Infection control measures including Covid 19
Official guidance has been stood down, however, we have the right to have our own guidelines – duty of care to children, families, and staff. Covid still in the community – levels may increase. Some practices introduced during the last 2 years are judged to be good practices and effective infection control measures will be continued. We all have a responsibility to help prevent the spread of infection (protect vulnerable children and staff), balanced against minimising disruption to children’s attendance and family life and work.
We will –
● Keep up to date with and follow any relevant guidance issued by EA/DH and share this with families;
●Aim to reduce contact where possible to maintain a safe distance – maximise the use of outdoor space, drop off and collection mainly outside the building, and may avail of virtual alternatives (eg Zoom) for parent gatherings and events.
●Clean toilets and some equipment between sessions, dispose of messy items such as playdough at end of the session and limit sharing of hard-to-clean items between sessions.
We ask parents and families to –
●Send a spare change of clothes (top, bottoms, socks, and pants in a labelled plastic bag) to be kept in preschool.
●Keep your child at home if they are unwell– check their temperature if unsure.
●Let us know if your child will be absent and the reason.
What are the current main symptoms of Covid-19?
Current NHS guidance states that symptoms of Covid-19 can include:
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick.
If a child becomes unwell during the session we may check their temperature and will contact you for them to be collected.
If a child is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, can they attend their early years setting?
Government guidance states that a child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either:
- have a high temperature
- do not feel well enough to go to school, college or childcare, or do their normal activities.
It adds that: “They can go back to school, college or childcare when they feel better or do not have a high temperature.”
The guidance additionally clarifies that If a child “has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they can go to school, college or childcare”.
If someone has tested positive for Covid-19, do they have to isolate?
While free Covid-19 testing has now ended for most people, tests are available to buy from some pharmacies and retailers, and so it is still possible to test positive for Covid-19.
The legal requirement to isolate following a positive Covid-19 test has now ended. However, the government recommends that if an adult tests positive, they should:
- try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days
- avoiding meeting people at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, even if they’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine.
For children and young people under 18, the advice is “try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days” starting from the day after the positive test. Government guidance states that: “Children and young people tend to be infectious to others for less time than adults. If they’re well and do not have a temperature after 3 days, there’s a much lower risk that they’ll pass on COVID-19 to others.”
Due to having several children with medical needs and heart conditions, children returning after covid MUST be well enough to attend. If they are needing medication such as Calpol after the three days then we advise they stay at home until fully well.
Belmont Playcare will keep in place these hygiene measures:
- Promote good hygiene practices amongst children and staff – handwashing on arrival and throughout session eg toileting and snack, respiratory hygiene – tissue use and disposal.
- clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
- personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons and gloves are used as necessary
- clear procedures are in place for cleaning equipment
- immediate cleaning of spillages of blood and other bodily fluids
- clear procedures on safe disposal of waste
- any items that come into contact with mouths such as cups, bottles and straws should not be shared.
Children and staff are encouraged to catch sneezes with a tissue, bin the tissue and wash their hands.
You should also remind children to wash their hands:
- after outside breaks
- before meals and snack times
- after using the toilet
- when they arrive at your setting
- at the end of the day before they go home.
Access to soap and water is always available as is hand at hand sanitizer which can be used instead.
Sessions will ensure good ventilation of the room throughout the year, while maintaining a comfortable temperature.