Classroom Experiment Shows The Importance Of Hand-Washing — Just In Time For Flu Season

A child with a cold or flu might not be your worst nightmare, but it is certainly something we all parents try to avoid as temperatures drop. Yet, the good news is that we can prevent getting sick and spreading germs to others, if we adopt some healthy habits, like keeping hands clean.

Numerous diseases and conditions can be spread by not washing hands in an adequate way. A science teacher decided to show why it is so important.

Jaralee Annice Metcalf, together with a special education teacher Dayna Robertson conducted a project with her class, and the post revealing the findings quickly went viral.

She wrote:

” We did a science project in class this last month as flu season was starting. We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then, we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks.”

The findings were impressive!

After three weeks, all bread pieces grew significant amounts of mold, except for the one that was touched with washed hands.

The science teacher identified herself “as somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired and urged followers to wash their hands.”

Metcalf explained:

 “If the bread had been exposed to air and moisture, the experiment may have gone faster. The breads that were very clearly exposed to different germs grew mold quicker. And ones touched by clean hands plus the soap and water ones were not exposed to the germs that cause the mold growth to quicken.” 

Therefore, we can avoid the flu by simply washing our hands!

Although the flu virus circulates throughout the entire year, we are most susceptible in the period between December and February.

This virus spreads rapidly, and according to the CDC, so far, there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses, 23 000 hospitalizations, and 1300 deaths due to the flu virus this year. The CDC also reported that flu activity has been seen in 30 states—especially southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Most experts claim that the virus is spread by droplets of water made when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, which then end up in our noses, mouths, or lungs if inhaled.

Metcalf added:

“Germs spread rapidly. And it doesn’t matter how often they’re told or how well they’re taught to wash their hands, children won’t always do it properly or enough.” 

Here is how to wash your hands to effectively prevent the flu virus:

Use water and soap, and scrub the hands well for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, when you prepare food, and before you eat.

Moreover, to prevent the spreading of germs during the cold-and-flu season, follow these tips:

  • Always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • If you are sick, stay at home
  • Get the flu shot
  • Disinfect surfaces that often have germs in your home, like tabletops, toys, remote controls
  • Adopt healthy living habits, like regular exercise, a diet rich in veggies and fruits, and get enough sleep to boost your immune system.