NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Seeing is Believing

handwashingPlease step into the world of young children with me:  Recently I spent time with the kindergarten and grade one students at one of our Sargent county schools.  We talked about germs.  The students volunteered things they already knew about germs, and they knew a lot!  It was enough to fill our imaginary balloon and make it grow huge!  They got to see glow-in-the-dark pretend germs on their hands.  Then we talked about the difference between offense and defense as it relates to sports, and how good, thorough handwashing is the best defense against germs that can make us sick.  We practiced how use “super scrubber” handwashing techniques to get germs off our hands and down the drain.

Then we conducted an experiment.  The classroom teachers divided the children into two groups. One was the “Splash and Dash” group.  They washed their hands quickly.  The other group was the “Super Scrubber” group.  They washed their hands thoroughly.  Then the children re-examined their hands to see if they had been successful at getting those nasty glow-in-the-dark pretend germs off their hands.   There, right before their eyes, was the proof.  Thorough handwashing is much more effective at removing germs than the splash and dash approach.  Needless to say, each child in the “Splash and Dash” group chose to go back and do a “Super Scrubber” job to see better results on their hands, too!

Thorough hand-washing is important, no matter what our age.  Our bodies are equipped with an amazing immune system that helps us fight germs that can cause colds, flu, foodborne illness, and various diseases, but we can do many things to help it.  Washing our hands thoroughly is one of those things.  Other things we can do to help our immune system include covering our cough/sneeze with our arm/elbow, or staying home when we are sick, eating a healthful diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables, with lean protein, healthful fats, low-fat dairy and whole grains to round out our plate, drink plenty of water, be physically active at least five days per week, aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, and getting plenty of rest, keeping in mind that in general, people need seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

For more information about your amazing immune system, contact the Extension office or visit this website: www.ndsu.edu/boomers and click on “Immune System.”


Source:  https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/foodwise/newsletter-postings/october-2015-1
Photo Credit:   https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Handwashing.jpg


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