Child Health and Well Being
‘Healthy Hands’ Promotion
The author of this report is a Deputy Manager within a non-profit making Early Years setting with charitable status. Currently, 42 children between the ages of 2-5 are registered to attend.
In the first few weeks of the autumn term of September 2010, it was noted that there were 2 cases of impetigo (bacterial skin infection), and 3 cases of sickness and diarrhoea within the setting. As a result, staff observed that some children and parents (see appendix 1) were not washing their hands after they had used the toilet. The children’s hand hygiene practices were a cause of concern for the team, who were not only ...view middle of the document...
....a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.’ (WHO, 1986, pg 1).
More recently, this ‘social model’ of health, was further supported by Britain's previous Labour' government who, through The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity services (NSF) core standards (DOH 2004), advocates that services should be child-centred and look at the whole child – not just the 'medical' illness. In addition, it was felt that staff from all sectors across a broad spectrum of services such as: health, social care and education, needed to take preventative action by working together and thus provide a more holistic package of care (pg 2). Along side of this, key policies and initiatives such as: Every child Matters (DFES 2004), Sure Start Children Centres (SSCC) and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), establish a responsibility for all Practitioners who work within Early Years Services (EYS) to promote healthy practices for children. For example the statutory welfare requirements of the EYFS states that:
“That provider must promote the good health of the children, take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and take appropriate action when they are ill” (DFES 2008, pg19).
In addition, child health experts Hall and Elliman (2006), define Health Promotion as:
‘Any planned and informed intervention which is designed to improve physical or mental health or prevent disease, disability and premature death’(pg 6).Due to the increases in infection within the setting, therefore, the author and the nursery team decided to undertake health promotion in respect of hand hygiene. The aim of the promotion is to help children develop the skills of effective hand washing along with appropriate hand washing habits. To support relevant understanding of this, it was decided that the promotional tools would be: the development of a resource pack (SEE resource pack), along with a visit from a health protection nurse to provide visual information.
This report will firstly discuss both medical and social models of health and the resulting hygiene practices on children’s health. It will then evaluate the resource pack produced and, finally, will formulate conclusions for which recommendations for future interventions will be based.
Models of health
There are many infections and communicable diseases that children may come into contact with including: measles, mumps, chicken pox, common cold, influenza, swine flu, conjunctivitis, impetigo, norovirus (winter vomiting disease) and rotavirus (most common cause of infantile gastroenteritis) (HPA 2009). These can be spread in a variety of different ways such as: person to person contact (including hand-to-hand), airborne (coughing and sneezing), food, water and body fluids.
In terms of the medical model, which focuses predominately on the treatment and eradication of illness (Dryden et al 2005), immunisation is the safest and most...