Pre op wash with chlorhexidine gluconate cloths (1364)

Key points below

Pre-op Wash 

Why do I need to wash my child before surgery? 

Carefully wipe your child the night before surgery with these pre-op cloths to help reduce the number of germs on your child’s skin. Skin with less germs means less infections after surgery. Your child will also be washed by the hospital staff just before going into surgery. Do not use these cloths if your child was born prematurely and is  less than 37 weeks corrected age, has an allergy or is sensitive to chlorhexidine, has burns, rashes, eczema, open wounds or dressings that cannot be removed. Your child should not shave any body hair before surgery as this can also increase the chance of infection.

How do I wash my child with the pre-op cloths?

1. Washing needs to be done on the night before surgery.
2. All jewelry must be removed.  This includes earrings, necklaces and bracelets.  It needs to be kept off until after the surgery.  Talk with the nurse if you are worried about taking any jewelry off for cultural or religious reasons.  
3. Clean and trim your child’s fingernails and toenails.  Remove any nail polish.
4. Wash your child first with regular soap and shampoo. Rinse and dry well.
5. Take the pre-op cloths and wipe them on the surgical area. Use all the cloths and wipe the area for 3 minutes.  Let the skin dry. Do not rinse the area with water unless a rash or redness starts. See the chart on the back of this page.
6. Do not use the cloths on the face, ears, eyes, nose, mouth or the private or genital area. If a cloth does touch these areas, rinse with lots of clean, warm water. The cloths may cause these areas to get red and irritated.  
7. Do not use any baby oil or lotions. These products may attract dirt to the skin.
8. Dress your child in clean, washed clothes or pajamas after using the cloths. 
9. Wash any comfort items such as a blanket or stuffed toy that may be coming along with your child to the hospital.
10. Do not flush the cloths down the toilet.  Throw them away in the trash. 

Do not use the cloths on the face, ears, eyes, nose, mouth or the private or genital areas. 

Surgery Type & What areas to scrub (shaded)

Hernia or groin





image of person 



Chest, heart or lung

Shunt and baclofen pump surgeries.


image of person 




Hip, leg, knee, ankle and foot.

Wash the side that is being done.

image of person 


Back surgery, fusion or tethered cord release.


image of person 

Upper Extremity Fracture

  • Wash the side that is being done – above and below the splint or cast.
  • Do not wash any open wound.
  • Do not take off splints or dressings.

Do not flush the cloths down the toilet.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or the clinic that scheduled the surgery if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:  

  • Cold or illness symptoms the night before or the morning of surgery.  This includes runny nose, fever, cough or rashes. 
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.