Routine handwashing is certainly our best line of defence against various bacteria and viruses which can lead to infection. As kids come into contact with germs, they will be at risk of infection by just touching parts of their bodies such as their nose, eyes, or mouth. Once they get infected, it won’t take long before that infection is spread to their family. This is where hand hygiene compliance monitoring system come into place.
That said, we can’t stress enough the importance of proper hand hygiene. But why is it important anyway?
The Effects of Poor Hand Hygiene
Poor hygiene habits are linked to the increased cases of illnesses and absences among kids. Proper hand hygiene, particularly at home and school, plays a key role in helping reduce the risk of infections and even their spread. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in the promotion of healthy hygiene practices mainly because of the changing demands in the family.
During their early years, children are often taught to wash their hands. However, as they grow older, reinforcement of such hand washing rules tend to decrease. Several studies revealed that poor hygiene can lead to an increase in infections including skin and gastrointestinal infections.
Also, statistics have shown that the rate of infectious diseases around the world is steadily increasing, leading to approximately 13 million deaths per year. Such huge number is a cause for concern as we get to see a steady decline in the promotion of proper hand hygiene.
How a Comprehensive Handwashing Program Can Help
In the US alone, a total of 164 million lost school days were recorded every year from kindergarten up to the 12th grade, averaging 4.5 days for every student. Meanwhile, 83% of the teachers said that frequent absences are one of the major problems they’re facing in schools, and 96% of parents consider infection prevention as a very important part in a school health program.
According to a recent study, around 58% of children practice proper hand hygiene after using the bathroom. However, soap use averages only 28% for girls and 8% for boys. Such low numbers often result in acute gastrointestinal illnesses and other related conditions among children.
Why Wash Hands?
Needless to say, clean hands are the best protection from illness, aside from the fact that they prevent the spread of infection-causing pathogens. Through routine handwashing, kids will be able to prevent the spread of germs, thereby significantly reducing the risks of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.
Germs can accumulate on the hands on a daily basis. This is especially true for kids who tend to engage in various activities. If left unwashed, germs that found their way to the hands can lead to infections.
Normally, these germs will spread through a lot of ways including:
- Touching an object – germs can easily spread from unwashed hands to various other things, especially those that are frequently used.
- Preparing food – when preparing food with unwashed foods, germs will transfer to the food and drink, allowing them to multiply, thereby leading to illness.
- Touching your face – germs can find their way to the body through the nose, eyes, or mouth.