Handy advice to keep bugs at bay; HOSPITALS: Young patients learning vital lessons in ways to keep clean.
YOUNGSTERS at a Birmingham hospital were literally glowing as they found out how to take precautions against germs.
Infection control nurse Angela Williams used a UV light "glow bug" to teach young patients at Heartlands Hospital how important it is to clean their hands thoroughly.
Angela introduced youngsters to the machine, which uses UV light to show up areas on the hands which haven't been washed properly.
Patients from the at the hospital in Bordesley Green and pupils from James Brindley School, which teaches youngsters while they are ill, were shown how to use techniques used by doctors and nurses.
Angela said hospital staff wanted to make sure even the youngest patients knew how to keep their hands clean to stop infections spreading.
It's important for all visitors, patients and staff to clean their hands when entering or leaving wards, using either alcohol gel or soap and water where necessary," said Angela.
"It's one of the simplest things you can do but also one of the most important in keeping hospitals clean.
"Hands can be covered in as many as 10 million germs.
Teaching young patients to wash their hands means that they can show their friends and family how to do the same."
The children were also shown how to apply gel to make sure that it covers their hands evenly, and how to wash hands with soap and water thoroughly.
The six step technique used by hospital medical staff, nurses and surgeons involves washing palms and backs of hands, as well as problem areas which are often missed such as in between the fingers and thumbs.
Angela added: "Using the glow bug highlights the areas that children have missed, particularly areas like finger tips and nails which can harbour bacteria.
"We got a few gasps when the children saw how dirty hands can be! But they're a whole lot cleaner now."
SIMPLY GLOWING... Sophia Khan tests her hands for bacteria in the glow bug machine.