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Elaine Hutchinson

Creative Art and Play Therapy

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Keeping your child safe image

One of the biggest concerns we face as parents is keeping our children safe in this pandemic, even though we seem to have passed the peak.

As a parent, I would want to know that anyone my child was seeing was putting my child’s safety at the forefront of what they were doing, so I thought I would explain how I am working to keep your child safe in my playroom.

One of the most important things I have done is written a COVID-19 (C-19) risk assessment, detailing everything I will be doing to make therapy safe for all of us – your child, you as you visit and myself. When you come for an initial meeting, I will share that risk assessment with you and ask you to sign to say you agree with what I am doing and with what I am asking you to do. If you have any questions, there will be time to answer these.

The most important thing we can do is monitor our health and not come to therapy if we’re unwell or think we may have been exposed to C-19. If I am unwell or know I have been exposed to C-19, I will notify as soon as possible, and I ask you to do the same if anyone in your close family is unwell or you think they may have come into contact with someone with C-19. Further information about how to do this will be covered in our initial meeting.

There is hand sanitiser in reception, provided by the building managers and I would ask you and your child to use this on arrival. Your child and I will either wash hands or use more hand sanitiser when we arrive at my playroom and before we leave to come back to reception.

Your child will have their own personal play therapy kit which will only be used by them. This will include a personal sand tray, should they choose to use it and a box for anything they make in sessions. This means there won’t be as many exciting things out in the playroom as there used to be, but this may change as government guidelines change.

Paint, clay and other craft materials will be provided on request. Disposable plates and cups will be used for paint and water and your child will have their own individual craft kit, including brushes, scissors, glue, Sellotape, pencils and pens etc.

Between each session the playroom will be thoroughly cleaned using Clinell Universal spray or wipes, which are used by the NHS to keep wards clean and C-19 free. At the end of the day the room will be deep cleaned. If Orca, my therapy dog, is in the room, she will be wiped down with a Clinell wipe too.

You will be asked for your views on PPE (protective equipment, like masks) when we first meet and will sign to say what you are happy to do about both PPE and social distancing. At the moment I am following government guidelines for schools and this is detailed in the risk assessment you will have.

As government guidelines change, I will keep you up to date with any significant changes that I make, before I make them, but you are welcome to ask questions at any time.

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