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Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool
*Dealing with Infectious Diseases Policy


QUALITY AREA 2: CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY

DEALING WITH INFECTIOUS DISEASES POLICY

 

POLICY:The centre will plan for and respond effectively to minimise children’s exposure to infectious diseases.

BACKGROUND:

Our preschool is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all children, staff and any other persons attending the service by:

  • responding to the needs of the child or adult who presents with symptoms of an infectious disease or infestation while attending the service;
  • complying with current exclusion schedules and guidelines set by the Department of Health; and
  • providing up-to-date information and resources for families and staff regarding protection of all children from infectious diseases and blood-borne viruses,management of infestations and immunisation programs.

 

RELEVANT LEGISLATION:

·     Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010; 167

·     Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011; 78-80

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Public Health Regulation 2012 and commenced, along with
  • Public Health Act 2010
  • Public Health Amendment (Vaccination of Children Attending Child Care Facilities) Bill 2013
  • Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSANZ)

 

LINKS TO NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD

·      QA2: Children’s Health and Safety

·      2.1 Each child’s health is promoted

·      2.3 Each child is protected

·      QA6: Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities

·      6.2 Families are supported in their parenting role and their values and beliefs about child rearing

·      6.3 The service collaborates with other organisations and service providers to enhance children’s learning and wellbeing

 

KEY RESOURCES:

  • Immunisation Toolkit www.health.nsw.gov.au/ immunisation/Documents/ Immunisation-Enrolment-Toolkit.pdf
  • N.S.W. Immunisation Schedule July 2013 www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Documents/ nsw_schedule_july_13.pdf
  • Vaccination Q&A www.health.nsw.gov.au/ immunisation/pages/provider_qa.aspx
  • Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in earlychildhood education and care services 5th edition 2012
  • Exclusion period for infectious diseases table: www.nhmrc.gov.au
  • Dealing with Infectious Diseases Sample Policy. Community Child Care Cooperative 2015

 

GOALS:

The way that children interact with each other and with adults in education and care services means that diseases can quickly spread in a variety of ways. Whilst it is not possible to prevent the spread of all infections and diseases, minimising the risk is enhanced through:

  • effective hand hygiene;
  • exclusion of ill children, educators and other staff;and
  • immunisation.

(Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services 5th edition 2012)

 

PRACTICES:

Effective hygiene

Our preschool will maintain and promote effective hygiene practices, including:

  • correct hand washing technique;
  • using standard precautions when handling blood, all body fluids, secretions and excretions, dried blood and other body substances.
  • cleaning toys and other items that children are likely to put in their mouths, after use;
  • raking sandpits often and securely covering them when not in use;
  • disposing of soiled items in a container that is inaccessible to children (lidded bucket in staff bathroom);
  • washing rubbish bins and nappy buckets regularly; and
  • actively promote hand washing and other hygiene practices with children and families.

 

Exclusion of ill children, educators and other staff

Infectious Diseases

In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through interpersonal contact, our service will adhere to the exclusion period table, published by the Department of Health.

www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ch43poster4.pdf  


Fever

In children, a temperature 38˚C or over indicates a fever.

A fever is usually caused by an infection somewhere in the body. Some types of infections that lead to fever include:

  • viral (caused by a virus) – around nine out of ten children with a fever will have a viral illness, such as cold, flu or gastroenteritis
  • bacterial (caused bybacteria) – such as some ear infections, pneumonia or urine infections.

www.health.vic.gov.au/edfactsheets/downloads/fever-in-children.pdf

In order to prevent the spread of infection and ensure wellbeing, children with a temperature 38˚C or over will be excluded from the service.


Immunisation

The N.S.W. Government Immunisation Toolkit for early childhood education and care services guides our practice and provides resources and information to support families’ access information regarding immunisation.

Under the the Public Health Act 2010,education and care services cannot enrol a child unless approved documentation has been provided that shows the child:

  • is fully vaccinated for their age, or;
  • has a medical reason not to be vaccinated, or;
  • has a parent/guardian who has a conscientious objection to vaccination or;
  • is on a recognised catch-up schedule if the child has fallen behind with their vaccinations.

To enrol in our service,families must provide a copy of one or more of the following documents:

·      ACIR Immunisation History Statement which shows that the child isup to date with their scheduled vaccinations; or

·      Medicare Immunisation History Form (IMMU13) on which the immunisation provider has certified that the child ison a recognised catch-up schedule; or

·      Medicare Immunisation Exemption - Medical Contraindication Form(IMMU11) which has been certified by an immunisation provider, or;

·      Medicare Immunisation Exemption Conscientious Objection Form(IMMU12) which has been certified by an immunisation provider and a parent.


Immunisation Exempt children

An up to date Immunisation Register will bekept for all children enrolled in the service.

