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Glow Gel Enhances Hand-Washing Ability in Children

The use of glow gel improves hand washing even without specific hand hygiene education

FRIDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The use of glow gel to wash hands is an effective way to improve hand hygiene in children, even without specific education, according to a study published in the July issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Anna B. Fishbein, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues characterized children's hand-washing behaviors, and evaluated the efficacy of a hand-washing intervention in pediatric waiting rooms. A total of 60 children and their 57 parents in the emergency department waiting room of an urban pediatric hospital were included. They were randomized to glow gel hand washing with and without hand hygiene education, and then completed a hand hygiene questionnaire. Following the patients' use of glow gel to wash their hands, any unclean areas were illumined under black light, and hands were scored for cleanliness. Participants returned two to four weeks later to repeat hand washing and the questionnaire.

The investigators found that, at the initial visit, hand washing was reported by 91 percent of participants after using the bathroom, and 78 percent before dinner. Based on objective scoring, hand-washing ability improved for all children at the second visit, and they were significantly more likely to wash with warm water. No significant improvement in hand-washing ability was noticed among the parents.

"Glow gel hand washing is an effective method to improve children's hand-washing ability in the waiting room. This intervention can be performed even in the absence of specific hand hygiene education," the authors write.

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