Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Cleaning Children


Recommended Posts

Hi,

I was looking for some advice regarding children after they have had an 'accident'. At the moment we check that the child is feeling ok, and give them a clean set of clothes, and then speak to the parents at the end of the day. My school has decided that if they have had an accident (and not just wet themselves) then as staff we should clean the child with a wet wipe or lotion, providing the parent has agreed to this. I am a little concerned about this for several reasons.

1. I am not a mum - would I know what to do? probably but still

2. I don't want to be touching children there! firstly because I feel highly uncomfortable about doing it, and also I don't want any allegations being made (false allegations have already been made by one family in the school, and I don't want them to do this over this)

Should I be asked to do this? Is this right to do this - the children are reception and year 1 age, and none of them have SEN that would require a member of staff to do this. I am happy to supervise this, but not happy to do it myself.

Emily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a child has a wet accident, we sort out clothes for them and they get themselves changed - we check they're ok whilst doing this, etc, but they change themselves.

 

If a child has a soiled type accident, they take off the dirty stuff (as much as they can, there have been occasions where they've needed help) and then we give them babywipes to clean themselves up. At this point we talk them through what to do if they don't seem to know how but we don't do it for them. Our policy is also to ring parents to let them know what has happened and that the child has cleaned themselves up but if they want to come and check how well they've done this they are welcome to. If the child either can't/couldn't clean themselves up, or it's a really bad/messy accident, we would ring the parents and ask them to come and clean/change child (or take them home for a bath!) in any case.

 

This is Reception by the way. It's obviously different for any child who has intimate care needs. Oh and for the child who has just not been toilet trained so we are having to do that :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry but why is it so different for children that have intimate care needs or not toilet trained, surely all children should be supported in this area if the need arises. Especially as we now take children so young into Reception. I personally feel more staff should be in Reception/foundation anyway as we take them so young. xD:o

Edited by bridger
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the child either can't/couldn't clean themselves up, or it's a really bad/messy accident, we would ring the parents and ask them to come and clean/change child (or take them home for a bath!) in any case.

What happens if the parent is an hour or so away from school at the time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our school we always try to have spares of underwear, socks and uniform and nursery children currently in the process of toilet training are encouraged to bring spares from home to keep on their pegs. We always change children who have wet or soiled. We use baby wipes, wear disposable gloves and take the children into a toilet cubicle to change them. Soiled clothing is bagged to take home. Wipes etc. are generally flushed or put in the sanitation bin. Generally we support staff do this role but as we work as a team our nursery teacher changes children too when needed. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry but why is it so different for children that have intimate care needs or not toilet trained, surely all children should be supported in this area if the need arises. Especially as we now take children so young into Reception. I personally feel more staff should be in Reception/foundation anyway as we take them so young. xD:o

 

Sorry, but i completly agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry,I don't understand why anyone would call the parents to come and clean up their child.........surely it's horrid for them to be left in soiled clothing for any length of time, and why wouldn't any member of staff, teacher or not, just not get on and sort it out? In an age when children are very young when they go to school, surely some toileting issues ar inevitable and the child should be cleaned up there and then if they are unable to do it themselves?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really can't help feeling so so sad with the way things are going these days. It seems each year we are being guilted into getting a little more distanced from the children and forced to have to justify that we are good, caring, honest people by having such complex, detailed, numerous and in some case unnecessary policies and procedures.

 

Would somebody please commission a survey to look in to the detrimental effects this has got to be having on today's children!

 

It must refer back to the old adage that the minority spoils things for the majority

 

Please don't take offence at this, it's not a criticism by any means of what has been posted, just me mourning happier times I suppose!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are all CRB checked, the checks exist so we can do these things without parents worrying about who is doing them! What on earth do we think practioners who care for babies/children in nappies do with soiled children? They can't go around saying that they won't change them because they don't want to be accused of anything. They don't go through any magic training which enables them to suddenly become immune to allegations either.

 

On the other hand I can see why with false accusations having been made in your school already this would cause a lot of worry for you. I too would probably be wary knowing that false allegations had happened right 'on the doorstep' so to speak and that would probably make me more nervous. In this case would it not be possible for you to be assisted by another member of staff when providing this care so that there is a witness? I know a lot of people say that changing children is not a spectator sport, but with the fact that allegations have been made before I don't think it would be considered inappropriate to take such a precaution, especially when dealing with a child from that family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, too, feel sad that practitioners would ever hesitate to clean a child up. I know it's not the pleasantest job in the world but all schools have aprons and gloves available.

 

It's part and parcel of looking after small children. If you take children who are only just four years old then you can expect to have to deal with accidents. I'm all for encouraging children to be independent about their personal hygiene but to leave a child with faeces on them because you don't want to wipe it off yourself seems wrong whether you've called the parents or not.

