General Hand Washing Procedures
(03.06e/01-2011)

Hand washing is the single most important measure to use to stop the spread of disease in child care. Therefore, the following procedures will be posted at all hand-washing sinks and followed by staff and children at all times.

WHEN TO WASH HANDS: (as required by Licensing Standards and HSPS)

CHILDREN:

  • Upon arrival at the center.
  • Before and after each meal or snack.
  • Before and after cooking or other food experience.
  • After using the toilet or having diapers changed.
  • After wiping or blowing his/her nose.
  • After touching items soiled with body fluids or wastes (e.g. blood, drool, urine, stool, or vomit), even when gloves are used.
  • After handling pets or other animals. 
  • After outdoor play or returning from field trip.
  • Before and after using the water table.

STAFF:

  • Upon arrival at the center.
  • Before and after eating and drinking.
  • Before preparing, handling, or serving food.
  • After using the bathroom or helping a child use the bathroom.
  • Before and after changing a diaper.
  • After wiping or blowing own nose, or helping a child to wipe or blow his/her nose.
  • After handling items possibly soiled with body fluids or wastes (e.g. blood, drool, urine, stool, or vomit), even when gloves are used.
  • After handling pets or other animals.
  • After outdoor play or returning from field trip.
  • Before and after assisting children at the water table.
  • Before and after dispensing any medication.
  • Before and after administering first aid.
  • After caring for a sick child.
  • When changing rooms or caring for a different group.

HOW TO WASH HANDS:

  1. Turn on faucet, wet hands under the warm running water;
  2. Apply sufficient liquid soap to develop a good lather.
  3. Lather the fronts, backs, between fingers, under fingernails, and up to the forearm areas of the hands and scrub vigorously for at least 15 seconds;
  4. Rinse hands thoroughly under the warm running water, holding the hands downward so that water runs off the fingertips. Unless using a foot-operated valve or the water automatically turns off, leave the water running;
  5. Use a disposable towel to dry hands thoroughly;
  6. For hand faucets, turn water off by using the disposable towel instead of bare hands to avoid recontamination of clean hands;
  7. Discard the towel in a covered waste receptacle.

For infants and young toddlers that are too young to wash hands by themselves, staff will wash their hands for them using the above techniques. As they are developmentally ready, staff will teach children proper hand-washing techniques and assist and supervise the procedure as needed.