The following is an archived post
From the classroom to the locker room, from the restroom to the water fountain, and from the cafeteria to the library, schools can be a breeding ground for germs. Schools are also places where many people are close together for periods of time. This means that it’s easier to spread germs and get sick.
One of the most effective (and simplest!) ways to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands—which is a fact many of us are aware of by now. In fact, in a study of 305 school children, it was found that those who washed their hands four times a day had 24% fewer sick days due to respiratory illness and 51% fewer days due to upset stomach.
But even though we are aware that it’s important, the basics in hand washing are often lacking. Did you know that most students don’t clean their hands often or well enough? In another study, only 58% of female and 48% of male middle and high school students washed their hands after using the bathroom. Of these, only 33% of the females and 8% of the males used soap. Yuck! You can imagine what might happen when students who don’t clean their hands properly touch surfaces around the school or even their own faces, especially the nose and mouth! That’s right—people get sick! They might catch a cold, the flu, or a stomach virus.
To wash hands properly, wet hands with warm, clean running water and get a nice, soapy lather going. Rub soapy hands together for 20 seconds (about the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), before rinsing and drying well. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the bathroom door.
So, remember to wash your hands:
– Before eating food
– After going to the bathroom
– After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
– After handling garbage
– Before and after treating a cut or wound
What about hand sanitizer?
While it is best to wash your hands with soap and water, you may not always be able to. In these cases, a good option is using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Apply sanitizer to the palm of one hand and rub hands together until hands are dry. Make sure the product covers all surfaces of hands and fingers.