Middleborough Public Schools
Universal precautions refer to the usual and ordinary steps
all school staff need to take in order to reduce their risk of infection with
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as all other blood-borne organisms
(such as the Hepatitis B virus).
They are universal because they refer to steps that need to
be taken in all cases, not only when a staff member or student is known to be
They are precautions because they require foresight and
planning, and should be integrated into existing safety guidelines.
Appropriate equipment (mops, buckets, bleach, not water,
hand soap, disposable towels and latex gloves) must be readily available to
staff members who are responsible for the clean-up of body fluid spills.
human blood spills with caution.
up blood spills promptly.
the intactness of skin on all exposed body parts, especially the hands.
Cover any and all open cuts or broken skin, or ask another staff member to
do the clean-up. Latex gloves contribute an added measure of protection, but
are not essential if skin is intact.
up blood spills with a solution of one part household bleach to ten parts
water, pouring the solution around the periphery of the spill. Disinfect
mops, buckets and other cleaning equipment with fresh bleach solution.
wash hands after any contact with body fluids. This should be done
immediately in order to avoid contaminating other surfaces or parts of the
body (be especially careful not to touch your eyes before washing up). Soap
and water will kill HIV.
up other body fluid spills (urine, vomitus, feces), unless grossly blood
contaminated, in the usual manner. They do not pose a significant risk of
Adapted from Universal Precautions for School Settings, Massachusetts
Department of Education and Medical Update to Massachusetts Policy
Guidelines: Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers with HIV Infection/AIDS in Early
Childhood Settings (June, 1989).