Precautions for Infectious Disease Prevention

E 5141.23


Hand washing is the single most important technique for preventing the spread of casually transmitted diseases. Hands should be washed thoroughly for 15 to 30 seconds with soap and warm running water, rinsed under running water, and thoroughly dried with paper towels:

  1. Before eating, drinking or feeding.

  2. Before handling food, clean utensils or kitchen equipment.

  3. Before and after using the toilet or diapering.

  4. After accidental contact with body secretions such as blood, urine, feces, mucus, saliva or drainage from wounds, or with soiled garments, equipment, diapers or menstrual pads.

Non-sterile disposable gloves should be worn when handling blood (such as providing care for nosebleeds, bleeding gums, cuts or wounds); blood-soiled items (such as menstrual pads, bandages or clothing); secretions (particularly from open sores or wounds); vomit, urine or feces; as well as surfaces, materials, and objects exposed to them.

Gowns or smocks should be worn if soiling of clothing by body fluids, secretions or excretions is anticipated.  Hands should be washed thoroughly after removing gowns or gloves.

Personnel and students with open skin lesions (such as chapped or broken skin, eczema, sores, cuts or wounds) should particularly avoid contact with blood, blood-soiled items, or secretions, and should cover their lesions with occlusive dressings or gloves when possible.

Extraordinary care should be taken to prevent accidental wounds from potentially contaminated sharp instruments such as needles, scissors, or knives.

Food and drinks should not be shared.  Separate eating utensils, glasses and cups should be used. 

Sanitary conditions should be maintained throughout the facility, with established routines for frequently cleaning floors, sinks, faucets, table tops, door knobs, etc.

Surfaces contaminated with body secretions should be washed with soap and water and disinfected promptly with a freshly prepared solution of bleach (ten parts water to one part bleach) or other approved disinfectant.   Disposable towels should be used whenever possible, and mops should be rinsed in the bleach solution. 

Articles and clothing soiled with blood, vomit, feces, urine or other body discharges should be placed in leak proof plastic bags for proper disposal or washing.


Adoption Date:  10/13/99
Revision Date: 10/12/2011