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This leaflet attempts to answer some of the questions about why your child is being nursed in a single room (isolation) and what this means.
Why has my child been isolated?
▪ There are various reasons why children may need to be nursed in a single room.
▪ The main reason for the isolation of a child is to minimise the transmission of micro organisms (germs). Therefore the isolation will be either to protect the child from acquiring an infection
(e.g. if your child is immunosuppressed) or to prevent the spread of infection (e.g. diarrhoeal illness).
▪ It is important that the nurses/doctors caring for your child have explained the specific reasons why your child has been isolated and that your child is made aware that the isolation is not a form of punishment for anything that they have done wrong.
What is an isolation room?
▪ An isolation room is a single room/cubicle on the children’s ward.
▪ Your child will still be nursed by the children’s nursing team and will receive the same high standard of care that they would if they were nursed on the open ward.
How long will my child be isolated?
The need for your child to be in isolation will be reviewed on a daily basis by the team of professionals looking after your child along with the hospitals infection prevention and control team. While your child is nursed in isolation there are some important guidelines that we would like you to follow (listed below). These guidelines may sound strict; however they are there to protect your child and to reduce the risk of transmission of infection.
1. Your child will need to remain in the cubicle at all times. If your child is alone in the cubicle there is a call bell that they can use for assistance.
2. Please maintain good basic hygiene such as washing hands before entering and on leaving your child’s cubicle. Hand washing is widely acknowledged to be the single most important activity for reducing the spread of disease.
3. Ideally the cubicle should be uncluttered to prevent the build up of dust and to ensure that thorough cleaning can be carried out.
4. Your child’s toys should remain in the cubicle and must not be shared with other children. Each cubicle provides a plastic box for toys to be kept in. All toys should be kept visibly clean, dry and dust free. Toys that can not be cleaned adequately should be avoided. If your child prefers to bring in their own toy this is acceptable.
5. Your child’s room will be cleaned once a day by the hospital cleaners. If you are not happy with the standard of cleanliness please talk to the nurse in charge.
6. Hospital staff will need to wear personal protective clothing (PPC), such as aprons, gloves and sometimes masks etc when caring for your child. You may also be asked to wear some form of PPC. In such instances the staff will discuss this with you.
7. Communal toilets should be avoided as the risk of transmission of infection is increased. Your child’s cubicle may have an ensuite or they will have the use of a commode. Please ask the nursing staff to collect any used bedpans so that they can be disposed of safely.
8. Please leave dirty hospital linen for the nursing staff to remove as they may need to be laundered in separate bags. Unfortunately we cannot wash your child’s clothes and would ask if you could kindly wash these at home.
9. Food and drink can be consumed in the cubicle. Your child will continue to receive meals from the ward; you can collect these from the ward trolley once you have been given food tokens. The house keeper or domestic will remove your child’s plate once they have finished eating. A small amount of sealed/packaged snacks and drinks can be kept in the cubicle, please avoid bringing in fresh food.
We acknowledge that children can find being in isolation boring and at times frustrating. Therefore along with you and the ward play specialist we will try our best to keep your child occupied and can provide a range of toys, games, DVD’s etc. Your child can bring in electrical items from home (at your own risk). However these need to be checked by the hospital estates department before
being used, please talk to the play specialist or a member of the nursing team to organise this (this can only be carried out Monday – Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm).
It is also important that parents/carers take regular breaks. There is a parent’s/carers room on the ward where you can make yourself a cup of tea/coffee and prepare simple hot and cold snacks.
Tea and Coffee is provided by a local charity “Action for Sick Children”. If you would like to make a donation towards the cost please ask for an envelope and hand to one of the ward nurses. The
hospital also has a restaurant and a League of Friend’s shop selling magazines, toiletries, snacks etc.
Your child’s nurse will discuss the need for any restrictions on visitors. Please remind visitors to wash their hands and if necessary to wear any personal protective equipment. Visitors should not
enter the hospital if they have had diarrhoea or vomiting within the past 48 hours, sore throat, cold or flu, rashes or other infections. If you are unsure about visitors please ask the nursing staff. Only one parent is allowed to stay overnight.
We hope this leaflet has helped. If you have any further questions please speak to a member of the Nursing/Medical team.