Handling contaminated items and surfaces

Special precautions should be taken in handling items or surfaces that may be contaminated by blood or other body fluids. Contact with heavily contaminated materials such as tissues, toilet paper, soiled diapers, bandages, soiled clothing, and vomit is a risk for the spread of disease.  Be sure that as few people as possible handle contaminated things and that cleanup areas are completely separate from food-handling areas.  If you are likely to come into contact with blood, you should be immunized against hepatitis B as part of your preparation for care giving.  Both adults and children who come into contact with blood should receive hepatitis B vaccine, if they did not receive the vaccine previously.

Soiled Diapers and Clothing

  • Do NOT rinse or wash soiled cloth diapers or clothing at the child care facility.
  • Place the soiled items in a plastic bag, close it tight, label it with the child’s name, keep it out of the reach of children, and ask the family to wash it at home.
  • Keep changes of clothing handy.
  • Place soiled disposable diapers in a tightly covered container lined with a disposable plastic bag.


Wash, rinse, and sanitize all mouthed toys before they pass from one child to another. Also wash and sanitize all toys frequently so they don’t gather dirt and grow germs.

One easy way to manage mouthed toys:

  • Place the toys into a dishpan labeled SOILED when the toys are no longer being used.
  • Soak the toys in a diluted solution of dishwashing detergent and water.
  • For dishwasher safe toys, you can use a dishwasher with hot water that reaches 77 degrees C (170 degrees F) and heat dries the objects.
  • Wash other toys by hand.  Clean and rinse them, and then sanitize them by spraying them with or soaking them in a bleach solution.

Personal Items

  • Label all toothbrushes and personal items.
  • Make sure they are used only by their owners and that the bristles do not touch any other surface than the child’s mouth.


Vacuum carpeted areas on a daily basis, and shampoo at least every 6 months or when soiled.