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Infection Control Policy 2022

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Infection Control Policy

Policy Statement

 

Play Inclusion Project is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all staff, volunteers and service users.  Infection control and safe working practices are of the utmost importance to Play Inclusion Project and are essential to providing high quality support for the children and young people who access our activities.

 

This document sets out the policy and procedure in relation to infection control.

 

Purpose of the Policy

 

This policy aims to provide Play Inclusion Project’s trustees, staff, volunteers, children/young people and their families with guidance when preparing for, and in the event of an outbreak of an infection such as pandemic influenza, COVID-19 or any contagious illness.

 

Definitions

 

Infection requires three main elements — a source of the infectious agent, a mode of transmission and a susceptible host. 

 

Infection control is preventing the transmission of infectious organisms and managing infections if they occur. Infectious agents are biological agents that cause disease or illness to their hosts. 

 

Hand hygiene is a general term referring to any action of hand cleansing. It includes hand washing with soap and water and using hand sanitizer.

 

Respiratory hygiene or cough etiquette are terms used to describe infection prevention measures. Practices include: 

  • covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

  • using tissues and disposing of them appropriately 

  • attending to hand hygiene immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing nose.

 

Contact transmission usually involves transmission of an infectious agent by hand or via contact with blood or body substances. Contact may be direct or indirect. 

 

Direct contact transmission occurs when infectious agents are transferred from one person to another, for example, a child’s blood entering a support worker’s body through an unprotected cut in the skin. 

 

Indirect contact transmission involves the transfer of an infectious agent through a contaminated intermediate object or person, for example, an employee touches an infected body site on a child and does not perform hand hygiene before touching another child. 

 

Standard precautions are work practices which require everyone to assume that all blood and body substances are potential sources of infection, independent of perceived risk. 

 

Planning and preparing 

In the event of Play Inclusion Project becoming aware that a child, volunteer or member of staff has an infectious illness we would direct their parents to report to their GP and inform the local PHE centre. During an outbreak of an infectious illness such as pandemic influenza or COVID-19 the Play inclusion project will seek to operate as normally as possible but will plan for higher levels of staff absence. The decision on whether activities and sessions should continue to run will be based on medical evidence.  If an infection illness results in there not being adequate staff to deliver activities safely, the Emergency Closure Policy procedure will be followed.

Infection control 

 

Infections are usually spread from person to person by close contact, for example:

  • infected people can pass a virus to others through large droplets when coughing, sneezing or even talking within a close distance

  • through direct contact with an infected person e.g. shaking or holding hands then touching your hands, mouth, eyes or nose before washing your hands

  • by touching objects that have been touched by an infected person then touching your hands, mouth, eyes or nose before washing your hands

  • viruses can survive longer on hard surfaces than soft or absorbent surfaces

 

It is important that up to date information regarding any new virus is strictly adhered to.

 

Staff and children are given the following advice about how to reduce the risk of passing on infections to others: 

  • Wash hands regularly, particularly after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. 

  • Minimise contact between your hands and mouth/nose 

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing or in crook of elbow.

  • Do not attend activities if you have an infectious illness. 

 

To control the spread of infection:

  • We ensure good handwashing procedures (toilet, handling animals, soil food) 

  • Children encouraged to wipe and blow their own noses and dispose of soiled tissues in waste bins. 

  • We wear protective clothing when dealing with accidents and incidents. 

  • PPE is worn when carrying out first aid and attending to children’s intimate care needs

 

Cleaning of the environment

 

Cleaning throughout the setting is daily and thorough, including the cleaning of all toys and resources. All spillages of blood, faeces, saliva, vomit, nasal and eye discharges are cleaned up immediately with staff wearing PPE. When spillages occur, they are cleaned using a product that combines both a detergent and a disinfectant to be effective against bacteria and viruses and suitable for the surfaces used on. Mops are never used for cleaning up blood and body fluid spillages – disposable paper towels are used and waste is disposed in secure bins along with nappies. Double bag waste bin and remove to locked area for 72 hours before being placed with general waste.


