‘Pupils need hand-washing lessons to cut drug resistance’

7th of October 2015
‘Pupils need hand-washing lessons to cut drug resistance’

Schoolchildren should be taught how to wash their hands properly in order to tackle the growing threat of drug-resistant bacteria, say UK health officials.

Draft National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for England recommend that teachers demonstrate the correct use of soap and water to their students.

The guidelines come as a response to fears that unless action is taken, treatment-resistant bacteria could kill more people than currently die from cancer by 2050.

"Children - and adults for that matter - should always wash their hands after using the toilet, before eating, before touching the eyes or mouth, and after handling animals," claim the guidelines.

According to NICE, an effective hand-washing technique involves three stages: preparation, washing and rinsing, then drying. The regime should begin with an application of tepid running water to the hands followed by a coating of soap.

The hands should then be rubbed vigorously together for 10-15 seconds with particular attention being paid to the fingers, thumbs and the areas between the fingers. After this the hands should be rinsed thoroughly and dried with good quality paper towels.

Nice recently published guidance aimed at health professionals estimating that as many as 10 million prescriptions for antibiotics in England are being given out unnecessarily every year.

Besides the hand washing lessons, NICE also believes that children should be given age-appropriate lessons concerning the correct use of antibiotics.


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