Infection Control Procedures

General Procedures for Preventing Transmission of Infectious Diseases In the School Setting

It is important to remember that any person could potentially have disease-carrying organisms in their body fluids, even if they have no signs or symptoms of illness. Consequently, the following recommendations should be followed in all situations, and not just those involving an individual known to have an infectious disease. This is called using Universal Precautions. Getting into the habit of using universal precautions prevents possible accidental exposure.

 In the school setting, it is recommended that reasonable steps be taken to prevent individuals from having direct skin or mucous membrane* contact with any moist body fluid from another person. Good hand washing is vital to preventing mucous membrane exposure to disease-causing organisms.

Universal Precautions for School Staff

When assisting a student or fellow staff member, always use universal precautions.
Gloves should be worn whenever the possibility of direct contact with any body fluid from another person is anticipated.
Avoid direct skin or mucous membrane contact with all of the following:
1. blood
2. all other body fluids, secretions, and excretions regardless of whether or not
they contain visible blood
3. non-intact skin (moist skin sores, ulcers, or open cuts in the skin)

If hands or other skin surfaces are contaminated with another person's body fluids, vigorous hand washing (using soap and water for 30 seconds) is essential as soon as possible. Hands should always be washed immediately after the removal of gloves.

Gloves should be available and easily accessible in any setting where contact with body fluids could take place. A child with a bloody nose, loose tooth or cut should be given a paper towel to control the bleeding until gloves can be put on to assist him/her. (Non-latex gloves are available for known latex allergy).

 This is your personal supply of gloves to keep in your classroom. Gloves will also be available in the health room any time you need to replenish your supply. Gloves, paper towels and other supplies used to treat an accident or to clean up body fluids should be disposed of in a plastic bag. Please contact your building school nurse or health aide if you need any further assistance or supplies. Contact Karen Malsy, RN with any questions or concerns, at 747-7823.

*Mucous membranes cover the eyes and the inside of the nose and mouth, along with all other openings in the body. In a school setting, avoiding mucous membrane contact with body fluids means, for practical purposes, that one does not get these fluids in one's eyes, nose or mouth. This generally can be accomplished by not rubbing the eyes with one's hands, and not putting the hands or anything touched by unwashed hands (such as food, or a pencil) in one's mouth. Good hand washing is essential in preventing the spread of all disease.