Infection control

Principle and statement of intent

Bumbles recognises the importance of infection control within our settings and in formulating this policy we have followed DHSS guidelines. All of the staff at Bumbles are committed to creating an environment for children and adults alike that is free from infection.

The standards and principles take into account,

U.N Convention on Rights of the Child article 24 states that – “Children have the right to be as healthy as possible, live and play in a safe healthy unpolluted environment and benefit from preventative health care and education”


In order to achieve this, the following procedures are followed:-

Hand washing

  • Hand washing is the most important public health measure of all time. Effective hand washing is the mainstay of infection control for most germs amongst children and adults, regardless of the way germs are transmitted.
  • Hands will be washed after using the toilets and before meals.
  • Very young children are assisted in learning how to wash hands thoroughly.
  • Older children are supervised to ensure that they wash hands thoroughly and children are encouraged to wash their hands properly.
  • The water will be checked regularly to ensure correct temperature for hand washing i.e. 43oC.
  • Liquid soap is used rather than soap bars.
  • Pre-moistened wipes are not used as a substitute to soap and running water.
  • Paper towels are used to dry hands.
  • Hands are washed vigorously using a small amount of unscented liquid soap.
  • Hands are rubbed together covering all surfaces until a good lather has appeared all over the hands. Hands are rubbed for at least 20 seconds and then the lather is rinsed off thoroughly, hands are dried completely.
  • During times of increased risk of infection hand washing frequency is increased and since Covid 19 the time for lathering has been increased to 20 seconds, as a routine.

Accidental soiling

  • Disposable gloves and apron must be worn.
  • Soiled material should be scraped into the toilet and flushed away.
  • Spray soiled clothing with anti-bacterial liquid and place in a double bag for parents to launder.
  • Staff must wash their hands immediately after handling soiled clothing even if they have been wearing gloves.
  • Staff members are not permitted to carry out sluicing of clothes i.e. rinsing soiled clothes due to toileting or vomiting accident under the tap.

Nappy changing

Staff should use the following procedure when changing babies’ nappies:

  • Staff member’s hands must be washed before and after changing every nappy.
  • Gloves and disposable apron must be worn when changing a nappy and disposed of immediately afterwards.
  • The changing mat must be cleaned after every nappy change.
  • Staff must follow the method preferred by the parents to clean their child i.e. wipes and cream / cotton wool and water / cotton wool and baby lotion etc.
  • Babies should be cleaned from front to back to prevent infection.
  • Dirty nappies must be cleaned immediately and the time and nature of any bowel motion recorded on Famly. Any signs of abnormality in a baby’s bowel motion should be reported to the Manager or Deputy Manager.
  • If necessary, the baby’s hands should also be washed after they have had their nappy changed. It is important that changing a baby’s nappy does not become a matter of routine for staff, but rather they should use such times to interact with the babies in their care and so develop their relationship with one another.
  • During times of increased risk of infection hand washing frequency is increased.  (Covid 19 protocols should be followed as a normal procedure now and  time for lathering increased to 20 seconds every handwash.

Cleaning of toilet areas

Staff should ensure that the toilets are clean at the start and finish of the day. Additional cleaning should be carried out during the day, as required.

(Please see Bathroom Cleaning Routines / Procedures in each of the bathroom areas)

If an area becomes contaminated during the day with infected materials i.e. diarrhoea or vomit (not urine) the area is washed immediately and spillages attended to as they occur with appropriate cleaning materials as indicated in each of the bathroom areas. Disposable towels or toilet roll should be used to wipe up any spillages.

Care of mops

  • Clean mop heads are used daily for each of the areas / in the following sequence:
    • Kitchen Area.
    • Each Group Room .
    • Staff Room.
    • All bathroom areas.
  • Mop heads are then taken off the shafts and placed in the “Dirty Mop Head” bucket in the utility room to be boil washed daily – washed mop heads are then placed in the staff room to air dry.
  • Mop buckets and other buckets are washed out and dried after use.

Storage of mops and cleaning materials are kept away from the kitchen and stored in a locked cupboard in the utility room on the ground floor. Each room will also have its own separate clean sprays for toys/tables and nappy changing areas, kept in relevant area and out of the reach of children.

