Digital Exclusive: Shedding Light on Hand Washing

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TAMAQUA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– When’s the last time you really thought about how well, how long–or really, just how you wash your hands?

The children at Child Development Inc. in Tamaqua are getting a hands-on lesson about the importance of hand-washing.

“They actually see it on their hands, the germs, and they are washing them away,” said pediatric nurse and guest instructor Michelle Crochunis. “They get to see that they’re actually doing a good job.”

Students got to rub in a lotion that lights germs and bacteria up when exposed to a blacklight. Then after they wash their hands, they head back to the blacklight to see just how well they did.

“I think they think it’s pretty cool because their hands are glowing,” added her teaching partner Natasha Calabrese, a fellow pediatric nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Pediatric nurses from Lehigh Valley Hospital were glad to come see and teach the kids as opposed to the kids visiting them at work.

The Center for Disease Control cites multiple studies that have determined that regular hand washing alone can decrease the risk of diarrheal associated-disease deaths, respiratory infections, foodborne illnesses, and infection–one study out of London, England says it could prevent 2 million deaths a year.

“Aside from flu shots and vaccines–that sort, it’s definitely preventative medicine. It starts early and with the most basic care,” noted Crochunis.

The nurses say 20-30 seconds before you eat, after you use the bathroom and regularly through the day are best practices and pay special attention to around your fingernails.

“Make sure they get their fingernails because a lot of people–that is their weakness,” added Calabrese. “They are not getting around their fingernails and that’s what we see.”

The guest instructors certainly get through to the younger crowd with a short cheer–“Tops, bottoms and in between–all around and then we’re clean.”

They also agree there are plenty of adults who could use a refresher course.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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