Groups of pupils of the Genevieve de Weever School recently received a visit from Nurse Damali Bryson, along with fellow Rotarians. The focus during the visit was on proper hand hygiene. We’ve all heard it before: Wash your hands! But why? And did you know that many people, even adults, don’t really wash their hands the right way?
Nurse Damali provided demonstrations, and designated two champions per class to help, to remind others in the future of proper hand hygiene, and to set a good example. The teachers were also presented with posters to give visual reminders to students in the future.
This is the fourth year that The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise has organised these workshops, and many primary schools have received visits. Nurse Damali was joined by fellow Rotarian Angela Gordon and Club President Marcellia Henry. The children at Prince Willem Alexander School will also be getting a visit soon.
In short, washing your hands prevents the spread of germs. In recent years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of hand hygiene was talked about a lot, because that disease is caused by a virus. However, it has always been important – the spread of all sorts of germs causes all sorts of different diseases!
“We wash our hands to prevent getting ourselves and others sick,” Nurse Damali explained to The KIDS Herald. “Without being aware, we’re constantly touching germs. It’s important to wash your hands both before and after eating; after using the restroom, blowing your nose, playing outside, and playing with pets, for example.”
Lots of mistakes are made all the time, when it comes to hand hygiene. To wash hands properly, make sure to rinse your hands first. Do not rub with soap under running water, or the soap will wash away before doing its job. Wash all parts of your hands (in between all the folds and crevices) for at least 20 seconds. Dry your hands, preferably with paper towel, and use the paper towel to turn off the faucet. Don’t wipe your clean hands on your clothes to dry them.
Did you know that washing with soap and water is the golden standard? It’s better than using hand sanitizer, because washing with soap and water both kills germs, and washes away any germs that aren’t killed. Hand sanitizer is also a good option, and kills most germs, but then nothing is washed away.
Nurse Damali also points out that you have to rub in hand sanitizer properly, until it’s absorbed. Hand sanitizer is made up of alcohol which kills germs, and a skin softener which fights against the drying effects of alcohol. If you don’t rub it in properly, the sanitizer will leave your skin feeling tacky, since the alcohol will be absorbed, but not the skin softeners. This leads your skin to become dry, and can cause cracks, which will leave the skin more prone to infection.
As you can see, knowing how to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer properly can really make a difference!