Washing and Disinfecting Diaper Changing Areas
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Washing and Disinfecting Diaper Changing Areas

Washing and Disinfecting Diaper Changing Areas

Diaper changing areas should:

  • Only be used for changing diapers.
  • Be smooth and nonporous, such as formica ( NOT wood).
  • Have a raised edge or low “fence” around the area to prevent a child from falling off.
  • Be next to a sink with running water.
  • Not be used to prepare food, mix formula, or rinse pacifiers.
  • Be easily accessible to providers.
  • Be out of reach of children.

Diaper changing areas should be cleaned and disinfected after each diaper change as follows:

  • Clean the surface with soap and water and rinse with clear water.
  • Dry the surface with a paper towel.
  • Thoroughly wet the surface with the recommended bleach solution.
  • Air dry. Do not wipe.

Washing and Disinfecting Clothing, Linen, and Furnishings

Do not wash or rinse clothing soiled with fecal material in the child care setting. You may empty solid stool into the toilet, but be careful not to splash or touch toilet water with your hands. Put the soiled clothes in a plastic bag and seal the bag to await pick up by the child's parent or guardian at the end of the day. Always wash your hands after handling soiled clothing.

Explain to parents that washing or rinsing soiled diapers and clothing increases the chances that you and the children may be exposed to germs that cause diseases. Although receiving soiled clothes isn't pleasant, remind parents that this policy protects the health of all children and providers.

Each item of sleep equipment, including cribs, cots, mattresses, blankets, sheets, etc., should be cleaned and sanitized before being assigned to a specific child. The bedding items should be labeled with that child's name, and should only be used by that child.

Children should not share bedding. Infants’ linens (sheets, pillowcases, blankets) should be cleaned and sanitized daily, and crib mattresses should be cleaned and sanitized weekly and when soiled or wet.

Linens from beds of older children should be laundered at least weekly and whenever soiled. However, if a child inadvertently uses another child’s bedding, you should change the linen and mattress cover before allowing the assigned child to use it again. All blankets should be changed and laundered routinely at least once a month.

Note: This information is not intended to take the place of your state's or locality's child care regulations and laws. In every case, the laws and regulations of the city, county, and state in which the child care facility is located must be carefully followed even if they differ from these recommendations.

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