Cleaning hands properly is one of the most effective ways of avoiding illness and reducing the spread of infection.
Clean running water and soap are the fundamentals – provided by most bathrooms -but the provision of these isn’t always enough to ensure a proper job. How else then, can better hand washing be encouraged?
Here ONVO, the team leading a revolution for washrooms in educational settings, highlight 6 clever ways you can promote handwashing to support a cleaner school environment.
#1 Provide instructions
Yes, we’ve all been washing our hands since we were knee-high but are we actually doing it right?
COVID-19 has increased the focus on technique and it’s important to continue with this, teaching students – of all ages – how to wash hands thoroughly. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming older pupils are getting it right, they’re probably the biggest culprits for not taking enough time.
A quick search of the internet will reveal a wealth of resources, with the NHS providing detailed videos to clearly demonstrate the best technique.
#2 Use reminders
Most people know they should wash their hands, but when the playground is calling or the canteen beckoning, it’s easy to forget.
To help, place reminders around the building – posters on the back of toilet doors and near the lunch hall. Nothing is more likely to discourage eating with dirty hands than a poster highlighting the germs that could be festering and how poorly you could feel.
Do what schools do best – teach!
Understanding the impact of poor hand washing, and how to do it properly, is the best way to encourage children to get onboard. Remember to make it fun – pitch the learning at their level. A fun rhyme to sing to make sure hands are rubbed and rinsed for long enough, or grim facts about germs and bacteria for teenagers.
There are numerous angles you can take to engage with students of all ages, making handwashing fun, interesting and something they actively want to do, as opposed to being seen as a time-wasting chore.
#4 Make it easy
All the encouragement in the world isn’t going to help if your sinks have seen better days. Rusty taps too stiff to turn on properly, a trickle of hot water – no hot water!
It’s essential to practice what you preach. If you expect pupils to take hand washing seriously you need to provide them with the means to do so, with access to clean, easy to use sinks and plenty of soap.
#5 Don’t neglect the drying
Washing is key but don’t forget the drying!
It’s not only frustrating but also hugely off-putting if the hand dryer is always out of action or the paper towels have run out. It’s these little things that, if a regular occurrence, can really discourage handwashing – who wants to be left with soaking wet hands?
#6 Improve access
And handwashing isn’t only needed after using the toilet. It’s important before eating, after nose-blowing, coughing or sneezing, so why confine sinks to the bathroom? Increasing access is a positive step towards increasing washing and a space-saving wash fountain, cleverly positioned before entry into the dinner hall, is a smart way to make cleaning quick and convenient.
Promote excellence with ONVO
Schools strive for excellence, and at ONVO, we believe this excellence should encompass every aspect of school life – including basic hygiene levels.
Designed specifically with the needs of educational settings in mind, we provide robust, modern and attractive washroom fittings, guaranteed to boost handwashing.