Handwashing Awareness Week (Wrap Up)

It’s that time of year again! As we all begin to celebrate holidays this winter, it’s more important than ever to make sure hand hygiene remains at the top of our lists. December 1 – 7 this year is National Handwashing Awareness Week, and we are having some fun with it this year. Monday through Wednesday, we posted brief articles with interesting “Did You Knows” about why it’s important to wash your hands. On Thursday, Mel spent some time at a local elementary school to create a number of Handwashing Superheroes out of the grade 4/5 students. Today we’ll wrap up the week with some of the images and items that come out of Mel’s day with the students on Thursday.

Mel spent her day yesterday with grade 4/5 students at Cappy Smart School here in Calgary, talking about how and why to properly wash your hands. The kids were very engaged and excited to see the “germs” on their hands before and after washing their hands with regular soap and water.

Mel speaking to the students about how long to wash your hands, and how often, especially during cold and flu season, to be a true handwashing superhero.

Mel speaking to the students about how long to wash your hands, and how often, especially during cold and flu season, to be a true handwashing superhero.

Using “glo germs” and a black light, the students were able to see why it is important to do a good job of washing their hands – otherwise, the germs lit up brightly when they checked how they had done!

This student sees what happens when you don't wash your hands properly - the "germs" on his hands glowed very brightly under the black light.

This student sees what happens when you don’t wash your hands properly – the “germs” on his hands glowed noticeably under the black light.

Before going to the school, we provided some images for the students to colour, which we gathered together earlier this week. These images were used to illustrate a brief book on handwashing, “created” by Room 8 at Cappy Smart. See the book Handwashing Superheroes here.

The goal of the day, especially as cold and flu season starts to come upon us, was to make kids realize how important it is to make sure they wash their hands with regular soap and water as often as possible. In a high-risk environment, such as an elementary school, the cold or a flu can make the rounds more than once in a season, infecting and reinfecting students and teachers alike. Proper handwashing technique not only reduces the risks of getting sick with the same cold over and over again, but also reduces the risk of an illness being spread in the first place.

It’s important to instill an interest in hand hygiene at a young age, as the habits we learn when we are younger tend to stick with us as we grow. Make handwashing fun with your kids, not just during Handwashing Awareness Week, but every day!

Though it is a serious subject, there was a lot of laughter throughout the day, and the students were very eager to share what they learned with other classes, taking their new roles as Handwashing Superheroes to heart.

(A huge thank you to Cappy Smart School, Room 8, and everyone who helped WORX make this day possible; Mel had a blast helping teach a whole new generation of Handwashing Superheroes. If you would like to learn more about WORX Environmental Products, please visit our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter.)

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