Toys in healthcare: RCN wants your views on keeping play items germ-free

RCN survey results will inform guidance on how to ensure toys don't harbour infections

RCN survey results will inform guidance on how to ensure toys don't harbour infections

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Nursing staff are being asked for their views on how to minimise the spread of infection from toys used in healthcare.

The RCN is today launching a UK wide-survey to establish current practice on the purchase, maintenance and cleaning of toys in hospital and the community.

The findings will inform the college's first ever guidance on infection prevention and control in relation to toys for nurses working in acute and community healthcare.

Risks from shared use

Germs and bacteria can survive on toys and infections such as cold, flu, adenovirus and norovirus can be spread by their shared use.

RCN professional lead for infection prevention and control Rose Gallagher said: 'Toys are a very important part of play, a key aspect of childhood development and are needed for therapy assessment.

‘But there is little guidance on the selection of toys and the cleaning of them, which is needed to reduce the risk of infection or cross infections and waste.’

Appeal to community nurses

Ms Gallagher urged nursing staff who come into contact with toys as part of their work to take part in the survey.

‘It’s especially important we hear from community nurses to ensure our future guidance covers all aspects of health and care,’ she said.

The survey runs until 11pm, 11 November.

Ms Gallagher will join Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust’s lead nurse infection prevention and control Helen Dunn for an RCN-hosted Twitter chat on 18 October.

The question and answer session will cover infection prevention, the role nurses can play in improving patient safety and the survey.

Open the survey here

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