How to Disinfect and Sanitize a Preschool? Disinfecting and sanitizing a preschool can seem like a daunting task. However, with just a few important procedures in place, you can make the chore much more manageable and even fun!
The first step to disinfecting and sanitizing a preschool is to remember why you are doing it. The safety and welfare of the children and families you are serving are crucial to any preschool. Dirty environments increase the spread of germs. So, how to Disinfect and Sanitize a Preschool?
First, you will want to wash all of the items with a scrub brush in soapy water. It might be handy to gather small toys into a small tub or bin to complete this task. Washing items with soap and water will remove any loose dirt and debris that could be on the item.
However, it will not thoroughly remove all of the germs.
While sanitizing means using a cleaner that kills a minimum of 99% of germs, disinfecting goes a bit further. To disinfect means using a cleaner that will kill almost 100% of germs.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, disinfectants are also more rigorously tested. Products that say, “disinfect” may also automatically “sanitizers.” Any product is a disinfectant must register with the EPA.
One of the easiest ways to sanitize smaller, sturdy plastic toys can easily go through a sanitizing cycle in your dishwasher. Similarly, cloth items and plush toys can go through a cycle on your washing machine.
Additives such as borax and washing powder along with detergent may offer color-safe cleaning. Look for a “heavy-duty” wash and use an extra rinse setting if it is available.
Larger items that will not fit into the dishwasher or washing machine need a different kind of care. That is where the cleaning solution comes into play. There are a lot of cleaning solutions on the market. It is important to select one that will meet your state and local standards.
One of the most common solutions is a mixture of bleach and water. While this is a tried and true combination, it has recently become a bit more complicated.
Recently many bleach manufacturers have changed the concentration of ingredients, bottles of bleach solution need to be carefully labeled and kept away from children. If you do choose to use this method, make sure to give the items a good rinse to clear any residue.
Other non-toxic and more natural cleaners may be a better choice for your facility. A cleaner labeled “green cleaning” will less of an impact on children and the environment.
It is also important to note that every surface human touches can become a breeding ground for germs. Places like bathrooms and kitchens are a hotbed for growth if you do not take diligent care.
Cleaning every area also includes washing your hands and the hands of the children in your preschool often. Every time you touch your face, sneeze, cough, or visit the restroom your hands need washing thoroughly with soap and water.
Teaching your preschool students good hygiene and keeping hand sanitizer handy can be vital in stopping the spread of germs.
Disinfecting toys and other materials needs to be done weekly, at a minimum. Your state or local government may have guidelines, which are important to follow. Remember at certain times when illnesses are spreading in your community you may want to disinfect and sanitize more frequently.
It is also important to disinfect toys any time a child places them in their mouths.
Common areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms can be a hotbed for germ growth. You should be disinfecting these areas and cleaning floors daily. As well as taking time to disinfect and sanitize more “forgotten” items such as door handles.
Safety goes beyond simply disinfecting and sanitizing, it includes making sure to keep chemicals properly stored. All cleaning chemicals should be kept far from children’s curious reach.
Make sure to never mix chemicals unless the label indicates it is safe to do so. Certain cleaning chemicals, when mixed can release deadly toxic fumes.
The goal of sanitizing and disinfecting is to keep everyone as safe as possible. As you follow these steps, always remember how important it is to do your part in creating a wonderful, clean preschool environment.