All rooms are brushed and mopped daily.

Cleaning of toys, equipment and furnishings

(Please see under appropriate Room Routines)

If there is an outbreak of an infection within the nursery, then water, sand and dough play will cease until it is deemed safe to resume. The dough and sand will be discarded.

In normal circumstances, dough is changed weekly and sand is sieved weekly and changed every 6 – 8 weeks.

Exclusion of sick children / staff

Parents are required to sign a form whereby they agree with Bumbles Policy and Procedures for the exclusion of sick children. This is vital to minimise the spread of infection within the setting. Parents and staff are provided with exclusion times for common infections.

Children who are unwell with an infectious disease should not attend Bumbles. The Manager ensures that all parents sign an exclusion contract for their child/children.

If a child becomes ill whilst at Bumbles and it is deemed that they are too unwell to stay, the parent(s) or other appropriate person will be contacted and asked to collect their child. Further information can be found in our Child and Adult Illness policy.


All staff members are required to follow these procedures in order to minimise the spread of infection:

  • Staff must keep jewellery to a minimum and only a single band if involved in food preparation.
  • All staff will cover all cuts, breaks in their skin, scratches or moist skin conditions with a waterproof dressing (without visible air holes) when they are at work.
  • Wearing of well maintained gel polish only is permitted as it does not chip.  If it is not well maintained gel polish staff will be asked to remove it immediately.
  • Dressings and plasters will be replaced as often as necessary.
  • Any staff involved in food preparation should wear appropriate blue plasters.
  • All staff immunisations will be checked and staff must report any symptoms of sickness to the Manager.
  • Staff will observe exclusion periods of infectious diseases and advice will be sought if in doubt.

All staff should make themselves aware of the Guidance on infection control in schools and nurseries, poster supplied by the Department of Health. This poster highlights further important information with regard to recommended periods of exclusion and:

  • Immunisations.
  • Hand washing and good hygiene procedures.
  • Cleaning up body fluid spills – universal precautions.
  • Vulnerable children.
  • Female staff in schools – pregnancy.
  • Animals in school (permanently or visiting).
  • Precautions for school visits to farms.


During the year we have visits from animals and their carers e.g. TACT WildLife. We also go on visits to the Farm, Zoo, Castle Espie, Reptile Shop, Pet Shop etc. Following HSENI guidelines (sheet No. 1/11), it is important that all staff ensure:

  • Children are supervised at all times around animals.
  • Visiting pets will only be in the playroom and the area will be disinfected on their departure.
  • Appropriate risk assessments are carried out for visits to the Zoo, Farm etc. Manager should check that there is running water, disinfectant, liquid soap, disposable towels etc.
  • Children’s allergies are considered as part of the risk assessment.
  • Suitable footwear is worn e.g. Wellingtons.
  • Children cannot eat or drink anything whilst touring around the facility.
  • Children are reminded not to put their fingers in their mouths.
  • Children wash their hands thoroughly after being in contact with animals, particularly before eating or drinking.
  • Snacks are taken away from where the animals are kept.
  • Hands are washed thoroughly before leaving the facility and boots are checked to ensure that they are free from faecal material.

Food Hygiene

All food provided by Bumbles is checked for known allergens and we operate a Nut Free Zone.

(Please also refer to Bumble’s file: Safe Catering – Our Guide to Hazard Analysis)

Staff should ensure that:

  • Snack tables are washed with antibacterial liquid and hot water before and after use.
  • Food is served on individual plates which are easily washed.
  • Children will be encouraged to use tongs or spoons to serve themselves fruit etc.
  • Staff use tongs to serve children if they cannot self serve.
  • Fridge temperatures are recorded daily and kept between 4 and 8oC.
  • Separate chopping boards are used for preparing food, as appropriate (List on display in kitchen area).
  • Tea towels and dish cloths are laundered daily at 90 oC.
  • Bibs and face cloths are laundered daily at 90 oC.
  • All other laundry is carried out as per laundry schedule (on display in each room).