A hub for Marshall Medical Centers events and information.

Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 03:20 PM

Germ warfare: Students get lesson in the importance of hand-washing

Students learn the importance of a simple act like hand-washing to maintaining good health.

Local students learned that killing germs is hard work at a recent hand-washing demonstration. Washing your hands is easy, they found out. Killing all the germs? Not so much.

That was the lesson homeschoolers learned during a demonstration at the Boaz Public Library. They put pretend germs on their hands, cleaned them with sanitizer, then wiggled their fingers under a black light. The germs lit up like fireworks. 

Nurse Casi Thompson, infection preventionist for Marshall Medical Centers, told students that’s why they must use water, soap and friction to kill germs. She also reminded them to wash the backs of their hands, between their fingers and up to the wrists.

“Washing your hands is very important,” she said. “Wash your hands all the time. You can never, ever wash your hands too much.”

Bacteria are tiny bugs, Thompson explained to students, that can live up to seven days on a surface. The flu virus also can live for days on a surface and can easily be transferred into the body.

“If you cough or sneeze, always wash your hands afterward,” she said. “And don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. Use your elbow to keep germs off your hands.”

Greet people with a fist bump rather than a handshake to prevent spreading germs, she urged. 

Thompson asked the kids to list times to wash hands. They came up with:

Before eating

After using the restroom

After playing in dirt

After pushing a cart in the grocery store

After playing in the playground at McDonalds

The Boaz Public Library provides monthly programs for homeschooled children.