Call Us: 01446 396000   /   manager@bijou-nursery.com  /  48a Eastgate, Cowbridge, CF71 7AB

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Intimate Care & Hygiene Policy

Intimate care may be defined as any activity required to meet the personal care needs of each individual child. Parents have a responsibility to advise staff of the intimate care needs of their child, and staff have a responsibility to work in partnership with children and parents.


Intimate care can include: 

 

  • Feeding 

  • Oral care e.g. tooth brushing

  • Washing 

  • Dressing/undressing 

  • Toileting 

  • Photographs 

  • Treatments such as enemas, suppositories, enteral feeds 

  • Catheter and stoma care

  • Supervision of a child involved in intimate self-care


This Policy and Guidelines have been developed to safeguard children and staff in the Bijou nursery setting.

The purpose of this policy is:

 

  • To safeguard the rights and promote the best interests of the children.

  • To ensure children are treated with sensitivity and respect, and in such a way that their experience of intimate care is a positive one.

  • To safeguard children/staff in sensitive situations

  • To raise awareness and provide a clear procedure for intimate care 

  • To inform parents/carers in how intimate care is administered

  • To ensure parents/carers are consulted in the intimate care of their children. 

 

 

Principles of Intimate Care

The following are the principles upon which the policy is based:

 

  • Every child has the right to be safe 

  • Every child has the right to personal privacy 

  • Every child has the right to be valued as an individual 

  • Every child has the right to be treated with dignity and respect 

  • Every child has the right to be involved and consulted in their own intimate care to the best of their abilities 

  • Every child has the right to have levels of intimate care that are as consistent as possible. 

 

Responsibilities of Staff involved with intimate care at Bijou nursery all staff are required to a full DBS check so therefore, all individuals who provide intimate care will have been vetted correctly. 

Arrangements Supporting dressing/undressing

Sometimes it will be necessary for staff to aid a child in getting dressed or undressed particularly in Nursery and Foundation Stage. Staff will always encourage children to attempt undressing and dressing unaided but will provide help if child requires but will always explain to the child what they will be doing and consented. 


Providing comfort or support Children may seek physical comfort from staff particularly in Nursery and Foundation Stage. Where children require physical support, staff need to be aware that physical contact must be kept to a minimum and be child initiated.

When comforting a child or giving reassurance, the member of staff’s hands should always be seen, and a child should not be positioned close to a member of staff’s body which could be regarded as intimate.

If physical contact is deemed to be appropriate staff must provide care which is suitable to the age, gender and situation of the child. If a child touches a member of staff in a way that makes him/her feel uncomfortable this can be gently but firmly discouraged in a way which communicates that the touch, rather than the child, is unacceptable. 

Medical Procedures It is preferable that medication is administrated at home before or after nursery if possible. If it is necessary for a child to receive medicine during the session parents/guardians must fill out a permission form at the start of the child’s setting and discuss their child’s needs with a member of staff before we agree to administer medicines or medical care.

Parents and carers should be made aware that staff administration of medicines is voluntary.

Any member of staff giving medicine to a child should check: 

  • The child’s name

  • Prescribed dose 

  • Expiry date 

  • Written instructions provided by parents or doctor 

  • Complete a medicine administration form and have it counter signed, when possible, by another member of staff as witness to dose and if child has received.

 

 

Particular attention should be paid to the safe storage, handling and disposal of medicines. 

If ‘accidents’ occur the child will change themselves into dry clothing, and wet items will be sent home for washing in a separate waterproof bag.

The child’s independence will be encouraged as far as possible in his/her intimate care and reassurance given. A record of the incident will be kept, and the parent will be informed (by a note written on the child’s daily diary or verbally at home collection time) and requested to return the borrowed items of clothing when laundered.

 

If there is an occurrence of heavier soiling or vomiting, this may require staff to provide care at a more personal level. 

 

Staff will follow set procedures for this intimate care: 

  • If possible, the child will be removed to a less public place to maintain dignity and avoid a feeling of humiliation.

  • If appropriate, the child will be encouraged, through guidance and assistance, to clean themselves to make them more comfortable. 

 

The wellbeing and dignity of the child will always remain priority during any incident requiring intimate care. 

 

 

Hygiene

All staff must be familiar with normal precautions for avoiding infection. They must follow basic hygiene procedures and have access to protective, disposable gloves. Protection for staff Members of staff need to be aware of the potential danger of allegations being made against them and take precautions to avoid this risk. These should include:

 

  • If staff are providing intimate care two members of staff will always be in the vicinity e.g. the second staff member could be in the adjacent room with the adjoining door open.
     

  • Gaining a verbal agreement from another member of staff that the action being taken is necessary. 
     

  • Allow the child, wherever possible, to give verbal consent to the person assisting them. 
     

  • Allow the child a choice in the sequence of care. 
     

  • Be aware of and responsive to the child's reactions 
     

  • Involve the child in their intimate care - Try to encourage a child’s independence as far as possible in his/her intimate care. Where the child is fully dependant talk to them about what is going to be done and give them choice where possible. 
     

  • Treat every child with dignity and respect and ensure privacy appropriate to the child’s age and situation. 
     

  • Be aware of own limitations. Only carry out care activities you understand and feel competent and confident to carry out. If in doubt, ask. 
     

  • Promote positive self-esteem and body image. Confident, self-assured children who feel their body belongs to them are less vulnerable to sexual abuse. 
     

  • If you have any concerns you must report them.