored appropriately for the next use.
Staff must check and clean the toilets regularly and must ensure that toilets are flushed after children use them; where there is a case of diarrhoea, the toilets must be cleaned and sanitised before another child uses it.
Staff must thoroughly wash their hands after supporting the children’s toileting needs as well as ensuring that children wash their hands too.
Blood and bodily fluids:
There are diseases that can be passed through bodily fluids mixed with blood, these are known as blood-borne viruses (BBV). There is a higher risk of infection through broken/punctured skin, saliva (biting) if the blood is infected; examples of BBV are Hepatitis or HIV.
When dealing with blood, bites that have broken the skin or nose bleeds, staff must ensure that they wear gloves; ensuring that wipes, cloths, or bandages with blood on are wrapped in bags and disposed of safely and appropriately.
Needle Stick Injuries:
There may be instances where staff have to use needles when managing their health or the health of children in their room. In the event that there is a needle stick injury the member of staff should:
• Encourage the wound to bleed, ideally by holding it under running water
• Wash the wound using running water and plenty of soap
• Do not scrub the wound while washing it
• Do not suck the wound
• Dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or dressing
Staff should also seek urgent medical advice as they may need treatment to reduce the risk of getting an infection, by phoning their GP, NHS 111 or going to the nearest A&E
Diarrhoea & vomiting:
Our first priority when dealing with diarrhoea or vomit is to ensure that the child is comforted and well looked after.
Staff will wear an apron and gloves when removing any clothing and when wiping down the child. The child’s clothes will be double bagged and left with a note to ensure that the parents wash the clothes on a high temperature wash (60˚). The exclusion policy will apply, and the child will be excluded for 48hrs (see our Illness, Infection and Exclusion policy).
Tissues, paper towels and cloths:
Viruses like the one that causes flu can stay on tissues for up to 15 minutes after it has been used. Staff must cough or sneeze into tissues and, where appropriate, encourage children to do the same. Tissues should only be used once, then thrown in the bin; the staff/child must then wash their hands.
Paper towels should be used as much as possible and disposed of after each use. The use of cloth towels will be used infrequently and will be laundered at the end of the day.
We provide the children with their own labelled bedding which is not shared. Bedding is washed at the end of the child’s week on a high temperature wash. The children’s bedding and other items are washed separately to towels, oven mitts or anything else used in the kitchen.
Children’s clothes soiled from bodily fluids will not be washed at the nursery to minimise the spread of infection. Clothing, bedding or other items will be washed, hung out to dry and then stored away as soon as possible.
Hygiene and cleaning:
As part of the daily risk assessments and checklists, staff ensure that the rooms are clean, safe and appropriate for the children at the start of each day and then again in the afternoon.
The staff carry out a basic tidy and clean in their rooms throughout the day (sweeping/mopping floors after any food spillages) as well as cleaning and sanitising the tables before and after meals. However, due to the coronavirus, more robust efforts will include cleaning and sanitising tables after play, as well as sanitising toys and resources. The children are also involved in the process of tidying up (i.e., using the dustpan to sweep up rubbish); this not only gives the children a sense of responsibility whilst developing their co-operation skills, but it also provides them with the opportunity to understand cleanliness and hygiene practices.
The Cleaner has appropriate coloured equipment for the kitchen, toilets and rooms and ensures that they are not mixed – these limit the spread and contamination of infection.
Hot, soapy water with chlorine-based products and disinfectants are used to ensure that germs are killed. Areas that have a lot of physical contact will now be cleaned more regularly, i.e., light switches, door handles, bannisters will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
The mops are washed and left to dry at the end of the day and the cloths are washed separately on a high temperature wash.
We understand that a lot of infections transmitted are airborne or via contact and, as such, to reduce the risk of infection spreading, we have a schedule for cleaning the nursery, resources and equipment.
Where there is an outbreak of an infectious illness such as Covid-19, the nursery will undergo an enhanced clean and will hire a professional company to provide a ‘fogging’ clean, (the environment, doors, surfaces are chemically sprayed to kill viruses and pathogens). Zarkar Akhtar is responsible for ensuring that enhanced cleaning takes place.
In these situations, Chingford House Nursery would need to inform the local Health Protection Team and Ofsted about an outbreak as appropriate (see our Health & Safety policy for more details).
Policy created by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: August 2021
Date of next review: August 2022