Child Specialist & Neonatologist

Hand Hygiene

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All patients (adults, children and babies) are at risk of getting illnesses caused by germs found in hospitals. Many germs are spread from person to person simply by touching (i.e. germs on hands after touching a piece of equipment or a sick child).

What are germs?

There are many different types of germs, such as viruses or bacteria. Germs can make people sick. You can get germs on your hands when you touch objects and when you touch other people. Once germs are on your hands, they can get inside your body through a wound or when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. You can also spread germs on your hands to objects or people that you touch. The most common infections are spread through touching.

How can we stop the spread of germs?

Washing your hands and your children’s hands is the best thing you can do to stop the spread of germs. There are also antiseptic ‘gels’ that you can rub into your hands to stop the spread of infections in the hospital. You will find these gels in the wards and around the hospital.You can also purchase them from supermarkets and pharmacies.

When to wash your hands

Before:

  • preparing or eating food
  • breastfeeding
  • feeding a child
  • giving medication to a child
  • touching, cuddling or holding a sick child

After:

  • changing a nappy
  • helping a child use the toilet
  • using the toilet yourself
  • wiping your nose or your child’s nose
  • touching, cuddling or holding your child
  • after you use the bathroom
  • your hands have become dirty

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