What is the process for disinfecting toys that are in waiting rooms or on the pediatric unit?
Waiting areas and play areas have an array of toys and books for children. Safety and infection prevention policies and procedures must be put in place to protect children playing with these toys. Once policies and procedures are in place they must be communicated to the responsible staff.
The CDC provides the following recommendations:
- Establish policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting toys at regular intervals as well whose responsibility it is to clean the toys
- Select play toys that can be easily cleaned and disinfected
- Do not permit use of stuffed furry toys if they will be shared
- Clean and disinfect large stationary toys (e.g., climbing equipment) at least weekly and whenever visibly soiled
- If toys are likely to be mouthed, rinse with water after disinfection; alternatively wash in a dishwasher
- When a toy requires cleaning and disinfection, do so immediately or store in a designated labeled container separate from toys that are clean and ready for use
- Toys used by a patient in isolation should be disinfected with a hospital-approved disinfectant before being returned to storage.
- Toys that cannot be cleaned should not be in the play areas.
- All small, hand-held toys should be cleaned daily
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