Handwashing...I'm being honest.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by VANewbie, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I'm going to be really honest. The only time my kids would wash their hands would be after they used the restroom or is someone had a really bad cold or if we were using paint or something. Thats good and all but they never washed their hands before lunch. We would have recess and the kids would take their lunches with us and put them to the side. I would take hand sanitizer out and we would use that but we never washed our hands. Yes this is pretty bad I agree.

    There were times when we would have recess and would have some extra time to go back in and get our lunches but we still never washed hands because we only have one sink in our room. Just having the kids stand there in a line and waiting for them to wash hands would take forever.

    I know people are going to have a lot to say but how do you wash hands in your class. Or do you just use sanitizer.
    I had about 23 kids and washing hands one by one would take forever. I also know that people would say leave recess early but that would take at least 10 mins to get everyone rounded up picked up our supplies that they play with and then come in and wash hands. It would take maybe 15 mins total. So there goes 15 mins from our 25 min recess.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    The class I worked in last year always used sanitizer. The school did not provide soap or paper towels in the bathrooms. It was gross.

    Could you try sending them in small groups? I might try that.
     
  4. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Wow no soap or towels!


    Small groups would not work. We have to keep our doors locked at all times and the P would not like that. Plus who knows what the kids would do without my supervision.
     
  5. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I always have Wet-Ones available. In fact, I ask the parents at Back To School Night to send in Baby Wipes or Wet-Ones for our class to use. My parents are very supportive and will supply just about anything I ask for. They are very generous.

    In the past, I have send groups to the bathroom right before lunch to wash their hands but that does not always work so Baby Wipes and Wet-ones were my answer.
     
  6. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Baby wipes-GREAT IDEA
     
  7. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    I see no problem with hand sanitizer. If a child had a lot of dirt on their hands, could they use the restroom sink?
     
  8. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jul 25, 2010

    I worked at two Pre-K's that did meals.
    1) We would use the bathrooms, split the group in two and used the bathrooms- one with an assistant and one with a teacher- we were ECSE/Blended- so there were four of us and we had two do bathrooms and two set up lunches.
    2) At my other school we had two sinks in our classroom- but we didn't have recess first so we just washed hands as we were cleaning up.
    Not sure what your program is- but the state or head start would fine us majorly if they caught us not washing hands prior to a meal.

    Now I no longer have to deal with meals! YEAH! - One of my assistants likes to sneak sanitizer down the hall to the bathroom (I gave up meals for not having a bathroom-well I moved schools) though when she takes the kids cause she thinks it's faster- I just bought a soap dispenser on sale at Target today to stick by the door.

    Could you change your schedule around?
    Maybe do recess after lunch? Or do it earlier in the morning?
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We get 25 minutes for lunch. That includes getting to and from the cafeteria and waiting in the lunch line. We have no time for a whole class of kids to wash their hands. (Two sinks in the bathroom.) I can't leave early because I can't lose an extra 5-10 minutes of instructional time from one class.

    We don't have paper towels or soap anyway. During the sickness outbreaks we had sanitizer available in the cafeteria. I hate sanitizer. I won't use it.
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    The only problems I have heard of with hand sanitizer (we call it "hanitizer" in my room) are 1) if they immediately put their hands in their eyes after sanitizing and 2) I heard that if they put their hands in their mouths after sanitizing, it can make them ill.

    We have soap and paper towels in our (classroom) bathroom, but the kids don't use them much, unless we do something "messy" or "sticky." Otherwise, some babies just insist on playing in the soap and//or flushing the towels! In fact, I took the towels out of the dispenser and put them in a basket "out in the open" where I could monitor their use. Part of our "going to lunch" routine is receiving a squirt of sanitizer on your way to the line. Also, our school requires students to wash their hands in the lunch room - we have a large trough-like sink, and we even have an aide who ensures that they do (we have duty-free lunch). Just a note - all of my kiddos are on free lunch, so we don't have to worry much about gathering lunches, lol.
     
  11. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I'm not sure if we can change the schedule this year. It may even be completely different this year. I just remember having a parent come to eat lunch with us and I was so nervous of what she was thinking because we didn't wash our hands. I was thinking at lunch that she would ask the child "hey your hands are dirty do you ever wash them before lunch" and then the child saying no never. lol

    Then she would make a big deal out of it. All in my imagination and it never happened but I was so embarrassed.
     
  12. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue.


    BTW-I hate hand sanitizer as well.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Our students do not have that opportunity but sanitizer is available in the cafeteria. I never use hand sanitizer.
     
