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Minnesota Department of Human Services Early Intensive Development and Behavioral Intervention Manual
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Health and safety standards

Page posted: 6/18/15

Page reviewed: 2/21/17

Page updated: 8/7/18


These health and safety standards provide guidelines for EIDBI provider agencies to help them safely and effectively provide EIDBI services. Health and safety standards apply in the following areas:

While EIDBI provider agencies are not legally required to follow these health and safety standards, DHS strongly recommends them as best practice. These standards are comparable to the requirements licensed settings must meet, as defined in Minn. Stat. §245D.06 and Minn. R. 9503.0140.

Physical space and equipment

If the EIDBI provider agency is located in an area of the state that:

  • • Adheres to the Minnesota State Building Code, it must comply with the standards specified in the code
  • • Does not adhere to the Minnesota State Building Code, it must comply with all applicable local building ordinances.
  • • In addition, it should follow these physical space and equipment standards.
  • Indoor and outdoor spaces

    All indoor and outdoor areas used by individuals should be clean and free from:

  • • Crumbling plaster
  • • Debris
  • • Holes in the walls, floors and ceilings
  • • Litter
  • • Loose, flaking, peeling or chipped paint and/or wallpaper.
  • All outdoor spaces used, if owned or leased by the provider agency, should be:

  • • Enclosed if adjacent to a body of water, railroads, traffic, machinery or other environmental hazards (this does not apply to public parks or playgrounds)
  • • Free of litter, toxic materials, water hazards, machinery, animal waste and sewage contaminants.
  • Hazardous areas and objects

    The following areas and objects should be inaccessible to people who receive services:

  • • Bodies of water (e.g., ponds, pools, lakes), unless staff are supervising directly
  • • Electrical outlets, exposed electrical cords and other electrical objects
  • • Hazardous objects (e.g., sharp objects, medicines, plastic bags, household supplies, poisonous plants and chemicals)
  • • Kitchens, stairs and other hazardous areas, unless staff are supervising directly
  • • Radiators, fireplaces, hot pipes and other hot surfaces.
  • Equipment, furniture and toys

    All equipment, furniture and toys at the provider agency should be:

  • • Cleaned and disinfected daily and when mouthed or soiled
  • • Durable and structurally stable (following assembly and installation)
  • • Free of sharp edges, dangerous protrusions, openings or angles that could crush or trap part of a child's body
  • • Kept in locations that are accessible to a person who receives services (unless this is contrary to his or her individual treatment plan)
  • • Lead-free
  • • Made of a material that can be cleaned and disinfected easily.
  • Rugs should have a non-skid backing or be firmly fastened to the floor. They should be free from tears, curled or frayed edges, and hazardous wrinkles.

    Environmental adaptations

    The provider agency should make reasonable environmental adaptations to meet the specific needs of each person who receives services.

    Personal storage space

    The provider agency should provide an accessible, separate, personal storage space for each person who receives services.

    Room temperature

    The provider agency should keep indoor areas used by people who receive services between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Emergency preparedness

    The provider agency should follow these emergency preparedness standards.


    All staff should be trained in emergency, accident and evacuation procedures.


    The provider agency should have the following equipment on-site:

  • • Battery-operated flashlight
  • • Battery operated portable radio
  • • Fire extinguisher and instructions for its use that are accessible to all staff
  • • First aid kit that contains sterile bandages, sterile compresses, scissors, an ice bag or cold pack, an oral or surface thermometer, and adhesive tape
  • • First aid kit and manual that is accessible to all staff
  • • Additional first aid kit and manual to take with people who receive services if they travel off-site
  • • Landline telephone that is accessible to all staff.
  • Fire and fire extinguisher inspection

    The provider agency should have a fire marshal inspection on file before it enrolls with MHCP as an EIDBI provider agency. If DHS has reasonable cause to believe a potential hazard exists, DHS may request another inspection and written report by a fire marshal, building official or health authority.

    A qualified inspector must service all fire extinguishers annually. The name of the inspector and date of the inspection should be written on a tag attached to the extinguisher.

