Keeping Your Classroom Healthy
Toys and Classroom Materials
One toy can be used by many children every day. Toys can become a home for germs, especially if children put them in their mouths, cough or sneeze on them, or touch them after toileting. It is very important to regularly clean and sanitize the toys in your room:
- Keep a box or bin labeled "soiled toys." When a child mouths a toy, coughs, or sneezes on it, place the toy in the bin. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can keep soapy water in the bin or the bin can be a dry spot for storing toys until you can clean them. Make sure you have cleaned and sanitized the toy before returning it to the learning environment.
- Clean activity spaces, dress-up clothes, and machine-washable cloth toys at least weekly.
- Clean hats daily.
- Clean mouthed toys after each use and sanitize them daily.
- You can put plastic toys in the dishwasher to clean and sanitize them.
The restroom is the location where germs and bacteria are most likely to spread. It is very important to keep toileting areas clean. These guidelines will help you limit contamination:
- Clean and disinfect any changing surfaces after each use.
- Clean and disinfect sinks and faucets daily. If the sink is also used for non-toileting routines, disinfect it after toileting use.
- Clean and disinfect countertops daily.
- Clean and disinfect floors daily.
Cots and Bedding
In full-day programs, it is important to provide a healthy environment for sleep. Lice and skin infections can be spread through blankets or bedding that are stored and cleaned improperly. Follow these suggestions for healthy sleep environments:
- Store each child's bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags) separate from the other children's bedding.
- Launder sheets and pillow cases weekly or before being used by another child.
- Clean cots weekly or before being used by another child.
- Launder blankets monthly. If the blankets touch the child's skin, clean weekly.