All pacifiers used by children participating in Early Head Start (HSOLC)will be handled and stored to prevent transmission of infectious disease, reduce child’s exposure to bacteria and to prevent dental and orthodontic problems.


  1. The pacifier will be labeled with the child’s name with permanent marker before being used by the child at the center.
  2. Individual containers, such as rubber maid plastic containers with lids, will be used for storage of each child’s pacifier. Containers must also be labeled with the child’s name. Pacifiers will not be stored in plastic bags as the dampness encourages fungal growth. Containers will be sanitized weekly in sanitizing dishwasher and when soiled.
  3. Pacifiers must be run through the sanitizer before each use or when becoming contaminated. Staff should encourage parents to bring more than one pacifier because of the frequency of pacifiers dropping out of the child’s mouth.
  4. Staff will regularly inspect pacifiers for deterioration including holes, frayed edges or tears. Parent will be notified when worn or damaged pacifiers need to be replaced.
  5. Pacifiers will not be attached to the child by string, ribbon or pacifier clips due to the risk of strangulation and/or entanglement.
  6. Staff and parents will develop a plan together to wean child from the pacifier when developmentally appropriate.
  7. Staff will work with family to get recommendations from oral health professionals about whether child’s pacifier use may be contributing to any dental or orthodontic problems.

Performance Standards: 1302.47

Childcare Licensing rules: 414-300-0180 (5)(b), 414-300-0300
Policy Council approved: May 2010

REVIEWED: July 2023

UPDATED: August 2023