As the annual flu season approaches, Kiilto specialists visited a few daycare centres, preschools and primary schools in the Turku region to teach children to wash their hands properly. The United Nations Global Handwashing Day is held every year on 15 October, and to mark the event Kiilto wants to remind people of the importance of hand washing.
Good hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of various diseases. “The children already knew how to wash their hands very well”, says Mirkka Marjanen of Kiilto. “In most cases, careless handwashing is probably due to being in a rush or impatience–it’s rarer that people don’t know the right technique”, Marjanen continues.
The purpose of the visits was to teach children the right handwashing technique and to highlight the fact that a small moment of time should be reserved for handwashing in many different situations during the day. All the children were given their own handwashing mastery checklist, which they had to use to mark times that they washed their hands in various situations. Once the checklist was completed, each child received a gold medal.
Kiilto chemist Juha Issakainen developed a blue substance in the company’s laboratory in Turku for the training and this was dispensed for every child, turning their hands blue. They then had to wash it off with soap. Any colour left on the hands showed that the areas between the fingers, for example, had not been washed properly. ”It was very nice to note that everyone was excited about learning to wash their hands properly, and that they did it with care. Many also knew in advance that hand washing is important in the fight against bacteria”, said Niko Lindström of Kiilto after the visits. With soap and good guidance, the blue colour was successfully removed from all the children’s hands. “It is definitely worth doing similar campaigns to raise awareness in the future”, says Lindström. After the visit, the parents of some of the children who participated in the event gave feedback that their children now wash their hands more carefully at home as well. Kiilto encourages everyone, both children and adults, to take up the challenge and wash their hands thoroughly, not only on Global Handwashing Day but every day.
Watch the video of Kiilto’s handwashing event with children