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Hand Washing Guidance

The most effective way of reducing the spread of illnesses is through good hand hygiene.

Parents play the biggest role in influencing their children in their hand washing habits. Washing your hands, aside from vaccination, is probably the most effective contribution you can make as a parent to reducing the spread of infection. Regular hand washing, especially after going to the toilet or during an illness (especially, cold, flu, vomiting and diarrhoea) will help prevent the spread of infection.

Bugs (microbes), such as bacteria and viruses, can easily be spread by touch. These may be picked up from contaminated surfaces, objects or people and then passed on to others.

Bar soap should be avoided as slimy soap harbours germs. Washing your hands with hot water and liquid soap for the time it takes to sing a verse of “Happy Birthday” should ensure that any germs are destroyed.

Encourage children to wash their hands by showing them how to do it, and by setting them a good example.

Wash your hands before you

  • Prepare or eat food
  • Treat a cut or a wound
  • Visit a hospital ward (remember alcohol-based hand rubs are also provided)

Wash your hands after you

  • Use the toilet
  • Handle uncooked foods, particularly raw meat, poultry or fish
  • Blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • Touch animals or animal waste
  • Take out/handle rubbish
  • Change a nappy
  • Work/play in the garden
  • Touch a sick or injured person
  • Visit a hospital ward (remember alcohol-based hand rubs are also provided)

The #1 way to prevent the spread of infections is proper hand washing!