There has been an increase in the number of children with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) throughout the Wellington region.

The following measures will help staff reduce the spread of and foot and mouth in centres and manage the additional cleaning.

Cleaning building and resources

  • Plan your cleaning and have a date when all the cleaning measures will be done. Try to get them complete in one to two days
  • Take into consideration areas that children play in a lot, these areas are high risk areas and should be cleaned first
  • Look at cleaning from a child height not an adult height
  • Increase cleaning in bathrooms
  • Steam clean soft furnishings i.e. couches
  • Increase the cleaning of soft furnishings i.e. couches, cushions and chair covers
  • Remove soft toys
  • Remove puppets
  • Remove any containers that children access regularly that cannot be wiped down i.e cane baskets
  • Remove play such as play dough, painting and water play

All children

  • Children with hand foot and mouth need to stay away from the centre until all blisters are crusted over and are well
  • Send all comforters (dummies, sleep toys, blankets) home to be washed
  • Do not allow children to bring comforters to the centre
  • Oversee hand washing to ensure children are washing their hands, especially new children
  • Wash children’s hands after nappy changing with soap and water
  • Give staff and children reminders that they need to be wash their hands
  • Do not have shared food

Children under two

  • This age group is more vulnerable as they are teething, put objects in their mouths and may dribble. We recommend extra precautions for this age group.
  • Wipe down cots
  • Increase laundering of sleeping equipment i.e. sheets and pillow cases. If this is normally once a week it will need to be increased to twice a week or as required.
  • Do not allow children to bring comforters to the centre
  • All toys that are mouthed need to cleaned at the end of the day. To assist with this rotate the toys in and out. For example put the trucks out Monday but not on Tuesday

Communication

  • Provide regular updates to parents, signs on the door, on your notice board, your website and/or by email
  • Print the HFMD fact sheet here and share this with your parents

Closure of a centre

The choice to close a centre is up to the Management of the service.

You can read more about Hand, Foot and Mouth disease in Public Health Post Issue 14 - July 2013 newsletter here 

Last updated 16 September 2014.