  • When a vaccine-preventable disease is present or suspected at the service, children for whom the centre does not have a completed immunisation record will be treated as unimmunised.
  • Non-immune children and Educators will be excluded from the service when there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable illness and required to remain away until the service is deemed clear of the illness and the minimum exclusion period has passed.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Approved Provider

Ensure the service operates inline with the Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations 2011 including:

  • Ensuring that where there is an occurrence of an infectious disease at the service,reasonable steps are taken to prevent the spread of that infectious disease(Regulation 88(1)).
  • Ensuring that where there is an occurrence of an infectious disease at the service, a parent/guardian or authorised emergency contact of each child at the service is notified of the occurrence as soon as is practicable (Regulation 88(2)).
  • Ensuring that information from the Department of Health about the recommended minimum exclusion periods is displayed at the service, is available to all stake holders and is adhered to in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease (as designated by the Department of Health – refer to Definitions).
  • Ensuring that the parent/guardian and Secretary are informed within 24 hours of becoming aware that an enrolled child is suffering from:
    • Pertussis, or
    • Poliomyelitis, or 
    • Measles, or
    • Mumps, or
    • Rubella, or
    • Meningococcal C,
  • Ensuring that a child who is not immunised against a vaccine-preventable disease does not attend the service when an infectious disease is diagnosed, and does not return until there are no more occurrences of that disease at the service and the recommended minimum exclusion period (refer to Definitions) has ceased(Regulation 85(2) of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009).
  • Notifying the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours of a serious incident including when a child becomes ill at the service or medical attention is sought while the child is attending the service.
  • Ensuring that appropriate and current information and resources are provided to staff and parents/guardians regarding the identification and management of infectious diseases, blood-borne viruses and infestations.
  • Keeping informed about current legislation, information, research and best practice.
  • Ensuring that any changes to the exclusion table or immunisation schedule are communicated to staff and parents/guardians in a timely manner.

 

The Nominated Supervisor

  • Contacting the parents/guardians of a child suspected of suffering from an infectious or vaccine- preventable disease, or of a child not immunised against a vaccine-preventable disease that has been detected at the service, and requesting the child be collected as soon as possible.
  • Notifying a parent/guardian or authorised emergency contact person when a symptom of an excludable infectious illness or disease has been observed.
  • Ensuring that a minimum of one staff with current approved first aid qualifications is in attendance and immediately available at all times the service is in operation.
  • Establishing good hygiene and infection control procedures, and ensuring that they are adhered to by everyone at the service.
  • Ensuring the exclusion requirements for infectious diseases are adhered to as per there commended minimum exclusion periods (refer to Definitions), notifying the Approved Provider and parents/guardians of any outbreak of infectious disease at the service, and displaying this information in a prominent position.
  • Advising parents/guardians on enrolment that the recommended minimum exclusion periods will be observed in regard to the outbreak of any infectious diseases or infestations.
  • Advising the parents/guardians of a child who is not fully immunised on enrolment that they will be required to keep their child at home when an infectious disease is diagnosed at the service, and until there are no more occurrences of that disease and the exclusion period has ceased.
  • Requesting that parents/guardians notify the service if their child has, or is suspected of having, an infectious disease or infestation.
  • Providing information and resources to families to assist in the identification and management of infectious diseases and infestations.
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times.
  • Provide relevant sourced materials to families.
  • Ensuring that an “Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness” record is completed as soon as practicable as or no later than 24 hours of the illness occurring.

 

The Early Childhood Educator/Certified Supervisor

  •  Ensure that any children that are suspected of having an infectious illness are responded to and their health and emotional needs supported at all times.
  • Implement appropriate health and safety procedures, when tending to ill children.
  • Ensure that families are aware of the need to collect their children as soon as practicable to ensure the child’s comfort.
  • Maintain their own immunisation status, and advise the Approved Provider/Nominated Supervisor of any updates to their immunisation status.
  • Provide varied opportunities for children to engage in hygiene practices, including routine opportunities, and intentional practice.
  • Observing signs and symptoms of children who may appear unwell, and informing the Nominated Supervisor.
  • Providing access to information and resources for parents/ guardians to assist in the identification and management of infectious diseases and infestations.
  • Monitoring any symptoms in children that may indicate the presence of an infectious disease.
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times.

 

Families

  • Providing Immunisation documentation upon enrolment and as administered.
  • Keep their children at home if they are unwell or have an excludable infectiousdisease.
  • Keep their children at home when an infectious disease has been diagnosed at the service and their child is not fully immunised against that infectious disease,until there are no more occurrences of that disease and the exclusion period has ceased.
  • Inform the service if their child has an infectious disease or has been in contact with a person who has an infectious disease.

 

EVALUATION

Infection control is effectively managed at the service to ensure children remain healthy and transmission of infectious diseases are minimised.

LINKS TO OTHER CENTRE POLICIES

  • Hand washing
  • Toileting
  • Nappy changing
  • Nose wiping
  • Contact with bodily fluids
  • Cleaning
  • Exclusions for infectious diseases and acutely ill children
  • Assessing serious or potential infectious diseases
  • Notification procedures in infectious disease cases
  • Managing immunizations

Policy reviewed November 2015

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