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Guidelines for Evacuation Center Play Areas

These simple precautions can help keep children in evacuation centers safe from infections.

  • Children with symptoms of contagious diseases, such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cough, draining skin sores, should not be allowed in common play areas until they are no longer considered infectious, per the pediatrician on site.
  • Children and parents should wash their hands with soap and water or clean their hands with antiseptic hand gel before entering and when leaving the common play area.
  • Toys used in play areas should be made of smooth solid surfaces that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. Avoid toys with small pieces and crevices and those made of fabric or fur.
  • Donations of stuffed animals or other toys that can not be cleaned and disinfected should be accepted only if they are new and then should be distributed to individual children to keep and not kept in common play areas to be shared.
  • Toys should be cleaned and disinfected at least three times a day. In addition, they should be cleaned immediate if they are soiled with vomit, stool, or other body fluids.

How to Clean and Disinfect Toys

  • Clean off visible dirt with soap and water.
  • Spray the toys with disinfectant and allow the disinfectant to remain in contact the toy for one minute and then wipe off.
  • Toys that are likely to be mouthed by infants and toddlers should be rinsed with clean tap water after they are disinfected.

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