Hygiene / Sanitation

Good hand washing can stop the spread of many illnesses and infection in a matter of minutes. 

Children will be taught both how to and how often to wash their hands.

  • Liquid hand soap is used for hand washing.
  • Safe stepping stools are available so that children can reach sinks and taps comfortably.
  • Hand washing posters are posted at each sink.
  • Hand washing sinks and the surrounding areas are cleaned and sanitized routinely to prevent cross contamination to children and adults from dirty water, soiled paper products, faucet handles, etc.

Hand Washing Steps –

1. WET the hands with warm, running water.

2. APPLY LIQUID SOAP in a very small amount.

3. WASH the fronts, backs and in between the fingers using gentle pressure (friction) while rubbing the hands together.

4. RINSE all soap and soil from the hands with running water, allowing the used water to go down the drain.

5 .DRY the hands completely with a disposable paper towel or commercial hand- blower dryer. It may take more than one paper towel to dry the hands.

6. Turn off the water with the used or a clean paper towel to prevent re- contaminating the clean hands with germs and soil from the faucet handles.

7. Discard paper towels immediately into trash container. Do not use for anything else.

Appropriate Hand Washing Times Children –

  • When arriving at the program
  • Before eating meals or snacks
  • Before activities that can include fingers or items that can go into the mouth, such as clay, play dough, water table or food, etc.
  • After using the toilet 
  • After prolonged coughing, sneezing, vomiting or wiping at the nose and mouth
  • After outdoor play, especially if before meals or nap time
  • After messy activities.

Appropriate Hand Washing Times Adults

  • When first arriving at the program
  • Before and after giving First Aid, changing bandages or taking a temperature
  • Before and after preparing food activities, meals or snacks
  • Before and after giving medications or treatments
  • After using the toilet or assisting a child to use the toilet
  • After prolonged coughing/sneezing episodes
  • After tending to a sick child, adult or pet
  • After handling items soiled with body fluids such as blood, stool, urine, mucus, saliva, vomit or drainage from infected eyes, nose, sores, etc.

Exposure to Blood and Other Potentially Infectious Materials

Prevent exposure to body fluids by:

  • Covering any open cuts or sores on children or staff with a bandage, gloves, or clothing.
  • Wearing vinyl or latex gloves for tasks where blood or body fluids are present such as:
  • — Cleaning up vomit, stool, blood, urine, pus, and body fluids or other secretions
  • — Changing bandages, especially if blood, pus or signs of infection are present
  • — Cleansing or controlling bleeding wounds, or broken skin, such as nosebleeds, tooth loss, cuts, scrapes, etc.
  • — Changing diapers, especially with loose stools
  • — Handling linens, clothing, diapers, equipment or surfaces that have been soiled with blood, vomit, stool, urine or body fluids
  • Whenever a child or staff comes into contact with any body fluids, the area (hands, etc.) will be washed immediately with soap and warm water and dried with paper towels.
  • All surfaces in contact with body fluids will be cleaned immediately with soap and water and disinfected with an agent such as bleach in the concentration used for disinfecting body fluids (1⁄4 cup bleach/gallon of water or 1 tablespoon/quart).
  • Used latex or vinyl gloves and cleaning material used to wipe up body fluids will be put in a plastic bag, closed with a tie, and placed in a covered waste container.
  • Hands are always washed with soap and water after removing gloves.
  • Any brushes, brooms, dustpans, mops, etc., used to clean up body fluids will be soaked in a disinfecting solution, and rinsed thoroughly. After soaking, cloth items and mops should be washed with hot water in a washing machine. All items are hung off the floor to dry completely. Cleaning equipment is stored safely out of children’s reach.
  • Disposable diapers, diaper wipes, gloves, bandages, and paper towels, etc., used to clean contaminated areas, must be placed in a plastic bag and sealed before disposal in the general trash.
  • All clothing soiled with body fluids must be changed. Children’s clothes will be put in a closed, plastic bag and sent home with the child’s parent. All clothing that has been soiled with urine, vomit, stool, blood or other body fluids will be placed into a separate plastic bag, labeled with the owner’s name and placed in a lined, plastic container. Soiled clothing will not be placed in cubbies or diaper bags.
  • Wash contaminated laundry in hot water (165○F) for 20 minutes. Add 1 – 11⁄2 cups household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) to the washer along with laundry detergent in a regular wash cycle. Automatic clothes dryers on hot settings assist in the germ killing process.
  • Hands are always washed after handling soiled laundry or equipment or any other potential exposures to body fluids.


Sanitizer is a product that reduces germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations. A sanitizer may be appropriate to use on food contact surfaces (dishes, utensils, cutting boards, high chair trays), toys that children may place in their mouths, and pacifiers.

Disinfectant is a product that destroys or inactivates germs on an inanimate object. A disinfectant may be appropriate to use on non-porous surfaces such as diaper change tables, counter tops, door and cabinet handles, and toilets and other bathroom surfaces.

Only a sanitizer or disinfectant product with an EPA registration number on the label can make public health claims that they are effective in inactivating germs. Major manufacturers of chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide products offer products that are EPA-registered.

If a product that is not chlorine bleach is registered with the EPA and described as a sanitizer or as a disinfectant and is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it can be used in child care settings. Check the label to see how long you need to leave the sanitizer or disinfectant in contact with the surface you are treating, whether you need to rinse it off before contact by children, and for any precautions when handling.

  • All bottles of cleaners and sanitizers are labeled with the contents and recipe and kept out of reach by children.
  • If using a spray bottle, adjust the setting to produce a heavy spray instead of a fine mist.
  • Allow for a two minute contact time or air dry.
  • Apply when children are not present in the area.
  • Ventilate the area by allowing fresh air to circulate and allow the surfaces to completely air dry or wipe dry after two minutes of contact with the surface before allowing children back into the area.

Cloth toweling or paper towels, are used in a single area and then paper is discarded and cloth toweling is placed in container for washing. Sponges harbor germs and are not used.

All brooms, dust pans, brushes and other items used for cleaning contaminated areas are inaccessible to children. Mops are rinsed after each use and hung above ground level to dry.

Bedding is washed in hot water (165°F) for 20 minutes or has added 1 to 1-1/2 cups household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) to the washer, along with laundry detergent, in a regular wash cycle weekly.