Thursday, April 30, 2009

When It Comes to Battling Swine Flu, Hygiene Helps

/PRNewswire / -- Worldwide concerns over the swine flu outbreak is spurring governments and health agencies into action to keep the public safe.

Closer to home, The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA - is reminding families that disease prevention is in their hands -- literally.

"Cleaning your hands with soap and water is simple, safe, effective and inexpensive," said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. "When it comes to preventing the spread of the flu, hygiene is your first line of everyday defense. Very simply put, clean hands save lives.

"Whether you're using bar soap, liquid soap, or foam soap, just make sure you lather your hands and rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds."

Parents' concern over their children's health in school settings may be understandably heightened due to the round-the-clock news coverage of the swine flu outbreak. SDA offers three quick tips for parents to help keep their kids healthy in school:

-- Make sure your school has adequate supplies of soap, paper towels and
surface cleaning and disinfecting products. It's tough for students
to keep their hands clean if bathrooms lack the basics. And make sure
there are sufficient and effective cleaning and disinfecting products
available for school custodians, who are on the front lines of keeping
our schools healthy.
-- Tuck some hand wipes along your child's packed lunch. Sometimes kids
are so rushed during the day, they don't wash their hands before they
eat. Hands wipes are useful when kids are on the go.
-- Consider adding a hand sanitizer into your older child's backpack.
Convenient, portable sanitizer products are great to have around when
soap and water aren't readily available. (Check with your school to
make sure students are allowed to carry along a sanitizer.)

"Take time to explain to your kids why handwashing is important, and stay informed. Proper hygiene, common sense, and good information from credible sources will go a long way to seeing us through this public health challenge," added SDA's Nancy Bock.

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