Home Hygiene & Health
The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

Preventing infection in early childhood centres

For parents whose children attend day care centres, one of the concerns is that the infant or toddler is safe and healthy. We know kids share a lot of germs. Respiratory and gastrointestinal infections spread quickly in early childhood facilities. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 20,000 children younger than 5 years of age are hospitalized each year because of flu-related complications.

So how can you reduce their chances of getting sick, whether they go to a small home day care or a centre caring for more than 15 children?

The US Association for Professionals in Infection Control have produced an advice sheet highlighting the four key areas to be aware of to help reduce the spread of germs to you and your child.

1. Infection prevention.
Infection prevention is everybody’s business – including child care staff, children, and families. An important question to ask is, are the staff and children healthy enough to come to the centre, i.e., not contagious?

2. Hand hygiene.
Keeping your hands clean is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Clean your hands after using the bathroom; after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing; before eating; when visiting someone who is sick; or whenever your hands are dirty.

3. Cleaning and disinfection.
It is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis.

4. Food safety.

Proper handling and preparation of food are important to prevent and avoid foodborne illnesses (food poisoning). A significant part of a child’s day involves eating. Food and beverages should not be prepared in the same areas as the bathroom, diapering area or playrooms.

For more details, the resource can be found at: 


Author: Association for Professionals in Infection Control

Published: 08/12/2016

Publication Type: Web Based Resource