Did you know?
The Centers for Disease control and prevention (CDC) reports that addressing the spread of germs in schools is essential to the health of our youth and our schools. "The most important thing that you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands," according to the CDC's official statement on hand washing.
Many studies document hand washing's impact on student and staff attendance: school-wide hand washing programs reduce absenteeism
The first-ever Global Hand washing Day, launched in October 2008, revolved around schools and children, as children suffer disproportionately from diarrhoea and respiratory diseases and deaths. According to WHO, diarrhoea kills almost 2 million children worldwide every year. In the UK, infections that cause diarrhoea, vomiting, common colds and flu are responsible for the loss of thousands of school days each year. Hand hygiene is the single most important way of reducing infection and preventing its spread.
Schools have an important role to play in teaching and encouraging hand washing from an early age. Hand washing habits learnt at school can last a lifetime.
Washing hands after using the toilet and before eating, along with thorough and regular cleaning of surfaces that harbour germs from faeces, colds and flu (door handles, taps and toilet flush handles are particular hot spots for harbouring germs), are important measures for reducing sickness rates for all schools.
The Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) monitoring of infections over recent weeks suggests that cases of the winter vomiting bug (norovirus) are rising. The virus is the most common cause of gastrointestinal disease in the UK with peak activity in terms of numbers of cases and outbreaks during the winter months, from October to March. It has been estimated that between 600,000 and a million people in the UK are affected each year.
Global Handwashing Day spotlights the important issue in the year that the UN General Assembly has designated the International Year of Sanitation to promote improved hygiene practices and draw attention to the world’s enormous sanitation challenges.
Naturally, we would all assume the hand washing is a simple thing to understand and we all (as adults) know exactly how to wash our hands – don’t we? A simple exercise by using a hand inspection cabinet and the GlitterBug lotion demonstrates a very different story. Most of us are very surprised to see under UV light just how much we have missed and how much potential areas of cross-contamination we still carry.
For many years now, DaRo UV Systems have been a major provider and manufacturer of hand washing training equipment and products. The easy to use equipment is invaluable to teaching staff and infection control staff to show just how to wash hands correctly and with the children’s packs, just how much fun it is to learn
Many schools have established hand washing projects which incorporate music, Art (poster campaigns etc), Media, Student outreach (where older students teach the younger students)Hand Washing Project Ideas for Students