Getting kids to wash their hands effectively can be a chore. Even when soap is available, kids will often skip using it and wash with just water. Bar soap can be messy, and liquid soap can be overused and wasted.
One thing kids do enjoy doing is drawing on their hands.
Combining these two problems has equalled a solution called SoaPen.
When a group of Indian industrial designers from Parson’s School of Design in New York decided to find a way to get children into the habit of washing their hands, SoaPen was eventually born. Yogita Agrawal, Amanat Anand, and Shubham Issar got to work when they learned that handwashing can prevent the deaths of as many as 1.5 million children under age 5 each year. The designers’ initial response was to make sure schools had soap, but they soon learned the soap was already in the schools; the kids simply weren’t using it correctly, if at all. Observation of the students also yielded the realization that while they don’t spend time washing their hands, kids do spend time drawing on their hands.
SoaPen is a colored marker with ink that turns into soapy lather when mixed with water. Kids draw all over their hands with it and have fun while washing their hands effectively.
The invention landed the three women in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list for healthcare and science, and also led to their winning the 2015 UNICEF Wearables for Good Challenge.
Agrawal explains, “The effectiveness of SoaPen in reaching out to children and making handwashing a habit has reinstated our belief that simple, thoughtful changes to even age-old conventions can make rather big impacts.”
Brevis also offers many creative ways for children of all ages to have fun while making sure their hands are clean. Glitterbug kits are one example—check them out at this link. For more creative ways to help kids be motivated to wash their hands, visit Brevis.com.
Godrej protekt, a range of hand hygiene products in India, recently created a video that shows how children love exploring the world with their hands.
And because kids will be kids, Godrej protekt started a hashtag campaign: #ProtektLittleHands.
Watch the spot:
The video shows a child singing a catchy tune, and it all comes together in an adorable and memorable short film.
Sunil Kataria, business head India & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., speaks of the#ProtektLittleHands initiative in this manner:
“Kids these days are inquisitive, enthusiastic and unstoppable. You can’t control them from exploring the world around them and in the process getting their hands dirty. And we know dirty hands mean lots of germs. Protekt believes that parents should encourage their kids to step out of home and explore, as it plays an important role in their development. This thought formed the base of our new campaign #ProtektLittleHands, a campaign which encourages kids to explore all those things which makes them wonder without thinking about getting dirty or worrying about germs. Godrej has always been a conscious brand that is committed to consumer’s health and over all benefit. As a thought leader in the category, we want to bring about a behavioral change and promote a healthy habit of keeping your hands clean and germ free.”
Attention gardeners! New research shows that washing your hands after gardening can help protect you from a common but dangerous strain of Legionnaires’ disease.
Legionnaires’ is a severe form of pneumonia, and those most at risk are older adults, smokers, and people with weakened immune systems. Most people with Legionnaires’ disease have contracted it by inhaling a bacteria called legionella. Untreated, the disease can be fatal.
Legionella longbeachae is the culprit strain in this case, a bacteria found in soil and compost products (homemade compost excluded), according to a study out of the University of Otago in New Zealand.
“We recommend gardeners avoid breathing in compost or potting mix, by opening bags away from the face and keeping it close to the ground when moving it around. Also, always wash compost/potting mix off hands before putting them near the face,” says epidemiologist and Associate Professor Patricia Priest.
Further research is needed for more conclusive information, but in the meantime, it’s important to remember that washing your hands after gardening is a smart thing to do, even if you’ve been wearing gloves.
In talking about handwashing steps, we often refer to guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The recommendations from each organization are similar, but not identical. Is there a best method?
CDC instructions are, essentially, to soap up, scrub, and rinse, a process which takes around 35 seconds. To remember how long it should take, you can sing the alphabet song twice (how loudly you sing is completely up to you).
Image compliments of WHO
WHO recommendations are more involved, with specific steps, totaling about 42.5 seconds.
Researchers at the Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland studied 42 doctors and 78 nurses who used either the CDC or WHO techniques. Results of this study indicate the WHO method to have a slight edge when it comes to reducing average bacterial count on the hands of medical workers. Even so, it’s important to note that BOTH methods work very well and are effective at reducing the spread of germs.
Whether you’re a health worker, a food handler, a teacher, or someone reading this on a handheld device, it’s important to know you should wash your hands to help keep yourself and those around you healthy. Always get your hands wet first (don’t put soap on dry hands), and wash often.
