CHILDREN have got down to the nitty gritty in a novel competition designed to improve hand hygiene at Ealing Hospital.
A poster competiton for three to 16-year-olds was launched by Cynthia Cenal, the hospital's infection control nurse specialist, in a bid to raise awareness among youngsters. The winning posters were displayed in the foyer to drive the message home to adults as well.
Cynthia said: "The best time to teach hand hygiene is during childhood when they are the most receptive, especially as adults think they know what to do already. The reason we did this was to raise the profile of hand hygiene in the hospital which we are already very hot about. The hygiene sessions were run by our teacher, Anya, who has also held sessions for adults, and she was very passionate about it. We were all so impressed with the entries."
There were 47 entries, the youngest being three and oldest 15, for the competition which run throughout August and September. All the entries had to be originals and not computer generated.
Cynthia said:"The children were introduced to germs: good and bad bacteria and glitter was used to represent bad bacteria. Then they washed their hands using just water, then soap and water and asked to look at the difference. So we hope the competition reinforced what they learned and that they will pass this on to adults. I hope we have started something good and the children don't lose the idea when they grow up. This is something we all need to know and remember. It's so important."
The competition has just been judged by chief executive Julie Lowe, director of nursing Julie Halliday, infectious dieseases consultant Gurjinder Sandhu, consultant paediatrician Colin Michie and head teacher of EOTAS study centre Tracie McNeil with the results announced by the director of infection prevention and control Bill Lynn.
The winners, who all received Tesco vouchers, were:
* Frankie Haugh, aged 6, (1st)
* Kuljinder Degun, aged 14 (2nd)
* Muna Mohamed, aged 13 (3rd)
* Siliana Coelho, aged 13. specially commended.