Focus on hand washing in early years settings says report

The KiddiWash Xtra is perfect for teaching hand washing to younger children

Preschools and nurseries are “particularly complicated places for hand hygiene”

It’s vitally important that all staff at preschool facilities are constantly vigilant with regards to hand hygiene according to a recent article on the Teach Early Years website, which states that “Germs are everywhere”.

Report author Dr Carl Edwards begins by acknowledging that preschools are “particularly complicated places” – but advises nursery staff not to cut corners when it comes to hand hygiene.

Hands are covered with up to 10 million germs he warns, with many being capable of causing illnesses, including flu and colds and food poisoning. Not washing hands after toilet use or nappy changing can be a particular problem he warns, listing potential E.coli, MRSA, norovirus and Campylobacter induced consequences.

Hands must always be washed, says the article, before and after

  • preparing food
  • attending to a child
  • dealing with some who is unwell.

Washing hands properly is crucial

Despite being a comparatively simple undertaking, hand washing is “only effective if you’re doing it correctly!” states Dr. Edwards.

“Proper hand-washing requires soap or hand wash and water and should last for at least 15 to 30 seconds.”

The article emphasises the importance of an appropriately vigorous technique when washing. Make sure to wash all parts of the hands, wrists and fingers – not forgetting the back of the hands. It’s the scrubbing action that pays dividends.

“Remember hand-washing works by having the soap and rubbing to make sure the dirt and bacteria are physically removed; you have to be thorough.”

Most importantly – don’t forget teaching the kids!

And while nursery staff are sorting out their own personal hand hygiene, it’s important to pass that information on to the children in your care. Teach them how and when to wash their hands.

It is after all, the most important lesson that they will ever learn!

Tips for Nurseries on Effective Hand Hygiene »

A child washing hands with a KiddiSynk outdoors at a petting zoo
A child washing hands with a KiddiSynk outdoors at a petting zoo

Hand wash units for younger children – place them wherever they’re needed!

Teal produces portable hand washing sinks that are idea for preschool and nursery childrenincluding the KiddiSynk and KiddiWash, which can be used equally effectively indoor or out.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact ClassicHandSpa, CliniWash – and now the new WashStand Xtra.

How to choose the correct mobile sink »