Subchapter R. Minimum Standard Rule Revisions that May Affect Compliance


The content of these two rules has been incorporated into the new definition of sanitize, which is outlined in 746.123 What do certain words and terms mean when used in this chapter?.

746.3409 What does Licensing mean when it refers to "sanitizing".

This rule was repealed. The definition for "sanitizing" has been incorporated into the new definition for "sanitize" in Subchapter A, 746.123.

746.3411 What is a disinfecting solution?

This rule was repealed. The definition for "disinfecting solution" has been incorporated into the new definition for "sanitize" in Subchapter A, 746.123.


How does this affect my operation?

Your operation is now required to meet the definition of "sanitize" for each minimum standard rule that specifies a requirement to "sanitize". Currently, there are approximately 10 rules with requirements to sanitize. For each of these rules, you must ensure you are sanitizing according to the new definition of "sanitize".

The New Definition for "Sanitize"

The use of a product (usually a disinfecting solution) that is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which substantially reduces germs on inanimate objects to levels considered safe by public health requirements. Many bleach and hydrogen peroxide products are EPA-registered. You must follow the product's labeling instructions for sanitizing (paying particular attention to any instructions regarding contact time and toxicity on surfaces likely to be mouthed by children, such as toys and crib rails). For an EPA-registered sanitizing product or disinfecting solution that does not include labelling instructions for sanitizing (a bleach product, for example), you must follow these steps in order:

(A) Washing with water and soap;

(B) Rinsing with clear water;

(C) Soaking in or spraying on a disinfecting solution for at least two minutes. Rinsing with cool water only those items that children are likely to place in their mouths; and

(D) Allowing the surface or item to air-dry.


What is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing?

Clean - remove dirt and debris by scrubbing and washing with a detergent solution and rinsing with water. The friction of cleaning removes most germs and exposes any remaining germs to the effects of a sanitizer or disinfectant used later.

Sanitize - To reduce germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations.

Disinfect - To destroy or inactivate most germs on any inanimate object, but not bacterial spores.

Technical Assistance: Visit Caring for our Children (CFOC) for additional information and resources about safely cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting in child care settings.


EPA Registration Number

How do I meet the definition for "Sanitize"?

1. Ensure the product you are using to sanitize is EPA registered.

The top left image shows the general location of the EPA registration number on a product label.

Technical Assistance: If you do not see an EPA registration number on your product, you can search the EPA Pesticide Product and Label System using product information you know. The search will provide results for products that are EPA registered. The search also provides product instructions for registered products, which may be helpful to post in classrooms or print for individuals who may have difficulty reading the label's small print.


2. Follow your product's instructions for sanitizing.

Pay special attention to the contact time specified for sanitizing the particular surface or item. The bottom left image shows a product label that specifies instructions to disinfect as well as instructions to sanitize. The definition requires you to sanitize.


Contact Time (or Dwell TIme) - The length of time the cleaning label states that the product must remain wet on a surface in order to achieve efficacy. This time is determined through laboratory testing, the results of which are reviewed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.


What if my product only has instructions for "disinfecting" and does not have instructions for sanitizing?

If the item only includes instructions for disinfecting you can choose to follow the label instructions or use the product as part of the 4 steps (A-D) for sanitizing outlined in the definition.

Sanitize Label Instructions


746.3415 When must employees wash their hands?

This rule has been amended to specify that employees must wash their hands after using and removing disposable gloves.

746.3419 How must children and employees wash their hands?

This rule has been amended to delete the statement that pre-moistened towelettes, wipes, and waterless hand cleaners are not substitutes for running water.

746.3420 May I use hand sanitizer as a substitute for washing hands?

This new rule has been added to specify conditions in which hand sanitizer may or may not be used as a substitute for washing hands. These conditions include:

• not using hand sanitizer as a substitute for washing visibly dirty hands;

• only using hand sanitizer on children 24 months and older;

• storing hand sanitizer out of the reach of children;

• following the hand sanitizer's labeling instructions; and

• only using hand sanitizers with adult supervision.

Hand Sanitizer


alternative accessible content Select the situations that represent appropriate reasons for substituting hand sanitizer for hand washing. Click the check mark at the bottom to check your answers.
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Diaper Cream

746.3501 What steps must caregivers follow for diaper changing?

This rule has been amended to allow the use of creams, ointments or lotions only after obtaining written consent from the infant's parents. However, if a parent supplies these items, consent is implicit and you do not need to obtain permission for each use.

746.3503 What equipment must I have for diaper changing?

This rule has been amended to specify that to prevent a child from falling from a diaper changing surface that is above the floor level, the caregiver's hand must remain on the child or the caregiver must be facing the child and remain within arm's length of the child at all times.

An infant can fall from a changing table in seconds. One parent shares video of how this happened to her.


Technical Assistance: The caregiver changing the child should carefully prepare by gathering all necessary supplies to avoid having to turn around or step away from the changing table.


Choose the answer options that represent acceptable uses of ointments, creams and lotions.

[mark all correct answers]



746.3601 What type of illness would prohibit a child from attending the child-care center?

This rule has been amended to replace the rectal temperature as a measurement to determine whether a child can be admitted to care with the tympanic (ear) temperature. Obtaining rectal temperatures will no longer be considered an acceptable practice.

746.3606 When may an ill child return to my child-care center?

This new rule has been added to specify that an ill child may return to the child-care center when:

• the child is free of illness symptoms for 24 hours; or

• there is a health-care professional's statement that the child no longer has the excludable disease or condition.

746.3607 How should caregivers respond to critical illness or injury?

This rule has been amended to change the order of a caregiver's response to a critical illness or injury by requiring contact of the child's parent before contacting the physician indicated in the child's admission records.

Sick Child

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