Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System.
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Helping Control Illness & Infection in Your Day Care

Early childhood programs must make sure they are doing everything they can to prevent and control the spread of illness and infection. Illness can be controlled by limiting the way pathogens (germs, microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites) can be transmitted (passed from person to person). The benefits of infection control include, reducing:

Here are some tips for keeping a clean, pathogen-free environment:


Studies have shown that unwashed hands are the main carriers of disease and illness. Diarrhea-related illness has been shown to decrease by 50% in centers that have implemented routine hand-washing. Children and adults should adhere to specific hand-washing procedures:

For more information on proper hand-washing, toy sanitation, diapering, handling blood, and how to have a safe, hygienic environment for you and the children in your care, see Extension online's course "Health and Safety: The First Line of Defense" and other great child care courses for you and/or your employees.

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