Public Health's hand washing tips to avoid classroom illnesses

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The simulated 'germs' left on the hands after a 'quick' hand wash.

With the school year now in full swing, the Sunshine Coast Public Health Unit is urging parents to talk about hand washing with their little ones, to help curb the spread of illnesses.

Public Health Physician Dr Nicolas Smoll said it's an important time of year for families to remind children about why hand washing is important and how to do it well. 

"I think the most important tip is that kids use a hand towel to dry their hands, instead of their clothes," Dr Smoll said. 

He said it's also a timely reminder for people of all ages of what a thorough and effective hand wash involves.

"Most illnesses that cause gastro are spread via the hands, therefore by cleaning our hands we're going to effectively cut the key chain of transmission for many of these illnesses," he said. 

The Public Health team is using a glow gel that simulates germs on the hands under a UV light, to highlight how many germs are missed in a brief hand wash.

"You can see the before and after effects of adding a hand towel to your washing strategy, and then adding the cleaning of the intricate bits of your hands such as your fingernails and wrists that often get missed because we often don't know or think to wash those areas."