1 Keep parents informed. Give parents written health guidelines during orientation so they can understand school policies on keeping sick or infectious children home and when they can return.

2 Wash hands properly with liquid soap and warm water. This process is the most important measure to help control the spread of communicable diseases. Children need to practice hand washing whenever they: arrive at school; before touching food and utensils; after toileting; after sneezing, coughing or blowing a nose; after playing with pets; and after playing outdoors or gardening.

3 Demonstrate simple coughing methods. Show children how they can cough into their shoulders rather than their hands. This keeps germs from their hands.

4 Show nose-blowing techniques. To keep germs out of the air, show children how to blow a nose by gathering a tissue, placing it over the nose, pressing it against one nostril, then gently blowing. Instruct children to dispose of the wet tissue properly in a wastebasket and then wash their hands.

5 Prevent germ sharing. Although children love to exchange things with friends, germs can pass quickly when cups of juice are shared at lunch and stuffed animals are "mouthed" at naptime. When children set the table, show them how to handle the glasses at the sides and silverware by the handles.

6 Clean equipment and toys. Empty water tables daily and sanitize. Have a bucket ready to collect mouthed toys, wash with soap and water daily, rinse with diluted bleach solution, and air dry.

7 Develop healthy habits. To maintain a strong immune system that wards off germs, stress to children that they need to exercise, get enough sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and bathe regularly.

8 Open up your environment. Reduce germs by providing well-ventilated rooms. Open doors and windows with screens to provide fresh air.

9 Re-examine room arrangements. Arrange mats, cots, or cribs head to foot to discourage crowding and spreading of unhealthy organisms. Provide individual cubbies to store personal items (blankets, hats) to reduce cross-infections.

10 Disinfect surfaces. Each day, mix 1/4 cup of bleach and one gallon of water to make a disinfectant solution. Store it in labeled spray bottles out of children's reach. Sanitize changing tables after each diapering. Disinfect tables after snacks and meals.