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Can glowing gel help keep children’s hands clean?27th of July 2011
A glowing hand gel could be an effective way of improving hand hygiene among children, according to findings.
In a Chicago study youngsters were encouraged to wash their hands more thoroughly after using a gel that highlighted the dirt and bacteria.
The small-scale study involved 60 children of all ages - plus their parents - who were waiting to see a paediatrician at a children's emergency department in Chicago. Half were asked to use the glowing gel hand wash and were also given lessons in hand hygiene, while the other half were simply asked to wash their hands with the gel.
After applying Glo Germ Gel the children and adults placed their hands under a light which highlighted the dirt and bacteria with a yellow glow. The subjects were then asked to wash their hands with soap and water before placing them back under the light.
"We found that using the gel alone to illustrate the areas of hands that may not be getting clean - even without verbal education - improved children's hand hygiene," said Mary E Groll, MD, of Northwestern University Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Most of the children were re-evaluated between within a month of the study and all had improved their hand washing ability when compared with the initial visit, regardless of whether or not they had received any extra hand hygiene instruction. However, their parents' hand hygiene had not significantly improved since the first visit.
Glo Germ Gel, developed in California by Glo Germ in the 1960s, is sold around the world and is frequently used for training hospital patients and staff.