Getting Your Skin Ready for Surgery
(less than 22 pounds)
Your child needs to bathe with
chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) before
surgery to help prevent infection. Everyone
has germs on their skin. These germs do not
usually cause problems; however, surgery
can increase the chance of infection which is
why it is important to bathe with CHG the
night before surgery.
Depending on the type of surgery, your child
may get a CHG bath the night before
surgery. Your child will then get a CHG
bath the next day when they are at the
If your child is having surgery during your
hospital stay, the nursing staff will do a
CHG bath the night before and morning of
surgery. Your child may also receive a daily
bath with CHG while they are in the hospital
to help reduce the risk of infection.
If your child is coming from home for
surgery and has been instructed to bathe the
night before with CHG cloths, please follow
the directions below.
ξ Do not follow the instructions on the
back of the package.
ξ Do not put the CHG cloths in the
ξ Do not apply the cloths directly to
the face, head, or genital area.
ξ Do not use any other hair care
products except for shampoo.
ξ Do not rinse or wipe off the CHG
after using the cloths. It is normal
for the skin to feel sticky.
ξ Do not use lotion, makeup, or
ξ Do not shave or wax 3 days before
ξ Do not flush the CHG cloths down
ξ Do not use the CHG cloths if you are
How to Use the CHG cloths:
ξ The night before surgery, shower or
bathe your child as you normally
would with soap and water. Be sure
to use a clean wash cloth or new
sponge/loofa. Wash his/her hair with
shampoo only. Do not shave.
ξ Dry your child with a clean towel.
Let your child’s skin dry for about
60 minutes before using the cloths.
Be sure clean clothes are put on
during this time.
ξ Open CHG cloth package and
remove cloths, placing them on a
ξ Wipe your child’s skin as shown in
the picture. Use one wipe for each
area of skin as shown by the
numbers on the picture.
ξ It is important to wipe the skin folds
where the legs meet the body.
ξ Put on clean underwear and clothes.
Be sure that pillowcases, bedsheets,
security blankets and “lovies” are all
washed and clean.
*If you no longer have the CHG cloths, please use regular soap to bathe the night before.
Be sure to wash his/her hair with shampoo.
Tips for warming cloths at home:
ξ Do not microwave the cloths.
ξ While packages are still sealed, place in warm water
ξ While packages are still sealed, sit on the packages to warm
CHG Cloths Less than 22 pounds (10 kg)
Cloth 1 ξ neck
Cloth 2 ξ legs
ξ groin area (fold between legs and genitals but not including the
ξ buttocks (including the crease)
The Spanish Version of the this HFFY is #7957
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 2/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7945