Parents failing to teach children to wash hands

Children aren’t aware of the importance of hand washing, and survey reveals parents aren’t teaching them


Three quarters of parents are failing to remind their children the importance of washing their hands before eating, a survey has found.


The Co-Operative Pharmacy carried out a survey of 3,000 parents and found that 57% didn’t understand lack of hand hygiene could lead to illnesses such as food poisoning, swine flu and norovirus.

“Our research shows that a high number of parents don’t realise that they are putting their child at risk by not teaching them the basic principles of good hand hygiene,” says John Nuttall, managing director of The Co-Operative Pharmacy.

With one in five parents failing to remind their children to wash their hands after using the toilet, it’s not surprising that viruses and infections are spreading so rapidly.

The survey found that 4.1% of children take more than 11 days off school a year due to illness, whilst 11% take between six and 10 days.


“By promoting good habits in the home this decreases the risk of contracting serious infections, but also spreading them amongst family and friends,” said John.

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