by: John Fedors
As infants become aware of their surroundings, fingers, toes, toys, pacifiers and other objects that can be handled, always end up in their mouths. It’s no wonder that parents become first fascinated, then concerned, and eventually oblivious for it seems almost everything ends up being “tasted”.
Alertness, curiosity, and fascination inspire investigation , which begins at an early age. Teachers encourage this direction and take advantage of it. Repetition of this experience should be reinforced and developed to become habitual. Children come to recognize, “It Makes Sense” .
Did you wash your hands? How many times have we heard this? How many times do we “forget”? This simple, though important task, must be difficult to instill, for so many fail to perform it.
We are continually reminded during our early lives and even as adults, that hand-washing must be difficult or of low priority, because we so often forget. It would seem that demonstrating the effectiveness of using soap and water should be encouraged!
The use of Glo-Germ powder may help to develop this habit. When I mention this to teachers, most are aware of its uses, but many are not. Some teachers are aware because the school nurse or health teacher has demonstrated it in their class, then it is forgotten. Teachers have multiple opportunities to demonstrate and reinforce this awareness.“
Glo-Germ” is a nontoxic product, which simulates a microorganism. This product is not easily visible but fluoresces when exposed to UV light. It is used in hospitals, fast food chains, and schools to demonstrate the effectiveness of hand washing.
Suggested Uses or Demonstrations:
- Either: sprinkle Glo-Germ Powder on a giant microbe, (Salmonella, Common Cold, Flu).
- Leave the microbe on the desk with a Do NOT Touch sign (of course if your students are anything like mine, they will most certainly touch…).
- Pass the germ around the room carefully. DO NOT let students TOSS the microbe as the powder, similar in texture to flour, could irritate lungs.
- Sprinkle some powder on every 3rd or 4th handout distributed in class and wait 10-15 minutes.
- Place some powder on your hand and shake hands with a student who then passes the “germ” on to another student and then another…
Then go around with a UV light (I recommend using a portable hand held long wave light) illuminate the powder residue, and demonstrate microbe transmission.
- Glo-Germ lotion is used to demonstrate hand washing technique. Shake the lotion and have the students rub it into their hands on Friday afternoon. Check their hands first thing Monday morning. See differences between boys and girls. Use your UV light to demonstrate effects of hand washing.
- The lotion or powder can also be used in forensics activities by putting lotion on: door knobs, draw pulls, texts, fire alarms, manuals, facet handles, equipment, or handouts