A UK-wide survey by the RCN’s Children and Young People Infection Control Network will establish current practice when it comes to the purchasing, maintaining and cleaning of toys.
The findings of the survey, which closes on 11 November, will inform the RCN’s first ever infection prevention guidance in relation to toys.
Current advice is often produced by individual hospitals but there is no standard guidance and little advice is available for community and other settings.
Toys are regularly used for therapy assessment, for play and to help prepare children for surgery. Germs and bacteria can survive on them and infections such as colds, flu, adenovirus and norovirus can be spread by shared use.
The RCN is hosting a Twitter chat on 18 October, during Infection Prevention Week, with Rose Gallagher, RCN Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, and Helen Dunn, Lead Nurse Infection Prevention and Control, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
They will pose and answer questions on infection prevention and the role nurses can play in improving patient safety as well as addressing questions in the survey.
Rose said: “Toys are a very important part of play, a key aspect of childhood development and are needed for therapy assessment.
“We want to hear from as many members as possible who come into contact with play and toys as part of their work. It’s especially important that we hear from community nurses to ensure our future guidance covers all aspects of health and care.”