1. All practicable steps are taken to prevent children coming into contact with any person on the premises suffering from a disease or condition likely to be passed on to children and likely to have a detrimental effect. (Note that a child attending an early childhood centre is more at risk of catching infections and becoming ill than a child who does not. While the requirement states that a centre must ‘prevent’ this in reality all a centre can do is take all practicable steps to ‘minimise’ the risk).
2. The Ministry of Education's chart on ‘Infectious Diseases‘ is used to:
- Know what action to take.
- Help recognise signs.
- Understand how the disease is spread.
- Know the time between exposure and sickness.
- Know the infection period.
3. A child who becomes unwell while attending the service has space available to be kept temporarily away from other children to:
- Prevent cross-infection.
- Lie down comfortably.
- Be supervised.
4. An unwell child is returned without delay to the care of a parent or other authorised person. (Note that the legal criterion of returning an unwell child to a parent without delay suggests that the child is taken to the parent immediately. It could be hard to meet this requirement because when a parent is available to return to pick up their child can be out of the control of the centre).
5. All practicable steps are taken to get immediate medical assistance for badly hurt or seriously ill children and parents are notified.
6. First aid is provided as required.
7. Children are washed when they are soiled or pose a health risk to themselves or others. (Note that the requirement does not state who must wash the child and if this must be done in a timely and sensitive way. It leaves open the possibility that a child may be left in an uncomfortable state until the parent is available to return to the centre to collect or clean their child. We suggest you check your centre's individual policy on this).
8. Washing facilities and a documented procedure for washing sick or soiled children ensures hygiene and infection control.
9. Facilities for washing sick or soiled children are separate from facilities for the preparation and cleaning up of paint and art materials.