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Health & Safety gone mad?

(11 Posts)
Amanda3266 Thu 06-Jan-05 09:02:11

Dear all,

What think you all of this?
I have just had a massive sort out of toys at home and sorted out a huge boxful to go.
I've promised some to the local baby clinic and decided that the rest could be used in our surgery where I am a health visitor. I put loads in our office as the ones we had were falling apart and at the same time decided to ask the practice manager if she'd like me to update the toys in the waiting room which are falling apart. I was told that they couldn't take them on health and safety grounds. The toys at the moment will not be replaced when they are finally laid to rest (not long by the looks of them) due to risk of infection!
Now I am not silly - I know that toys get dirty but can anyone tell me if there is any research anywhere that shows an epidemic of infection from toys in a doctor's waiting room. What are parents to do with bored children while they wait if there are no toys? I thought we were supposed to be making surgeries/hospital waiting areas etc more child friendly.

Is this a good idea? Or am I just being thick and not seeing (or not wanting to see) an obvious risk?

Mandy

walliamsbabysmum Thu 06-Jan-05 09:19:28

No, you're not being thick at all! I work in the NHS, and H and S legislation is quoted all over the place, as a blanket excuse for all kinds of wierd and wonderful things (except of course when it's justified but will end up costing money). Have you have a quick look at the research? Your local hospital library, or whichever service you use, would be able to do a quick search (or I could if you're desperate, as I'm an Information Officer for the NHS) and then you could show the pratice manager the results - although whether the results would be taken on board is a different story

coppertop Thu 06-Jan-05 09:24:10

Sounds like complete madness to me. Have your bosses said what research they have that shows children are being infected by toys? Whatever next??? Will the waiting room be segregated into cubicles so that patients don't infect each other while waiting??!

Bozza Thu 06-Jan-05 09:31:22

Agree with all. It seems very silly. You obviously run a risk of picking something up in a GP's waiting room because it is full of people but not especially from the toys I would have thought. Maybe avoid soft toys etc put no problem with a pile of plastic IMO.

Avalon Thu 06-Jan-05 09:32:00

This happened at our doctor's surgery a couple of years ago. I can understand more the point of view where it's to do with soft toys, but not for hard plastic toys that could easily be washed or sprayed with something like Dettol

Bozza Thu 06-Jan-05 09:41:42

Agree with all. It seems very silly. You obviously run a risk of picking something up in a GP's waiting room because it is full of people but not especially from the toys I would have thought. Maybe avoid soft toys etc put no problem with a pile of plastic IMO.

Bozza Thu 06-Jan-05 09:42:07

at posting x2

TheDragon Thu 06-Jan-05 10:33:37

If it were a real risk, would they not have removed all the toys immediately?? Why wait until they're fallen apart (which is surely more dangerous)?

edam Thu 06-Jan-05 11:07:37

Have they had any advice/information from Health and Safety or are they just guessing? Lots of people seem to use 'H&S' as an excuse for their decisions when in fact they've never checked the H&S situation at all. Question whether there are any grounds for thinking this is an H&S issue or whether they have received any guidance on this - bet they haven't.

bundle Thu 06-Jan-05 11:10:16

Doctor magazine did a thing on this a couple of years ago, about rancid toys in gp's waiting rooms...and hundreds of docs sent their toys in to try & win one of those wooden bead table toys. i think there were tests done on toys from waiting rooms, and they had obviously been sneezed on/sucked by someone with an infection..

WestCountryLass Thu 06-Jan-05 20:21:25

Sounds like a load of bollocks to me. I live in Bristol and have made regular trips to the Childrens Hospital for Audiology and they have loads of toys for the kids to play with. My friend does run a playgroup and she uses some kind of sanitising spray and cleans the toys after every session so I am wondering whether the toys could be cleaned daily/weekly?

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