Decontamination

Decontamination Resources

Because of their unique anatomical, physiological and developmental characteristics, children need special considerations during decontamination including:

  • Warm water (between 98°F - 110°F or 36.6° C - 43.3° C) to prevent hypothermia
  • Low pressure/high volume
  • Soft bristle brushes
  • Safe method of transport through the decon shower without being carried (to prevent injury risk)
  • Process to keep families together

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The Decontamination of Children: Preparedness and Response for Hospital Emergency Departments video.

Note: Current recommended practice when decontaminating children is to never carry or hold infants/small children during the showering process due to the potential injury risk. Children will be slippery and squirmy when wet and could easily be dropped if carried in the decon shower. Although the AHRQ training video does show the decon team holding and carrying infants through the shower, Illinois EMS for Children does not endorse or encourage this practice.

Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC
Pediatric Decontamination Checklist
This checklist is designed to assist with decontamination planning and response to ensure the needs of children are met prior to, during, and after undergoing decontamination. Click here to access this checklist in a fillable format.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Patient Decontamination in a Mass Chemical Exposure Incident: National Planning Guidance for Communities
This document provides recommendations for first responders dealing with mass chemical exposure incidents, including special considerations for the unique needs of infants, children and pregnant women.