Under fives suffer high numbers of norovirus outbreaks

Under fives suffer high numbers of norovirus outbreaks

Call for hand washing diligence with young children

The need for effective hand washing in preschools and nurseries is again sharply in focus, with children of under five years of age being particularly susceptible to norovirus, with only the over 65s being deemed at a higher risk, according to a recent report on the Sun website

With the number of cases of the so-called “winter vomiting bug” being at a reported ten year high, a warning has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), according to Senior Health Reporter Terri-Ann Williams.

The article quotes the Surveillance Lead at UKHSA’s Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety Division, who warned that although care homes continue to show the highest levels of outbreaks, incidents in schools – in particular preschools – are now causing concern.

“…outbreaks in educational settings have returned to pre-pandemic levels in recent weeks and are particularly affecting children in early years educational settings”.

Norovirus is of course highly infectious and if contracted, it’s very important to keep youngsters hydrated advised Dr Lesley Larkin.

“Young children and older adults are at greater risk of developing dehydration while unwell with norovirus.”

Why hand washing with soap and water is essential

Teaching children to wash their hands properly is so important and making it a lifelong habit is essential. And in the case of norovirus, it’s the only way to effectively reduce the spread of the illness, says the report which states that hand gels should not be relied upon as a substitute for “proper” hand washing.

“Alcohol-based hand gel does not kill norovirus, NHS guidance warns, so washing your hands frequently with soap and water is best way to stop it from spreading.”

It is important to keep infected children at home for 48 hours after the symptoms have disappeared.

Warning as norovirus outbreaks in schools remain high – 6 things all parents must know »

Preschool children being taught to wash hands with a KiddiSynk

Preschool children being taught to wash hands with a KiddiSynk

Mobile hand wash units for children can be used indoors and out

The Kiddiwash range of warm water hand wash units are perfect for smaller hands – and are ideal where a portable solution is required.

Whether you require a larger wheeled unit such as the KiddiSynk, or the ultra portable Kiddiwash Xtra, you can ensure that all children in your care are able to wash their hands whether inside or out.

Hand washing – the most important lesson a child can learn!

Hand washing with soap and water is an essential lifelong skill. Here, children in your care can learn the ten simple steps that show how to wash hands effectively.