With winter comes the dreaded season of germs; it’s flu season, we’re all cooped up inside to avoid the chilly weather, and our kids seem to have a never-ending cough and runny nose.
Perhaps the ones who get the worst of it, though, are teachers. They’re exposed to dozens of children’s germs every single day. Even though they teach them important skills (like the vampire cough), there is often little you can do to avoid picking these bugs up.
But, thanks to a really creative object lesson from one teacher, we know the best thing we can all do is wash our hands with warm water and soap!
“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,” teacher Jaralee Annice Metcalf wrote in a viral Facebook post.
No surprises here, but the pieces of bread that were wiped on the students’ Chromebooks and the pieces that were touched by unwashed hands were by far the moldiest by the end of the experiment.
According to the results, the best way to clean your hands of bacteria is with warm water and soap. In second place was hand sanitizer, but it wasn’t a close call. There was still plenty of bacteria spread on the slice of bread that students with sanitized hands touched.
Jaralee’s point can be summed up in this one statement: “As somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Wash your hands! Remind your kids to wash their hands! And hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands!”
It’s never too late to teach your children proper hand-washing techniques. Practice daily. Make it fun with good-smelling soap and a silly song you can sing together while you scrub. Your children’s teachers (and everyone else!) will thank you.
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.