Preventing the Spread of Germs During Toileting

Cleaning supplies

Learning to use the toilet is an exciting process for young children. Child care providers can make toilet learning smoother and prevent the spread of germs from one child to another by remembering these basic toilet learning “dos.”

  • Consider a potty attachment instead of a potty chair. A potty attachment has a smaller seat that snaps on to the regular toilet. Attachments are more sanitary than potty chairs. Remove urine deflectors because they can cut the child.
  • Clean and disinfect potty chairs. If you choose to use a potty chair you must empty the chair, clean thoroughly and disinfect after each use. Clean the entire chair with a spray bottle of soap and water, wipe clean with paper towels, and then spray with a solution of bleach water to disinfect the chair.
  • Keep supplies handy. Have all supplies needed in the bathroom with you — clean diapers or pull-ups, wipes, gloves, and clean clothing.
  • Assist the children as needed. Children often need help removing diapers or pull-ups, getting on the seat, getting toilet paper, wiping, and getting off the seat. Gloves are recommended when assisting children with wiping. Your help in removing pull-up diapers may help to keep things clean.
  • Use a “hands free” plastic-lined trash container. You may need the trash can for soiled diapers or pull-ups, wipes and gloves. Show children how to use this type of trash container as well. Using a trash container with a foot pedal reduces the chance of spreading germs from the container to your hands.
  • Wash hands. Use a step-stool or other equipment so children can wash their hands in the sink. Help as needed. Wash your own hands immediately after helping a child with toileting, even if they don’t seem dirty.

For More Information

To learn more about toileting in child care, check out the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles: