Universal precautions in early intervention and child care

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Many caregivers do not understand universal precautions, or they confess that they apply the principles and perhaps misuse them—as in the frequent use of gloves—when they know a particular child has human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is useful, periodically, to review the basic tenets of common sense infection control: prevent contact by avoiding persons, behaviors, and situations that are likely to spread germs; create barriers, that is, put something between yourself and the source of infection that germs cannot penetrate; kill germs with friction, heat, or chemicals. Universal precautions extend beyond the careful handling of children's excretions and secretions and apply these principles to include all blood.

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