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Parents, Students Get Low Marks on Hand Washing

Posted: September 10, 2007

The average student in the United States earns only a "D" when it comes to understanding and practicing basic hand hygiene, according to this year's annual report card from the Soap and Detergent Association.

Parents fared slightly better, getting an overall grade of "C." Moms averaged out at "B-," while Dads earned only a "D+," the trade group said in a statement.

School nurses and health professionals surveyed earned the highest average marks at "B+," while teachers were awarded a "B-."

The group's 2007 "Clean Hands Report Card" was based on telephone interviews and on-site surveys.

The SDA offered this refresher course on effective hand washing:

  • Wet hands with warm running water before using soap.
  • With soap, rub hands together to a lather, away from the running water.
  • Wash the front and back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse well under warm running water.
  • Dry hands well with either a clean towel or air dryer.
  • Hand sanitizers or wipes will suffice if soap and water aren't available.