Therefore the Public Health Agency (PHA) has developed a booklet to provide nurseries and other childcare settings with infection prevention and control advice.
The booklet, which will be distributed to all nurseries and childcare settings in Northern Ireland, provides simple, practical advice on the day-to-day implementation of good infection prevention and control such as good hand hygiene and cleaning, as well as specific action to take in the event of outbreaks of infection.
Speaking at the launch of the booklet, Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, said: “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.
“This practical guide will help improve the health and wellbeing of children and the staff who look after them.”
Dr Lourda Geoghegan, Consultant in Health Protection, PHA, 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.
“Washing hands, for example, is a simple way to stop infections spreading and prevent tummy upsets – some of which are very unpleasant. This booklet provides advice on infection prevention and control for childcare settings. It was developed with key stakeholders from other organisations and is very practical and straightforward.
“As best practice advice in the booklet is implemented, parents can be assured that the care their children are receiving is provided in a clean, safe environment and staff are at a much less risk of exposure to infection.”
Contact the PHA Press Office on 028 9031 1611.
Notes to the editor
The document applies to playgroups, day nurseries, crèches, two year old programmes and out-of-school groups. The advice is also recommended to childminders as best practice that should be adopted as far as reasonably possible.
Copies of the booklet have been delivered to Health and Social Care Trusts Early Years teams to be distributed to all facilities registered with them.