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Hand hygiene in schools

(14 Posts)
MGMidget Mon 19-Aug-13 07:37:32

I am wondering if anyone knows what their schools policies/usual practices are on hand washing? I would guess all schools encourage/expect children to wash hands after using the toilet. However, is it the norm for children to be sent to wash their hands before eating?

DS, who has just finished reception, told me they are told to wash their hands after eating but given no opportunity to wash hands before (I'd been stressing to him the importance of hand washing before eating when this came out). They seemed to have more than the usual round of stomach bugs, a very high rate of dreadful coughs and colds and DS also managed to pick up threadworms! Some of this is of course unavoidable with so many kids together but I would have thought washing hands before eating would be sensible in this environment and help to reduce the spread of illness. Illnesses were never this widespread in preschool and he went to two different preschools (morning and lunch at one followed by afternoon at another where there were 45 kids in one room! He only has 21 kids in his class now.)

I'm curious as to what happens in other schools?

mrz Mon 19-Aug-13 09:42:53

Yes it is normal for children to be sent to wash their hands before eating or handling food. I would think it very unusual for children not to have the opportunity to wash before lunch and less normal to be told to wash after.

Gatita1980 Tue 20-Aug-13 07:47:24

My DD has just finished Reception as well, and has been at the same school for 3 years, they have always washed hands before snack time as well as lunch. They have a chance to wash hands after lunch too if they want to, my DS has been there for 4 terms and has one more year of Nursery left and the practice is the same, even the tiny ones (2yrs) are encouraged to wash their hands before any food/snack time.

Rooners Tue 20-Aug-13 08:05:13

Ours is the same OP - they're not encouraged to wash their hands at all, especially not before lunch.

It's ridiculous. I've told ds to do it occasionally when people have been ill a lot, and he says he will but I am sure he forgets. Also he is afraid of getting told off.

Bloody hate our school.

NoComet Sat 24-Aug-13 00:37:05

Our primary had no hot water, so as far as I know most of the older DCs refused to wash their hands, properly.

mrz Sat 24-Aug-13 08:23:45

I think lack of hot water is a H&S issue that school needs to address.

NoComet Sat 24-Aug-13 10:23:23

We were told having hot water would be a H&S issue and they weren't able to do anything. hmm

mrz Sat 24-Aug-13 13:28:36

what! shock

NoComet Sat 24-Aug-13 14:16:55

We asked twice at parent forum for hot water and as far as we got make out, the HT never gives a straight answer, we couldn't have hot water - it was dangerous!

I think what he actually meant was school could afford to do it properly with temp limiting values etc. like you get in care homes, so it wasn't going to happen.

Senior school have hot water no sing and dance, I've used their girls loo several times.

NoComet Sat 24-Aug-13 14:17:27


NewNameforNewTerm Sat 24-Aug-13 14:46:32

We are facing this problem at the moment. There seems to be a problem with regulating the temperature of the water so the hot water comes through scalding hot. We have had plumbers out several times and they haven't solved it so we've had to turn the hot off in children's areas to prevent them scalding themselves. We are trying to repair it, but the risk of burns are a H&S issue!

PlotTwist Sat 24-Aug-13 14:58:34

My dd's primary has installed hand sanitisers like you get in hospitals, it certainly cut down on the norovirus epidemic last year.

Highlander Wed 28-Aug-13 19:48:43

To kill bacteria, the perfect triad is heat, detergent and mechanical aggregation.

Heat has to be greater than 40C, and a good detergent hAs to be harsh enough to break down the tough bacterial cell wall.

Both of those conditions can also dmagae mammalian cells, which are more fragile.

With hand washing, youare not looking to kill bacteria, merely wash them off - soap helps with this and mild heat helps form a better emulsion.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 29-Aug-13 08:58:40

The issue with hand sanitisers is that you need to wash every 6 times as the sanitiser becomes in effective. Sanister is also ineffective if there is gross contamination on the hands and is not effective against all bugs.
Most people do not do effective hand washing or sanitisation. I taught DD at 5 how to wash/sanitise her hands according to WHO guidelines for effective use. This has kept tummy bugs at bay all the way through school to year 5 so far.
It is not just doing it, but how you do it and for how long that counts.

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