With cold and flu season well underway, children at Cleaswell Hill School in Choppington took part in a special bug battling workshop led by the infection prevention team at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital.

Cleaswell Hill School supports children aged 4-18 years with a range of complex learning, sensory and physical disabilities. As part of their studies they have been learning about the importance of good hand hygiene as a way to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.

“Washing your hands after everything that you do, from food preparation to coughing or sneezing, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of germs,” explains Chris Finch, infection prevention nurse at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital in Jesmond.

“Teaching young people the correct way to wash their hands and embedding the reasons why this is so important is something that they will remember forever. Establishing these good hygiene practices from an early age can go a long way to preventing the spread of germs, especially when children are of school-age.”

Following a short presentation about the different ways people can prevent the spread of bugs, the children were invited to get ‘hands-on’. They covered their hands in a special ‘Glitter Bug’ revealing gel which glows under ultra violet light.

The children checked their hands using Nuffield’s special light box and were then guided through how to wash their hands properly by Nuffield staff, before using the light box again to identify if they had successfully cleaned the gel off, or whether they had missed a spot.

“As a special educational needs school, we have children on site with a wide range of complex health conditions for whom a simple cold can have a huge impact. Maintaining high standards of hygiene therefore is of the utmost importance,” said Karyn McMahon, deputy head teacher at Cleaswell Hill School.

“The infection prevention workshops for the children were absolutely fantastic and on behalf of all the staff and students, I’d like to extend my thanks to the team at Nuffield Health for giving up their time to visit us.”

Operating 31 hospitals and 112 fitness and wellbeing facilities and diagnostic clinics across the UK, Nuffield Health is an award-winning not-for-profit private healthcare organisation.

Delivered as part of its community outreach programme, Nuffield Health’s infection prevention workshops are available to schools across the North East by special request.

For more information, visit www.nuffieldhealth.com.