 

What about children with sensitive skin? My first daughter's skin would have blistered by the time I arrived to clean her up.

 

Why are so many people finding more and more ways to make sure that they don't have to touch the children they care for? I've been told that it's not acceptable for a first aider to wipe a cut for a child now - they have to do it themselves. No hugs or cuddles on laps either. What a sad world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry,I don't understand why anyone would call the parents to come and clean up their child.........surely it's horrid for them to be left in soiled clothing for any length of time, and why wouldn't any member of staff, teacher or not, just not get on and sort it out? In an age when children are very young when they go to school, surely some toileting issues ar inevitable and the child should be cleaned up there and then if they are unable to do it themselves?

 

Well put :o However I know it happens but feel for the child, we are in caring profession and its not a policy of care

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day we ALL have a duty of care to ALL children and leaving children in soiled clothes until there parents can come unexceptable and if this is so then we are neglecting their care!!!!!!

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jenpercy
At the end of the day we ALL have a duty of care to ALL children and leaving children in soiled clothes until there parents can come unexceptable and if this is so then we are neglecting their care!!!!!!

 

hear hear! At holiday Club we just get on with changin children up to 17 years old. This is an equality issue. where children over the normal age for control are soiling themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No hugs or cuddles on laps either. What a sad world.

 

There are plenty of hugs and cuddles in our preschool and the day that becomes unacceptable is the day I leave the Early Years Sector :o

 

As for children having wet/soiled accidents at school - the thought of leaving a child in wet or soiled clothes for any length of time just horrifies me beyond words. People would be quick to criticise a parent for ignoring a child's basic needs but seemingly it is alright for professionals to do just that xD:(

 

Schools are happy to take children barely 4yrs old and such accidents are part and parcel of caring for children. Schools may be educational establishments as opposed to daycare providers but nonetheless they must surely have a duty of care which includes ALL children's needs and not just their education :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, I think maybe I have been a little misunderstood. I would never ever leave a child in soiled clothes, I agree that it is horrid and neglect and have never and would never do it. I was merely thinking about actually cleaning children, rather than at the moment, which is too give them new clothes and to get them to clean themselves up with supervision.

I agree it would be handy to have two members of staff to do this, but that would leave the rest of the class unsupervised.

Sorry for the offence and upset caused by my post, and for the really bad opinion you now all have of me - that was not the intention of my post.

As I said in my original post there have been false allegations made by children in the school before which is why I am ultra cautious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Suffolk they produced guidelines for dealing with intimate care and we have used this to produce our own policy as we have several children entering school and Nursery not yet toilet trained.

It would be seen as discriminatory is against the DDA to leave a child in soiled clothes or to expect parents to come and change them just like we cannot refuse children coming to school and Pre school who are not toilet trained.

 

We have a duty of care to the children but also to staff so therefore if a member of staff who felt strongly about not changing a child then I personally would not force them to do so. Teachers and TA's change and support children with their toileting needs.

 

I would suggest you draw up a policy that fits in with your settings requirements.

 

S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes me too Geraldine.Does it actually really say in writing that you are not allowed to give a child a hug, thats unbelievable.I haven't read anything to say that. Although I have in the past had parents who have got concerned because they think that if their child gets upset we wouldn't give them a hug. Parents sometimes hand their hand over to me in their arms i give them a big hug then the child happily goes off to play. Whilst we are looking after children we are a replacement for their parents. When reading to children they lay all over me, i couldn't imagine telling them to sit up straight and not touch me. Children past /present come running up to me in the street and give me hugs and smiles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for the offence and upset caused by my post, and for the really bad opinion you now all have of me - that was not the intention of my post.

.

Hi Jemily

Just about to go out but had to pop in to respond to you. My comments were in no way whatsoever directed at you personally and nor have I got a bad opinion of you and I certainly wasn't offended by your post . My comments were about 'schools' in the general sense.

 

I am really sorry if you thought my comments were in any way some sort of 'attack' on you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jemily me too, didn't for a moment take offence xD . Just a sad product of the times we live in i'm afraid.

Obviously you want to support children whilst making sure you are protected from allegation, but if the powers that be send children to school so young, they must have an infrastructure within them to provide the same duty of care as you would for all children anywhere else. :( .

Geraldine i'm with you on the cuddling, the day they say no in pre-school is the day i say goodbye. :(:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, I think maybe I have been a little misunderstood. I would never ever leave a child in soiled clothes,

I don't think your post could have been interpreted that way, Emily. The problem with false allegations has naturally made you think about this issue from a different angle, and in any case this debate is always a very difficult one to conclude. Ultimately many early years settings are not adequately staffed to cope with the 'what if' scenarios we have to consider daily because often there just isn't enough money in the pot.

 

If nothing else, this debate will bring out all the ideas and arguments and hopefully some support to help you decide how to proceed.

