Teach and reinforce hand hygiene


Promoting Healthy Hygiene Practices/Behaviors that Reduce Spread > Teach and reinforce hand hygiene

Cleaning hands regularly is a key preventive action that can be taken to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

The role of the school nurse is to inform school administrators, staff, and students on the impact and understanding the importance of implementing good hand hygiene practices in helping to ensure health and safety in the school community.

Key Considerations:

  • Promote a culture of hand hygiene by doing the following:
    • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Build time into daily routines for students and staff to wash hands, especially at key times like after bathroom breaks, before lunch, or after playing outside.
    • Consider monitoring hand hygiene practices to ensure adherence among teachers, students, and staff.
    • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
    • Consider making hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol available for teachers, staff, and students.
    • Consider placing hand sanitizers near frequently touched surfaces (e.g., water fountains, doors, shared equipment) and areas where soap and water are not readily available (e.g., cafeterias, classrooms, gyms).
    • Promote hand hygiene throughout the school by placing visual cues (e.g. handwashing posters, stickers) in highly visible areas

NASN Resources 

Teaching Children and Families Regarding COVID-19

CDC Resources

Handwashing - Clean Hands Save Lives

Handwashing Fact Sheets

Handwashing Posters

When and How to Wash Your Hands

Hand Sanitizer Use Out and About

Frequent Questions About Hand Hygiene

Health Promotion Materials

Handwashing: A Family Activity

Handwashing Training & Education

Teach and Reinforce Everyday Preventive Actions

Strategies for Protecting K-12 Staff from COVID-19:  Educate and train K-12 staff about how they can reduce the spread of COVID-19

Resources Shared by School Nurses

See what school nurses have developed or are sharing in NASN's online discussions.



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