Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): physical distancing in education and childcare settings

Advice for schools and childcare settings who are providing care to children during the pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): physical distancing in education and childcare settings
Provision of intimate care

Provision of intimate care

Some children and young people, may require the provision of intimate care, which can encompass personal care and may also apply to certain invasive medical procedures, such as assisted feeding.

In the circumstances described above, staff need to increase their level of self-protection, such as considering whether it is possible to complete duties differently to minimise close contact and increasing cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, and carrying out more frequent handwashing.  Handwashing should always be practiced before and after the use of PPE.

Staff carrying out intimate care should wear an apron and gloves; and no mask unless a risk assessment has identified that additional PPE must be used. 

Staff who are supporting children and young people with complex needs will need to follow HPS guidance. This guidance provides details about the use of additional PPE required if undertaking an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP), such as suctioning.    

Staff should have access to disposable single use  gloves for spillage of blood or other body fluids and disposing of dressings or equipment.  Local infection control procedures that outline safety and protocols should be stringently followed. This includes procedures for the disposal of soiled items; laundering of any clothes, towels or linen; and cleaning equipment for children and young people, such as hoists and wheelchairs.

Hand hygiene is essential before and after all contact with the child or young person, before putting on PPE, after removal of PPE and after cleaning equipment and the environment. Hands should be washed with soap and water.

Alcohol-based hand rub can be used if hands are not visibly dirty or soiled. Alcohol based hand rub stocks should not be stock-piled. Washing effectively with soap and water is sufficient.