You can conduct your own study on how effectively you and those around you are washing your hands with products like our GlitterBug Potion.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has included an easy strategy for hand hygiene improvement in the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (Advanced Draft). My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene defines key moments when health care workers ought to be engaging in hand hygiene.
Using this model, health care workers are reminded to clean their hands at the following times:
Before touching a patient
Before clean/aseptic procedures
After body fluid exposure or risk
After touching a patient
After touching patient surroundings
Though the instruction may seem like a review of basic principles, it helps overcome misleading language and complicated descriptions. Easy to learn, logical, and widely applicable, My 5 Moments serves as a reminder of one of the most important things any health care worker can do to protect themselves and others from infection: practice proper hand hygiene.
Last October, a hospital in India claimed their place in the Guinness Book of World Records for hand washing.
Kasturba Hospital, a unit of Manipal University, held a hand sanitation relay last October 15 in conjunction with Global Handwashing Day. One of the largest hospitals in India, Kasturba is the first medical college in Karnataka to be listed among the National Board for Accreditation of Hospitals (NABH), and is also listed by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP).
The attempt to break the previous Guinness record was part of an initiative to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing among health professionals. Not only did hospital staff and university students learn more about the importance of hand sanitation prior to any contact with patients, word of this simple practice spread throughout the community.
The record-breaking relay involved 3,422 people completing the task of washing hands throughout the day. The previous record was held by another hospital in India– Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Dehli– with 1,711 people having participated.
Kindergartners in Lebanon, Oregon, recently attended mini medical school at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest. The COMP-Northwest program, now in its seventh year, provides four medical demonstration stations for the students with opportunities to learn about heart health, the skeletal system, and hand-washing techniques.
To demonstrate how to get their hands clean, Jess Reynolds said to the kids, “Let’s scrub up like surgeons.” The COMP-Northwest employee simulated germs by utilizing a fake dye on the children. With this visual, the children got an idea of how long it takes to thoroughly and effectively wash their hands.
The students then headed to the “operating room” where one kindergartener played the role of patient as the other young students learned while removing cloth versions of organs. Another station allowed the children to look at an x-ray of a hand with a broken finger.
Event organizer and COMP-Northwest Associate Director of Clinical Education Jeannie Davis explains it’s a day to give these children their first day of college, and it helps alleviate fear of doctors.
These kids have learned the importance of handwashing is on par with skeletal structure and organ function. Teach the kids in your life the same with GlitterBug Potion.
May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day. Today the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds the world to “Fight antibiotic resistance—it’s in your hands.”
Hand hygiene is at the core of effective infection prevention and control programs, and actions today serve as a reminder to continue, as well as improve, best practices in this area.
WHO is calling for health workers to clean their hands at the right times, building on hand hygiene improvement efforts made up to now. CEOs, administrators, and managers should support hand hygiene campaigns, and infection prevention and control programs.
If you work in the healthcare field, we want to hear from you. What improvements have you seen in your workplace in regards to hand hygiene? What more could be done? Please let us know on our Facebook page. And join the online conversation with WHO by using #handhygiene and #antibiotic resistance.
Accurate communication is crucial in providing health services. Employees in hospitals, clinics, and community health centers need to be able to reach individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) through language and understanding of culture.
One helpful resource is HealthReach, which provides quality multilingual, multicultural public health information for those who provide health care for individuals with LEP. Brochures, videos, toolkits, reports, and fact sheets are available to help improve the quality of service and communication efforts between providers and patients.
Hand washing, of course, is crucial in protecting ourselves and others from illness. This 4-page handout explains in detail the proper procedure for washing with soap and water (and drying!), and also using sanitizer, in both English and Traditional Chinese.
Having the instructions in both languages ensures clarity for both parties in communicating information as central to health as hand hygiene.
Kohler, a global leader in kitchen and bath design and technology, has recently launched their “first-to-market” Touchless Soap Dispenser. In addition to a customizable setting selection for liquid or foaming soap, the dispenser features an LED light which illuminates for 20 seconds– the amount of time the CDC recommends for hand washing– before turning off.
A sensor on the dispenser preserves battery life and prevents soap from being wasted. A rubber ring on the bottom helps stabilize the dispenser on the countertop while also protecting the battery compartment. An anti-drip spout prevents soap from dripping onto the counter. It’s no wonder the Touchless Soap Dispenser is a winner of the 2017 Global Innovations Award, honoring housewares for product design excellence.
Brevis welcomes innovative handwashing products and applauds Kohler for It’s thoughtfully designed Touchless Soap Dispenser. Brevis products and soap working hand-in-hand to prevent the spread of disease.