Hygiene and Infection Control
Aims and Ethos
Ensuring an exceptional high standard of hygiene across the whole nursery is fundamental to minimising the spread of infections, therefore the children’s rooms, toilets and kitchen are a particular focus in controlling them.
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 and safety policies and how we keep children safe; this is crucial in establishing 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 an immature immune system, incomplete vaccinations, playing closely with other children and they do not fully employ good hygiene practices.
Where possible, we minimise the risk of infections spreading through rooms/ nursery and we have procedures in place if children become ill or infectious; we are also clear in how we respond and communicate this to parent/carers.
We minimise the spread of infections through the:
promotion of immunisations/vaccinations for children and staff
exclusion of staff or children when they are infectious
effectiveness of handwashing practices
cleanliness of the setting
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. 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:
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. All of the children’s rooms have 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 be washed with warm water for at least 20 seconds and dried thoroughly using paper towels.
Staff wash the children’s hands when first coming into their rooms before they have breakfast or play. Staff have constant and continuous conversations with the children about the importance of washing their hands; this can be carried out during circle times or particular themes promoting health. Children must also be accompanied to the bathrooms, ensuring that, where necessary, staff model how to wash their hands effectively. The children need to wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet.
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 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 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:
Nappy changing, toileting & potty training:
Staff must wear an apron and gloves to change children’s nappies; the wet or soiled nappies must be put in a nappy sack and disposed of in the appropriate bin. Hands must be washed/sanitised after each nappy change. The changing mat must also be sanitised after each child is changed; the mat must 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 and spray them frequently; where there is a case of diarrhoea, the toilets will 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 such as with bites that have broken the skin or nose bleeds, staff must ensure that they wear gloves and 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 i.e. managing diabetes. 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 Accident and Emergency hospital.
Diarrhoea & vomiting:
Staff wear aprons and gloves when removing soiled clothing and when wiping down the child. The child’s clothes will be double bagged and parents should be advised to wash the clothes on a high temperature wash (60˚). The exclusion period is 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.
Hygiene and cleaning:
The staff carry out a basic tidy and clean in their rooms throughout the day (sweeping/mopping floors after any food spillages etc.) as well as cleaning and sanitising the tables before and after meals.
During outbursts of infections, cleaning of toys, equipment and resources are sanitised daily. The children are involved in the process of tidying up i.e., using the dustpan and brush; this encourages responsibility, develops their co-operative skills, and 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 – this limits the spread of infection.
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.
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 are cleaned more regularly, i.e., door handles and bannisters will be disinfected throughout the day.
We understand that a lot of infections transmitted are airborne or via contact and, as such, to reduce the risk of infections spreading, we have a schedule for cleaning the nursery, resources and equipment.
Policy created by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: August 2023