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, the 'never hug a child' is a myth, in fact there is government guidance saying the opposite. If you like I can hunt it down and post the link. It is included in with the advice on using reasonable force (i.e. touching children to stop them hurting each other).

 

I think in nursery or preschool, where the ratios are 1 to 4, 8 or 13, this would be a fairly simple and natural thing. However, what about the Reception teacher who has 27 (or sometimes more) children on his or her own. Are you suggesting that they should leave the class unattended to clean up the child? Or clean up the child in front of his or her peers?

 

We have to I think decide how far we are teachers, and how far we are there to support children's physical needs. I'm not disagreeing with those who say they would never leave a child in soiled or wet clothing, just that we need to watch how the educational side of our role is gradually being eroded by other aspects. Again, I'm not saying we should ignore welfare issues, but just that our main role is as an educator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After the 'backlash' (for want of a better word) I'm not sure I even want to respond to the comments about my post.

 

We obviously wouldn't leave a child in soiled clothing - we would call parents so they could come and check if their child had cleaned themselves up properly. If the parent was some distance away I imagine we would (in negotiation with the parent) call another of the child's contacts.

 

As for children with intimate care needs, the child I am thinking of has a 1:1 due to complex needs, being in nappies being one of them, and so his TA has had training in this area - I appreciate that changing a nappy itself does not require training but the TA was required to do the training.

 

I, personally, feel that as even the youngest children starting school will be 4 when they start school, there should be absolutely no need for a child to come to school who is not yet toilet traiined (assuming there are not other issues that have prevented this happening). I'm sure others will be aghast that I have said that, but I don't think we should have to toilet train children at school - obviously we do at times though and we have to get on with it, but my understanding is that we (as practitioners in schools) shouldn't be cleaning up children in that way. I guess I may be wrong though. Having said that, I do it because someone has to.

 

And in case anyone misunderstands, obviously accidents in Reception do still happen but this is different to competely not toilet trained. Neither am I referring to nursery/pre-school as children are obviously younger when attending these settings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After the 'backlash' (for want of a better word) I'm not sure I even want to respond to the comments about my post.

 

Hi Purplemagic

Really sorry that you feel posts are 'backlash'. I think one of the 'problems' with any forum where discussions are online is that posts are open to interpretation. I really don't think anyone is 'getting at' any individual or any particular setting. The discussion to me, seems to have move on to 'general' discussion about cleaning children in school after accidents.

 

I am not aghast at your point that a 4yr old should be toilet trained prior to coming to school but think the reality is that many are not :o From my experience in pre-school I have concluded (rightly or wrongly i don't know) that toilet training per se seems to be undertaken by parents at a much later stage than a few years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, what about the Reception teacher who has 27 (or sometimes more) children on his or her own. Are you suggesting that they should leave the class unattended to clean up the child? Or clean up the child in front of his or her peers?

 

We have to I think decide how far we are teachers, and how far we are there to support children's physical needs. I'm not disagreeing with those who say they would never leave a child in soiled or wet clothing, just that we need to watch how the educational side of our role is gradually being eroded by other aspects. Again, I'm not saying we should ignore welfare issues, but just that our main role is as an educator.

 

I certainly wouldn't suggest that a teacher left a class unattended to clean up a child and neither that a child should be changed in front of their peers. However, surely schools must have procedures in place of some sort?

 

I see your point that your role is primarily that of an educator and the need to decide how far teachers are there to support children's physical needs. I hadn't really thought of your role being eroded by other aspects and you raise a valid point. I know there are no easy answers but surely if teachers can't (for whatever reason) deal with children's physical needs shouldn't there be someone who can? I only have experience of preschool and accept the set up is different to a school classroom - couldn't there be 'floating support staff' who can be called on to help out when needed?

 

I take my hat off to anyone with a whole class of mainly 4yr olds working on their own but if nothing else the issued raised in this discussion just re-iterates my views on the ratio legislation for reception classes - if the powers that be got that right then maybe the whole discussion of cleaning children wouldn't be necessary.

 

No easy answers I guess :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jemily, on the contrary I praise you for raising your issue. You have facilitated a strong discussion about a difficult area. Having read the Vanessa George enquiry, this is exactly what wasn't able to happen- someone with a genuine query feeling able to challenge something or ask for support or even know something was maybe not best practice.

 

What you may have achieved from this thread is people taking time to reflect on their own policies and practices and maybe going back and having a discussion at work/raising awareness for others on what is and isn't good practice/or encouraging people to look at things from different perspectives.

 

My only opinion of you is the situation you have been placed in because of the false allegations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jemily, on the contrary I praise you for raising your issue. You have facilitated a strong discussion about a difficult area. Having read the Vanessa George enquiry, this is exactly what wasn't able to happen- someone with a genuine query feeling able to challenge something or ask for support or even know something was maybe not best practice.

Hear! Hear!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)