Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection

3.2 Hygiene

3.2.2 Hand Hygiene Assisting Children with Hand Hygiene

Caregivers/teachers should provide assistance with handwashing at a sink for infants who can be safely cradled in one arm and for children who can stand but not wash their hands independently. A child who can stand should either use a child-height sink or stand on a safety step at a height at which the child’s hands can hang freely under the running water. After assisting the child with handwashing, the staff member should wash his or her own hands. Hand hygiene with an alcohol-based sanitizer is an alternative to handwashing with soap and water by children over twenty-four months of age and adults when there is no visible soiling of hands (1).
Encouraging and teaching children good hand hygiene practices must be done in a safe manner. A “how to” poster that is developmentally appropriate should be placed wherever children wash their hands.

For examples of handwashing posters, see:

California Childcare Health Program at;

North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center at

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Situations that Require Hand Hygiene Handwashing Procedure Hand Sanitizers
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013. Information for schools and childcare providers.