Infection Control

Children in a child care facility are at increased risk of illness or infection because they have limited immunity to such illnesses. Child care workers can help control the spread of disease and manage any illnesses that occur.

Infection control measures

Hand hygiene
Routine practices
Outbreak management
Blood borne infections

Understanding how illness and infections are spread

Understanding is the first step to controlling the spread of infection.
  • Infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, or other micro organisms (germs).
  • These micro–organisms are found in body fluids, such as stool or vomit or in tiny droplets produced by breathing, coughing, or sneezing.
  • They spread from one person to another in different ways. Some are spread directly from person to person, while others are spread indirectly through contaminated objects and surfaces.
  • People can spread infection before any symptoms appear or after the acute illness is over; others may not have symptoms at all.

An important component to an Infection Control program is a comprehensive manual outlining written policies and procedures that are clearly available for employees to access. To assist in practicing consistent procedures, the manual should contain information on surveillance, policies on dealing with communicable diseases in both staff and children and procedures to manage an outbreak.
To ensure consistency, one person should be designated in charge of infection control. This individual should have the authority to complete the following functions:

Surveillance, control and prevention

  • Develop and maintain a system of identifying, recording and reporting
  • Identify and investigate outbreaks and infections
  • Promote primary measures
  • Develop and maintain infection control policies and procedures
  • Consult with childcare workers, parents and health professionals
  • Consult and liaise with Oxford County Public Health

No matter how careful you are, there will be some infectious illness at your child care facility. Be prepared to deal with it when it occurs and make sure parents are aware of your policies before they register their children.


Quick Reference

Fact sheet for health care workers - when to stay home

"Stop the spread" poster for child care centres

"Please don't come" poster for child care centres