Bathing your child with antibacterial cloths containing chlorhexidine gluconate before a procedure can help prevent infections. These cloths are also called “CHG wipes.” The main ingredient, CHG, can lower the number of germs that normally live on the skin. This lowers the chance of infection during and after a procedure.
Do not use CHG cloths if your child:
- Is younger than 2 months old.
- Was premature (born too early) – Until 2 months after the original due date for delivery.
- Is allergic to chlorhexidine gluconate.
- Has severe skin breakdown or a rash, burn, or graft vs. host disease (GVHD).
- Is having radiation therapy.
- Is getting the chemotherapy drug Thiotepa.
Tips for using CHG cloths
- Use the CHG cloths instead of a bath or shower. If your child prefers a bath or shower, use the CHG cloths one (1) hour later.
- Use cloths on your child’s skin from the neck down. Use regular soap and shampoo on the face and head.
- Your child’s skin might feel sticky or tacky for one (1) or 2 minutes after you use CHG wipes. This is caused by a moisturizer in the cloths that helps keep your child’s skin from drying out. It might take extra time for the skin to dry in skin folds and creases. For example, it might take longer to dry behind the knees, under the arms, and other areas where skin touches other skin areas.
- Do not rinse your child’s skin after using CHG cloths. The CHG needs to stay on your child’s skin to keep killing germs. Also, do not put any lotions, creams, moisturizers, or deodorant on your child after using CHG cloths.
- Be sure to throw the cloths in the trash after use. Do not flush the cloths.
- The cloths can stain the bed linen and towels.
How to give your child a bath with CHG cloths
Before you give your child a CHG bath, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Then open the cloths package. Follow the steps below, depending on how many cloths you have.
Use both sides of the cloth. Wipe your child’s skin for about 20 seconds per cloth, in a circle or with a back and forth motion.
If you have 2 cloths (child is less than 20 pounds), use:
- Cloth 1: For your child’s chest, neck, both arms, and back.
- Cloth 2: For both legs, buttocks, and the diaper area.
The picture above shows how to bathe your child if you have 2 of the CHG cloths. Follow the steps above.
If you have 4 cloths (child is 20–60 pounds), use:
- Cloth 1: For your child’s back, chest, and neck.
- Cloth 2: For both arms.
- Cloth 3: For both legs.
- Cloth 4: For the buttocks and diaper area.
The picture above shows how to bathe your child if you have 4 of the CHG cloths. Follow the steps above.
If you have 6 cloths (child is more than 60 pounds), use:
- Cloth 1: For your child’s chest, shoulders, and neck.
- Cloth 2: For armpits, arms, and hands.
- Cloth 3: For the belly area, lower belly, and diaper area.
- Cloth 4: For the right leg and foot.
- Cloth 5: For the left leg and foot.
- Cloth 6: For the back and buttocks.
The picture above shows how to bathe your child if you have 6 of the CHG cloths. Follow the steps above.
If you have questions or concerns about giving your child a bath with CHG wipes, talk to your child’s nurse.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
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