Bloodborne Pathogen Transmission in Daycares

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that can cause disease. They include viruses, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), and bacteria, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

If you are infected with one of these pathogens, your blood carries the infection. If another person gets infected by coming into contact with your blood through open cuts or sores on their skin or eyes, they could become sick too.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent yourself from getting infected--and passing on the disease--when working with children in childcare settings. The first step is knowing what bloodborne pathogens look like so that you can avoid them when caring for kids at home or in school environments!

The Need for a Universal Precautions Policy

Universal precautions are the standard of care for preventing bloodborne pathogen transmission in healthcare settings. They include:

  • Hand hygiene before providing patient care and after contact with body fluids or materials that may contain blood (e.g., vomit).
  • Wearing gloves when performing tasks that involve contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
  • Using barriers such as face masks, surgical gowns, and/or protective eyewear when splashing or spraying potentially infectious material is likely to occur during procedures involving high-risk patients such as those who are immunocompromised or undergoing surgery.

Implementing and Adhering To a Universal Precautions Policy

Implementing and adhering to a universal precautions policy is the first step in preventing bloodborne pathogen prevention. A universal precautions policy is an internal document that outlines what actions staff should take when working with children who have come into contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. This includes:

  • Establishing a checklist for staff to follow when interacting with children
  • Training staff on the policy and making sure they understand its importance
  • Making sure staff know how to respond if they break the policy (e.g., tips for hand hygiene)

Staff should also be trained on risk reduction methods such as practicing good hand hygiene and sneezing etiquette, using personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning surfaces contaminated by blood using bleach solutions, etcetera.

Protecting Yourself and Your Children

  • Cover all cuts and abrasions.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after contact with blood or body fluids, before eating and drinking, after using the restroom, and when changing diapers. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available (or convenient).
  • Avoid contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), unless you are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, or masks as appropriate to the task being performed at that time.
  • This includes avoiding kissing children on the mouth while they're sick! It's also important not to share food utensils with anyone else while caring for a child who has been diagnosed with hepatitis B infection because doing so may result in transmission of this virus between adults who have never received vaccination against it; therefore it's important for staff members working closely together over long periods of time during an outbreak situation such as this one should consider getting vaccinated against hepatitis B before starting their job duties again once an outbreak has been contained by staff members trained specifically for such purposes.

Responding to Illnesses and Injuries in the Childcare Setting

The following are guidelines for responding to illnesses and injuries in the childcare setting:

  • Promptly clean and disinfect the area.
  • Keep the child away from other children until it's determined that they won't be infectious.
  • Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
  • Call the child's parents immediately after you've cleaned up any blood or body fluids, even if they weren't exposed to them themselves (for example, if they were in another room). Informing them of what happened is important because parents need to know if their child has been exposed to bloodborne pathogens so they can seek medical attention if needed later on down the line when symptoms show up--and also because it will help ease their minds about what happened during this incident!


  • Vaccinations are important for children.
  • Children are at a higher risk for bloodborne pathogens because they are more likely to be injured and more likely to have cuts and scrapes.
  • Vaccines can protect children from bloodborne pathogens.
  • Vaccines are safe and effective, but they aren't mandatory in all states or countries--it's up to you whether or not your child gets vaccinated against hepatitis B (HBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as well as any other vaccinations recommended by his or her doctor based on age and health history.
  • Children's vaccinations help prevent disease outbreaks by preventing the spread of dangerous diseases like measles.

When you follow these steps, you can help protect your children and yourself from bloodborne pathogens.

When you follow these steps, you can help protect your children and yourself from bloodborne pathogens.

What are bloodborne pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens are germs that live in human blood and can be passed from one person to another through contact with infected blood or other body fluids. These germs include:

  • Hepatitis B (HBV) virus, which causes hepatitis B disease; is an inflammation of your liver that may lead to lifelong illness if left untreated
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); a condition where your body's immune system becomes weak enough to allow certain infections or cancers to develop

How do they spread? Bloodborne infections can be spread when infected fluid gets into another person's bloodstream through broken skin or mucous membranes such as those found inside the mouth, nose, or eyes.

The most common way this happens is through needles contaminated with infected fluid.

You can also get infected by being bitten by someone who has an open wound contaminated with infected fluid.

Other ways include sharing sharp objects like razors or toothbrushes used by an infected person; getting splashed in the eye with contaminated liquid; receiving dental treatment from someone who has not properly sterilized equipment before using it on you; kissing someone who has bleeding gums caused by gum disease (periodontal disease), which could mean they have an active infection in their mouth.

In some cases people don't know they have been exposed until weeks later when symptoms appear such as feverishness/chills followed by joint pain similar to arthritis symptoms along with painful swelling around lymph nodes closest to where infection occurred.


If you want to keep your children safe, it's important to follow these steps. You can also help protect yourself by getting vaccinated and learning how to respond if someone gets sick or injured in your care center.

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