Two girls sitting in a plastic tub


Hand Washing

How to wash hands:

  • Rub hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds using warm running water and liquid soap.
  • Wash under fingernails, between fingers, back of hands, and wrists.
  • Rinse hands.
  • Dry hands with a single-use paper towel.
  • For hand-held faucets, turn off water using a paper towel instead of bare hands to avoid recontamination of clean hands.

The program follows these practices regarding hand washing:

  • Staff members and those children who are developmentally able to learn personal hygiene are taught hand-washing procedures and are periodically monitored.
  • Hand washing is required by all staff, volunteers, and children when hand washing would reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases to themselves and to others.
  • Staff assists children with hand washing as needed to successfully complete the task. Children wash either independently or with staff assistance.
  • If a situation may arise that a hand washing sink is not available, children over 24 months my be permitted to sanitize their hands using a hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol based product.

Children and adults wash their hands

  • on arrival for the day;
  • after diapering or using the toilet (use of wet wipes is acceptable for infants);
  • after handling body fluids (e.g., blowing or wiping a nose, coughing on a hand, or touching any mucus, blood, or vomit);
  • before meals and snacks, before preparing or serving food, or after handling any raw food that requires cooking (e.g., meat, eggs, poultry);
  • after playing in water that is shared by two or more people;
  • after handling pets and other animals or any materials such as sand, dirt, or surfaces that might be contaminated by contact with animals; and
  • when moving from one group to another (e.g., visiting) that involves contact with infants and toddlers/twos.

Adults also wash their hands

  • before and after feeding a child;
  • before and after administering medication;
  • after assisting a child with toileting; and
  • after handling garbage or cleaning.

Except when handling blood or body fluids that might contain blood (when wearing gloves is required), wearing gloves is an optional supplement, but not a substitute, for hand washing in any required hand-washing situation listed above.

  • Staff wears gloves when contamination with blood may occur.
  • Staff does not use hand-washing sinks for bathing children or for removing smeared fecal material.
  • In situations where sinks are used for both food preparation and other purposes, staff clean and sanitize the sinks before using them to prepare food.

When accident or injury warrants, the child will receive First Aid as necessary, and if the emergency is immediate, 9-911 will be called and the parent will be notified.


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