Hand Washing

The number one thing to teach children to help fight infection is effective and correct hand-washing technique. Germs can be found on surfaces such as door knobs, tables, etc. Germs can also be found on the hands, because our hands touch and pick up the germs and when the hands touch other objects the germs are transferred to the object. Health care professionals that provide medical care to the pediatric population should consider a PALS class that is approved by the American Heart Association. The class will provide information that will save a child’s life.

Here are some tips to become an expert at washing hands:
*Turn on Warm water (the water does not have to be extremely hot. Most germs would have to be exposed to extremely high temperatures to eradicate them and they are some germs that could still survive. The goal is to eliminate as many germs on the hands by friction and causing them to fall off the hands.)

*It is ok to use soap or anti-bacterial soap. Alcohol hand based cleaner is acceptable if there is no soap available or if the hands are not visibly soiled. If a person has been diagnosed with Clostridium difficile hand washing is recommended over using the alcohol hand gel. C. diff is a spore and can survive almost any type of environment.

*Rub the hands together fast to create friction. Rub in between the fingers, thumbs, and rub the wrists. Rinse the hands holding them upright, not down

*Dry hands thoroughly with paper towels preferably, and discard the towels. Get a clean paper towel to turn the faucet off to decrease the risk of contracting more germs on the hands.

It has been recommended by health care professionals to wash for at least 20 seconds to be effective in eliminating germs and the ability to pass the germs from one person to another. Infections can cause serious illness that can sometimes lead to death. A PALS class will instruct the health care provider to perform effective CPR with interventions outlined in the algorithms that are appropriate for the condition of the child. Save a life with advanced techniques that are approved by the American Heart Association.

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