Using Gloves in Diapering
(Info obtained from the Child Care Information Exchange 3/99-26)

-- from June 1999 issue of CCA's The "Ten" Times Newsletter


  Many child care providers use latex or vinyl gloves as a barrier to reduce contamination of their hands during diaper changing or in cleaning up spills of body fluids. Sometimes, using gloves gives caregivers a false sense of sanitation. Many caregivers forget that when they touch their gloved, soiled hand to a cabinet door, to a clean diaper, or to any other surface, they are spreading germs. Providers are reminded to remove soiled gloves before touching any clean surface. Contaminated gloves do nothing to prevent the spread of germs from one surface to another. The Child Care Administration reminds child care providers that they need to change gloves in between the diaper changing of individual children to reduce contamination and cut down on the spread of disease. While gloves do reduce the amount of contamination of the hands, they are no substitute for hand washing. Latex or vinyl gloves may have microscopic holes that lead to some hand contamination. Further, hands become contaminated during the removal of soiled gloves. Hand washing should be routine in situations where contamination with germs may have occurred, even if the person wore gloves. Using disposable gloves in the diapering procedure is recommended, though it is not required.

Soap and running water does the trick. Use soap and friction (rubbing hands together for at least ten seconds) followed by running water to remove most of the germs. Waterless hand sanitizers can supplement, but not replace, hand washing.

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