Safety Practices to Avoid Bloodborne Pathogens in Schools

The health and safety of students is of the utmost importance, but it can be hard to keep kids safe when they're in a place where they might be exposed to bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. That's why it's important for schools to follow certain guidelines for avoiding these diseases:

Don't share needles, pens, or other sharps.

  • Dispose of needles, pens, and other sharps immediately after use.
  • Never reuse a needle or pen that has been used on someone else.
  • Never share your personal protective equipment (PPE) with others.
  • Do not place used sharps in a sanitary container for disposal by school staff; this can cause injury to people who may handle the container later on. Instead, place them in a puncture-resistant container designed for disposal of contaminated materials such as biological waste and dispose of them according to local regulations.
  • If you have an open cut or wound on your hand: - Cover it with dressing material like gauze; then tape down securely over the dressing material so that no blood will get onto your hands during work activities.
  • If there is broken glass present: Keep away from any sharp edges by using cardboard boxes to pick up broken pieces if possible; otherwise wear heavy-duty gloves when handling broken glass pieces.
  • If there are needles present: Wear heavy-duty gloves while cleaning up any area where they might be located

Wear gloves when necessary.

When you are working with blood or other potentially infectious materials, you should wear gloves. You should also use gloves when using needles or other sharp instruments.

When cleaning up blood spills, applying first aid, and handling bodily fluids in schools, you can help keep your students safe from bloodborne pathogens by following these guidelines:

  • Wearing disposable plastic gloves when necessary (i.e., when working with blood/OPIM) is an important safety practice that reduces the risk of exposure to HBV/HCV/HIV during activities such as administering medications; drawing blood; caring for patients who have cuts or sores on their hands; cleaning up bodily fluid spills; applying first aid techniques such as taping gauze pads over cuts and scrapes on the skin surface where there may be bleeding; changing bandages on wounds caused by sharp objects such as knives etcetera...

Clean up spills immediately.

Spills should be cleaned immediately, using a paper towel or wet wipe. If the spill involves blood, disinfectant may be required to prevent further contamination. Do not use bare hands to clean up a bloodborne pathogen spill; wear disposable gloves if available. Disinfectants should be used in accordance with manufacturer instructions and disposed of properly after use (e.g., into a trash receptacle). Any bandages soaked with blood must be changed immediately and discarded appropriately (e/g., in a biohazard bag).

Avoid unnecessary cuts and scratches.

  • Avoid unnecessary cuts and scratches.
  • If you are injured, treat it immediately.
  • If you are not sure if an injury is serious, seek medical attention.
  • Do not throw away band-aids or other potential contamination materials until they have been decontaminated by the appropriate method (described below).

If you use a band-aid, remove it and shower as soon as possible before going home from school so that your family members do not become exposed to any bloodborne pathogens on your skin or clothing during time spent together at home later that day/evening/night!

Use approved waste receptacles and containers for blood spills.

It is important that you use approved waste receptacles and containers for blood spills. The best way to contain a spill is with a designated biohazard bag. Place the bag in a sharps container, following your school's policy on disposal of such containers. Use only needles that are approved for the school setting; avoid using needles with multiple-use syringes because they cannot be properly disinfected or sterilized between uses, increasing risks of infection transmission among students and staff members who come into contact with them. Ask if anyone in the school has personal sharps containers available; dispose of personal sharps only in a designated sharps container and not with regular trash.

Shower after using a band-aid or applying first aid.

  • After applying first aid, it is important to wash your hands.
  • When washing your hands, use soap and water in the following manner:
  • Wet your hands with warm water.
  • Apply a small amount of liquid hand cleaner or antibacterial soap onto one palm at a time, then rub vigorously together for 20 seconds. 
  • Rinse well under running water (for at least 15 seconds), making sure all traces of any cleansers have been removed from both sides of each hand (and between fingers) before drying thoroughly with paper towels or an air dryer.

Wash hands thoroughly before eating or drinking.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before eating or drinking.
  • Wash your hands before and after preparing food.
  • Wash your hands before and after treating wounds, even if you are wearing gloves. We recommend that healthcare providers wash their hands immediately after removing gloves, as well as prior to putting them back on again. If you're treating a patient who has an open wound, it's important to make sure that both you and the patient have clean hands before touching any exposed areas of skin--so make sure to wash up!

If you follow these guidelines, you can help keep your students safe from bloodborne pathogens in the school setting.

Bloodborne pathogens are viruses and bacteria that can be spread through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluids. If you follow these guidelines, you can help keep your students safe from bloodborne pathogens in the school setting.

  • Always wash your hands after touching blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
  • Use gloves when handling any object that could come into contact with blood or OPIM--for example, a needle or torn piece of paper towel used to wipe up blood from a cut on someone's finger. Gloves must be changed whenever they become contaminated or torn during use so as not to spread the infection further than necessary.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before eating lunch or dinner.
  • Don't touch your face without first washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water for 20 seconds at least once per hour while working around OPIMs.
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill with colds/flu/fever etc., especially children under five years old because they have weaker immune systems than older children/adults


The most important thing to remember is that it's not just about you. You have a responsibility to keep your students safe from bloodborne pathogens and other health risks, so be sure that you follow these guidelines and take care of yourself. The last thing anyone wants is for something bad to happen because you didn't follow through on what was supposed to be routine safety practices!


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