Hand Hygiene in the woods in Fife

Hand Hygiene in the woods in Fife

Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery


Lead Practitioner Cathy Bache and Directors Tom Hedley and Linda Holt of the Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery met today with the Care Commission to continue discussions re hand hygiene in the woods in Fife.


At present the Fife outdoor nursery operates making use of wipes and hand sanitiser after toileting and before eating as they have no access to running water.


At the meeting the Care Commission acknowledged the commitment that staff and Directors have to create a safe yet stimulating and challenging care service for all children attending the Secret Garden. They continue to support the work of the Secret Garden but are seeking further clarification from HPS (Health Protection Scotland) regarding the expectations of hand hygiene practice outdoors.  Secret Garden believe it to be essential that HPS seek the views and reflect the practice of established outdoor organisations in the UK and beyond in order to create a national standard of hand hygiene that is acceptable to all outdoor activities. The impact of any decision made has national implications to the ease of delivery of outdoor activities that promote the wider benefits of health and wellbeing in children and adults.


In a report issued by HPS pertaining to the Secret Garden they state:


“Hand washing is a learnt behaviour and therefore children need to recognise when to wash their hands and understand why it is important to wash their hands correctly. To do this they need help from their parents, carers, teachers and adults in the childcare setting. Scotland’s National Hand Hygiene Campaign ‘Germs. Wash your hands of them.’ developed a Children’s Pack for children between the ages of three and six which includes materials to encourage children to make hand washing part of their everyday routine


Based on the assessment of the literature and the summary above, the following recommendation is proposed for hand hygiene in the outdoor nursery setting:
Hand washing with soap and running water should be performed:
• After using the toilet / changing a nappy
• Before and after eating, drinking or preparing food 
• After sneezing, nose blowing or coughing 
• If hands are soiled/dirty 
• Before going home”