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Prevention Measures

Standard Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto) Control Measures for the Child Care Setting

To stop Cryptosporidium from spreading in the child care setting:

  • Educate staff and parents
    • Inform all staff about the symptoms of Crypto, how infection is spread, and control measures to be followed.
    • Inform parents about the symptoms of Crypto, how infection is spread, outbreak control policies, and needed changes in hygiene and cleanliness.
    • Notify parents of children who have been in direct contact with a child or an adult caregiver with diarrhea. Parents should contact the child's healthcare provider if their child develops diarrhea.
    • Inform staff and parents of children about Crypto’s potential to be a severe disease in people with weakened immune systems. Immunocompromised persons should consult their healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Exclude any child with diarrhea from the child care setting until the diarrhea has stopped.
    • Children who are infected with the parasite but who do not have diarrhea may be allowed to return.
    • Recently returning children can be grouped together in one classroom to minimize exposing uninfected children to the parasite.
    • Move adults with diarrhea to jobs that minimize opportunities for spreading infection (for example, administrative work instead of food preparation).
  • Establish, implement, and enforce policies on water-play and swimming that
    • Exclude children ill with diarrhea from water-play and swimming activities.
    • Exclude children diagnosed with Crypto from water-play and swimming activities for an additional 2 weeks after their diarrhea has resolved.
    • Discourage children from getting the water in their mouths and swallowing it.
    • Have children and staff wash their hands before using water tables.
    • Have children and staff shower with soap before swimming in the water.
      • If a child is too young to shower independently, have staff wash the child, particularly the rear end, with soap and water.
    • Take frequent bathroom breaks or check their diapers often.
      • Change children’s diapers in a diaper-changing area or bathroom and not by the water.
    • Prohibit the use of temporary inflatable or rigid fill-and-drain swimming pools and slides because they can spread germs in child-care facilities.
  • Practice good hygiene.
    • Reinforce frequent hand washing and good hand washing technique for all children and adults.
    • Good hand washing means
      1. Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
      2. Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces, including under the fingernails.
      3. Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
      4. Rinse hands well under running water.
      5. Dry your hands using a disposable paper towel or a hand dryer.
      6. Use your disposable paper towel, if possible, to turn off the faucet.
    • For children:
      • Observe hand washing or assist when needed.
      • Wash children’s hands when they first arrive at the child care facility, after they use the toilet, after having their diapers changed, and before eating snacks or meals.
    • For adults
      • Wash hands after using the toilet, after helping a child use the toilet, after diapering a child, and before handling or eating food. Note: Where staffing permits, people who change diapers should not prepare or serve food.
  • Reinforce good diapering practices.
    • Separate diaper-changing areas from children’s play and food preparation areas.
    • Use disposable gloves and change them after each diaper change.
    • Use disposable paper over diaper-changing surfaces and change it after each diaper change.
    • Ensure children wear clothing over their diapers to reduce the opportunity for leakage.
    • Wash hands: both yours and the child’s after each diaper change.
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects, including but not limited to bathrooms, diaper-changing areas, food-preparation areas, tabletops, high chairs, and toys.
  • Notify the state or local health department about an excessive level of diarrhea or any Crypto cases in the child-care facility. Crypto is a nationally reportable disease.
 
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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
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    TTY: (888) 232-6348
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  • cdcinfo@cdc.gov
  • Page last reviewed: February 6, 2012
  • Page last updated: February 6, 2012
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