Caring for Our Children Basics

Situations that Require Hand Hygiene

All staff, volunteers, and children should abide by the following procedures for hand washing, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)3:

a) Upon arrival for the day, after breaks, or when moving from one group to another.

b) Before and after:

  • Preparing food or beverages;
  • Eating, handling food, or feeding a child;
  • Brushing or helping a child brush teeth;
  • Giving medication or applying a medical ointment or cream in which a break in the skin (e.g., sores, cuts, or scrapes) may be encountered;
  • Playing in water (including swimming) that is used by more than one person; and
  • Diapering.

c) After:

  • Using the toilet or helping a child use a toilet;
  • Handling bodily fluid (mucus, blood, vomit);
  • Handling animals or cleaning up animal waste;
  • Playing in sand, on wooden play sets, and outdoors; and
  • Cleaning or handling the garbage.

Situations or times that children and staff should perform hand hygiene should be posted in all food preparation, diapering, and toileting areas.

3 Family child care homes are exempt from posting procedures for hand washing but should follow all other aspects of this standard.

Last Updated: May 16, 2018