  14. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I take them to restroom so they can wash their hands as a class before lunch. That way they aren't asking to go to the restroom during lunch (they only end up with about 20 minutes to eat) and they can be germ-free for their food.

    I've seen so many studies about sanitizer being so much less effective than soap and water-I would have to find a way to have them wash their hands before lunch.
     
  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2010

    The school district I work in installed hand sanitizers (non-alcohol based) in all the classrooms which we use but I also have 4 sinks so we actually wash hands before snack, after coming in from outside, after crafts and any other time I can think of. My principal does complain I use a lot of paper towels.

    The daycare I work in says it is illegal to use handsaniter with the preschoolers - they say they wash hands before eating (and have it on their posted schedules) but I have never seen them do it - I line my kids up and wash hands every time we come inside from playing -it takes a while and it is a bit before eating but I figure it is better than nothing which is what everyone else does - yuck!

    I think it is an important and much neglected issue - especially when we have kids with compromised immune systems, etc. I had a girl a few years ago with severe heart issues and it really brought home how important sanitation was since even a cold could kill her so I really became much more diligent.
     
  16. aThriftyTeacher

    aThriftyTeacher Rookie

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    I have 27 kiddos and I'm a strong believer in washing hands after a group trip to the bathroom. Even with that many kiddos we can get it all done in about 7 mins...we have foam soap and hand dryers in our bathrooms. There are other teachers in the building who only use hand sanitizer and don't even have their kids wash their hands with soap...which I personally think is gross. How many things do they touch on the way back to the room? Also, hand washing is a good habit to introduce. I hate it as an adult when I'm in a public restroom and see grown women come out of stalls and bypass the sinks/soap all together. Hand sanitizer is great for right before lunch...but nothing is as good as soap and water. :)
     
  17. Pencil Monkey

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    I don't really have time to do hand washing either. Before lunch I give the kids a wet one/baby wipe and tell them to wash their hands and their desks. This way hands and desks are cleaned daily. When I call them to line up, they toss it in the trash and get in line. It works for me. If I run out of wipes I give each kid a paper towel and walk around with a squirt bottle of water and a few drops of soap. Sometimes I put lemon juice in the bottle if I have it. (I use that dry lemon powder stuff) I give each kid three or four squirts. They wipe down their hands and desks. If you are outside you could bring a plastic grocery bag to gather the used towels....it could even be a helpers job to handle that as kids are lining up from recess.
     
  18. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2010

    hand washing only kills germs if done for at least 30 sec in warm-hot water. Most kids do far less than this. Handsantizer is more likely to actually kill germs.
     
  19. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2010

    I am shocked that many of you skip handwashing. Day Care and Head Start have handwashing in their regulations.

    And, handwashing is part of the curriculum. I know it takes time, but it is part of life, and something I think teachers should teach and/or support. I have seen teachers be very creative about handwashing. If you have a sink in your room, you can send them in groups while the rest are working on an educational activity.

    Without a sink becomes more challenging. Manpower becomes an issue to work out. I would involve the P if I could not figure out a way to get the handwashing done. Of course, I also believe that the children should have as long as needed to eat their lunch. I guess I am a rebel/troublemaker/the teacher no P wants on their staff.
     
  20. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Right, but it also washes away the germs and grime, where sanitizer just kind of pushes it around. I teach my kids to say the ABC's or sing Happy Birthday while they are washing so they know it's been long enough.

    They recommend rubbing the sanitizer completely over your hands for 25 seconds too: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hand-washing/HQ00407/NSECTIONGROUP=2
     
  21. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I do this as well, but: a) in actuality, my kids are pushed through the lunch line too fast to complete this, and b) the water is lukewarm - cold in the classroom and bathrooms. That's why I try to do both!
     
  22. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I have no idea how 12 classes would all possibly be able to use two bathrooms (one girls/one boys) before lunch... I think handwashing after they use the washroom is good. A little dirt is good for them.

    And I'm not a fan of "hanitizer"... some might say I'm not a fanitizer... :lol:
     
  23. MzMooreTeaches

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    For 2yrs I was an assistant in a prek classroom and handwashing was a huge part of the curriculum. The difference I see our schedule wasn't as tight as yours and we had a lot more flexibility. We also ate in the classroom as well.

    When it was time for lunch the lead teacher would do story time and other transitional activities so I could call them to the bathroom in groups of 2-3. In the beginning of the school year we went over the routine of washing the tops of hands, in between fingers, wrist as well as nails. Of course this took a lot of modeling and a lot of time. We didn't always get in the full 30 seconds but they got the idea, that picking your nose, scratching your bottoms, fingers in your mouth, when we came in from outside, in the morning and before they could eat that washing their hands was a must.

