Hand Washing is Key to Staying Healthy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/5/2004

Hand Washing is Key to Staying Healthy

A single sneeze can spread 2.7 million germs, but the simple act of handwashing can help prevent the spread of germs and keep you and your kids healthy.

"Clean between fingers, then you do wrists, wash up to at least here", explains Carol Lain. "Kids are always in a hurry especially in the summer. They've got places to go and things to do and they're so much in a hurry that they don't spend a proper amount of time washing their hands and they get summer colds and flus and viruses so this is why we do this presentation." adds Carol.

Carol Lain is a public health nurse for the City of Lubbock. She educates hundreds of kids each year in an effort to keep them healthy. "If they would just wash their hands more often, they would get sick less and be at school more often" comments Carol. 

So, just how dirty are your hands? Carol turns off the lights and sprays Glo-Germ on the kids hands. "It really shows places they've missed and some of the most common places they miss are the knuckles, back of their hands, their wrists, sometimes both thumbs are completely missed" Carol explains.

Seven year-old Madison Fletcher and seven year-old Trae Exum put their hands under the black light. The light shows you just how dirty their hands are. But Madison and Trae know how important it is to wash their hands. Madison says, "If you don't ever wash your hands, you will get germs everywhere on your body."

Trae says, "I'm going to make sure I scrub real hard." Trae and Madison get to scrubbing and washing their hands. Then they put their hands under the black light again. As you can see, their hands are noticeably cleaner.

Trae says, "I did pretty good."

Madison says, "Washing your hands helps your hands stay clean and you stay healthy."

To stay healthy and clean you need to wash your hands properly. Wet your hands and apply soap. Leave the water running. Next rub your hands vigorously together, creating friction and lather. Scrub inbetween your fingers, your nails, the front and back of your hands and up to your wrists. This should take twenty to thirty seconds. Rinse well and then dry your hands with a paper towel. To prevent contracting additional germs, use the paper towel to turn off the faucet.

A simple song can act as a reminder for kids when washing their hands. Carol says, "Tell children to do their 'A-B-C song' or 'Row Row Row Your Boat' twice and 'Happy Birthday' twice. That's 25 to 30 seconds and that should be ample time to wash their hands."

Safety solutions that can prevent the spread of germs that can cause the common cold and more serious infections like hepatitis A, meningitis and diarrhea. Lain adds anti-bacterial soaps and gel that work without water are fine to use outside and on trips. But just make sure the words "anti-bacterial" are listed on the bottle. And never use it as a replacement for washing your hands altogether.

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