As a surgical RN and as a mom, I have always been a stickler on proper handwashing! Just ask my family!
So when my friend Jaralee Annice Metcalf did a handwashing experiment with her students to show why it is so important, I was thrilled because the results were disgusting! What a great teachable moment it made!
Handwashing Really Does Matter
The experiment photos below are so visual and gross you will probably be able to get your kids’ attention with them. And this would be a great home experiment to illuminate just how many germs we carry around on our hands and devices!
When I asked Jaralee if I could share her handwashing experiment photos here on the blog, she agreed.
Jaralee, a behavioral specialist, writes:
We did a science project in class this last month as flu season was starting.
We took fresh bread and touched it.
- We did one slice untouched.
- One with unwashed hands.
- One with hand sanitizer.
- One with washed hands with warm water and soap.
- Then we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks.
As a behavioral specialist in a classroom setting who is sick and tired of being sick and tired, I say, “Wash your hands! Remind your kids to wash their hands!
And hand sanitizer is not an alternative to handwashing! Not at all!”
Here are the details we observed:
- All the students touched each piece (except the control piece)
- Results took 3-4 weeks because of preservatives
- It was plain white bread
- The control piece wasn’t ever touched with naked hands, and it was moved immediately from the bread bag to the ziplock baggie. (every piece is from the same loaf on same day)
- We used freezer ziplock bags meant for raw meat and they’re sealed tight
We do sanitize our Chromebooks, obviously we did not do that for this experiment. I am in no way trying to make Google Chromebooks look bad, all laptops and devices have germs, the amount is based on the person/people using them and not the brand (can’t believe I need to specify this).
We used just plain soap for handwashing. Not antibacterial! We know now that triclosan in antibacterial soaps can increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
For those that would like to try this handwashing experiment at home, here is the link.
Wait, there’s another proven measure everyone can take to keep cold and flu virus at bay!
How a Humidifier Helps
According to journal Environmental Health, running a humidifier in your home’s living spaces could help decrease the incident rates of influenza. The influenza virus’ ability to survive and be transmitted person-to-person is greatly affected by how dry or wet the air is.
40-60% relative humidity is the optimal range to have fewer flu viruses lingering:
- in the air
- on towels and fabrics
- sink faucets
- door handles
This humidifier has excellent ratings!
So whether it’s cold and flu season or not, start young to teach your children to wash their hands! It starts with us modeling it.
Forget hand sanitizer – It’s not a good alternative to simple handwashing! We know not that triclosan in antibacterial soap increases bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
If you’ve been encouraged or informed by something you’ve read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook, joining us on Pinterest, or subscribing to the helpful email resources. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!