    I'm not quite sure how you can incorporate hand washing into your day... but could you do any of the following.


    1. come in from outside earlier?
    2. while they are washing their hands the ones that are waiting do a fun song, dance, movement while they are waiting?

    Hopefully you have a slightly different schedule this year so you have time to incorporate handwashing into your day. Keep us posted! Don't get discouraged... hand sanitizer is better than nothing at all.
     
  24. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

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    I think this is a wonderful and important topic - thanks for posting it! The kids have very dirty hands and don't realize how disgusting hands can get. Even though our kids learned about proper hygiene in their health classes, we never practice it which sends a really bad message.

    Here is an article about how another country manages hand washing wonderfully:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ek20030605ag.html
     
  25. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    why?

    We always use hand sanitizer EXCEPT if I see a child's hands are extremely dirty or I saw them pick their nose then they wash their hands. An issue we have is student's will wash their hands but won't dry them....:eek:hmy: so they have dripping, wet hands. I guess I need to put that on my checklist...."teach students how to dry their hands and why it's important"
     
  26. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Genmai very interesting article!
     
  27. Mrs.Sheila

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    Again~ another preschool teacher here where we HAVE to..... state requirement and yes we would be fined too. HOWEVER, I am gald we "have" to... because it teaches them. Do they continue it at home? NO because their "mommy" won't let them. ( I can't tell you how many times I hear that!!)

    Up until the swine flu outbreak, we couldn't use an alcohol based hand sanitizer either, but they do make them w/out alcohol. I do think we need to be teaching kids proper health habits, because too many of them do not get that at home. Unfortunately, the big wigs in most schools are all about test scores, numbers, and pushing kids through a herding line. (Just My Opinion!)
     
  28. aThriftyTeacher

    aThriftyTeacher Rookie

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    I've had two children who were allergic to hand sanitizer last year and their hands would break out in hives...so maybe that's why as scmom mentioned it's illegal in her daycare. With those kiddos who are allergic hand washing is the only option.
     
  29. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    :yeahthat:
     
  30. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I had two boys in my class who were allergic to handsanitizer and I had time to let them quickly wash their hands. It was much easier. We would walk past my room to the lunchroom while the two boys would hurry and wash their hands and then they would catch up with us a the cafeteria.

    Much easier with the two than the 20 something other kids. The baby wipe idea is something I NEVER thought of. Great great idea.
     
  31. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Like some others said, I teach my students to sing happy birthday while they wash their hands. We don't have a bathroom or sinks in our room, but we're close enough that I can hear if they sing or not. If I don't hear them singing while they wash their hands, they go back for a second try!
     
  32. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    yes, my friend is a scientist for NASA and the conducted a sanitizer study. Most people use way too much sanitizer and all it does is push the germs around. The germs are still on the hand. When you use soap and water, you are actually killing and rinsing the germs off the hands.

    With all that being said, I will try and use more soap and water this year.
     
  33. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    I didn't have time last year to take my Kinders to wash hands before lunch (although they did go at some point during the morning & wash with soap). I always gave them the option of using "hanitizer" on the way out the door to lunch (I would give them the appropriate amount) but I never required anyone to use it. Most kids chose to use it, but I always had a few that said no.
     
  34. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Im so glad I'm not the only one. I really like the baby wipe ideas. I am going to get some and just use those before lunch/recess. Or maybe our schedule will change and recess will be after lunch.

    Now I just want to get one of those handwashing posters to put up by the sink.
     
  35. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    This year, the other first grade teacher and I did a group bathroom breaks together. I took her boys, she took my girls, and 40 kids went to the bathroom and washed their hands before lunch in 7to 10 minutes. They didn't play around because they went right out to recess from the bathroom.
    After recess, they did the sanitizer thing on the way into the cafeteria, but at least they got their hands washed a couple of times a day. We also did a bathroom break in the early morning, and one an hour after lunch. Why group breaks? We weren't allowed to send them to the bathroom alone for the first semester. You wouldn't believe how much uninterrupted class time we had when they couldn't leave at will to use the bathroom. They were allowed to go in emergencies, I just had to make sure an adult was with them.
    This policy was for safety reasons. I'm on the top floor, and the bathrooms are in the basement. Like most schools in this area, it was built nearly 80 years ago.
     
  36. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Jul 31, 2010

    I use soap and water with my kids and they wash their hands ever time they go to the bathroom in addition to once midmorning, before lunch, and before snack. They wash two at a time and sing the abcs or happy birthday. I have two sinks in my room and it works out just fine.
     

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