Hygiene routines- hand washing and diaper changing

There are many opportunities for germs that pose severe health risks to spread in your program. Similar to handwashing, when diapering and toileting are done correctly, the spread of germs and illness decreases, resulting in better health for all. Infant and toddler caregivers must know how to safely change a child's diaper, how to patiently and respectfully help a young child learn how to use the toilet, and how to respond sensitively to toileting accidents. They approach the restroom the same way they learn about other things: through exploration. Young toddlers might love to flush the toilets, turn faucets on and off, watch toilet paper unroll, and explore the sounds their voices make in the restroom. Unfortunately, all of this learning come at a price. Restrooms are full of bacteria; as a caregiver, you must be prepared to promote learning and healthy hygiene.

It is critical to keep restrooms and changing areas clean in child care programs. Diapering and toileting are major sources of contamination. Unsanitary practices can put you and children at risk for illness and infection. This lesson will focus on general practices for maintaining hygienic diapering and toileting practices and procedures for helping a child who has had an accident

Diapering and toileting procedures are designed to reduce contamination of surfaces, including hands, equipment, materials and floors. There is also the possibility of re-contamination when a clean surface is soiled again. Follow approved procedures to eliminate contamination and re-contamination of surfaces.

Diapering procedures involve many steps; each is important and must be followed to reduce the risk of contamination. 

Diapering Procedure

-Wash your hands and gather all the necessary items for a diaper change.

-Non-absorbent paper liner large enough to cover the changing surface from the child's shoulders to beyond the child's feet.

-Fresh diaper and clean clothes (if needed).

-Disposable wipes.

-Plastic bag for soiled clothes (if needed).

-Plastic gloves.

-Diaper cream, removed from a container and placed on a disposable tissue.

-Put on gloves.

-Carry the child to the diapering area. - ALWAYS KEEP A HAND ON THE CHILD.

-Gently place child on diapering surface, always keeping a hand on the child.

-Remove child's clothes, socks and shoes if needed so the child does not contaminate these surfaces with stool or urine during the diaper changing.

-If clothes are soiled, place them in a secured bag to go home. Do not rinse the clothes.

-Clean the child's diaper area.

-Unfasten diaper but leave the soiled diaper under the child.

-Clean the child with wipes, wiping from front to back to remove urine and stool, using each wipe only once.

-Lift the child's legs as needed to use disposable wipes to clean the skin on the child's genitalia and buttocks.

-Put the soiled wipes into the soiled diaper or directly into a plastic-lined, hands-free covered can.

-Use fresh wipe or damp paper towel with each cleaning.

-Remove the soiled diaper.

-Immediately place soiled diaper in plastic-lined, hands-free cover trash can.

-Remove gloves and dispose of them immediately.

-Clean your own hands and the child's hands with a disposable wipe.

-Dispose of the wipes immediately.

-Put a clean diaper on the child and dress the child.

-Slide fresh diaper under the child.

-If diaper cream is needed, use tissue to apply the cream and then discard the unused amount.

-Adjust and fasten diaper

-Finish clothing the child

'Wash the child's hands.

-Take the child to the sink and WASH their hands with soap and water.

-Return the child to a supervised area.

-Clean, rinse and sanitize the diapering area.

-If paper liner is used, dispose of liner in a plastic-lined, hands-free covered trash can.

-Clean any visible soil with detergent and water and sanitize the changing surface.

-If a pad is used, spray both sides of the pad and the changing table surface with detergent solution. Rinse with water.

-Wet the entire changing surface with the sanitizing solution

-Spray both sides of the pad and the changing table surface with a disinfecting solution.

-If the recommended bleach dilution is sprayed as a sanitizer on the surface, leave it in contact with the surface for at least 2 minutes.

-The surface can be left to air dry or can be wiped dry after 2 minutes of contact with the bleach solution.

-Wash your own hands.

-Put cleaning and sanitizing solutions away and WASH your hands.

-Record the diaper change, diaper contents and problems in your daily log.

Handwashing and Diapering

Proper handwashing procedures are essential during diapering. The order in which handwashing is completed during the diapering procedure is critical for the environment to be free of contamination. There are two times adults must wash their hands during diapering. First, adults must wash their hands first before they gather diaper supplies and then again during the final step after they have put cleaning and sanitizing solutions away (see steps 1 and 8 above on the Diapering Procedure chart). Infants and toddlers must wash their hands or have their hands washed after a clean diaper is put on them and they are fully dressed (see step 6 above).

Reading the Diapering Procedure is much easier than actually changing a diaper! Whether this is your initial training on diapering or you've changed 500 diapers, it is important to review each step to assess if you are conducting the procedure correctly.

Toileting Procedures

Toileting, as with diapering, has procedures that must be followed to reduce the spread of germs. Toileting has additional health considerations as toddlers learn self-help skills and participate in their toileting routine.

General Hygiene Procedures for Toileting

There are many ways to maintain a healthy environment throughout your classroom. The restroom is an important place to start. Follow these steps to create healthy habits for yourself and the children in your care:

-Check the restroom regularly to make sure toilets are flushed.

-Check to make sure floors, doors, walls and toilet seats are clean.

--Make sure paper towels and other trash are thrown away properly.

-Make sure running water, soap, paper towels, plastic bags for soiled clothing, and toilet paper are available.

-Make sure you put disposable gloves on before handling soiled clothing or diapers. Remove gloves before handling clean clothing and diapers.

-If possible, use a separate sink for general use and handwashing after toileting. If you must use the same sink, disinfect it before use for general or food-related use.

-Always wash your hands after helping children use the toilet, assisting with soiled clothing, or touching contaminated surfaces. Even if you wear disposable gloves, you must wash your hands.

-Make sure all children and adults wash their hands properly.

In addition, when it comes to diapering and toileting, alwaysFollow correct diapering and toileting procedures.

-Ensure that all diapering and toileting supplies are well-stocked and accessible.

-Involve infants and toddlers in the diapering and toileting process; it's something you do together not something that is done to them.

-Use descriptive language to explain what is happening during diapering and toileting.

Karanpreet kaur


Early Childhood Education

Join linkr for free today!

linkr is easy to use and will make your teaching more interactive