    Emergency information

    The provider agency should identify and visibly post the following information on-site:

  • • A list of staff responsible for each area of the facility in case of an emergency
  • • Evacuation routes from the facility
  • • Instructions on how to close off a fire
  • • List of emergency numbers posted next to the telephone for: (1) emergency medical and dental care, (2) local fire department, (3) police department, (4) emergency transportation, (5) state health authority and (6) poison control center
  • • Primary and secondary exits from the facility
  • • Tornado shelter area
  • • Written emergency and accident procedures.
  • Food and water

    Most provider agencies require the person’s parent/ primary caregiver to provide meals, snacks and drinks (other than water) for him or her. If the provider agency, rather than the family, provides food for the person, the agency should meet the following food and water requirements.

    Menus and food preparation

    If the provider agency prepares and supplies food for people who receive services, it should ensure:

  • • Menus comply with the nutritional requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 7 C.F.R. §226.20
  • • Procedures for preparing, handling, and serving food, and washing food, utensils, and equipment comply with the requirements for food and beverage establishments in Minn. R. 4626.
  • If a food service provider other than the provider agency provides food, it should ensure that food is prepared in compliance with Minn. R. 4626.

    Dietary needs

    The person (or his or her parent/primary caregiver) determines his or her diet. If the person has special dietary needs identified by his or her medical provider or parent/primary caregiver and the provider agency provides food, the agency should serve food that meets the person’s needs. If the special dietary items are not part of the provider agency’s food menu, however, the agency can require the person or his or her legal guardian to provide them.

    The provider agency should:

  • • Document the person’s special dietary needs and the duration of those needs in his or her health record
  • • Inform all staff who provide services to the person of his or her special dietary needs.
  • Food allergy

    If the person has food allergies, the provider agency should:

  • • Inform all staff who provide services to the person of his or her food allergies
  • • Make information about his or her food allergies available in food preparation and serving areas.
  • Meals and snacks availability

    The provider agency should either provide the following for or ensure they are available to the person:

  • • One snack if he or she receives services at the agency for more than two hours but less than five hours
  • • Either one meal and two snacks, or two meals and one snack if he or she receives services at the agency for five or more hours.
  • An EIDBI staff member should sit with and oversee the person during meal and snack times.

    Food storage

    The provider agency should refrigerate all perishable foods, including food the person or his or her parent/primary caregiver supplies. The temperature of the refrigerator should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.


    The provider agency should:

  • • Use sanitary procedures to prepare, handle and store all food and drinks, and clean dishes and utensils provided to the person by the agency
  • • Wash surfaces used for meals (e.g., tables, highchair trays) with soap and water before and after each use.
  • Water

    The provider agency should:

  • • Have a safe water supply
  • • Have drinking water available to people who receive services throughout its hours of operation
  • • Offer drinking water to people who receive services at frequent intervals.
  • If a provider agency uses water from a privately owned well that is not governed by Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4720, it should have a Minnesota Department of Health-certified laboratory test the water for coliform bacteria and nitrates. The agency should keep the test results in its administrative record.


    The provider agency should follow these medical standards.


    The provider agency should have the following information in the health service record that is on file for each person:

  • • His or her physical and medical status
  • • Emergency contact.
  • This information should be:

  • • Available to staff
  • • Current when the person begins to receive EIDBI services (i.e., last updated no more than 12 months before his or her service start date) and updated annually thereafter.
  • Sickness

    If a person who receives services becomes sick at a provider agency, the agency should immediately:

  • • Notify the person’s parent/primary caregiver
  • • Provide a space for him or her as they wait for transportation home.
  • This space should:

  • • Be separate from areas used by other people who receive services
  • • Have a cot or bed, and a blanket for the sick person
  • • Be supervised by a staff member when a sick person is in there.
  • Reports

    If an incident occurs while a person is receiving services, the agency staff member who was responsible for the person at the time of the incident should complete a report. For more information, see the incident reports section on EIDBI – Health service records.

