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  • Karen Burgess

Hand washing versus hand sanitising

In my visits to Childcare services, I have noticed that sometimes the educators are hand sanitising rather than hand washing.

A prime example of this is during the nappy changing procedure - rather than wash their hands, educators are using hand sanitiser once they have completed the task.

Did you know that washing hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent infection?

Alcohol hand sanitisers, while effective against some viruses such as coronavirus, are not effective against gastroenteritis.


As of late there has been 3 states that have issues Health warning for Gastroenteritis in Childcare services - could this be a reason why when a service has a case of Gastroenteritis it tends to spread throughout the service, and to the educators?


And don't forget about hand hygiene for the children - children can touch up to 180 items throughout the day - so you can imagine how easy Gastroenteritis is spread when a child hasn't had their hands washed and they are touching toys, chairs, other children, doors, outside equipment.


The WHO has this great poster to put up throughout services next to hand washing sinks/hand sanitising stations - https://www.who.int/gpsc/tools/GPSC-HandRub-Wash.pdf - this will help ensure educators are using correct techniques for both hand washing and hand sanitising.


References - https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/gastroenteritis?fbclid=IwAR0VJAxc2p-U7bt75ih0fkH7gfQOyzccMmlQiKE7LRGWMEBB-RkvE2bCeko





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