Infection Prevention for Early Years Organisations
31/05/2012The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is raising awareness of infection prevention and control in early years organisations.
Around 150 childcare providers from playgroups, day nurseries, crèches and out of school groups attended an infection control workshop organised by the Trust.
Ciaran Eastwood, Head of Early Years and Parenting for the Trust said: “Infections can spread very easily in childcare settings where there are large numbers of children together and because their immunity is not fully developed, may be more vulnerable to bugs and germs.
“This event aimed to raise awareness of the measures that can be taken by childcare providers to control the risk of infection and to help them to encourage basic infection prevention principals, like hand hygiene from an early age.”
Caroline McGeary, Senior Infection Prevention and Control Nurse for the Public Health Agency, who spoke at the event, said: “Infection prevention and control is everyone’s responsibility and we all have an important role to play, especially when protecting our children, who are particularly vulnerable to infection. It is important that basic infection prevention and control principles are embedded at an early age and simple procedures such as good hand hygiene should be encouraged with children in nurseries and childcare settings. Washing hands, for example, is a simple way to stop infections spreading and prevent tummy upsets – some of which are very unpleasant.
“The workshop today highlighted the importance of hand hygiene, provides best practice guidance on the management of infection control and reinforces the message that good hand hygiene is absolutely vital in the prevention of infection.”
Best Practice Advice for Nurseries and Childcare Settings on Infection Prevention and Control is available from the Public Health Agency and can be downloaded from its website: www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/infection-prevention-and-control-best-practice-advice-nurseries-and-childcare-settings
The guidance includes practical advice on infection prevent ion and control in a nursery setting including, Hand Hygiene, Immunisation, Decontamination, Food Hygiene and dealing with Outbreaks of Infection.