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From a young age, it is important to learn the importance of hand washing and should be part of every child’s education.

Within any environment where there is a large group of people the threat of illnesses or contamination increases and educational environments are a breeding ground for this. Children have a lower immune system than most adults therefore they are more prone to germs, which in turn due to the nature of the school/nursery environment can spread very quickly.

In order reduce the risk it is important for both the adults and children to have an excellent handwashing regime.

Teaching children to wash their hands starts with parents and guardians but needs to be echoed within the educational environment. Poor hand washing is the primary cause of gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses and each year children lose on average 3.7% and teaching staff around 5 days per year due to illness.

Hand washing facilities need to be provided within the immediate vicinity of every toilet, for both children and teaching staff. In craft areas, there should also be hand washing facilities available, with warm water, soap and disposable paper towels.

In pre-school environments handwashing facilities need to be available for staff for before and after nappy changing and for children before and after snack time.

Handwashing techniques

Step 1

Thoroughly wet your hands using warm running water and add liquid soap to your hands

Step 2

Rub your hands together palm to palm and make a lather

Step 3

Using your palms rub your hands across the back of your hands and along the length of your fingers, and then repeat with your other hand

Step 4

Interlock your fingers with your palms touching and rub thoroughly between all fingers

Step 5

Now rub around your thumbs and then rub the fingertips of each hand across your palms

Step 6

Rinse off the soap with clean water, dry your hands with a disposable towel, turn the tap of with the towel and throw the towel away

It is important to make hand washing fun and inclusive for children and for it not to be seen as a chore. Temperature should not be too hot between 22C – 38C is advisable, therefore our Odyssey Junior portable sink units cannot reach a temperature higher than 38C.

Handwashing should become the norm from a young age, after going to the toilet, before and after eating, after playtime, and craft lessons.


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