Teens still often forget to wash their hands


  • Sedentary teenagers, smokers, and those bullied at school are the least likely to wash their hands well.
  • To improve hygiene practices, parents and schools have to play a fundamental role with adolescents.

With the current health crisis, good hygiene of the hand has returned to the center of health recommendations. Rather, it is good news to believe the current habits of most teenagers. A new Australian study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) and published on 7 MayInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Found that only one in three teenagers would have proper hand hygiene.

Sub optimal practice

For this study, researchers collected data from 354,422 adolescents aged 13 to 17 in 92 countries. “We used data from the Global School Student Health Survey of 92 countries in six regions of the WHO to examine the prevalence and correlation of hand hygiene practices in adolescents around the world.”, Says Dr. Yakut Fatima, who works at UQ Social Science Research Institute and the lead author of the study.

Review of the data revealed that hand hygiene is generally poor in adolescents. Although access to soap and water is a problem in many parts of the world, 60% of teens who have it do not wash their hands adequately. “Although access to hand washing facilities and knowledge of good hygiene are important for practicing adequate hand hygiene, the study found that the difference between knowledge and behavior is a major reason for hand hygiene practices.“Yakut Fatima said.

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Get parents and school support

Researchers are also able to identify behaviors associated with poor hand hygiene. “Adolescents who reported unhealthy behaviors, such as being more sedentary, smoking, and bullying at school, were more likely to practice improper hand hygiene.Laughed ”, the researcher revealed.

To improve these practices, researchers point to two types of interventions. The first family targets the circle. “The positive role of parental support and bonding suggests that interventions to improve adolescent hand hygiene should focus on parents as key stakeholders and seek their active participation in the design and implementation of these interventions needed.”, Assured Dr. Yakut Fatima. Other interventions should be in school. “Systematic integration of health and hygiene education into school curricula may be a strategy to reduce inappropriate hand hygiene practices among adolescents”, The researcher concluded.

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