GlitterBug and Coronavirus

Hand hygiene is the key to keeping safe from Covid-19

There has been a lot of information flying around about Covid-19 – some of it good, some bad and some just plain silly. This article explains what good hand hygiene is, why it’s important, and how GlitterBug can help you teach it.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia.
Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person.
Good hygiene can prevent infection.

– Australian Government Department of Health web site

Good hand hygiene benefits the whole community

Covid-19 is most likely spread through droplets that are sprayed in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These small particles may travel up to two metres and be breathed in, land on common surfaces that people touch, or be transferred when shaking hands.

It is therefore important that everyone cover their coughs and sneezes, dispose of tissues immediately, and wash their hands immediately after coughing or sneezing. If you are infected, this will slow the spread of germs to others. 

If you are not infected, washing your hands often is the best way of removing virus particles from your hands before they make their way to your nose or mouth.

How to wash your hands

Here’s a great video from the US Center for Disease Control …

To break it down…

Hot or cold water? It doesn’t matter as long as it’s clean.

Bar soap or liquid? Either is fine.

Antibacterial soap or plain? Either is fine.

No soap at all? Not ideal, but better than not washing at all.

How long do I wash my hands? Scrubbing for at least 20 seconds is most effective.

Do I have to clean under my fingernails? Yes, germs love to hide under fingernails.

Towel or air dry? Either is fine as long as the towel is clean.

What if I don’t have soap and water? Sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol will kill most germs. But understand that most alcohol-based sanitisers don’t kill viruses and you should still wash your hands before eating or after using the toilet.

Download our free hand washing poster

Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.

– US Centres for Disease Control web site

The importance of hand hygiene

Teaching hand hygiene is possibly the most important life lesson you can give someone.

The CDC web site that the above quote comes from also has some incredible statistics about hand washing and its effects on community health.

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:
  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
  Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:
  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 236
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%  4
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 35
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7

– US Centres for Disease Control web site

How GlitterBug can help you teach hand washing

If you’re downloading our poster, chances are you teach hand hygiene – and you’ve almost certainly come across people that don’t want to listen because they “already know how to wash their hands”. This attitude is especially prevalent when training medical professionals.

What if there was a product that gave even the most stubborn students a clear visual indication that their current handwashing wasn’t working?

Meet GlitterBug.

Get your know-it-all students to rub the GlitterBug Potion into their hands.

Then, get them to wash and dry their hands as they would normally.

GlitterBug is invisible in normal light – just like germs. But under UV light, it glows!

Watch the look on their faces when you reveal all the places that they didn’t wash well enough.

GlitterBug Gel is for teaching sanitiser use

When you’re teaching people proper techniques for using hand sanitiser, you need GlitterBug Gel. GlitterBug Gel looks and feels just like an alcohol sanitiser. 

How to use GlitterBug Gel

Give students a quick squirt and get them to rub it in. Then, when you check with the UV light, you can exactly where the Gel was applied, and all the spots that were missed – wrists, finger webbing and nail beds, etc.

GlitterBug Powder teaches about contaminated surfaces

Cough and sneeze particles land on surfaces up to two metres away and can stay infectious for days. So every time you touch a doorknob, handrail or shopping trolley, you could be getting contaminated particles on your hands. From there, it’s a short trip to your mouth or nose and into the body.

How to use GlitterBug Powder

GlitterBug Powder is very fine, like baby powder. A light dusting on a commonly touched surface in the training area, such as a door handle or sign-in sheet, will quickly spread on students’ hands. Give it a few minutes and then use the UV light to see how far it has travelled. You will see it on hands, faces, clothes, books, desks. Remember, even the tiniest particle of infectious material can contain enough virus to infect someone.