HealthDay News — Guidelines have been updated for infection prevention and control in pediatric ambulatory settings, according to a policy statement published in Pediatrics.

Mobeen H. Rathore, MD, from Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, and colleagues discussed recommended changes to infection prevention and control in pediatric ambulatory settings.

The authors note that infection prevention and control is an integral part of pediatric practice in both ambulatory medical settings and hospitals. Education should be provided for all health care personnel regarding the routes of transmission and techniques used to prevent transmission of infectious agents

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Infection prevention and control policies should be written, available, updated biennially, and enforced. Many Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for hospitalized patients are applicable to ambulatory patients, including recommendations for pediatricians to take precautions to protect employees from exposure to potentially infectious materials. 

The guidelines emphasize the role of hand hygiene and importance of diagnosis- and syndrome-specific isolation precautions and discuss respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette strategies for patients with respiratory tract infection; separation of infected, contagious children when feasible; safe handling and disposal of sharp medical devices; and appropriate use of personal protective equipment.

“In this policy, we emphasize the importance of public health interventions, including vaccination for patients and health care personnel,” the authors write.

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Rathore MH, Jackson MA, Committee on Infectious Diseases. Infection prevention and control in pediatric ambulatory settings [published online October 23, 2017]. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-2857.