|Promoting Positive Nappy Changing
When it comes to nappy changing it's natural to want to get through the task as quickly and efficiently as possible, especially in long day care where chances are you'll be toileting and nappy changing a lot!
However, pause and think for a moment, toilet breaks and nappy change times are a great opportunity to teach kids about hygiene, promote learning and spend time interacting one-on-one with a child away from the group.
It's important to develop positive nappy changing and toileting routines as they form a significant part of a child's daily routine in care. As well as meeting a child's physical needs when you help with them toileting or change a nappy your actions will also help you build a strong and trusting relationship with a child.
Good experiences on the change table will:
Health, hygiene and safety
Supporting children's health and safety by ensuring nappy change practices are hygienic is an important aspect of high quality child care. Health and hygiene policies and practices should be regularly reviewed and kept in line with government standards.
Reminders about policies on hand washing and waste disposal should be displayed around the change and toilet areas to act as a constant reminder for staff.
Nappies should be changed in a designated area(s) and the change table should have a surface which can be cleaned thoroughly after each change. There should also be a sink nearby so adults and children can wash their hands after a change.
Nappies and change supplies such as wipes, creams and plastic bags should be within arm's reach of adults but inaccessible to children. A high, child proof cupboard may be the best way to store these items.
To minimise the chances of children falling off the change table carers must keep one hand on the child at all times during nappy changing. A safety harness should be used if available.
Many child care centres use a step to enable children to climb up onto a change table which promotes autonomy and also saves carers the job of lifting every time an older child needs a nappy change. This is an effective system but children need to be supervised and supported when they are using the steps and the steps should be moved or the changing room door closed to prevent intrepid youngsters from using the steps when there is no adult present.
Supporting children during nappy changes
By consistently applying a range of practical strategies child care professionals can work to ensure toileting and nappy change experiences are positive for kids. These include:
Ensuring the environment you conduct nappy changing is pleasant, well set up and accessible will have a significant impact on the success of nappy changing. Considering how much time child care professionals spend changing nappies it is worth investing a little time and effort to create a great space.
Consider the following aspects when assessing the effectiveness of your change area:
Source: Positive toileting and nappy changing by Anne Stonehouse
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