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How are germs spread Germs are everywhere Germs spread by touching They spread from person to person They spread by contact with contaminated objects Many germs such as those that cause the flu or the common cold can live for hours on surfaces, some can live even longer
How to prevent the spread of germs Hand washing is the most effective way to decrease the spread of germs and prevent infection. Use of an anti-bacterial soap or alcohol based sanitizer Because many illnesses can be spread prior to noticeable symptoms, appropriate use of hand washing can decrease this spread Do not cough or sneeze into your hands, when possible use a tissue When moving to a different classroom/group of children Proper skin care can help prevent the spread of infection by keeping skin intact it provides a barrier Following the center policies and state regulations for cleaning Anytime your hands look or feel dirty
When should teachers wash their hands Upon arrival to work and before leaving Before and after eating or handling/preparing food including handling raw food items, after removal of gloves After contact with body fluids, including blood, emesis, saliva, nasal secretions, urine and stool After using the restroom or assisting a child in using the restroom After changing a diaper, don’t forget to clean the surface you used After contact with trash or cleaning items Before and after caring for a wound Before and after handling of medications After contact with animals After outside activities When hands look or feel dirty
When should children wash their hands Upon arrival and before leaving After contact with body fluids (blood, emesis, urine, stool, saliva, nasal secretions) including putting hands in their mouths, nose or eyes, wiping their nose, or touching a wound After a diaper change After using the restroom Before and after eating After outside play After contact with animals When hands look or feel dirty
How to wash Wet hands and apply your choice of soap Rub hands together vigorously making a lather and ensure to scrub all surfaces, take care around the finger nails and between fingers It takes at least 20 seconds of vigorous rubbing to remove stubborn germs, time yourself by singing Happy Birthday twice, or the alphabet song Rinse hands thoroughly and dry Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet to avoid recontamination of your hands
Alcohol based hand sanitizers If dirt is visible on the hands wash with soap and water first Alcohol based products are effective in decreasing the spread of germs Most are formulated with moisturizers and are not drying to the skin Often cause less skin irritation than frequent washing with soap and water
How to use Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizers Apply product to dry hands The amount required will depend on the product Rub hands together covering all areas until dry
Skin Care Skin breakdown Dry skin and irritation can occur from frequent hand washing Damaged skin decreases the effectiveness of hand washing allowing more germs to remain Irritated skin has a higher risk of spreading germs Prevent skin breakdown If using gloves change frequently, especially if they become wet inside Use of lotions several times per day can decrease skin damage
References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). An ounce of prevention keeps the germs away: Seven keys to a safer healthier home. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.cdc.gov/ounceofprevention/docs/oop_brochure_eng.pdf http://www.cdc.gov/ounceofprevention/docs/oop_brochure_eng.pdf Illinois State Board of Education (2008). Resources on early learning: Tip sheets: Fight germs! Wash your hands!. Retrieved April 19, 2009, from http://www.illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/handwashing.htm http://www.illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/handwashing.htm Larson, E. (2001). Hygiene of the skin: When is clean too clean?. Retrieved April 19, 2009, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no2/larson.htm http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no2/larson.htm Lee, M. B., & Greig, J. D. (2008). A review of enteric outbreaks in child care centers: effective infection control recommendations. Journal of Environmental Health, 71(3), 24-32. Retrieved February 27, 2009, from http://web.ebscohost.com.databases.wtamu.edu:2048/ehost/pdf?vid=11&hid=102&sid=4bd164d8 -e080-4449-9ba3-35622691f4d5%40sessionmgr108 http://web.ebscohost.com.databases.wtamu.edu:2048/ehost/pdf?vid=11&hid=102&sid=4bd164d8 -e080-4449-9ba3-35622691f4d5%40sessionmgr108 Purell (n.d.). Purell home page. Retrieved April 19, 2009, from http://www.purell.com.cn/en/index.html http://www.purell.com.cn/en/index.html Sawyer, W. (2009). Henry the hand home page. Retrieved April 19, 2009, from http://www.henrythehand.com/pages/content/index.html http://www.henrythehand.com/pages/content/index.html Ulrich, S. P., & Canale, S. W. (2005). Nursing care planning guides for adults in acute, extended, and home care settings (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Health Services.
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