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Infection control and disease prevention

Where specific infection control or disease prevention strategies are required for an individual child this must be clearly documented in their health care plan and/or health support agreement - HSP120 (DOC 243KB).

Infection control in education and care

Refer to the department's intranet work health and safety first aid and infection control page (staff login required) for information on:

  • first aid and infection control standard
  • annual influenza program for education and care staff
  • issues surrounding infectious diseases and action to take
  • informing the school community of infection
  • infection control resources.

Disease prevention in education and care

Disease and infectious outbreaks in education and care services are common due to groups of children playing closely together. Education and care services can limit the spread of infectious diseases by

  • excluding unwell children while they are infectious
  • practicing standard precautions
  • educating and communicating with the school community.

Refer to the department's swimming and aquatics infectious diseases intranet page (staff login required) for information on infectious diseases in swimming and aquatics.

The National Health and Medical Research Council have developed the Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services guideline. The guideline provides education and care services with simple and effective methods for minimising the spread of disease. The website also includes resources, posters and fact sheets.

Exclusion periods

The spread of certain infectious diseases can be reduced by excluding an infectious person from contact with others who are at risk of catching the infection.

Refer to the SA Health exclusion from childcare, preschool, school and work webpage for recommended minimum periods of exclusion for infectious diseases.

Standard precautions

Standard precautions for infection control are basic work practices that assume all blood and body substances are potential sources of infection independent of the perceived risk.

Some general examples of standard precautions include keeping wounds covered with a waterproof dressing and not sharing personal items ie water bottles, mouth guards. Other specific areas include:

  • training
  • hand hygiene (hand hygiene is one of the most important measures in preventing transmission of infection)
  • respiratory hygiene (covering coughs and sneezes, using disposable tissues)
  • cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection
  • safe handling of sharps
  • waste management
  • personal protective equipment.

Training and education

Staff supporting children that require specific infection control or disease prevention strategies should be trained to the specific requirements documented in the care plan and/or support agreements for that child.

Hand Hygiene Australia have developed free online training modules for hand hygiene and infection control. Although developed for a clinical setting the non-clinical modules are effective, best practice training resources. Refer to the Hand Hygiene Australia learning module information to access the training programs. 

The Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) provide infection control training. For training enquiries contact RNDS:

  • Phone: 300 364 264
  • Email: bookings.disabilities [at] rdns.org.au

The Health Objective can be contacted to provide infection control training to education and care services. For further information contact Allison Willis:

  • Phone: 0409 674 367
  • Email: healthobjective [at] westnet.com.au

The SA Health Public Health Services can offer support and advice on public health issues. For enquires contact general enquiries on:

  • Phone: (08) 8226 7100
  • Email: public.health [at] health.sa.gov.au

Contact

Disability and complex needs team

Phone: 8226 3620
Email: education.health [at] sa.gov.au