Hand Hygiene For The Flu Season

After the flu vaccination, good hygiene is next in line as defence against the flu.

There has previously been limited evidence on which is the most effective hand hygiene technique for cleaning hands. A study lead by Jacqui Reilly, a professor of infection prevention and control at Glasgow Caledonian University compared a six step technique recommended by the World Health Organisation with a three step technique used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following a pragmatic randomised controlled trial the six step method proved to be superior.

In light of this, attached below is the World Health Organisation six step guideline on the best hand washing techniques to keep germs at bay. One is for when using an alcohol based hand rub and the other hand washing with soap and water. They both use the same following six steps but have slightly different starts and finishes;

  1. Rub palm to palm
  2. Interlaced palm to back
  3. Interlaced palm to palm
  4. Finger backs interlocked
  5. Thumbs clasped in palm
  6. Finger tips rubbed in palm

To make it fun for kids you may like to link each stage to an animal;

  1. Seal clap
  2. Turtle shell
  3. Butterfly wings
  4. Monkey grip
  5. Clam wave
  6. Bird peck

So whether you have the flu or are trying to avoid it, proper hygiene benefits us all.


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