 

Vulnerable children

 

Some of the children and young people who access our activities are more vulnerable to infections due to their complex health needs. Play Inclusion Project will have been made aware of such children and information regarding complex health needs will be recorded in the child’s individual care plan and, if necessary, an individual risk assessment will be completed. These children are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox, measles, COVID-19 or parvovirus B19 and, if exposed to these, then Activity Coordinators will contact the parent/carer and inform them promptly and further medical advice sought. In the event of a serious pandemic, a risk assessment and care plan for each vulnerable child will be drawn up. An assessment will be made, in partnership with parents as to whether the activities we deliver are a safe environment or whether the child should stay away.

 

Female staff – pregnancy 

 

If a pregnant woman develops a rash or is in direct contact with someone with a potentially infectious rash, this should be investigated according to PHE guidelines by a doctor. The greatest risk to pregnant women from such infections comes from their own child/children, rather than the workplace. Some specific risks are: 

  • Chicken Pox can affect the pregnancy if a woman has not already had the infection. Report exposure to midwife and GP at any stage of exposure. The GP and antenatal carer will arrange a blood test to check for immunity. 

  • Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, so anyone who has not had chickenpox is potentially vulnerable to the infection if they have close contact with a case of shingles. 

  • German Measles (rubella). If a pregnant women comes into contact with German Measles she should inform her GP and antenatal carer immediately, to ensure investigation. The infection may affect the developing baby if the woman is not immune and is exposed in early pregnancy. 

  • Measles during pregnancy can result in early delivery or even loss of the baby. If a pregnant woman is exposed she should immediately inform whoever is giving antenatal care to ensure investigation. 

  • Slapped Cheek Disease (parvovirus B19) can occasionally affect an unborn child. If exposed early in pregnancy (before 20 weeks), inform whoever is giving antenatal care, as this must be investigated promptly.

  • COVID-19 is a new virus and the impact on pregnant women and their baby is yet unknown.  If a pregnant woman comes into contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19 she should contact their midwife, www.NHS.UK or contact the NHS via telephone on 119 for advice


 

Procedure for if a child, staff member or volunteer is displaying symptoms of an infectious illness

  • When a child or young person develops symptoms of an infectious illness whilst at a setting they will be isolated from the rest of the group and parents will be contacted immediately to arrange collection. 

  • Parents will be expected to collect their child within 1 hour.

  • Staff or volunteer will be sent home immediately

  • The individual displaying symptoms will need to stay away until the illness has past and/or the recommended time as advised by Public Health England has past.

 

If an individual is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 the following additional measures must be taken:

  • Whilst a child is awaiting collection, they will be kept separately from others by a distance of at least 2 metres, where possible in a well-ventilated room with appropriate adult supervision. 

  • PPE should be worn by staff waiting with the child whilst they await collection A face mask and visor should be worn by staff along with disposable apron and disposable gloves.

  • If they need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible.  Following use, the bathroom should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before anyone else uses it.

 

The following are infectious illnesses that require exclusion

  • Chickenpox - Until vesicles have crusted over

  • COVID-19 - Whilst symptomatic and/or unwell

  • E-Coli - 48 Hours from last bout of diarrhoea

  • German Measles - 4 Days from onset of the rash

  • Hepatitis A - Exclude for 7 Days after onset of jaundice

  • Impetigo - Until lesions are crusted and healed or 48 Hours after starting antibiotics

  • Measles - 4 Days from onset of the rash

  • Meningitis - Until recovered

  • Mumps - Exclude for 5 Days after onset of swelling

  • Ringworm - Can return 48 Hours after the start of treatment

  • Scabies - Can return after first treatment

  • Scarlet Fever - 24 Hours after starting antibiotics

  • Slapped Cheek/Fifth Disease - Can return once rash has developed

  • Shingles - Exclude only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered

  • Vomiting & Diarrhoea - 48 Hours after last bout

  • Whooping Cough - Can return 5 Days after start of antibiotic or after 21 Days if untreated 

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