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How Important is Washing Your Hands?

This past week we learned how to properly wash hands! Hand washing is one of the most important tools we can use to stop the spread of germs and avoid getting sick. In Cambodia, where 2,000 children die every year as a result of diarrheal infections caused by poor sanitation, dirty water and a lack of basic hygiene practices make the subject of hand washing vital to keeping kids from getting sick! It's crazy to realize so many children die from preventable disease, in a country only roughly the size of the State of Missouri!

But how can you know these things if you don't have clean water and soap around and if no one ever taught you? Many of us grew up in a world where washing your hands was something we learned at a young age. With parents and schools to show us, and in a world where there is always clean running water and soap around, many of us take for granted how easy it is to keep our hands clean and stop the spread of disease. But if you didn’t grow up with such luxuries, how would you know?

This week we covered 3 important concepts relating to germs on your hands: germs are invisible, they are spreadable, and they ARE avoidable! We discussed why we get sick, and used the ABC song to get a time on scrubbing with soap. By showing the growth of bacteria using clean bread and dirty bread (some bread touched all their hands, some touched the toilet) and showing how germs spread using glitter on our hands, hopefully we can try to reduce the amount of sickness that could be prevented.

While the glitter game was fun, we have also been watching the mold slowly grow on the bread over the past week so they see for themselves that the bread their hands touched has grown just as many “germs” as the bread that touched the toilet.

As you can see from the above pictures, the hand bread and toilet bread grew very similar levels of mold, while you can't even see the amount that grew on the clean bread!! Hopefully it's a lesson they won't soon forget!

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