Department of Health

Healthy hand washing 'soapy' heroes to the rescue

11/08/17
Published by Department of Health & Human Services

Primary school students across Victoria are being taught lifelong healthy hand hygiene habits in a new program to prevent the spread of germs and diseases in the community.

Chief Health Officer Professor Charles Guest today at Laverton P-12 College launched the new 'Soapy Hero' hand hygiene program in primary schools.

"Better hand washing is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as influenza and gastroenteritis," Professor Guest said.

"In schools, these diseases can spread very quickly and significantly impact the school community.

"All children can be a soapy hero. It's as simple as washing your hands properly with soap and water. By washing your hands thoroughly, you can get rid of germs and stop yourself and others from getting very sick."

Lesson plans will help primary school teachers deliver 'soapy hero' training to Prep to Year 2 students, teaching kids about how germs can spread and how and when to wash their hands.

Everyone should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the toilet, before and after eating, after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, after touching pets and animals and whenever they look dirty.

The best way to wash your hands is wetting your hands with water, rubbing soap all over your hands for 20 seconds, rinsing the soap off your hands and drying them with a clean towel, paper towel or hand dryer.

"We are helping to build lifelong healthy habits by teaching children how to wash their hands properly at a young age," Professor Guest said.

"Practicing good hand hygiene can help keep friends and family healthy and stop the spread of dangerous diseases. That means fewer absences - for both students and teachers - and better learning outcomes for kids."

In addition to hand hygiene lesson plans for all Victorian schools, up to 200 Victorian government schools will receive a 'GlitterBug' kit that highlights the importance of hand hygiene in a fun and interactive way for kids.

Other educational resources developed for schools and parents include an animation, posters, colouring sheets and certificates for 'soapy hero' champions. For more information visit the Better Health Channel.

Reviewed 11 August 2017

Health.vic

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