Regular, effective handwashing and drying, when done correctly, is the single most effective way for early years staff to prevent the spread of infection and achieve high standards of hygiene.

Staff should wash their hands regularly and thoroughly, including:

  • after handling any body fluids, waste or soiled items

  • before handling foodstuffs

  • after going to the toilet, either with a child or by themselves

  • after dirty play, indoors or outdoors

  • before preparing and eating food for mealtimes, snack times or as part of a food-related activity

  • when any visible contamination or soiling occurs

  • between handling raw and cooked food

  • after tending children with cuts, abrasions or suspected infections

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