Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Edinburgh City Council has numerous policies to ensure children’s health and wellbeing in Council-run nurseries and education environments and these exist in the context of regulation and guidance set by National Government.

Please be confident that your child is in experienced, safe hands at our Centre with staff who are concerned with your child’s overall health and wellbeing – emotional, social and physical.

Risk assessment

We follow national and local authority guidance on risk assessment in line with regulations, but we also take a risk/benefit approach – that is we are mindful of the benefits of children being supported to assess risks for themselves and to set their own challenges.We encourage you to find out more about risk/benefit assessments.

Accidents

Any accident happening to a child in the Centre will be brought to the attention of the parents with a full written explanation, which parents are asked to sign to indicate they have been made aware of any incident.  It is also helpful if parents inform Centre staff if their child has had an accident at home.

Illness

Staff have a duty to ensure that all children in the Centre are safe and not at risk of infection.

If your child is ill we ask that you keep them at home until they are well enough to return to the Centre.  Many childhood illnesses are contagious so we need to consider the health of other children and staff.

The length of time children should be at home depends upon the illness, but adults and children who have had vomiting or diarrhea require 48 hours symptom free before they should return to work or nursery or school to prevent infecting others.

Centre staff can advise the recommended exclusion period for particular illnesses but please be prepared for your young child to be away from the Centre due to illness perhaps for 8 days over a year (of course every child is different).

We can administer medicines prescribed by your doctor with your written permission.  Please explain this to your key practitioner or other staff member when your child arrives at the centre so they can take details from you and ask you to sign a consent form.

We will only give Calpol or other infant paracetamol in a medical emergency.

Support for families

We will  support parents who are coping with stressful situations at home.  We will act in accordance with the law and our own procedures if we believe a child to be at risk of ‘significant harm’.  This may involve working with other agencies to protect children.

The local authority requires all Head Teachers / Head of Centres to report any obvious or suspected case of child abuse – of whatever type.  This procedure is intended to protect children at risk, thereby acting in the children’s best interests.  Contacting Social Services will ensure help and support is made available for families concerned.

If you are concerned for a child’s safety contact Social Care Direct on 0131 200 2324 or email socialcaredirect@edinburgh.gov.uk

Nappies

Please provide nappies and wipes. As an eco-school we encourage use of cloth nappies and will provide use of these free of charge on request.

We change any child when it becomes apparent that they need a change.  In addition, children’s nappies are checked and changed at set times throughout the day.

When your child indicates that they are ready to use the toilet or potty, you can talk to your key practitioner so that Centre staff can follow through what you have been doing at home.

Toilets and handwashing

Cowgate contributed to a Children in Scotland newsletter on supporting young children’s health’ Child’s health is habit forming, with a description of how the Centre’s toilets and handwashing facilities have evolved in response to children’s views:

“Young children’s facilities can be a contested terrain; the area is rarely addressed perhaps because professionals feel uncomfortable discussing them. Borne out of anecdotal concerns (i.e., the children commented on the ‘smell’) and as a centre committed to the principles of children’s rights, we began to investigate further their ideas and act upon some of their requests. The result of these discussions led to a new project which began in August 2012. We now have stone tiles on the walls, new flooring and the most exciting thing … we have cubicles made out of poplar wood. Each door cut in a different natural shape to inspire the children. We now have a space that is beautiful, easy to clean and that ‘smells’ much more pleasant … We need to consider the different meanings children place on all spaces in the early years environment as all contribute to their wellbeing”  Child health is habit forming, 2013

Head lice

Do not be alarmed if your child has picked up head lice!  This is something which may happen from time to time, and is no reflection on your standards of cleanliness.  It is unpleasant for children to have an itchy scalp, so please do treat your child promptly and effectively.

Look closely at your child’s hair regularly, for example when brushing or shampooing.  Do tell the centre staff of any infection, but please remember it is your responsibility to keep your child’s hair free from head lice.

We realise this might be a new experience for you, so please ask us for advice or talk to your pharmacist or look online for advice.

Find out more:


Form to request medication to be administered at nursery – please complete this form and hand it with medicine to staff.

Infection Prevention and Control in Childcare Settings (Day Care and Childminding Settings)

Managing Risk in Play 2nd Edition