Chapter 11, Preventing Communicable Diseases

This section of the manual covers childhood diseases and ways to prevent or control their spread to other children or staff members in the child care center. Control of these communicable diseases is important for several reasons: An increasing number of children attend child care, most diseases spread more easily in areas with a number of people and children are more susceptible than adults to many diseases.

For each disease, the manual will describe the disease, how it spreads, its symptoms, its incubation period (the time between development of the disease and the appearance of the first symptoms), its communicable period (the period in which it can be passed to others) and suggestions for preventing or controlling its spread.


Universal Precautions are to be used when handling any bodily secretions (urine, nasal/oral secretion, stool, or blood).

  • Gloves are to be worn when touching blood and bodily fluids, mucous membranes or non‑intact skin.
  • Gloves are to be changed after contact with each child.
  • Masks and protective eye wear should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate droplets of blood or other bodily fluids to prevent exposure of mucous membranes of mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Gowns should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate splashes of blood or bodily fluid.
  • Precautions should be taken to prevent puncture injuries.
  • All skin surfaces exposed to blood or other bodily fluids should be washed immediately and thoroughly.
  • Equipment for mouth-to-mouth emergency resuscitation should be readily available.


There are four basic reservoirs for infections and diseases in the child care center:

  1. Intestinal Tract
  2. Respiratory System
  3. Skin
  4. Bodily Fluids (drool, blood, nose or eye discharge)
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