Schools and Childcare Settings have an important role to play in preventing the spread of infection. This can be achieved by ensuring:
High standards of personal hygiene and practice – particularly hand washing, and,
Maintaining a clean environment.
Vaccinations help to prevent serious illnesses in childhood and later life, especially potentially severe disease such as meningitis, whooping cough and tetanus. Vaccinations are safe, and serious adverse effects are extremely rare. Parents should be encouraged to have their child immunised and any immunisation missed or further catch-up doses organised through the child’s GP. Overall in North Yorkshire we have good rates of uptake across all of the childhood immunisations.
More information and advice on childhood immunisations can be sought from the 0-5 and 5-19 Healthy Child Services Team in your area. The UK childhood immunisation schedule, risks and benefits and individual vaccines are also available on the NHS Choices website.
Hand washing is one of the most important ways of controlling the spread of infections, especially those that cause diarrhoea and vomiting, and respiratory disease. The recommended method for hand washing includes the use of liquid soap, warm water and paper towels. Always wash hands after using the toilet, before eating or handling food, and after handling animals. Cover all cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings.
The Public Health Team have produced a Hand Washing Toolkit (available in the useful resources section below) to support Schools and Early Years Settings in fulfilling their important educational role regarding hand hygiene and encouraging good hand washing habits that will last a lifetime.
Avoiding Infection on Farm Visits
Visiting a farm is a very enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike, but it's important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infection because of the bacteria - or germs - they naturally carry. The Public Health Team have produced a factsheet for Early Years Settings, Schools and the General Public, which contains key messages with links to further guidance and information (available in the useful resources section below).
More information and advice on infection control can be sought from the North Yorkshire County Council Public Health Team.
For notifications of outbreaks and environmental hazards the Public Health England Protection Team can be contacted on:
PHE North Yorkshire and the Humber Health Protection Team,
Block 2 The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA),
York, YO41 1LZ
Phone: 01904 687 100