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Draft 5th edition of Staying Healthy in early childhood education and care submission

Personal Details
Organisation Name: 
South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit
C. Additional Information
Please identify the best term to describe the Organisation: 
Government Department - State
E. Submission
Submission methods: 
Online Submission (specific questions)
Online Submission (specific questions)
1. The 5th edition target education and care settings with children under 5 years of age. What additional considerations need to be given to make this resource applicable to education and care settings for older aged groups?: 

This is an important issue for discussion. 'Staying healthy' has a high profile among childcare service providers and is well respected by them, and extending it to the school age groups would be of great potential benefit.

Additional areas which would need to be covered include the vaccines receommended for older children and covered in school-based vaccination program (in some states) or available from GPs; also discussions of sexually transmissible infections and blood borne virus infections in the context of the onset of sexual activity and experimentation with injectable drugs.

2. Are there other resources that would be useful to accompany the 5th edition of Staying Healthy ? e.g. posters, fact sheets or on-line information. Please provide links or references.: 

on p. 59 in the section entitled Animals, there should be an additional paragraph concerning petting zoos.

Suggested wording: Services considering a visit from or to a petting zoo should ascertain that the zoo provides enough staff to closely supervise children and that there are facilities for easy access by visitors and staff to handwashing such as adequate supplies of handwashing rub or gel, or to hand basins. It may be worthhwile for services when planning a visit to a petting zoo to carry supplies of handwashing gel.

A number of state health departments have useful infomration on petting zoos, which might be referred to or adapted for 'Staying healthy', eg





3. Please comment on the new format , are there aspects that can be improved?: 

The format is well planned and i believe the case studies/scenarios will be very sueful for workers/mamagers wishing to make concrete use of the document.

4. Are there topics that you would like more information/guidance on infection prevention and control? If yes, please specify.: 

Only Petting zoos, mentioned above.

General Comments

This will continiue to be a valuable document and resource for childcare providers.

As one of several authors of previous editions of 'Staying healthy' i feel it would be very appropriate for the Preface to include a statement acknowledging previous work, in a general way. Might i venture to suggest inclusion of an additional clause in the 3rd par of the Preface:

The advice in this document is drawn from established guidelines that are regularly updated using the principles of evidence-based medicine (including the Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare), and it updates and builds on advice provided in previous editions of Staying health in Child Care 

p. 59, under Bat bites and scratches, modify the following sentence:

If you are scratched or bitten by a bat, immediately clean the wound with soap and running water for 5 minutes, and contact your doctor or local hospital emergency department as a matter of urgency. [prompt medical care is required, public health units can only provide general advice or will give advice to medical staff who see a person scrathed or bitten by a bat.]

In the section on staff immunisation on p. 64 ff, I understand you are not referencing scinetific papers, but i wish to draw attention to the fact that our paper on staff immunisation policy in child care has now been published: Spokes P, Ferson MJ, Ressler K-A. Staff immunisation: policy and practice in child care. J Paediatr Child Health 2011; 47: 530-4

The key messages of this paper are that roughly half of surveyed services in NSW had a written staff immunisation policy, and most importantly, that those centres that were aware of NHMRC recommendations were most likely to have a written policy and to promote staff immunisation. The key to having staff immunised was the active promotion of staff immunisation by the service - this does need further emphasis on p. 61

Page reviewed: 3 September, 2013