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Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

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Media Contact:

Carole Trottere
School of Medicine
Phone: (516) 463-7585
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Date: May 15, 2012

Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Students Work With Plainview Second-Graders to Teach Importance of Hand Washing

Second Graders learn about how germs can cause infections

First-year medical students from the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine recently worked with second grade students from the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District to teach them about “germs” and the necessity of proper hand washing techniques. The med students visited four elementary schools in the district and conducted a hand washing lesson for the young students. Following the lesson, students were expected to go home and share what they learned about germs and proper hand washing with their families. 

Hand washing has been studied by numerous groups and industries and has been shown to be the single most effective means of preventing the spread of infections. Many diseases, such as the common cold, influenza (flu), ear infections, strep throat, diarrhea, and other intestinal infections, can be spread by unwashed or improperly washed hands. (http://www.in.gov/isdh/21926.htm).  Many organizations are working toward improving hand hygiene, so working within the schools becomes a natural and effective target.

The med students used a substance called Glo-Germ ™ powder and a black light on the youngster to demonstrate the sticking power of germs and the importance of good hand washing techniques.  The Glo Germ™ products simulate the behavior of real germs, so students can see how they spread.Plainview students also received a coloring book about the importance of hand washing.

The hand-washing presentation by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine students is part of Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District’s Science, Technology and Research program, headed by Chairperson Joyce Thornton Barry.