Cleanliness and Safety Rules


Parents and childcare providers should set good examples by washing their hands frequently and encouraging children to do the same.

How to wash hands to make them clean:

  • Rub hands together for about half a minute
  • Wash hands thoroughly. Be sure the soap suds get in between fingers and around finger nails
  • Rinse the suds off your hands with warm water
  • Finally, dry hands completely on clean paper towels or your own personal towel. Cloth towels that others have used may spread illness.

When should hands be washed?

  • BEFORE preparing and eating food
  • AFTER handling raw meat, fish, poultry or eggs
  • AFTER touching pets
  • AFTER playing in dirt or sand or with shared toys
  • AFTER using the bathroom, changing a baby, or helping a child use the bathroom
  • AFTER blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing on your hands
  • AFTER touching a cut or open sore


  • Make sure you have adequate adult supervision, both for children involved in the cooking/cleanup process and for children who are playing elsewhere.
  • Make sure all cooking equipment is unbreakable.
  • Check floor area, especially the table where children are washing and rinsing dishes and utensils, to make sure it doesn't get slippery.
  • Use electrical appliances with care. Set fry pans, blenders, hot plates, and waffle iron safely out of children's reach. (Unplug them when not in use.) Be sure children are seated and aware of possible dangers.
  • Have only adults use ovens and stoves.
  • Be firm about asking children to sit when they use knives, peelers, graters, or other sharp utensils, and when the oven is open.
  • Hold the pan yourself. Children can remove items from pans using a spatula, but remind them that it is very hot. Have plenty of pot holders and/or trivets on hand.

Taken from"Healthy Heart Snack Choices," a facts sheet from the Cornell Cooperative Extension; Cornell University, Plainview, New York