Proper hand hygiene protects children from tummy bugs and Diarrhea.
On the 8th of May, Sister Pamela (Mfuleni’s health wellness nurse) held a three day hand hygiene awareness session with the ECD learners. The aim of this session was to educate the young ones on how to wash their hands thoroughly, get rid of germs and ultimately avoid getting Diarrhea.
According to Bettercare- South Africa’s leading self-managed learning program, Diarrhea is the most common disease in childhood all over the world. “Why is Diarrhea most common specifically amongst children?” you may ask. One of the simplest answers to this question, is that many children practice poor hand hygiene. Not taking proper handwashing precautions may put children at risk of being infected with Diarrhea or a viral tummy bug.
With the engagement of Physical Health Care staff members and teachers, the willing to learn children actively took part in the process of washing their hands. The ECD learners were presented with steps on how to properly cleanse their hands:
Figure 2: ECD learner washing his hands with wellness nurse
Step 1- Apply soap to your hands- using liquid hand wash as a detergent is a better option than a bar of soap.
Step 2- Ensure that the soap is spread well on both hands and in-between all fingers.
Step 3- Wash your hands thoroughly with clean water.
Step 4- Rinse the soap off until there is none left and the running water is clean.
Step 5- Shake your hands off until they are half or completely dry.
Children should not use a towel to dry their hands after washing them because after people finish using in the restroom, they make use of the towel to dry their hands. This means that the likelihood of the towel being infected with germs is very high- which then defeats the purpose of washing their hands in the first place.
Parents, in order to prevent your child from getting a tummy bug and being infected with Diarrhea, please ensure that they wash their hands often. They should wash their hands before they eat, after relieving themselves and after playing with fellow learners and friends.
A couple of hand washes a day keeps the Diarrhea away!