When it comes to the spread of illnesses, prevention is invaluable. We encourage you to review the resources in this post and give special consideration to discussions with your children about the importance of washing hands thoroughly. Parents of young children, please consider not only talking about this issue but also demonstrating proper technique at home. Our nurses conduct “handwashing classes” in our elementary schools and your additional support at home will make a world of difference.
The resources below can help.
What Do We Recommend?
Our health professionals emphasize that what gets hands clean is the use of antibacterial soap with water and the friction of rubbing the hands together. Washing both sides, between the fingers and under in nails for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”, followed by rinsing all the soap off and using a clean towel or paper towel to dry will ensure clean hands and greatly minimize the spread of germs.
Resources for You
- This excellent article on handwashing by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes the science behind the recommendations. It is easy to read and very informative.
- Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding handwashing offered by the CDC.
- Another list of recommendations on handwashing from the VA Department of Health offers great guidelines.
- This “Germ Busters” poster is very effective in communicating prepare technique, especially for younger students.
What About Water Temperature?
We follow the guidelines offered by the Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care specifically note:
“Apart from the issue of skin tolerance and level of comfort, water temperature does not appear to be a critical factor for microbial removal from hands being washed.“ (see page 31 of this document)
While hot water is available in most areas of our schools, it is not available in the oldest sections of the three elementary schools. All renovated areas of the elementary schools as well as all areas of the secondary complex do include hot water faucets which self regulate to 100 degrees.