    Contagious disease or condition

    If a medical or dental provider diagnoses a person who receives services with any of the following diseases or conditions, the person’s parent/primary caregiver should inform the provider agency within 24 hours (not including weekends and holidays):

  • • A contagious, reportable disease specified in Minn. R. 4605.7040
  • • Chicken pox
  • • Impetigo
  • • Lice
  • • Ringworm
  • • Scabies.
  • The provider agency should include this requirement in its policies:

    When a person who receives services is diagnosed with one of these diseases or conditions, the provider agency should notify the:

  • • Legal guardians of all other people who receive services and were exposed to the disease or condition on the same day it receives notification from the sick person’s legal guardian
  • • Health authority within 24 hours from when it receives notification from the sick person’s legal guardian.
  • Medication

    If the provider agency administers either prescription or non-prescription medication to a person who receives services, it should:

  • • Have written permission from the person’s legal guardian
  • • Keep all medication in its original container
  • • Label each person’s medication with his or her name
  • • Only give a medication to the person whose name is on the label
  • • Follow written instructions from either the medication’s manufacturer or a medical provider who is legally authorized to prescribe medications (the person’s name and instructions on the label constitute instructions)
  • • Not administer a medication after the expiration date
  • • Store all medications according to the directions on the original container and in a place inaccessible to people who receive services
  • • Return unused portions to the person’s legal guardian or destroy them.
  • Examples of non-prescription medications that require a legal guardian’s permission to administer include:

  • • Diapering products
  • • Sunscreen lotions
  • • Insect repellents.
  • Each time prescribed medication is given to a person, the provider agency should document the following in the person’s health record:

  • • Person’s name
  • • Medication name or prescription number
  • • Date and time
  • • Dosage amount
  • • Name and signature of the staff member who dispensed it.
  • Toileting and sanitation

    The provider agency should provide:

  • • Toilet paper
  • • Liquid hand soap
  • • Facial tissues
  • • Single-use paper towels or warm air hand dryers
  • • Private toileting or diapering space for people who are school age and for younger children when the need for this adaptation is written in their ITP.
  • Toilets for toddlers and preschoolers

    To meet the needs of toddlers and preschoolers, the provider agency may use either a:

  • • Step stool and child-size toilet seat cover to access a regular-size toilet
  • • Child-size toilet
  • • Toilet training chair.
  • Specialized toiletry items

    If a person needs specialized toiletry items, his or her legal guardian should provide them. If he or she does provide specialized toiletry items, the provider agency should make instructions for using these items available to all staff who work with the person.

    Diaper changing

    The provider agency should change diapers in a diaper changing area or in the bathroom. The diaper changing area should:

  • • Be separate from areas used for food storage, food preparation and eating
  • • Have a hand sink with hot and cold running water within three feet of it
  • • Have a smooth, nonabsorbent surface and floor covering
  • • Have a sanitary container for soiled and wet diapers
  • • Include posted diaper changing procedures.
  • Hand washing

    Staff should monitor and assist a person who needs help with hand washing. A person should wash his or her hands or be assisted with washing his or her hands with soap and water:

  • • After his or her diaper is changed
  • • After he or she uses a toilet or toilet training chair
  • • Before he or she eats a meal or snack.
  • Staff should wash their hands with soap and water:

  • • After they change a child’s diaper
  • • After they assist a person with toileting or eating
  • • After they use toilet facilities
  • • Before they handle food, eat or assist a person with eating.
  • For additional resources and guidelines, reference:
  • Hand sinks and steps

    The provider agency should not use a common basin or hand sink filled with standing water.

    The provider agency should have hand sinks available in the toilet area. Hand sinks in the toilet area should not:

  • • Be used for custodial work or food preparation.
  • • Exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit for hot water temperature.
  • The provider agency may use sturdy and washable portable steps to meet toddlers and preschoolers’ hand washing needs.


    The provider agency should:

  • • Clean toilet facilities daily
  • • Empty, wash (with soap and water) and disinfect toilet training chairs after each use
  • • Wash (with soap and water) and disinfect toilets and toilet seats daily and whenever soiled.
  • Therapy animals

    If therapy animals or pets are permitted at the provider agency, the agency should notify people’s legal guardians that an animal is present.

    Additional resources

    EIDBI – Resources
    EIDBI – Rights and responsibilities

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