Because their immune systems are less developed, children younger than five are more susceptible to infections. Learn how to stop the spread of germs in child care facilities and keep everyone healthy.

Clean your hands often. Keeping your hands clean is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Clean your hands:

  • Before and after eating, feeding a child, or preparing food
  • After using the bathroom or helping a child use the bathroom
  • Before and after diapering a child
  • Before and after giving medication or treating sores, cuts, or scrapes
  • After sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing, or handling other bodily fluids such as blood or vomit

    Download this free infographic and learn how to prevent infections in child care facilities

  • Before and after playing in water that is used by more than one person
  • After playing with animals or cleaning up animal waste
  • After playing outdoors, on play sets, or in sand
  • After handling garbage
  • Whenever your hands look or feel dirty

Parents should:

  • Make handwashing a habit for you and your child. Model good hand hygiene for your children.
  • Wash your hands and assist your child in washing their hands as you enter the classroom.
  • Ensure children are bathed regularly.
  • Ensure children are dressed in clean clothing daily.

Daycare staff should:

  • Make hand hygiene convenient for children and caretakers with enough sinks, soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer.

Stay up-to-date on vaccines and stay home if you are sick. This applies to children, parents, and child care workers.

Make sure surfaces are cleaned regularly and according to facility policy. There should be a schedule for when each item is cleaned with an EPA registered disinfectant or a bleach solution (according to manufacturer’s recommendations), including diaper changing areas (recommend this be wiped after each diaper change in a multi-use situation) and toilets, toys, bottles (dedicated to each child), and sleeping areas.

Follow food safety guidelines to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Make sure the center follows best practices regarding the health and safety of child care, such as those published by Caring for Our Children.

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