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Personal Care Policy (Intimate Care Policy) for Nursery Children

Please read for information but only return the tear-off slip if you DO NOT want our staff to clean/change your child.

We believe intimate care is any activity such as feeding, oral care, washing, changing clothes, toileting, first aid and medical assistance, comforting and support, and supervising intimate self-care that is required to meet the personal needs of a child regularly or during a one-off incident.

We have a duty to safeguard children and school personnel at all times.  We must develop independence in each child but on those occasions when children need assistance they must feel safe, have personal privacy, feel valued, are treated with dignity and respect, are involved and consulted about their own intimate care with school personnel that are specially trained in intimate care procedures.

We treat every child as an individual treating them gently and sensitively as possible.

Purpose

  • 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 adults required to operate 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

The Ebor Academy Trust believe it is essential that every child is treated as an individual and that care is given as gently and as sensitively as possible. As far as possible, the child should be allowed to exercise choice and should be encouraged to have a positive image of his/her own body.  It is important for staff to bear in mind how they would feel in the child’s position. Given the right approach, intimate care can provide opportunities to teach children about the value of their own bodies, to develop their safety skills and to enhance their self-esteem.  Parent/Carers and staff should be aware that matters concerning intimate care will be dealt with confidentially and sensitively and that the young persons’ right to privacy and dignity is maintained at all times.

 

Definition

Intimate care is one of the following:

  • Supporting a pupil with dressing/undressing
  • Providing comfort or support for a distressed pupil
  • Assisting a pupil requiring medical care, who is not able to carry this out unaided
  • Cleaning a pupil who has wet / soiled him/herself, has vomited or feels unwell

 

Supporting dressing/undressing

Sometimes it will be necessary for adults to aid a child in getting dressed or undressed particularly in Early Years. Staff will always encourage children to attempt undressing and dressing unaided.

Adults include teaching staff, support staff and voluntary helpers.

 


Providing comfort or support

Children may seek physical comfort from staff (particularly children in Reception).  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

If it is necessary for a child to receive medicine during the academy day Parent/Carers must fill out a form from the Academy office and discuss their child’s needs with a member of staff before the academy agrees to administer medicines or medical care. Any member of staff giving medicine to a pupil should check:

  • The pupil’s name
  • Written instructions provided by Parent/Carers or doctor
  • Prescribed Dose
  • Expiry date

 


Wet/ Soiling

Parent/Carers will be kept fully informed of the procedures the academy will follow should their child need changing during school time. If a child has soiled or wet themselves we will clean and change them in a safe, private area with a familiar adult.

However, if a Parent/Carer does not want a member of staff to provide personal care the academy will contact the Parent/Carers or other emergency contact giving specific details about the necessity for cleaning the child. If the Parent/Carers or emergency contact is able to come within a few minutes, the child is comforted and kept away from the other children to preserve dignity until the Parent/Carer arrives. Children are not left on their own whilst waiting for a Parent/Carer to arrive, an adult will stay with them, giving comfort and reassurance The child will be dressed at all times and never left partially clothed.

If a Parent/Carer or emergency contact cannot attend, the academy seeks to gain verbal consent from Parent/Carers for staff to clean and change the child. This permission will be sought on each occasion that the child soils him or herself.

If the Parent/Carers and emergency contacts cannot be contacted the Head Teacher will be consulted. If put in an impossible situation where the child is at risk, staff will act appropriately and may need to come into some level of physical contact in order to aid the child.

When touching a child, staff should always be aware of the possibility of invading a child’s privacy and will respect the child’s wishes and feelings.  If a child needs to be cleaned, staff will make sure that:

  • Protective gloves are worn
  • The process is discussed in a friendly and reassuring way with the child throughout.
  • The child is encouraged to care for him/herself as far as possible.
  • Physical contact is kept to the minimum possible to carry out the necessary cleaning.
  • Privacy is given appropriately to the child’s age and the situation.
  • All spills of vomit, blood or excrement are wiped up and flushed down the toilet.
  • Any soiling that can be, is flushed down the toilet.
  • Soiled clothing is put in a plastic bag, unwashed, and sent home with the child.

 


Hygiene

All staff must be familiar with normal precautions for avoiding infection, must follow basic hygiene procedures and have access to protective, disposable gloves.

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