Ensuring the safety and the well-being of the children in our care is paramount. It requires not only vigilance but also an awareness of children's individual needs.
The Statutory Framework for the EYFS includes guidance on medicines for childcare providers this states that providers:
Please see the examples and guidance below to help you develop and embed processes to meet these requirements.
UK Health Security Agency have produced a practical guide for staff on managing cases of infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings: Health Protection in Schools and Other Childcare Facilities.
Not all infectious diseases require you to report it to your local Health Protection Team (HPT) and not all infections require exclusion. It is important to read the following guidance document to ensure you are taking the correct actions in response to an infectious disease notification. Your local team can give you additional advice and support as needed.
There are several actions that schools should be taking to prevent and control the spread of disease at their setting. More information can be found here.
If providers need to contact the HPT to report cases of a notifiable disease at your setting; seek advice and support managing an outbreak of an infectious illness; or inform the HPT of a hospitalisation or death related to an infectious illness you will need to use the following details from now on: (phone: 0300 30 30 450) (email: email@example.com).
During a period of cold weather, there are a number of actions which schools should take to mitigate the impact of the cold weather on staff, pupils and their families. These actions are detailed in the action card for schools and educational settings here. If you have any questions about the actions included in this action card please email the public health team at Waltham Forest council (Public.Health@walthamforest.gov.uk)
Key school staff should sign up to receive Met Office cold weather alerts so that they can be aware of any forecasted cold weather which may affect their staff and pupils and any Green, Yellow, Amber or Red cold weather alerts that are sent out by the Met Office. You can sign up to receive these alerts here.
During the winter season, it is important that schools are reminded and updated on important health considerations for their pupils/students, parents/carers and staff.
Pupils and stuaff in education and childcare settings are particularly susceptible to infections which increase over the winter months, such as acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) including Respiratory Syncytial Virus and COVID-19, and stomach infections such as norovirus. These can be very infectious and cause outbreaks in settings due to the close contact amongst pupils and staff. The spread of these illnesses can be limited by improving infection control practices within the school.
Young children and/or those with chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders are also at risk of developing complications from certain vaccine-preventable infections such as measles, flu and COVID-19. It is important that they are fully immunised where eligible to prevent any complications and to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks in education and childcare settings. It is also essential that settings have up to date and easily accessible records of children identified as being in a risk group (see page six of the winter preparedness briefing – Influenza risk groups – for more information). This will ensure that a rapid risk assessment regarding the need for post exposure treatment can be considered in the event of individual cases and/or an outbreak situation.
This briefing provides:
1. Key messages for head teachers on winter preparedness
2. Two checklists on acute respiratory illness and norovirus preparedness including when and how to report outbreaks
3. Leaflets and further information on acute respiratory illness, norovirus, measles, polio and meningitis
e-Bug Teaching Resources
These resources have been developed by the Primary Care and Interventions Unit within UKHSA to educate students aged 3-16 about infection prevention, control and treatment. The packs include lesson plans, worksheets and activities. Download below:
Guidance on the use of emergency inhalers in schools
The NHS guidance to managing Asthma in the setting provides useful information to support in the management of children's medical requirements. The guidance is downloadable from the section below and covers the following:
More information on managing Asthma in the early years and schools.
Listen to the webinar held on Wednesday 2 February 2022