Do you know positive hand hygiene helps reduce the nursery absence?

Children's hand hygiene

Children’s hand hygiene

Washing hands seems to be a trivial thing in life, but maintaining hand hygiene is an important and cost-effective measure to prevent and control the spread of pathogens through contact. For some special groups, such as medical workers, infants, the elderly, and food production and processing practitioners, they should pay special attention to hand hygiene, master the knowledge and skills of hand hygiene, and ensure the effect of hand hygiene.

In particular, nursery institutions have a high concentration of personnel, close contact, shared facilities and utensils, coupled with the fact that young children’s physical functions are not fully developed, their self-care ability has not yet been fully established, their physique is weak, and cluster infections are prone to occur. Common infectious diseases such as influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, chickenpox, mumps, norovirus infectious diarrhea, and bacillary dysentery in nursery institutions can be transmitted through direct or indirect contact. Hygiene awareness and good hand washing habits are of great significance to prevent the spread and outbreak of infectious diseases.

A boy sanitizing hands by floor stand automatic hand sani tiser dispenser

A boy sanitizing hands by floor stand automatic hand sani tiser dispenser

A hand hygiene training program in 15 Hong Kong nurseries reduced absenteeism due to flu-like symptoms, according to a study.

Dr Puli Ke of the Education University of Hong Kong conducted the trial to see if improving hand hygiene training could reduce illness in kindergarten.

A total of 58 parents, two grandparents and their respective children and grandchildren were invited to participate in the hand hygiene programme. An infection control nurse conducts a series of 45-minute training sessions for children using the World Health Organization hand hygiene checklist. Parents and grandparents participated in a one-hour class individually.

After the training, the children showed greater concern for the hand hygiene behavior of those around them, especially their parents. They also shared what they learned, which made their parents more mindful of proper handwashing. The program provides children and parents with something to talk about, which increases communication and creates a closer bond.

Children washing hands

Children washing hands

Handwashing behavior was also found to improve significantly after the training, with the number of participants washing their wrists and washing their hands rising from 0.5% to 82%.

Parents then monitor their children for flu-like symptoms, while kindergartens check their school attendance. During the three-month study period, the rate of absenteeism at participating kindergartens due to influenza dropped from 21.5 percent to 12 percent.

The findings support the premise that active hand hygiene parenting helps reduce absenteeism due to influenza-like illness in kindergarten children.

So how to wash your hands to ensure the effect of hand hygiene? Many people have heard that the cleaning effect of the seven-step hand washing method is excellent. The seven steps are “inside, outside, clip, bow, big, stand, wrist”. The specific operations are as follows:

hand washing steps

hand washing steps

Inside: wash palm. Wet hands with running water, apply hand sanitizer (or soap), palms facing each other, and rub fingers together.
Outside: wash back and side finger crevices. Rub the palms of the hands and the backs of the hands along the crevices of the fingers, and exchange hands.
Clip: Wash between fingers on palm side. Palms facing each other, hands crossed and rubbed together along the intersecting fingers.
Bow: wash the back of the finger. Bend the knuckles of each finger, half-clench a fist, put the back of the finger on the palm of the other hand and rub it, and exchange hands.
Big: Wash your thumb. Hold the thumb of the other hand and rotate and rub, and exchange hands.
Li: wash fingertips. Bend the knuckles of each finger, close the fingertips in the palm of the other hand, rotate and rub, and exchange hands.
Wrist: wash wrist, arm. Rub your wrists, arms, and alternate hands.

Some people think that the main function of applying hand disinfectant is to kill microorganisms on hands, and that hand disinfection can replace hand washing, or even be better than hand washing. Is this correct?

This is actually a common misunderstanding, and hand washing is the preferred recommended hand hygiene method. It is suitable for all kinds of people, especially when hands are contaminated by naked eyes, such as being contaminated by excrement, secretions or blood, you need to wash your hands first.

Sanitizing hands by automatic Hand sanitiser dispenser

Sanitizing hands by automatic Hand sanitiser dispenser

Applying hand disinfectant to disinfect hands is applicable when there are no hand washing facilities and hands cannot be washed, and it must be when the hands are not obviously polluted. In addition, some groups of people are not suitable for using hand sanitizers. For example, those who are allergic to alcohol are not suitable for applying alcohol-containing hand sanitizers; infants and young children are not recommended to use them to prevent the stimulation of alcohol and other sanitizing ingredients; hand sanitizers are external disinfectants It is strictly forbidden to take it orally, so it is not recommended to apply hand sanitizer before eating or processing food, to prevent the sanitizer from remaining on the surface of the food and ingesting it by mouth, which will bring health hazards to the human body.

Does that mean washing your hands first, and then applying hand sanitizer, is the hand hygiene more reliable? In fact, if the hands are not dry after washing hands, apply hand sanitizer, the residual moisture on the hands will dilute the hand sanitizer, which may reduce the effect of hand sanitizer.

Soap hand washing is reliable, cheap, and easy to rinse, but for people who are used to washing hands with soap, try to keep the soap or soap clean and dry. In places where people gather, such as kindergartens, soap can be hung and dried for storage.

In addition, it is also important to maintain hand hygiene and develop good touching habits. When going out, especially to some special places such as hospitals and other crowded places, try to reduce unnecessary direct contact with the surrounding environment and objects. This not only helps to keep the hands clean, but also reduces and avoids the pollution of the hand skin to the environmental articles, and has a two-way protection effect.