Effective Covid-19 infection protection and control
There are important actions that children and young people, their parents and those who work with them can take during the coronavirus outbreak. This will help prevent the spread of the virus.
In all education, childcare and social care settings, preventing the spread of coronavirus involves dealing with direct and indirect transmission. For instance, when in close contact with those sneezing and coughing and touching contaminated surfaces. A range of approaches should be in action to do this.
• minimising contact with individuals who are unwell. Ensure that people with COVID-19 symptoms, or who have someone in their household with symptoms, do not attend childcare settings, schools or colleges – this includes collecting children.
• cleaning hands more often than usual. It is vital that teachers continue to reiterate and reinforce the importance of hand and respiratory hygiene.
• ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach. Schools should ensure every classroom has a bin with a lid. and that that it is emptied regularly throughout the day.
• Cleaning surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach. It will be necessary for most Schools to increase their cleaning regime. Also provide staff with suitable cleaning materials to maintain the necessary level of infection control.
• Regularly clean light switches, computer screens and mice, door knobs, lift buttons, bannisters, taps, loo flushes etc.
• minimising contact and mixing as much as possible.
• Classrooms should be well-ventilated. Schools should use outdoor space whenever possible.
What happens if someone becomes unwell with Covid-19 symptoms at an educational or childcare setting?
If anyone in an education or childcare setting becomes unwell they must be sent home. Then follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection guidance.
If a child is awaiting collection, they should be located in a room where they can isolate behind a shut door. This obviously depends on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, open a window for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.
Staff caring for the child should wear appropriate PPE while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. Such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs.
In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a setting?
When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19), they should be sent home to self-isolate for 7 days. They should arrange to have a Covid-19 test asap. They can do this by visiting NHS.UK or contact NHS 119 via telephone. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting. Fellow household memberscan then end their self-isolation.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, their bubble should be sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.
The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate. Unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
If a child is ill or requires first aid for a non-Covid related reason. Please administer to them as per usual first aid guidance whilst taking additional, appropriate PPE precautions where necessary.
If a child is unconscious, during Covid-19, we are no longer checking for breathing with faces over their mouth and nose. If unsure whether they are breathing normally – start CPR.
For adults, breaths are no longer advised during Covid-19. However, for children breaths remain essential. Therefore, ensure that you have access to appropriately sized pocket valve masks and/or BVM and make sure staff are trained to use them.
This update has been written by Emma Hammett, founder of First Aid for Life who are providers of award-winning first aid training tailored to your needs.
Visit https://firstaidforlife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036 for more information about their courses.
*First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made,
or actions taken based on this information.
The Government has published guidance on many of the areas mentioned above. These can be found on - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare