Why is it important to disinfect the surfaces?1

  • It is extremely important to keep the environment of your child clean in order to maintain health and safety.
  • The immune system in childcare age is in the process of developing and children are therefore more susceptible to illnesses.
  • Unhygienic behaviour can result in stomach infection and other illnesses.
  • You can thoroughly clean the surfaces that your kids come in contact with and that pose a risk to your children as this can be the most important step in decreasing the number of germs on these products; thus restricting the spread of disease.
  • Such products include toys that children put in their mouths, cot rails, food utensils, cups and plates, and surfaces having chances of being contaminated with germs, e.g., nappy-changing areas and toilets.

Cleaning versus sanitising versus disinfection2

  • Cleaning: It helps in removing germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. In cleaning, soap (or detergent) and water are used together to physically remove germs from surfaces. You may not necessarily kill germs with this process, but by removing them, it reduces their numbers and the chances of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting: This process kills germs on surfaces or objects. It works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfection does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but this process by killing germs on a surface after cleaning can further decrease the risk of spreading infection.
  • Sanitising: This process reduces the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as suggested by public health standards or requirements. In this process, either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects is performed to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched frequently2

  • Typically, this comprises daily sanitisation of surfaces and objects such as countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, handles, phones and toys.


  1. Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for early childhood education centres[Internet]. Available at: https://www.midcentraldhb.govt.nz/HealthServices/PublicHealth/healthprotection/Documents/Cleaning%20Guidelines%20-%20MCH%202010.pdf. Accessed on Feb 17, 2020.
  2. How To Clean and Disinfect Schools To Help Slow the Spread of Flu[Internet]. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm. Accessed on Feb 17, 2020.