IC considerations for toys in the waiting room

By: February 24th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

It’s common for medical facilities to keep books and toys in the waiting room to entertain children who come in, but along with those books and toys come infection prevention considerations. Toys are problematic, mainly because children can’t resist the urge to stuff them in their mouth.

There are a variety of ways to deal with this issue, all of which revolve around building a policy and communicating that policy to staff members and patients.

The Infection Control Manual for the Physician’s Office addresses toys and magazines in the waiting room suggesting medical facilities should either avoid them all together, or only accept toys that can be wiped down or cleaned (so no stuffed animals). You could also consider giving toys to children individually as they come in the waiting room to take home with them.

William A. Rutala, Ph.D., M.P.H., an expert on disinfection and sterilization procedures at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care System and UNC at Chapel Hill, spoke at APIC’s 2009 conference with a special emphasis on pediatric issues.  Rutala also recommends toys that can be washed with soap and thoroughly rinsed with tap water, or cleaned with 70% alcohol wipes. Non-washable toys could be used by older children, but should be gas sterilized or discarded when soiled. You can also wash plastic or vinyl toys with cholorine bleach detergent in the dishwasher, on the hottest setting.

There is also some guidance from the National Guidance Clearinghouse, which is an initiative by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Number 21 of the guidelines states:

In facilities that provide health care to pediatric patients or have waiting areas with child play toys (e.g., obstetric/gynecology offices and clinics), establish policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting toys at regular intervals.

Use the following principles in developing this policy and procedures:

  • Select play toys that can be easily cleaned and disinfected
  • Do not permit use of stuffed furry toys if they will be shared
  • Clean and disinfect large stationary toys (e.g., climbing equipment) at least weekly and whenever visibly soiled
  • If toys are likely to be mouthed, rinse with water after disinfection; alternatively wash in a dishwasher
  • When a toy requires cleaning and disinfection, do so immediately or store in a designated labeled container separate from toys that are clean and ready for use

If you go to the Tools page on OSHA Healthcare Advisor there are two downloads that might help: the Sample Cleaning and Disinfection Schedule, and the Infection Control Survey for the Physician’s Office. Even if you are a larger medical facility or a hospital, these two documents might help you build your own policy or checklist.

Do you like this guidance? Libby will address similar common infection control issues in an April 21st Webcast, Infection Prevention Survey Strategies for ASCs: Comply with CMS’ Conditions for Coverage. Libby will team up with Dawn McLane, an AAAHC surveyor for ASC accreditation and Medicare certification to provide guidance on CMS requirements and common IC missteps. Stay tuned to OSHA Healthcare Advisor for links and more information.

Comments

By Virginia Hotchkiss on February 24th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

What exactly is the OSHA standard for washing of toys in the small office setting?

By Nancy McAlley on February 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

This was immensely helpful and the OSHA toolkit link was a big help as well.
Thank you

By Barbara Piskor on February 24th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Do you have any recommendations related to infection prevention/control for computer lap-top use and cleaning? Thank you.

By Libby Chinnes on February 24th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

As far as I am aware, there are no OSHA standards on disinfecting toys. Remember, OSHA is for the protection of employees, not really patients.

By Libby Chinnes on February 24th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Dr. Bill Rutala has a wonderful website which we have already mentioned: http://www.disinfectionandsterilization.org. If you will review his lecture which is available entitled, “Disinfection and Sterilization: Challenges in the XXI Century”, you will note that he discusses disinfection of computer keyboards among other things. He mentions a study publised in the 2006 volume of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology journal, volume 27, pg 372. In the study, computer keyboards were inoculated with strains of MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All tested disinfectants (3 quaternary ammonium compounds, 70% isopropyl alcohol, a phenolic, and chlorine-80 ppm)were 95% effective in removing &/or inactivating the tested pathogens. There was no functional or cosmetic damage after 300 wipes. He therefore notes that disinfectants are effective in removing/inactivating pathogens of nosocomial concern and recommends daily disinfection of keyboards for 5 seconds and when visibly soiled.

By Barbara Piskor on February 24th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Thank you. Very helpful.

By Kathleen JWalsh on September 18th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I need a schedule for sanitation etc. for toys in clinic lobbies.

I have checked your page and i have found some duplicate content, that’s why you don’t rank high in google’s search results,
but there is a tool that can help you to create 100% unique content, search for: Boorfe’s tips unlimited
content

I see you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks every month because you’ve got high
quality content. If you want to know how to make extra money, search for: Ercannou’s essential adsense
alternative

By Linnea Garcia on November 24th, 2020 at 8:01 am

Hello! I am Linnea Garcia, on behalf of Love Oribel would like to share some experience and review about Love Oribel. The baby products range from waiting room toys, tree top adventures, cocoon high chairs, marble run, activity centres etc.
Portaplay is a foldable baby activity center designed for toddlers from 4 months till strolling. It is intended to grow alongside your toddler to become a play table, which can be used until they are 5 years old. The fact that it goes from a toy to an activity center to a play table, adapting as your baby grows is one of a kind! It is portable and very compact.
Cocoon- The Complete high chair transforms from a comfortable recliner to an early feeding modern high chair. Not only does the high chair look like proper, actual furniture, but it also wipes down easily. It has height adjustment property and three reclining positions. The seat is waterproof and easy to clean and can easily be converted into a table with an additional table top insert.
Waiting room toys, tree top adventures, wall mounted toys are some of the ranges of vertiplay by Love Oribel. Oribel introduced toys that transform plain walls into an interactive experience. It’s easy to peel and stick these wall toys on any smooth wall. Your child can develop fine motor skills with the adventure toys filled with action, movement, and endless fun. And stem marble run is something that every parent would like to consider for their child’s overall development. The marble run helps to elate creativity and logical reasoning within your child and they become capable of problem-solving in this process.
On behalf of Love Oribel, I would like to say that I am definitely very much impressed with the range of products that Love Oribel offers and also would like to ask everyone to visit their website and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. You will surely love the fact that how their toys engage your child, but also help them to learn grow and develop as they play. Website: https://www.loveoribel.com/

Trackbacks

 

Leave a Comment

*

« | Home | »

Subscribe - Get blog updates via e-mail

  • test
  • HCPro Broadcast Events Calendar

hcpro.com