Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC)
As well as being damaging for health, higher number of infectious diseases in schools and early years settings inevitably lead to children and staff absences.
Good infection prevention and control measures (IPC) can help reduce infections and protect staff and children.
Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways of controlling the spread of infections, especially those that cause diarrhoea and/or vomiting and respiratory infections.
All children and staff should have access to liquid soap, warm water and paper towels. Alcohol hand gel is not effective against organisms that cause gastroenteritis, such as norovirus.
Advise all children, young people and staff to clean their hands after using the toilet, before eating or handling food, after playtime and after touching animals.
Educate children and young people on why hand hygiene is so important. Free resources to support this have been developed by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) with teachers for ages 3 to 16 and are available at https://www.e-bug.eu/ .
Respiratory and cough hygiene
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases. Covering the nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing can reduce the spread of infections.
Educate children and young people on why respiratory hygiene is so important. Free resources to support this have been developed by UKHSA with teachers for ages 3 to 16 and are available at https://www.e-bug.eu/.
Keeping education and childcare settings clean, including toys and equipment, reduces the risk of transmission. Effective cleaning and disinfection are critical in any education or childcare setting, particularly when food preparation is taking place.
Cleaning with detergent and hot water is normally all that is needed as it removes the majority of germs that can cause diseases.
Ventilation is the process of introducing fresh air into indoor spaces while removing stale air. Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help dilute air that contains viral particles and reduce the spread of respiratory infections.
All education and childcare settings should keep occupied spaces well ventilated to help reduce the number of respiratory germs. Open windows and doors as much as possible to let fresh air in (unless it is unsafe to do so, for example, do not keep fire doors open).
Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, there are several simple measures that can be taken to resolve this. Further information is available:
More information on IPC in education and childcare settings here:
Preventing and controlling infections - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)