Many infections including flu and other contagious diseases are transferred through our hands. We touch a person or a surface that has disease germs, then we transfer those germs by touching our mouth or nose. Playing with pets, touching dirty objects like money, and going to the bathroom can all pass along germs from us to other people, and vice versa. That’s why it’s so important to practice good hand hygiene – and teach our children the same.
Here are a few tips for good hand hygiene:
Wash Your Hands Regularly – 15 seconds with soap and water after going to the bathroom, before eating, sneezing or coughing into our hands, etc. can kill those germs before they transfer.
Sanitize Your Hands – If soap and water is not available, hand sanitizer can also help prevent the transfer of germs. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol content. Note that hand sanitizer will not work effectively for visibly dirty hands (for example, muddy or covered with food).
Sneeze and Cough in the Crook of Your Elbow – Doing this will prevent your germs from going into the air and your hands, the two places where they are most easily transferred to other people.
Hand Washing/Using Sanitizer
- Hand Hygiene 101 - fact sheet (PDF)
- Classroom poster to promote hand washing (English- PDF)
- Classroom poster to promote hand washing (French- PDF)
- Classroom poster to promote the use of hand sanitizer (English- PDF)
- Classroom poster to promote the use of hand sanitizer (French- PDF)
- Hand Hygiene Colouring Pages
- Parent factsheet - hand washing and covering coughs & sneezes (PDF)
Covering Sneezes and Coughs
- Daycare staff fact sheet (PDF)
- Classroom poster to promote covering coughs/sneezes (PDF)
- Reinforcement activity - tracking chart (PDF)
For Further Information
Call the Infectious Disease Program: (807) 625-5900
or toll-free 1-888-294-6630