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PREVENTING INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN Pediatric Infection Prevention Educational Media

When a child is admitted to the hospital, it is often no easy time for parents of the child.

 

A worrisome diagnosis, emotional anxiety and abrupt change in the family’s regular daily routine can be stressful to everyone.

 

Parents frequently feel a sense of helplessness within these circumstances but really, there is much they can do to help their child realize a good expected outcome.

Listed below are some important things they can do to help their child receive the safest care possible.

INFORMATION ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS

 

First and foremost, clean your hands well, before and after touching your child or objects in your child’s room - EVERY SINGLE TIME. All visitors and caregivers should do the same. Use either soap and water or an alcohol - based hand cleaner.  Doctors included.

 

Bacteria can be transmitted from objects in the hospital to your child, potentially causing a health care acquired infection, especially if he/she currently has a weakened immune system.

 

Also, these opportunistic bacteria can live on medical devices or travel up and through tubing used in IVs and urinary catheters.

 

The hospital room needs to be cleaned on a regular schedule. Please help keep your child’s room free of clutter so the housekeeper can clean the room properly. Cleaning is more effective if the surfaces are clear of personal items and toys.

 

Only smooth-surfaced and easy-to-wash toys are allowed in patient rooms. If your child needs a personal blanket or cloth toy for comfort, please discuss this need with the doctor. If the doctor allows the toy or blanket, it must be washed before

bringing it to the hospital and when returning home.

 

Shoes should be worn by parents, family members and visitors at all times, inside and outside the patient room. Your child should wear slippers or shoes when out of bed.  Patients should not sit or play on the bare floor.

 

Parents and visitors should not sit or sleep on the patient’s bed. It is important to keep the number of germs low in the area where your child sleeps, especially around his / her face.

 

According to a study published in the January 2009 American Journal of Critical Care, bath basins are a significant source for the transmission of hospital-acquired infections (HAI), especially to patients that are immune-compromised and those at high -risk. The study evaluated 92 basins finding 98 percent contained a variety of micro-organisms associated with infection.

Multi-drug resistant organisms that were found, such as the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vanocomycin - Resistant Enterococci (VRE), S. aureus, Enterococci, gram-negative organisms, P. aeruginosa, C. albicans and E. coli can lead to conditions, including pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, and urinary tract infections (UTI), among others requiring further patient treatment and extended time in the hospital.

 

A leading alternative to traditional basin technique are pre-packaged, disposable cleansing washcloths and special bath wipes that caregivers can use in protecting patients from bacteria, eliminating the use of contaminated basins.

Ask your physician to wipe off his / her stethoscope immediately prior to touching your child or baby with it during an examination. In the hospital, germs may be carried from room to room, patient to patient by using the same stethoscope for everyone the physician examines.

 

During your child’s stay at the hospital you should feel comfortable and confident in the care they are receiving. Don’t feel embarrassed or shy about asking questions.

 

Remember to ask caregivers to always wash or sanitize their hands prior to and after touching your patient.

 

Know that your participation in the care process will not only comfort your child by your presence but can also go a long way in helping to prevent avoidable

infections.

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