37% of teachers say kids have no access to soap and hot water in class according to survey

Children washing hands in the classroom with a KiddiSynk

How can they wash their hands if there’s nowhere they can wash?

An extraordinarily high percentage of the population must now be aware that a proper twenty second soap and water hand wash is something that we all should be undertaking at critical times as a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic. Children in preschools and nurseries are being made aware of its importance. But many don’t actually have access to washing facilities where they’re actually needed, according to a recent report on The Guardian website.

Singing “Happy birthday” twice has fast become the go-to advice when it comes to the necessary hand washing duration, according to Laura McInerney, who has flagged up a huge concern that the facilities simply aren’t available in far too many cases – as many as “…one in three schools don’t usually have soap and hot water in their bathrooms” in fact.

The figures come as a result of a Teacher Tapp survey, to which more than six thousand teachers responded.

“An alarming 37% said they did not have hot water and soap available for pupils.”

The provision of soap isn’t actually a legal requirement, McInerney writes, with schools having funding problems coupled with old plumbing systems not enabling hot water to be produced on demand: this has caused the lack of appropriate facilities being made available.

Simple mathematics also reveals another issue. Each school needs to provide “one sink per 30 pupils” according to current regulations. However efficiently they wash their hands, if they undertake the activity for the appropriate length of time, “you need at least 10 minutes to get everyone’s hands clean”. With the average school break being 20 minutes, she argues, it doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

“Which might explain why almost no secondary schools were actively teaching handwashing even 10 days ago.”.

Covid-19 reveals the alarming truth that many children can’t wash their hands at school »

Mobile sinks can go wherever kids need to wash their hands!

Handwash training for children is easy with a portable Teal Kiddiwash hand wash unit. Kids just love the warm gentle wash with these portable sinks – even when they’re on the go.

The TEAL KiddiWash Xtra and KiddiSynk mobile sinks are designed especially for smaller hands – and they make hand washing educational and fun.

Perfect for nurseries, creches, pre-schools, outside play areas and children’s pet farms, Teal warm water hand wash units are robust, easy to use and easy to clean.

Portable sinks for preschool and nursery children »

Free EYFS handwashing themed work sheets are available from our Kiddiwash site »