Handwashing Awareness Campaign for Canadian Children Keeping Kids Healthy!

    OTTAWA, May 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian children must be taught how and
when to wash their hands. This is the message that is central to an awareness
campaign being launched today at the Mary Honeywell Elementary School by
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, the Canadian Institute of Child Health (CICH)
and the Canadian Consumer Speciality Products Association (CCSPA). CICH has
developed a resource kit targeted at preschool children and preschool
educators, which provides valuable resources on handwashing.
    "Increased effort has to be made to teach young children about
handwashing," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Teaching small children how and when to
wash their hands establishes handwashing patterns that they will carry with
them all their lives."
    The campaign, entitled "William, Won't You Wash Your Hands?" chronicles
the adventures of a rascally preschooler named William who is resistant to
washing his hands. The campaign resource kit that has been developed by CICH
in consultation with experts in infectious diseases, early childhood education
and care, public health and pediatric medicine, provides a comprehensive set
of resources on handwashing and infection control for early learning and care
settings. CICH has worked in partnership with the Canadian Consumer Specialty
Products Association, Reckitt Benckiser, and the Public Health Agency of
Canada to print and distribute the kit, free of charge, to approximately
12,000 early learning and care programs, family resource centres and public
health units in Canada, making this resource available to approximately
265,000 children across Canada and their families.
    "Teaching children how to wash their hands is central to preventing many
childhood illnesses," said Dr. Robin Walker, CICH Advisor and Vice President
of Medicine of IWK Health Centre in Halifax. "Research has shown that having
children wash their hands can decrease the spread of infection within early
learning and care programs, which has a positive impact on children, program
staff and families."
    The kit is comprised of five components that come together neatly in a
kit envelope:

    - an illustrated storybook;
    - 2 posters which can be hung in early learning centres - one on the
      steps involved in handwashing and the other reminds children when to
      wash their hands;
    - 2 resource sheets for educators that include information on infection
      control; and
    - a resource booklet that provides educators with an assortment of
      activities, songs and games that all teach handwashing.

    "The kit includes everything an educator needs to develop a comprehensive
handwashing curriculum for young children," said Shannon Coombs, President,
Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association. "The resource material
provides a great foundation for educators on the importance of good hygiene
and the storybook, posters and game ideas make handwashing fun."
    CICH and CCSPA encourage parents, early childhood educators and caregivers
to teach children the steps to good handwashing:

    1. Wet your hands under warm running water.
    2. Put soap on your wet hands.
    3. Rub soap all over the front and back of your hands, the tips of your
       fingers and your nails for 15 - 20 seconds.
    4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
    5. Dry your hands well with a clean towel.
    6. Turn off taps with the towel.


    The Canadian Institute of Child Health (CICH) is the only national
charitable organization dedicated solely to improving the health of children
and youth in Canada. Founded in 1977, CICH has a successful history of
developing and implementing initiatives to increase public understanding and
awareness of child health issues through health promotion programs, child
health monitoring, education and advocacy. To purchase a kit, please go to:
http://www.cich.ca/PDFFiles/OrderForms/Order%20William%20English.pdf or
contact Janice Sonnen, Executive Director, CICH at 613-232-8838, ext. 223.


    CCSPA is a national trade association that represents 45 member companies
across Canada, collectively a $20 billion industry directly employing 12,000
people in over 100 facilities. Our companies manufacture, process, package and
distribute consumer, industrial and institutional specialty products such as
soaps and detergents, pest control products, aerosols, hard surface
disinfectants, deodorizers and automotive chemicals.

For further information:

For further information: Shannon Coombs, President, CCSPA, (613)
232-6616, ext. 18; http://www.healthycleaning101.org

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