Recommended Hygiene Practices/Universal Precautions

These procedures, sometimes referred to as "universal precautions", are applicable in all cases of known or suspected HIV infection. In fact, these common sense precautions should be followed routinely in caring for any child.

  • For spills of semen, blood, body saliva, urine, feces, or vomit on surfaces such as floors, counter tops, batmubs, etc., wear disposable gloves and clean up bulk of spill with paper towels or disposable rags. Then, using a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part disinfectant (such as ordinary household bleach), disinfect the surface. Let it air dry. The used rags or paper towels should be placed in a leakproof container (e.g., a plastic bag) and put in an outdoor trash container. If you have skin contact with these substances, wash affected areas with soap under running water for at least 10 seconds.

    For body fluid spills on bedding, clothing and other washables, see laundering procedures in #10 below. HIV is not found in feces or urine unless infected blood is also present.

  • Wash your hands with soap before and after changing a diaper. Gloves are not needed unless there is bbod in feces/urine and you have a rash or open cut on your hands. In those circumstances, disposable gloves should be used.
  • Disposable diapers should be placed in a leakproof container (e.g., a plastic bag) and put in an outdoor trash container.
  • If a child bites you and draws blood, wash the area immediately with soap and water. As vou would for any human bite wound. consult with your doctor.
  • While food-sharing (i.e., more than one person eating the same piece of food, such as a hot dog, lollipop, ice cream bar, piece of chicken, etc.) will not transmit HIV, good hygiene dictates that food-sharing not be permitted. No other mealtime restrictions are necessary. An HlV-infected child can use the community table, dishes, glasses, and eating utensils, and be served "family-style" (i.e., from a common serving dish).
  • It is not necessary to wash dishes and utensils used by an HlV-infected child separately. Wash with hot, sudsy water, rinse and dry thoroughly by hand or by automatic dishwasher.
  • Baby bottles should be cleaned and sterilized as usual.
  • Do not allow sharing of toothbrushes or razor blades.
  • Sharing of toys will not transmit HIV. However, as with food-sharing (see #5 above), good hygiene dictates that if a child has put a toy into his/her mouth, the toy should be washed in soap and water before another child plays with it.
  • Clothing of HlV-infected child may be bundered with other family members' clothing using ordinary laundry detergent, unless it has been soiled by blood, semen, urine, feces, and/or vomit. Using regular/non-chlorine bleach is recommended. Clothing, soiled with body fluids, should be washed separately-using normal procedures. Add 1/2 cup regular or non-chlorine bleach to wash cycle. Heavily soiled items (e.g.,cloth diapers) may require presoaking.


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