Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Wednesday, July 01 2020 - 09:01
Almost Half of Children Are Not Always Using Soap When Washing Hands at School, New Survey by the Global Hygiene Council Finds
LONDON, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Leading hygiene experts are stressing the importance of effective hand hygiene 
measures and education in schools as children begin returning to educational 
settings following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The calls follow a new global survey conducted by The Global Hygiene Council 
(GHC) highlighting that almost half (42%) of children aged 5-10 are not always 
using soap when they wash their hands at school. The survey assessed children's 
hygiene awareness and habits across seven countries during COVID-19 and, in all 
countries, usage of soap was higher at home than in school settings. 

At schools, less than half of children (44%) said that someone ensures they 
always wash their hands prior to eating, with the vast majority (71%) stating 
this happens at home.

Assistant Professor of Medicine Sumanth Gandra MD, from Washington University 
School of Medicine in St. Louis explains, "As children slowly begin returning 
to schools around the world, the focus on improved hygiene should not just be a 
short-term measure. Whilst COVID-19 has increased awareness of the importance 
of hand hygiene in stopping the spread of respiratory infections, basic hygiene 
measures such as handwashing are also essential in preventing the spread of 
common illnesses including gastrointestinal infections."

Only 60% of children stated that soap was always available in schools, with one 
in 10 stating that soap was never available. 

Schools provide multiple opportunities for the spread of infection and adopting 
a targeted hygiene approach offers a way to maximise protection. According to a 
recent paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control, improved 
everyday hygiene practices reduces the risk of common infections by up to 50% 
and the need for antibiotics by up to 30%.

Professor Sally Bloomfield from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical 
Medicine comments, "Targeted hygiene means focusing hygiene in places and at 
times - known as 'risk moments' - when harmful microbes are most likely to 
spread. The key risk moments at schools include food handling, using the toilet 
and touching surfaces."

Dr. Gandra. adds, "It is essential that healthy hygiene habits, such as washing 
hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, are ingrained into the next 
generation to help prevent the spread of future outbreaks and to protect 
families from infections."

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Source: The Global Hygiene Council (GHC)