Wash Your Hands to Stay Safe and Healthy
Hand washing is an overall good practice to teach your children as they grow. However, the activity becomes even more important in the pediatric hospital and health care environment to keep child patients safe from the spread of infection and other communicable diseases.
This week, hand hygiene is in the spotlight for World Hand Hygiene day, and Speak Now for Kids would like to point out the proper techniques for washing and how they make a difference in a hospital setting.
The World Health Organization’s campaign, Clean Care is Safe Care, is the first global patient safety challenge with a goal of ensuring that “infection control is acknowledged universally as a solid and essential basis towards patient safety and supports the reduction of health care-associated infections and their consequences.” To achieve this mission, the campaign emphasizes hand washing as a major component to reducing the spread of serious infections in health care facilities.
According to the Mayo Clinic, when it comes to children specifically, hand washing is especially important because they are at greater risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases that can easily spread to family members and other contacts. These are often picked up in group care settings like daycare or hospitals.
Teach Your Kids Proper Hand Washing:
- When washing with soap and water (best to use this method when hands are visibly dirty), wet hands and then apply soap. Scrub soapy hands together for the length of time it takes to sing the “ABC’s.” Then, rinse soap from hands and dry with a clean towel or napkin. This helpful video shows a mother and son doing just this.
- When washing with hand sanitizer, apply enough of the product in the palm of your hand to wet both hands completely. Rub hands together covering all surfaces until hands are dry.
- It’s important to wash your hands frequently with your child to get them in the habit of doing so.
- Hand sanitizers are okay for children too, says the Mayo Clinic. However, you should remind your child to make sure the sanitizer completely dries before he or she touches anything, and always remember to store the container out of reach after use.
Proper hand washing for adults and children alike leads to a healthier life both in and out of the hospital.